The Rooney Rule

What has been dubbed “The Rooney Rule” gives the Ivy League an interesting reach in the world of college track & field. The rule’s namesake, Kevin Rooney, was an Academic All-America football player at Cornell University who graduated in fewer than four years — before his NCAA eligibility was up. He wanted to continue his graduate studies at Cornell and have one final season on the gridiron.

But the Rooney Rule is as short as an Ivy League rule gets: “Only undergraduate students shall be eligible for a varsity team.” Despite compelling arguments from Rooney, it was as simple as that — once you earned your degree at any four-year university, you were no longer permitted to play intercollegiate athletics in the Ivy League.

So what becomes of the Ivy graduate who wants to pursue graduate school and continue to compete? For those who run track and field, they do just that at a university with both a graduate school and an interest in having a new team member. Here is an incomplete list of those who have flown the Ivy coop and competed as graduate students.

Lawrence Adjah (Harvard / Texas)
Grant Allen (Dartmouth / Louisville)
Jessie Allen-Young (Dartmouth / Michigan)
Mark Amirault (Princeton / Virginia)
Andy Arnold (Cornell / Ohio State)
Carmen Ballard (Columbia / Georgetown)
Danielle Barbian (Harvard / Oregon)
Jared Bell (Yale / Florida State)
Ray Biersbach (Columbia / Villanova)
Clara Blatter (Harvard / Oxford)
Jasmine Blocker (Princeton / Tulane)
Brad Bogdan (Cornell / Boise State)
Hilary Bontz (Columbia / Georgetown)
Liam Boylan-Pett (Columbia / Georgetown)
Peter Callahan (Princeton / New Mexico)
Mike Carmody (Dartmouth / Texas)
Don Conrad (Dartmouth / Stanford)
Liz Costello (Princeton / Tennessee)
Adam Cotton (Harvard / New Mexico)
Caitlin Cunningham (Dartmouth / Louisville)
Claudia Duncan (Yale / Baylor)
Justin Frick (Princeton / Oregon)
Will Geoghegan (Dartmouth / Oregon)
Chas Gillespie (Harvard / William & Mary)
Nicky Grant (Harvard / Boston U.)
John Gregorek (Columbia / Oregon)
Susan Hendrick (Columbia / Georgetown)
Monica Hernandez (Dartmouth / Louisville)
Garrett Jensen (Dartmouth / Arizona State)
Kevin Johnson (Cornell/ Florida State)
Weldon Johnson (Yale / Texas)
Kara Kerr (Columbia / Villanova)
Maksim Korolev (Harvard / Stanford)
Samyr Laine (Harvard / Texas)
Megan Lessard (Columbia / Iowa)
Brian Leung (Princeton / Wisconsin)
Abby Levene (Princeton / Colorado)
Erin Linehan (Cornell / Iona)
Dan Lowry (Brown / Michigan)
Michael Maag (Princeton / Oregon)
Nathan Mathabane (Princeton/ Oregon)
George McArdle (Dartmouth / Indiana)
Emily McCabe (Cornell / Duke)
Amber McGown (Cornell / Oregon)
Kyle Merber (Columbia / Texas)
Dan Milechman (Harvard / New Mexico)
Olivia Mickle (Brown / Texas)
Wendell Mottley (Yale / Cambridge)
Mel Newbury (Princeton / Oregon)
Geoff Nickerson (Dartmouth / Villanova)
Danielle Padilla (Columbia / Georgetown)
Alexi Pappas (Dartmouth / Oregon)
Molly Renfer (Harvard / New Mexico)
Phil Royer (Dartmouth / Tulsa)
Toni-Lynn Salucci (Cornell / Michigan)
Lindsey Scherf (Harvard / Oregon)
Mary Serdakowski (Harvard / UMass)
Sammy Silva (Harvard / New Mexico)
Joe Stilin (Princeton / Texas)
Rayon Taylor (Cornell / Florida State)
Brock Tessman (Brown / Colorado)
Whitney Thornburg (Harvard / New Mexico)
Trevor Van Ackeren (Princeton / Texas)
Owen Washburn (Brown / Texas)
Anna Willard (Brown / Michigan)
Ariel Wright (Brown / Southern Cal)