(WTNH) — The Ivy League became the first Division I conference to postpone fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials made the announcement on Wednesday.
The league cited restrictions on student and staff travel, requirements for social distancing, limits on group gatherings, and regulations for visitors to campus as some of the factors that led to the decision.
The Ivy League Presidents released the following statement on the decision:
As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish. 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 athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall. 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.Statement from Ivy League Presidents
Activities such as practices and workouts for fall sports will be permitted during the semester provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations. The league also announced that fall sport student-athletes will not use a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility in the fall, whether or not they enroll.
The Ivy league said a decision on winter sports like basketball, which begins in November and continues into the spring during normal years will come at a later date.
Back in March, the Ivy League canceled its basketball tournament and everybody said that’s an overreaction, and that COVID-19 was not that bad. About two days later, the NCAA tournament was shutting down, so was the NBA and NHL.
The other question is will the Ancient Eight again set the tone for the rest of sports. Maybe if this was the 1930s, but Ivy League football is not the draw it was, and not the draw it is in other conferences with expensive TV contracts.
It is tough to have college sports if you don’t have college students on campus. Yale’s plan is to have about 60% of undergraduates on campus, and the rest learning remotely from home. One way they are doing that is having entire years stay home.
For instance, sophomores will not be on campus for the fall semester. Freshman will not be on campus for the spring semester. What do you do about athletes in those classes if they’re on a team that plays when they’re not supposed to be on campus?
Yale University Athletic Director Vicky Chun released the following statement: