Ivy League Announces No Sports in Fall
The first domino has fallen. The Ivy League announced today that athletic competition will not resume during the upcoming fall semester, becoming the first in Division I to shelve fall sports. The news comes days after the University announced a re-opening plan that invites about 40 percent of undergraduates back to campus for the term.
“As athletics is expected to operate consistent with campus policies, it will not be possible for Ivy League teams to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition prior to the end of the fall semester,” said the Ivy League statement.
A decision on the viability of winter sports—which normally begin in November and have been delayed—and spring sports has not yet been made. Whether fall competition could occur in the spring will be decided and announced on a later date. Fall-sport student-athletes will not use a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility, the statement specified, but “Students who wish to pursue competition during a fifth-year will need to work with their institutions in accordance with campus policy to determine their options beyond their current anticipated graduation date.”
The Ivy League had made news on March 10 when it announced the cancellation of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Within days, the NCAA basketball championships were canceled. It is unclear whether the Ivy League’s decision to sit out (at least) the fall will result in similar moves from universities more reliant on football-related income. Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel also pointed out that this will be just the eighth time since 1875 that the annual Harvard-Yale game would not be played—and the first since 1944.
“With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk,” the Ivy League Council of Presidents wrote in an attached statement. “We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility—and that is the basis for this difficult decision.”
Read the letter here.