Varsity Sports at Cornell

November 5, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Varsity Sports at Cornell

What are the Varsity Sports at Cornell? In the late 1870s, the numerous Cornell University clubs came together to form the Cornell University Athletic Association to organize and coordinate their activities. Because it possessed neither authority nor property, it was unable to moderate events in any significant way, and the various clubs proceeded to determine their futures as if nothing had happened. During this period, there was an effort made to involve the student population in the administration of athletics. This was accomplished by having each class vote for someone to fill the role of “athletic director,” who then represented that class in the Athletic Association.

It was not until the late 1880s when the Athletic Association was given Percy Field (the original football field, which is now the site of Ithaca High School), that a business-like organization became necessary. On June 17, 1889, the Cornell University Athletic Association was incorporated, and a definite administration was established.

Between the years 1889 and 1900, Ithaca had significant growth in its athletics scene, leading the rise of Varsity Sports at Cornell to prominence. Important games on the football schedule were made into regular events, the Poughkeepsie regatta was established, and Cornell was accepted into the IC4As. In addition to the traditional four sports of football, baseball, crew, and track, the university also began hosting intercollegiate competitions in cricket, lacrosse, and other sports in addition to the purchase of Percy Field and the varsity boathouse.

In spite of this, the administration remained uncomplicated, with each club being responsible for its own finance and operation of its business under the direction of the Athletic Council. This guidance grew increasingly relevant as intercollegiate relations became more vital, and it became critical to have a consistent policy with other colleges in all sports. Consequently, it became imperative to maintain a consistent policy with other colleges in all sports.

View of a tennis ball placed on the ground.

At the turn of the century, it became clear that the Athletic Association could not operate in a profitable manner without full-time supervision and guidance. This was due to the expanding breadth of sports, the bigger football receipts, and the growing staff of coaches and staffers. In addition to the establishment of the office of the Graduate Manager and the acquisition of permanent offices in the downtown area, the separate funding of the individual sports was discontinued.

What are the different Varsity Sports at Cornell?

What are the different Varsity Sports at Cornell? In the same way that the name Cornell University is synonymous with academic superiority, the Big Red athletic program is entrenched in tradition and has enjoyed a great deal of success in the past. And even more importantly, it has been a bellwether of example by making its athletic and physical education program an intrinsic part of the educational process without allowing its academic standards to decrease in the least way. This has made it a bellwether of example.

View of sports equipments placed on the floor.

In 1865, Cornell University was established, and almost immediately afterward, athletic programs were established there. It is stated that Cornell has fielded a baseball team ever since the first nine men registered for the program. The first administrative organizations took the shape of clubs, such as the Tom Hughes Boat Club and the Cornell Baseball Club, amongst others. Each club operated independently of the others and financed itself through membership dues, charitable contributions, and fundraising events.

Here are the following different Varsity Sports at Cornell.

Men’s Varsity Sports at Cornell

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Rowing- Heavyweight
  • Rowing- Lightweight
  • Soccer
  • Sprint Football
  • Squash
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Wrestling

Women’s Varsity Sports at Cornell

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • GymnasticsIce Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Polo
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • SoccerSoftball
  • Squash
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball

Popular Varsity Sports at Cornell

What are the most popular Varsity Sports at Cornell? There are a total of 36 varsity sports that are supported by the Cornell Big Red, in addition to a large number of intramural and club teams. As a member of the Ivy League, Cornell competes at the top level of the NCAA’s Division I. In the ECAC Hockey League, both the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams compete against one another.

In addition, teams compete in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, the National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association, the Collegiate Sprint Football League, the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC), the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (EAWRC), the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC), and the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) (EIWA). Here are some of the most popular Varsity Sports at Cornell.


The Cornell Big Red baseball team competes at the highest level of baseball competition in the country, known as NCAA Division I. The first Cornell baseball team was created in 1869, and it competed in the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League (EIBL) until 1992. The EIBL is still active today. Hoy Field is located in Ithaca, New York, and is where the club uses it for its home games.

