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Discussion Starter #1
My day as a student-athlete predates the formation of the Patriot League. It seems that this year has brought a lot of attention to the P.L. brand. The TV coverage: 1. accompanying Lehigh's run in the FCS FB playoffs, 2. Lehigh and Bucknell's wins in the NCAA and NIT bball tourneys, 3. Colgate and Lehigh in the NCAA MLAX tourney and the overall P.L. lax season, etc. The announcements of fb schollies and B.U. joining the League brought attention as well. The added plus to the publicity is commentators often citing the P.L. "doing things the right way!"

Are you all feeling good about the Patriot League brand ?
 

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The Invisible Iron Fist
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My day as a student-athlete predates the formation of the Patriot League. It seems that this year has brought a lot of attention to the P.L. brand. The TV coverage: 1. accompanying Lehigh's run in the FCS FB playoffs, 2. Lehigh and Bucknell's wins in the NCAA and NIT bball tourneys, 3. Colgate and Lehigh in the NCAA MLAX tourney and the overall P.L. lax season, etc. The announcements of fb schollies and B.U. joining the League brought attention as well. The added plus to the publicity is commentators often citing the P.L. "doing things the right way!"

Are you all feeling good about the Patriot League brand ?
While I'm still trying to process the move to the PL for BU, I have a few feelings on the brand:

I think the basketball success is biggest brand highlight for the year. I think adding BU has brought in a pretty big media market (if you think HC wasn't on the Boston radar, which I think for the most part it is not).

Before we were added, I think, if you asked me, I'd say: oooh, PL...they are on the rise. I will say this: I feel like the PL's brand is definitely hotter than the AE, and has an air of academic success with improving athletics, which is something I'm glad to see associated with my alma mater.
 

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While I'm still trying to process the move to the PL for BU, I have a few feelings on the brand:

I think the basketball success is biggest brand highlight for the year. I think adding BU has brought in a pretty big media market (if you think HC wasn't on the Boston radar, which I think for the most part it is not).

Before we were added, I think, if you asked me, I'd say: oooh, PL...they are on the rise. I will say this: I feel like the PL's brand is definitely hotter than the AE, and has an air of academic success with improving athletics, which is something I'm glad to see associated with my alma mater.
The Ivy League has proven (particularly in the last 5 years) that mid major basketball success and an academic focus are not necessarily contrary. I'm not suggesting that Patriot League schools are going to be able to recruit the way Harvard has been for the last few years; however I think it is promising in the long run.
 

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The Invisible Iron Fist
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The Ivy League has proven (particularly in the last 5 years) that mid major basketball success and an academic focus are not necessarily contrary. I'm not suggesting that Patriot League schools are going to be able to recruit the way Harvard has been for the last few years; however I think it is promising in the long run.
Strong academics and decent basketball is a decent value proposition to a certain set of kids...they key is scooping up the best from that limited pool. I've always felt this was an advantage in waiting for BU. As the University grows in academic success and prestige, this becomes a better recruiting tool. Being in the PL does not hurt this at all.
 

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The PL was founded as a football league, no? As far as branding though, I'm not sure if I've ever heard much of "Patriot League football." Granted, I'm not a huge follower of FCS, but how is the brand regarded within that sport? Is PL football even competitive at the top levels?

Try and excuse this ignorance, just wanting to learn more about our new home. I do think that within the basketball world, the PL brand is very strong - while I never considered BU could move there, I always had a positive image of the league
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The PL was founded as a football league, no? As far as branding though, I'm not sure if I've ever heard much of "Patriot League football." Granted, I'm not a huge follower of FCS, but how is the brand regarded within that sport? Is PL football even competitive at the top levels?

Try and excuse this ignorance, just wanting to learn more about our new home. I do think that within the basketball world, the PL brand is very strong - while I never considered BU could move there, I always had a positive image of the league
Yes, usslider, the Patriot League did start out as a football conference in 1986 shortly after Division I in football was divided up into the FBS ( IA ) and FCS ( IAA ) in 1978. As P.L. membership expanded, the league gadually expanded into all of the other sports. The five original members ( C.U., B.U., H.C., L.C., L.U. ) shared traditions of being football giant killers, as independents, from the 1920's through the 50's when they regularly had Big 10 teams on their schedules, along with other schools that are now FBS, the Ivies and each other. Forming the league provided an A.Q. for the FCS fb tournament when it started in 78. Each of the schools maintained regular rivalries with FBS schools up to recent times like Colgate had with Syracuse. ( last game 2010.) Although playing without f.b. scholarships, Colgate played Delaware for the national FCS championship in 2003. The Patriot schools will introduce football scholarships in 2013. Although it will differ from school to school, each P.L. school hopes to maintain an annual upper-echelon FCS schedule, along with an annual FBS money game and three contests with the Ivies. With each school averaging 23 Div. I mens and womens sports ( while the enrollments of the original 5 membets average only 3,000 students ) being compettive in every sport is challenging. Bball is big at L.U., B.U., A.U.,H.C. and L.C., not at Colgate, where ECAC hockey is bigger by far. Lehigh has had a nationaly ranked presence in wrestling for decades which is not a P.L. sport. Mens Lax is intense across the entire P.L. and increasingly becoming a factor in the NCAA tournament. You'll find out that each school will present different competitive levels for BU depending on their comittment of scholarships and support for individual sports.
B.U. should be very competitive in most sports at the outset with the exception of mens lacrosse.
 

