Despite being known for academic excellence Harvard University has sports programs that are well known around the NCAA.
Harvard Stadium serves as the home of Harvard Crimson football team.
The venue opened in 1903 and in 1987 it was added to National Historic Landmark list so obtaining Harvard Crimson tickets gets you an entry into plenty of history and there is only just over 30000 seats available.
For basketball needs the fans head to Lavietes Pavilion, a multi purpose arena with over 2000 seats available that is the second oldest college basketball arena in use today. Plenty of history and longevity around Harvard.
Football program arrived to the university in 1873 while the basketball didn’t take first steps in Harvard until 1902. The Crimson are located in conference of Ivy League, which formed in 1954 as NCAA Division I FCS and is formed of eight prestigious universities.
The Crimson’s colours are crimson, white and black and the college’s mascot is the statue of John Harvard. The main rivals when it comes to the university are Yale Bulldogs, Princeton Tigers and Penn Quakers.
The football program won 7 national titles, which all of them came between the years 1890 and 1919 and claimed 14 conference championships with an all- time record of 829-383-50. The Crimson took part in only one Bowl game, in 1920 the university defeated Oregon Webfoots 7-6 in Rose Bowl.
With more importance placed on academic accomplishments and most of the university glory falling at century ago it’s not a surprise that there isn’t many big names in NFL teams hailing from Harvard.
There is Super Bowl champion hailing from Harvard though, namely Matt Birk, who was drafted in 6th round by the Vikings and spent ten years playing for them as a center. It resulted in 6 Pro Bowl nominations, 2 All- Pro mentions and 6 awards of Minnesota Viking Man of the Year that he won in one streak.
After he left the Vikings, he was able to finish his career playing for Baltimore Ravens where he won Super Bowl with them in his last professional season. He was also a winner of Walter Payton Man of the Year while as a Raven.
Currently there’s few Crimsons among the NFL ranks and their most known is a quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ivy League MVP, who was drafted in 7th round of 2005 draft by St. Louis Rams.
Fitzpatrick spent most of his career travelling across the States trying to find a permanent roster spot and his longest stay was with Buffalo Bills (2009-2012). He won Rookie of the Week trophy, 3 AFC Player of the Week awards, with few other accolades playing as a backup or a starter filling in for injured players or trying to settle himself in less competitive teams.
Basketball has struggled most of their history. The Crimson reached NCAA tournament only five times, first appearance in 1946 which resulted in the best accomplishment of reaching the Elite Eight. Their other four appearances came recently in years 2012-2015.
Harvard also claimed five conference regular season championships to their name but overall the Crimson have not shocked the world in producing NBA players as currently there is only one active player in NBA; Jeremy Lin who plays point guard for Charlotte Hornets.
It is quite obvious that attending Harvard University means one tries to excell in academic fields but it doesn’t necessarily mean one can not achieve some success in professional sports.