At the turn of the 20th century, David “Davy” F. Hoy, an alumnus who had also worked for a long time as the university’s registrar, was the university’s baseball advisor for the duration of thirty years. Every year, he went down south with the squad to participate in spring training. It was at his suggestion that the Hoy baseball field was constructed in 1922, and it was named for him the following year. On the field, Hoy was the one who threw out the first pitch, and the ball that he used is now part of the collection at the Kroch Library. Hoy sustained injuries in a bus accident that occurred in Virginia in 1929 while he was traveling with the baseball team. Hoy passed away in December 1930 at the age of 67.

In April of 2022, Cornell baseball commemorated the 100th anniversary of Hoy Field by holding a pregame ceremony during which fans and alumni gathered to give the iconic stadium a fitting farewell. Following the celebrations, the Big Red was defeated by Columbia in both games of their doubleheader, suffering losses of 7-3 and 5-2 to bring their overall record for the season to 9-22 and 4-13 in the Ivy League. Columbia’s record rose to 25-13 with the sweep on Saturday, moving them into first place in the Ivy League (15-2 Ivy).


The Cornell Big Red men’s basketball team competes in the NCAA Division I men’s competition as the representative team for Cornell University. The last time the Big Red made it to “The Big Dance” was in 1988, when they participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Bill Courtney, who was appointed following the 2009–10 season to serve as head coach at Cornell, did not have his contract renewed on March 14, 2016, as the university announced. Brian Earl was given the role of head coach of the program on April 18, 2016, making him the 22nd person to hold that position overall.

On December 13, 1898, Cornell played its inaugural basketball game, which resulted in a victory over the Waverly YMCA by a score of 48–12. The team would end the short season with a record of 1–3, which was not very impressive. A winning season for the program did not occur until 1908–1909 when the squad finished with a record of 13–10. Cornell participated in the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League beginning with the 1901–1902 season and continuing through the 1954–1955 season.

Basketball going through the basket.

This league consisted of between four and eight schools at various points in its history, all of which would eventually join the Ivy League upon its creation in 1954. Cornell’s participation in this league lasted until the 1954–1955 season. The Big Red made their debut in the NCAA tournament in 1954 after defeating Princeton in a one-game playoff for the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League (EIBL) championship. Cornell won the title a total of four times.

The new Ivy League organization began holding athletic competitions for the first time during the 1955–1956 season. Since then, Cornell has become the champion of the Ivy League on four separate occasions, most recently in 2010. That season was the first time in program history that Cornell would emerge victorious in a game played during the NCAA tournament.

In January of 1990, Cornell made the move into its new home, which is Newman Arena located inside Bartels Hall. Beginning on February 16, 1919, all of the home games were moved to Barton Hall, which at the time was still referred to only as the “New Armory.” Games from the past had been held at the former armory, which had a location on the quad that is currently occupied by the engineering building. In 2010, the men’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by first defeating the fifth-seeded Temple Owls and then the fourth-seeded Wisconsin Badgers. In doing so, they became the first Ivy League team to get that far since Penn’s trip to the Final Four in 1979. The victory over Temple was the first ever for Cornell in the NCAA tournament, and it came in the form of a triumph.


As a member of the Ivy League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), the Cornell Big Red football team competes on behalf of Cornell University in college football games. It is one of the football programs that has been around the longest and has the most history in the country. The team has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame with a total of seven players and has won a total of five national championships.

The first game of what would become known as intramural football was played at Cornell University in 1869. The game did not match the present version of the sport in any way, and there were forty participants on each team. In the year 1874, the founder and president of Cornell University, Andrew Dickson White, did not give permission for a team of Cornell students to travel to Cleveland, Ohio to compete against a team from Michigan. White was quoted as saying, “I refuse to allow 40 of our soldiers travel 400 miles only to agitate a bag of wind.”

