BOSTON, OCT. 23 -- Ivy League schools rarely produce top Heisman Trophy candidates like Notre Dame, UCLA or Miami. But they often produce doctoral candidates.

They can't win very often against nonconference teams. But they can play competitively within their league.

"The most important thing about recruiting in our league is you have to understand the boundaries and parameters you have to work with," Cornell Coach Maxie Baughan said. "Once you understand that, you don't have any problem losing a kid to Notre Dame or Alabama or Northwestern or the {service} academies."

Ivy League schools have no football scholarships. Financial aid is offered, as it is to the rest of the students, strictly on a need basis.

Conference guidelines suggest that athletes, as a group, must be similar to the entire student body in terms of past academic performance.

Unlike nonconference teams they play, Ivy League schools don't allow spring practices. So what do recruiters from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale have to offer??

"We sell the Division I football program and the Ivy League education," Brown football recruiting coordinator Steve Reese said. "I am one to believe it's very difficult to play Division I football for four years and also get a great education.

"Maybe the kid who goes to a Division I school with bowl games or spring football may not become the doctor he wants to become."

Some Ivy players have succeeded in the National Football League.

Quarterback Jeff Kemp played at Dartmouth. Brown produced tight end Steve Jordan. Running back Calvin Hill and safety Gary Fencik went to Yale. Punter Pat McInally attended Harvard. Running back Ed Marinaro went to Cornell.

But coaching in the league is not without its frustrations.

In the past two seasons, Ivy teams were 13-32-2 against nonconference opponents. Dartmouth hasn't won its last 24 games with such teams, a streak that began in 1978.

"We are working our kids hard and working them all seriously and not accepting the excuse that we're playing scholarship students and teams with spring practices," said Buddy Teevens, who is in his first season as Dartmouth coach.

The economic realities of an Ivy education don't bode well for leaguewide improvement in the near future.

"Money, in the last 10 or 15 years, has become the biggest obstacle that's faced" the league, said second-year Columbia coach Larry McElreavy, who was an assistant at Pennsylvania, Yale and Dartmouth. "Parents a dozen years ago would spend $5,000 to $6,000 to say that their sons went to an Ivy League school. They won't pay $19,000 or $20,000" a year now.

Instead, he said, players may go to schools that are outstanding academically -- such as Stanford, Duke or Rice -- that also cost less and give football scholarships.

Some coaches advocate changing the league's financial aid package, but McElreavy doesn't see that happening soon. Currently, that includes an outright grant, a loan, a work-study job and a parent contribution.

Pennsylvania Coach Ed Zubrow would prefer to see "preferential packaging" for football players in which they would get their full need in a grant rather than a package that also obligates them to work and take a loan that must be repaid.