Ivy League

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A group of eight northeastern United States private universities. First coined informally to refer to these schools which compete in both scholastics and sports, the term also refers to the formal association of these schools in NCAA Division I athletic competition.

The members of the Ivy League are:

The term has connotations of academic excellence and stuffy elitism.

History

Caswell Adams of the New York Tribune made a passing comment about the schools in 1937, referring to the ivy growing on institutions' walls. Stanley Woodward, a fellow sportswriter, coined the phrase in a column soon thereafter, informally dubbing the eight competitive universities the Ivy League, in advance of any formal sports league involving the schools.

In 1945 the athletic directors of the schools signed the first Ivy Group Agreement, which set academic, financial, and athletic standards for the football teams.

In 1954, the date generally accepted as the birth of the Ivy League, the agreement was extended to all sports.

An apocryphal etymology attributes to the Roman numerals for four (IV), incorrectly asserting that there was such a sports league originally with four members.

References

Ivy League Web Page http://www.ivyleaguesports.com