Cornell came out on top, 20–7, over the defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl champion Michigan in 1951. Running back Ed Marinaro shattered a number of NCAA records with his career total of 1,881 yards and 24 touchdowns, which he accomplished between the years 1969 and 1971. During his senior season, he finished second in the vote for the Heisman Trophy, which was ultimately won by Pat Sullivan of Auburn.

During the previous year, Cornell concluded the year with a record of 6–1, securing a share of the Ivy League conference championship for the first time. Following the conclusion of the 1981 season, the Ivy League was reclassified to Division I-AA, which is now known as the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Following this reclassification, Cornell joined the rest of the league in playing in Division I-AA.

Cornell won the Ivy League championship twice more, tying for the title in 1988 with Penn and tying for the title with Dartmouth in 1990. The final game of the season for Cornell athletics will begin in 2018 with a matchup against their Ivy League rivals, the Columbia Lions. The Empire Cup is given to the winner of the competition

As a result of the widespread COVID-19 outbreak, the Ivy League has decided that no athletic competitions will take place for the 2020 season. In September 2021, after a gap of 665 days, the Big Red played Virginia Military Institute at Schoellkopf Stadium for the first time since their previous encounter.


Cornell, as a member of the Ivy League, has won a total of 30 conference titles, the most of any other school by a wide margin (18 outright, 12 shared) (Princeton has won 27 – 18 outright, 9 shared). After the conclusion of the regular season, the Ivy League will present the conference title to the team that finished with the best record overall. In the event that two or more teams finish with identical records, the championship will be split between those teams.

The squad won 17 of their 18 outright championships by going unbeaten and untied in league play, which is the most outright titles won by any Ivy League club. Cornell has been victorious in the Ivy League Lacrosse Tournament on two separate occasions since its inception in 2010. These victories came in 2011 and 2018. The Big Red have competed in the lacrosse tournament that is held by the NCAA 29 times.


The Cornell Big Red men’s squash team represents Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in the intercollegiate men’s squash competition. Cornell University is a research university. Within the context of the College Squash Association, the squad is a member of the Ivy League. The year 1956 marked the beginning of the team’s existence. They use the Belkin International Squash Courts located within the Reis Tennis Center for their matches. David Palmer, a native of Australia and a former world number one, is now serving in this capacity.

Mark Devoy served as the team’s head coach for a total of 12 seasons, beginning in 2004 and ending in 2016. He finished his tenure with a record of 126-89, leading the Big Red to a consistent presence among the top 8 teams in the country. During Devoy’s tenure as head coach of the Big Red, the team achieved a national ranking as high as sixth place. Palmer succeeded both Mark and Julee Devoy (women’s head coach) before the 2016-2017 season. In addition to Drexel’s John White and MIT’s Thierry Lincou, Palmer is the third former world number one to be coaching a collegiate squash team at the present time.

Does Cornell Provide Athletic Scholarships?

Does Cornell Provide Athletic Scholarships? At Cornell, there is no such thing as merit assistance or athletic scholarships; rather, all grant help is based on financial need. There is neither a minimum nor a maximum limit on the amount of gift aid that may be given. Scholarships offered by third parties can take the place of aid components such as loans or work requirements, but they do not diminish the amount of the parent contribution.

Young woman smiling while attending an online course.

Students who demonstrate a compelling need for financial assistance can apply for a Cornell Grant through the university’s Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment (OFASE). The assistance is provided by a number of different organizations, including university endowments, grants from alumni, and a general fund.

Students who are qualified for Cornell University Grants may also be eligible to receive a named endowed scholarship. These scholarships were founded by individuals who have strong care and concern for Varsity Sports at Cornell and the rest of the University’s students, making them particularly significant. Some of the donors are former students who benefited from financial aid when they were enrolled at Cornell. You may be able to build a direct relationship with the donor through the use of an endowed scholarship. Most donors would be delighted to have the opportunity to meet or correspond with the students who are awarded their scholarships.

Want to learn more about getting into Varsity Sports at Cornell? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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