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I think the BBall brand has definitely risen with the success of Lehigh last year. The Bucknell run before that was the start. I think continued consistency and good showings in the NCAA tourney will help continue the rise and hopefully lead to a few years of multiple tourney bids (like the MAAC last year). Also, hopefully it leads to higher seeds in the tourney as well (with AE you are always destined for 16th seed unless you have a phenomenal, once in a lifetime year like UVM vs Syracuse).

Did this rise coincide with the scollies for BBall or is this much later?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Basketball scholarships were first allowed beginning with freshmen entering the league in the fall of 1998. The move for bball scholarships was initiated by Holy Cross, which has a storied basketball history. In 2001, when American, which gave scholarships in all sports (AU does not play football) entered the league, the league began allowing all schools to do so in sports other than football. The demand for bball schollies by H.C. reflected that it wasn't prepared to let its rich basketball history end, even though its President refused to allow H.C. to become a charter member of the Big East in 1979. The peak of H.C.'s bball history was 1947 when Holy Cross won the NCAA tourney by defeating Kentucky in Madison Square Garden. The Crusaders finished third in the tournament the following year, and were ranked No. 1 in the 1949-1950 campaign as they won 26 straight games to start the season. The ultimate Celtic star, Bob Cousy was a freshman on that 1947 team. Remaining in Boston after his Holy Cross career, Cousy had a very successful career with the Celtics: playing on six championship teams, being voted into 13 NBA All-Star Games and 12 All-NBA First and Second Teams and winning the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 1957. The rivalry between B.U. and Holy Cross should become a good one for Boston fans. The game is destined for Agannis. An intense rivalry with B.U. can help H.C. alumni who are still p.o.'d about H.C.'s refusal to join the Big East.
http://sportslifer.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/once-upon-a-time-holy-cross-was-king-of-hoops/
 

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Basketball scholarships were first allowed beginning with freshmen entering the league in the fall of 1998. The move for bball scholarships was initiated by Holy Cross, which has a storied basketball history. In 2001, when American, which gave scholarships in all sports (AU does not play football) entered the league, the league began allowing all schools to do so in sports other than football. The demand for bball schollies by H.C. reflected that it wasn't prepared to let its rich basketball history end, even though its President refused to allow H.C. to become a charter member of the Big East in 1979. In 1947, Holy Cross won the NCAA tourney by defeating Kentucky in Madison Square Garden. The Crusaders finished third in the tournament the following year, and were ranked No. 1 in the 1949-1950 campaign as they won 26 straight games to start the season. The ultimate Celtic star, Bob Cousy was a freshman on that 1947 team. Remaining in Boston after his Holy Cross career, Cousy had a very successful career with the Celtics: playing on six championship teams, being voted into 13 NBA All-Star Games and 12 All-NBA First and Second Teams and winning the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 1957. The rivalry between B.U. and Holy Cross should become a good one for Boston fans.
http://sportslifer.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/once-upon-a-time-holy-cross-was-king-of-hoops/

Yeah the H.C. admin really blew it in '79. They'd be a smarter Providence right now
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Had Boston University joined the P.L. earlier this year, the Terriers would have gotten a taste of the growing Patriot League spirit that’s now inviting B.U.’s participation. B.U.‘s entry into the P.L. is special in and of itself--but, coming during this watershed in the evolution of the P.L. spirit makes it especially sweet. Throughout this watershed year, there was a substantial outpouring of prideful enthusiasm across all Patriot League schools’ sports boards as well as through alumni and student chatter. This outpouring continuously celebrated every individual and team success on the national stage by any one associated with the P.L., as if it were one school. B.U. is about to add to this shared pride by allowing its accomplishments to become targets for this outpouring by other P.L. schools.

