The Tournament of Roses announced today it will once again return as the presenting sponsor for the press conference and reception of the National Football Foundation (NFF) and The Ivy League presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the League’s Football Players of the Year.

The Tournament of Roses announced today it will once again return as the presenting sponsor for the press conference and reception of the National Football Foundation (NFF) and The Ivy League presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the League’s Football Players of the Year.

The Tournament of Roses boasts numerous ties to the Ivy League as well as the NFF. All three organizations share similar missions, including the promotion of the scholar-athlete ideal and a deep commitment to the rich history and traditions of the game.

“The Tournament of Roses and the Ivy League represent two of the most storied traditions in college football,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “And the NFF is proud to stand side-by-side with them in supporting this unique event that provides a powerful platform for promoting some of our nation’s finest student-athletes. All three of our organizations have had a hand in shaping the game of college football over the last 150 years, and we look forward to celebrating the game’s historic milestone at this event and throughout the upcoming season.”

The connection between the Ivy League and the Rose Bowl Game stretches back more than 100 years with Ivy League teams appearing in three of the first six Rose Bowl Games. All totaled, four of the eight Ivy League teams have made an appearance in the Rose Bowl Game. Other Ivy League/Rose Bowl Game connections include the Yale Bowl serving as a model for the Rose Bowl Stadium architects, led by the renowned Myron Hunt, as they designed the iconic stadium during the early 1920s in Pasadena.

This season marks the 100th anniversary of Harvard and Hall of Fame halfback Eddie Casey’s 7-6 victory over Oregon in the Rose Bowl Game following the 1919 season, notching the first Ivy League victory in the famed event. Brown, led by Hall of Fame Coach Edward “Robbie” Robinson and Hall of Famer Fritz Pollard, played Washington State in the 1916 Rose Bowl Game as the first Ivy League team to ever appear in the classic. Penn represented the Ivy League the following year in the 1917 game, taking on Oregon. In 1934, Columbia, led by Hall of Fame Coach Lou Little and Hall of Famer Cliff Montgomery, pulled off possibly the greatest upset in the game’s history with a 7-0 victory against Stanford.

“We are extremely pleased to continue our support of the presentation of the Asa Bushnell Cup,” said Laura Farber, president of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. “The finalists chosen for this unique honor truly represent what it means to be a scholar-athlete. They have succeeded at the highest levels at some of our nation’s most prestigious academic institutions, and we take great pride in recognizing them as examples for future generations. We are also excited to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Harvard’s Rose Bowl Game victory and the 150th anniversary of college football.”

Capping off the Ivy League football season, the presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup annually recognizes one offensive and one defensive player as the best player from their respective sides of the ball. The finalists—two offensive and two defensive, plus any ties—will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The finalists along with their respective head coaches will be on hand as Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris unveils the winners’ names in front of an impressive crowd of media representatives, NFF Board members and Ivy League administrators, alumni, dignitaries and friends.

“The Bushnell Cup Presentation offers us a prominent platform to showcase the League’s storied tradition and modern success,” said Harris. “The Ivy League, NFF and the Tournament of Roses share a common goal of inspiring young people through education and football, and we are excited to partner once again with two organizations that reflect our values. This year is particularly special as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football, which traces its roots to the Ivy League.”

Presented annually since 1970, the Asa S. Bushnell Cup honors its namesake, a 1921 Princeton alumnus and the commissioner of the Eastern College Athletic Conference from 1938 to 1970. The Bushnell Cup is awarded by a vote of the Ivy League’s eight head football coaches to the players who display outstanding qualities of leadership, competitive spirit, contribution to the team and accomplishments on the field.

From 1970 to 2010, the Bushnell Cup recognized an Ivy League Player of the Year (or co-Players of the Year if there was a tie in voting). In 2011, the Ivy League began recognizing both an offensive and a defensive player of the year. Beginning with the 2010 season, the award was presented as a part of the festivities surrounding the NFF Annual Awards Dinner with four finalists named a week prior to the presentation.

The presentation will be carried live on ESPN+, as part of the Ivy League’s partnership with ESPN.



The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that hosts America’s New Year Celebration® with the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual and a variety of accompanying events. 935 volunteer members of the association will drive the success of 131st Rose Parade themed “The Power of Hope,” on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, followed by the 106th Rose Bowl Game.  For more information, visit



The Ivy League stands at the pinnacle of higher education and Division I athletics, rooted in the longstanding, defining principle that intercollegiate athletics competition should be “kept in harmony with the essential educational purposes of the institution.” Unrivaled in its legacy, The Ivy League provides the true test of academic and co-curricular rigor—fostering an enduring culture that celebrates a storied-tradition, thrives on shared values and holds paramount the academic and personal growth of students.

 Consistently ranked as the top academic conference and with more national championships than any other collegiate athletic conference (287 team, 546 individual), The Ivy League showcased 98 nationally-ranked programs in 2018-19 and prides itself on sponsoring 33 sports, the highest number of any NCAA conference, with more than 8,000 student-athletes competing annually. The League’s world-renowned schools—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale—serve as the standard bearers for inspiring and transforming student-athletes to boldly take on the world’s challenges and lead lives of great impact.

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Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy®, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments – a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy®, Goodyear, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Sports Business Journal, SportsManias, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at