CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 1-ranked women host 3rd-ranked Penn on Saturday and 4th-ranked Princeton on Sunday while the No. 5 men host 9th-ranked Penn and 3rd-ranked Princeton. These matches mark the debut of highly touted players Ali Farag and Amanda Sobhy, both of whom will compete in the first matches of their college careers at Harvard this weekend.
The Harvard Athletic Department has worked closely with the Ivy League to confirm the amateur status of its student-athletes. Both among the top junior players in the world, Farag and Sobhy each participated in numerous prestigious tournaments prior to entering Harvard. Harvard and the Ivy League have reviewed their participation in these events, the prize money awarded, and their expenses to assess any issues regarding their eligibility for collegiate competition under Ivy League rules. Ivy rules permit incoming students to have accepted prize money up to the level of expenses incurred and maintain amateur standing.
Both student-athletes were withheld from competition pending the resolution and validation of the information.
Minor issues with Ivy League rules were identified in the review, and both student-athletes were declared ineligible and reinstated with conditions. While Farag's case required no withholding, Sobhy was required to be withheld from 30% of the teams regular season dates of competition. She has already served that penalty. Both students were required to repay prize money that exceeded expenses in one event.
"We would like to thank Harvard for its cooperation in working with the Ivy League Office to fully address the amateurism issues surrounding Ali's and Amanda's eligibility," said Robin Harris, Executive Director of the Ivy League. "We are confident that this thorough review has demonstrated that they meet Ivy League amateurism standards."
Farag is the No. 1-ranked junior player in the US and 79th in world. A 2010 Junior World champion, Farag spent his freshman season at American University in Cairo, captaining the Egypt Junior squash team to world title in Quito, Ecuador in 2010.
Sobhy is the No. 1-ranked player in the United States and 20th in the world. She won the 2010 Junior World championship, is a four-time U.S. Junior national champion, three-time U.S. Junior Open champion and winner of five WISPA tour titles.