One source of the contagious enthusiasm behind this is the historical thirst for “giant killing” by P.L. schools. This tradition found its way into the P.L. through the experiences of the smaller P.L. schools: L.U., C.U., H.C., L.C., and B.U.. As genuine P.L. competitors, the Terriers are now invited to view BU’s competition from this perspective. As a big school that maintains high standards for student athletes, the “David vs. Goliath” effect can still be felt by B.U.. The spirit of this paradigm transcends time. For the P.L., it began in the 20’s and has been nurtured for decades. The original P.L. schools were dwarfed by their opponents, yet were serious players with the “big boys” on the national f.b. and/or b.b. scene. Dozens of great “giant killing” stories have been passed along over the years.

Represeting a slightly different twist, Army and Navy symbolize another distinguishing aspect of the P.L. brand. Terriers, take notice ! B.U. opponents may start viewing the Terriers with this characterization in mind. When you start playing Army and Navy on a regular basis, you can’t help but notice the unique energy they bring to the P.L. As institutions, they are national brands and the people who identify with them are not just their alumni or traditional fans. Nor are their fanbases bound by geography in any way. Their national fanbases include those who identify with the military branches that the Academies represent. The fanbases also include many who admire the commitment to across-the-board excellence that the cadets/mids represent. The Patriot League commitment to the "scholar-athlete" gets a bump up in recognition and credibility through association with the Academies.. The Patriot League brand is further distinguished by the reverence for the idolized “body-mind-spirit” credo popularized by the rigors of Academy life. The pageantry surrounding Army and Navy competition differs from other P.L. schools. But, the recognition of athletes as good students and citizens, though not as dramatic as that for the cadets/mids who earn awards for realizing the Academies’ credo, is just as prevalent throughout the P.L..

Like its P.L. brethren, Boston University will both draw from the P.L. brand to suit its own needs and integrate its own spirit into this growing P.L. brand. In unique but complementary ways, I visualize B.U. as a beachhead for the P.L. As an example, B.U.’s Beanpot participation symbolizes a visibility wider than many of its non-urban P.L. peers. B.U.’s an iconic university with an international presence nestled in one of America’s most historic cities. Although B.U.’s big, it’s also a storied old institution. Underneath the surface of “big,” one finds B.U.’s history intertwined with all of the P.L.'s institutions and values. In harmony with P.L. history and values, B.U. will offer its own distict contribution to the brand.

As if these shared sub-narratives comprising the P.L. brand were not enough to distinguish it from other conferences, there’s a glue that binds all of this together. What makes the P.L. brand stand out in a crowded marketplace is the shared commitment to being an example of “doing things the right way," yet still being able to kick butt ! So, I ask you again, can a brand like this not grow,
big time ?
 

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Had Boston University joined the P.L. earlier this year, the Terriers would have gotten a taste of the growing Patriot League spirit that’s now inviting B.U.’s participation. B.U.‘s entry into the P.L. is special in and of itself--but, coming during this watershed in the evolution of the P.L. spirit makes it especially sweet. There was a substantial outpouring of prideful enthusiasm across all Patriot League schools’ sports boards as well as alumni and student chatter throughout this watershed year. This outpouring continuously celebrated every individual and team success on the national stage by any one associated with the P.L., as if it were one school. B.U. is about to add to the rich tapestry of P.L. history by adding its accomplishments as targets for this outpouring by other P.L. schools. One source of this contagious enthusiasm is the historical thirst for “giant killing” by P.L. schools. This tradition found its way into the P.L. through the original core of the smaller P.L. schools: L.U., C.U., H.C., L.C., and B.U.. As genuine P.L. competitors, the Terriers are now invited to view some of BU’s challenges from the prism of this “David vs. Goliath” spirit. The spirit transcends time, but began in the 20’s and lasted for decades. The original P.L. schools were dwarfed by their opponents, yet were serious players with the “big boys” on the national f.b. and/or b.b. scene. Dozens of great “giant killing” stories emerged. On a parallel basis, Army and Navy offer another unique theme of the P.L. brand through which B.U. can now view its competition. When you start playing Army and Navy on a regular basis, you can’t help but notice the unique spirit they bring to the P.L. As institutions, they are national brands and the people who identify with them are not just their alumni or traditional fans. Nor are they bound by geography in any way. Their national fanbases include people across the country who identify with the military branches that the Academies represent and the unique challenges cadets endure. The Patriot League brand gets a bump up in recognition and significance because of this. The Patriot League brand is further distinguished by the reverence for the idolized “body-mind-spirit” credo popularized by the rigors of life at the academies. The pageantry surrounding Army and Navy competition differs from other P.L. schools. But, the admiration of athletes as good students and citizens, though celebrated with less fanfare than that for the academies’ credo, is held in similar high regard throughout the P.L., as well as by its fans. Like its P.L. brethren, Boston University will integrate its own spirit into this growing P.L. brand. In unique but complementary ways. I visualize B.U.as a beachhead for the P.L. B.U.’s Beanpot participation symbolizes a visibility wider than many of its non-urban P.L. peers. B.U.’s an iconic university with an international presence nestled in one of America’s most historic cities. Although B.U.’s big, it’s also a storied old institution. Underneath the surface of “big,” one finds B.U.’s history intertwined with all of the P.L. institutions and values, offering up stories covering decades of its own giant-killing and the nurturing of athletes who also excelled in the classroom and lead our communities. As if these shared sub-narratives comprising the P.L. brand were not enough to distinguish it from other conferences, there’s a glue that binds all of this together. What makes the P.L. brand stand out in a crowded marketplace is the shared commitment to being an example of “doing things the right way," yet still being able to kick butt ! So, I ask you again, can a brand like this not grow, big time ?
Good post. You're absolutely right, especially about playing in a league with Army and Navy. They are good at some sports, although not so good at basketball in recent years. But just being able to play in a league with their cache is great.
 

