It seems that the Lions have turned the tables on Penn and become the poachers.
Only a month after Penn football legend Al Bagnoli was announced as Columbia’s new coach, recentlyfired Penn basketball coach Jerome Allen has followed suit, taking over the Light Blue program in the aftermath of a middling campaign.
Allen was profuse in his praise for his new employer.
“I’m not here to praise Columbia,” he said.
The announcement — which followed a series of incognito meetings between the former Penn star and Columbia brass — took many by surprise, including former Lions head coach, Kyle Smith.
“Excuse,” said a bewildered Smith when informed by Columbia that his services would not longer be needed. “Well, you guys still have to pay me.”
Smith has seen more success than Allen on the court in recent years, including his oversight of one of the best seasons in Columbia program history only last year. However, Allen — the last Ivy player drafted into the NBA — simply brought more to the table.
“Looking at the tape, Allen brings tremendous ball skills, court awareness and experience playing with some of the top athletes in the world,” said Bagnoli of his first major recruit with the Light Blue. “And quite frankly, we don’t think Smith can handle him in the paint.”
“At Penn, I was seen as the gentleman, the guy always dressed in the nice suit,” Jeromey-romey-romey-romey-romey-rome added when asked what he thought.
“Now I’m looking to channel my inner Beast Mode.”
Allen went on to describe his plans to recommit to his proven skills — playing basketball. He will take on the role as the first player-coach in NCAA history, hoping to follow in the footsteps of NBA legend Bill Russell.
“He made plays,” Allen said of the 13-time NBA champion.
When asked to comment on her reaction to Columbia’s hiring of her recently-fired basketball coach, Penn Athletic Director M. Grace Calhoun interrupted the young Daily Pennsylvanian reporter.
“He wasn’t fired. He resigned,” Calhoun said before forcefully winking in the journalist’s direction.
She went on to explain her disdain for Columbia Athletic Director M. Dianne Murphy, who has already picked up two of Penn Athletics’ most recognizable figures within Calhoun’s tenure.
“She thinks the M. is her ally, but was merely adopted by the M.,” Calhoun said. “I was born in it, raised by it.”
“Now she knows how [Stanford Athletic Director Bernard] Muir feels,” Murphy curtly responded.
It remains unclear exactly how Allen has managed to retain his eligibility to play another year. The NCAA was too busy trying to decipher its own bylaws to comment.
It also remains unclear who else from Penn may follow Allen to the Big Apple to join Columbia, although that has not stopped speculation from running wild.
Most recently, it has been rumored that Murphy has set her eyes on noted polymath Benjamin Franklin, another of Penn’s most noted figureheads. Franklin was unavailable for comment.
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