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Ivy League ‘mafia’ pipeline to Wall St. for college athletes

University of Pennsylvania defensive back Josh Powers may have a better opportunity than playing for college football’s national championship: a six-figure Wall Street salary upon graduation.

University of Pennsylvania defensive back Josh Powers may have a better opportunity than playing for college football’s national championship: a six-figure Wall Street salary upon graduation.

Powers, a senior at the Philadelphia-based school, was able to use contacts on Penn’s athletic board to land internships at two financial firms.

“I have a job opportunity that the top, top percentile of applicants would give their right arm to have,” Powers said in a telephone interview from campus. “I’ve been blessed with a fantastic opportunity.”

Penn’s athletic board of overseers includes George Weiss, founder of the George Weiss Associates Inc. hedge fund in Hartford, Conn.; Robert Wolf, chairman and chief executive officer of UBS Group Americas in Stamford, Conn.; and Mark Werner, the former JP Morgan Securities Inc. vice chairman who is co-founder and CEO of Pierpont Securities LLC, also in Stamford.

Having that kind of board helps the Quakers get better players, coach Al Bagnoli, who led the team to the Ivy League championship last season, said in a telephone interview from the school’s campus.

“We call them our alumni mafia,” Bagnoli said. “Everyone looks out for one another. It’s a very close group.”

 
 
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