When it was his turn to speak on Wednesday at the weekly small college footbal luncheon, which was held at Penn, Quakers coach Al Bagnoli related what happened earlier that day.
``We get to work early this morning, and we find out there's a racoon in the building," Bagnoli said to laughter. ``I have no idea how a racoon gets into a building. It makes its way up the steps where the football offices are. We have a cleaning lady, and she's trapped. She goes into the film room and locks the door. We lock the outside door, so the racoon is stuck between the two doors. We then call security, who then call animal control. We had like a hostage situation going on. Finally, at about 9:30, the hostage situation was over, from 6:30. You can't make this stuff up."
While Bagnoli opened with the funny story, how Ivy League teams are scheduled is no laughing matter to him.
This week, Penn (1-2 overall) will host Fordham (1-3) of the Patriot league. With a victory over Dartmouth last week in league play, two-time defending champ Penn is 1-0 in the Ancient Eight.
``If you look at the opener, everybody else has two, if not three games under their belts, and we're going into our first game," Bagnoli said. ``Whoever makes these schedules is putting everybody in the league in harm's way. You go into the Ivy League, and then you're out of the Ivy League, and then you go back into the Ivy League. The teams we play are physical teams. We're trying to recover from Villanova, and we have to go to Hanover to play Dartmouth. After Fordham, we have to go on the road to play Columbia. It doesn't make things easy. It's not an easy schedule that's been given to us, and next year, it'll be even worse because we'll have William and Mary. That'll be fun. You hold your breath every time you play a scholarship school that you're not going to get half your team broken."