Saturday, August 29, 2015

Why Ivy League sports matter

How Penn and other Ivy schools use college athletics to network and land the big jobs and contracts

Why Ivy League sports matter


Here's a story for every NCAA football or basketball fan who wonders why the Ancient Eight (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, etc.) and other braniac schools bother with the time and expense of fielding Division I teams when they almost always get whipped by the big-name state schools and very few of their players go on to the pros:

It's not really about sports. It's about contacts, contracts, and jobs.

"Penn’s athletic board of overseers includes:

- George Weiss, founder of the George Weiss Associates Inc. hedge fund in Hartford, Connecticut;
- Robert Wolf, chairman and chief executive officer of UBS Group Americas in Stamford, Connecticut; and
- Mark Werner, the former JP Morgan Securities Inc. vice chairman who is co-founder and CEO of Pierpont Securities LLC, also in Stamford...

'We call them our alumni mafia,'” says Quaker football coach Al Bagnoli. These guys and other sports-oriented alumni provide internships, recommendations, jobs and "insights into a company's needs" as athletes use their Ivy League degrees to get real jobs.  Bloomberg story here.

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at,, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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