Ivy League is the name generally applied to eight universities (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale) with common interests in scholarship and athletics. Stanley Woodward, a sports writer for the New York Herald Tribune, coined the phrase in the early 1930s.
In 1945, after a number of years of consideration, the presidents of the eight universities entered into an agreement "for the purpose of reaffirming their intention of continuing intercollegiate football in such a way as to maintain the values of the game, while keeping it in fitting proportion to the main purposes of academic life". Two inter-university oversight committees were appointed, one to administer rules of eligibility, and the other to establish policies on the length of the playing season and of preseason practice, operating budgets, and so on. Two other committees, on admission and financial aid, were added later.
By 1956 the college football teams were part of a round-robin competition, and the principle of similar schedules for "as many sports as practicable" had been approved. By 1977, Ivy League colleges had, as the Ivy Group, established round-robin competitions in football, soccer and basketball. Also part of the Ivy Group competition schedule were baseball (with the addition of Army and Navy), fencing (except Brown and Dartmouth), ice hockey (except Columbia), squash (except Brown, Columbia and Cornell), swimming (except Columbia, but including Army and Navy), tennis (including Army and Navy) and wrestling (except Brown and Dartmouth). Championships were also held in cross-country and track, golf and rowing.
Women's teams also became part of the Ivy League program in the mid-1970s, with championship tournaments in basketball and ice hockey, and moves towards round-robin competitions in field hockey, lacrosse and other sports.
- Information in this article is from Leitch, A. 1978. A Princeton Companion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Retrieved 17 August 2008 from http://etcweb.princeton.edu/CampusWWW/Companion/ivy_league.html