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Army and Navy can suck at basketball, but they make up a significant part of of the CBS sports scheduling, because of that national appeal and the feel game day on those campuses. In 2010-11, Army did knock off Bucknell in the regular season, and I don't think Ed DeChellis went to Annapolis for the marina. Both academies have affiliated prep schools, with a warehouse of recruited talent. Recruiting for them is a challenge, but they do have unique advantages too.
 

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I would quickly add that a bball game at Navy is pretty incredible (haven't yet been up to Army), but I try to make it to Annapolis at least once a year. For most games the midshipmen are required to attend, so the (very nice) arena is packed, and no matter how the team is doing they are always into it, and no matter the outcome they will always shake your hand after the game (at least in my experience). The academies certainly add quite a bit to the PL's brand.

I wouldn't worry about them jumping ship, either (Navy pun intended), as I've heard some speculation about. Outside of football, where they get the most exposure, the PL is a great fit for their other programs. As long as their football programs can remain at the FBS level, they are perfectly happy in the PL.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"The Last Amateurs" by John Feinstein ( book about Patriot League bball season, 1999-2000 )

"Whereas institutions such as Colgate, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Lafayette, Bucknell, Army and Navy are not known for big-time hoops ala Dick Vitale, the play is of high quality with a deep commitment of members of all seven programs. The conference games are extremely competitive and the fight to qualify for the one available spot in the NCAA tournament makes one actually feel the pressure these kids are under. "

http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Amat..._link_2?ie=UTF8&pageNumber=2&showViewpoints=0
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wikipedia: History and Winners of the Patriot League Mens Basketball Tournament

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_League_Men's_Basketball_Tournament

" In NCAA basketball, Bucknell, Navy, Lehigh, and Holy Cross are the only teams in the conference ever to have recorded NCAA Tournament victories. Bucknell won tournament games in 2005 over Kansas and in 2006 over Arkansas. Lehigh won over Duke in the 2012 tournament.
The Bison and Mountain Hawks are the only teams to win in the NCAA Tournament while actually representing the Patriot League. A Navy team - then representing the Colonial Athletic Association - led by future Hall of Famer David Robinson won three tournament games while advancing to the regional finals in 1986. Holy Cross was among the best teams in the country in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and won the 1947 national championship with a team that included Hall of Famer Bob Cousy. Its combined record in the NCAA Tournament is 7–12. However, Holy Cross has not won a tournament game since 1953."
 

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I think the BBall brand has definitely risen with the success of Lehigh last year. The Bucknell run before that was the start. I think continued consistency and good showings in the NCAA tourney will help continue the rise and hopefully lead to a few years of multiple tourney bids (like the MAAC last year). Also, hopefully it leads to higher seeds in the tourney as well (with AE you are always destined for 16th seed unless you have a phenomenal, once in a lifetime year like UVM vs Syracuse).

Did this rise coincide with the scollies for BBall or is this much later?
The ESPY-winning, Kansas-killing senior class at Bucknell was one of its last non-scholarship classes.
 

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I've heard that this past season was HoopTime (Chris Courogen)'s last. I certainly hope that's not true, but he's spent quite some time covering PL Bball so I wouldn't blame him if he needed a break.
 

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The ESPY-winning, Kansas-killing senior class at Bucknell was one of its last non-scholarship classes.
That team had only one senior, a little-used reserve during the season who, IIRC, did not play that night. I believe the Kansas-killing junior class (with great help from the sophomores)was the very last entirely non-athletic scholarship class.
 
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