About That Track Scholarship…

Posted: 25 August by Brett Hoover in Princeton
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In my eight years at the Ivy League, twice the music media tracked me down and peppered me with questions and requests. Both times centered on track and field, once about the subject of a song and the other about a high-school-athlete-turned-princess-of-hip-hop.

One story was kinda cute and fluffy, when in 2007 Delilah DiCrescenzo’s life was turned upside-down by the Plain White T’s. The song “Hey There Delilah” caused a stir that summer and I wound up taking numerous calls, including one from Stern Magazine in Germany looking for a photo of the Columbia steeplechaser, who is now an assistant coach at her alma mater.

The other was strange. In 2002, Ashanti broke on to the international stage, scoring eight Billboard awards and two American Music Awards with her self-titled debut album (which featured the hit Foolish). A triple jumper from Glen Cove, N.Y., Ashanti Douglas had drawn mild interest from the Princeton coaching staff. But when her fame hit, I was suddenly fielding calls about her spurning an athletic scholarship offer from the Tigers.

Aside from the obvious lack of athletic scholarships at Princeton, it took Coach Peter Farrell some bit of coaxing to remember Ashanti the athlete. When I would hear Ashanti’s name, I would wonder where the press got the story, if indeed someone had exaggerated her bio.

Well, recently someone sent me a link to an old story on ESPN.com when the movie John Tucker Must Die, which featured Ashanti, was released. Turns out, the singer herself was pushing the story, telling interviewer Miki Turner, “I got two (track) scholarships, one to Princeton and one to Hampton.”

Spurning those “offers,” she instead signed on with Murder, Inc., but that “scholarship” was revoked last year.

Just another strange tale of Heps Track.

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