Joe Santoro: Ivy League shows it’s the smartest, again | NevadaAppeal.com
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Joe Santoro: Ivy League shows it’s the smartest, again

By Joe Santoro For the Nevada Appeal
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2018, file photo, Harvard players, students and fans celebrate their 45-27 win over Yale after an NCAA college football game at Fenway Park in Boston. The Ivy League has canceled all fall sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Leave it to the Ivy League to be the voice of reason in college athletics. While the rest of college athletics is proceeding as if the coronavirus pandemic is a thing of the past, the Ivy League recently announced it has canceled its fall sports season. Harvard, Yale, Brown, Penn, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia and Princeton will not conduct athletic events until at least Jan. 1, 2021. “We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations,” the Ivy League Council of Presidents said in a statement. The Ivy League was also ahead of the curve when it announced March 10 it had canceled its postseason basketball tournament. Right now, as coronavirus cases spike throughout the country (nothing much has changed since March), it would make sense for other conferences to follow the Ivy League’s lead once again. But don’t count on it.

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We understand that Ivy League schools are unlike most other schools in the nation. Ivy League schools, after all, have seemingly never-ending financial endowments and research funding from federal government and private sources. Ivy League sports are merely a pleasant diversion, a way to boost the morale of the student body and bring the campus together. You know, like sports used to be on college campuses before the pursuit of television revenue ruined college athletics. The Ivy League long ago made a decision to put itself in position to always choose the continued health and safety of its students over the pursuit of revenue. It’s too bad the rest of the conferences — even Mountain West schools spend millions of dollars each year simply to fill out bloated coaching staffs for men’s basketball and football — can’t say the same.

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Former Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick is partnering with Disney and ESPN to create a series of documentaries of “scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity,” according to a Disney press release. Kaepernick in a statement also said, “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story.” How much of that life story will include his five years (2006-11) at the University of Nevada? Will the documentaries shed a positive light on Kaepernick’s experiences off the field while he was at Nevada? Stay tuned.

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The Nevada Wolf Pack is scheduled to open its football season against UC Davis at Mackay Stadium in roughly just 50 days. Will the Wolf Pack, after countless team meetings and gatherings and about a month of practices, have enough healthy players left on Aug. 29 to even open the season? And once the season starts, if it starts, will there be enough healthy players (and coaches) to play all dozen games on the schedule? Just 50 days remain and nobody knows the answer to any of those questions. We still can’t go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk without wearing a mask. But the Wolf Pack will be expected to start practicing football in a few weeks up on North Virginia Street.

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Major League Baseball recently announced its silly 60-game schedules for each team and, well, go ahead and slap a gigantic asterisk on this goofy season right now. The Florida Marlins will play 52-of-60 games against teams that were .500 or better last year. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s will play just 17 games against teams that were .500 or better. The San Diego Padres are playing 20-of-23 games in September in the state of California. This isn’t major league baseball. This is the 1952 Wolf Pack football schedule when the Pack played just four games and only traveled as far away as Chico State and Idaho State.

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It seems like it is only a matter of time before the National Football League’s Washington Redskins franchise finally changes its name. The league never should have allowed such a racist nickname in the first place, even back in 1933 when the team changed its name from the Braves to the Redskins. Washington’s refusal to change its name has always been confusing. Professional sports teams are constantly changing their uniforms, colors and even their names simply to sell more jerseys and hats. The Redskins will make hundreds of millions of dollars (billions?) when they change their name. Why hasn’t it happened already?

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Once the Redskins change their name, will the Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Golden State Warriors, Florida State Seminoles, Utah Utes, San Diego State Aztecs, Atlanta Braves, Bradley Braves and Cleveland Indians do the same? What about the Dallas Cowboys? The San Francisco and New York Giants? The Cleveland Browns were named after Paul Brown. Sports teams should not be named after people.

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Major League Baseball is expected to play its games without fans in attendance, at least to start the season (which opens July 23). But there is a professional baseball league in this country that is playing in front of fans right now. The American Association of Independent Baseball is limiting its attendance to 20 percent of capacity. The Chicago Dogs met the Milwaukee Milkmen this week with 1,400 fans in attendance twice and 963 another night. A total of 1,069 fans saw the Winnipeg Goldeyes meet the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks on July 4. This past Wednesday the same two teams had 375 in attendance.

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The Chicago White Sox will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the Field of Dreams game in Iowa on Aug. 13. As of right now no fans will be allowed to watch in person though that might change by the time the game is played. The game, though, will be televised by Fox, which proves the notion that in these pandemic days if you play it, television will come.