The Ivy League has canceled the winter sports for the 2020-21 season, the conference said Thursday.
The conference has also postponed spring sports until at least the end of February and will not organise any autumn sports competitions during the spring semester.
It’s certainly not the decision we want to make, but I know it’s the right decision for the Ivy League, said Robin Harris, Executive Director of the conference.
These decisions were adopted unanimously by the Presidential Council of the Ivy League.
The Council will continue to closely monitor and evaluate public health and consider policy changes if necessary to return to more normal campus operations, including possible inter-university track and field competitions in the spring, according to an Ivy League press release.
The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel the men’s and women’s conference tournaments in March, and the first conference to announce that there would be no fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, it was the first division to abolish winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball. Other sports involved are wrestling, indoor athletics, swimming and fencing.
Harris said it would break our hearts to come back here. This measure is based on current trends in the spread and speed of the virus and the impact this has on our campus policy, which will continue to limit travel and the size of groups visiting the campus. Athletics is important to all our schools, to our presidents. All aspects of the campus are called upon to make sacrifices and change their way of working, and this has unfortunately extended to athletics.
Ivy League CEO Robin Harris attended the show to discuss the unanimous decision to cancel the winter sports season. Listen!
Harris said that the coaches of the competition and the athletic directors have come up with alternatives for the season, including eliminating overnight stays and changing the way meals are organized on the road. These options would have reduced the risk to some extent, but that was not enough.
The conference bell was never a legitimate consideration, Harris said.
Because spring sports were postponed until at least the beginning of March, it was proposed to play winter sports in a shorter season to determine the champion and send the team to the NCAA tournament.
We considered it an option, and in the end the presidents didn’t want to give false hope, Harris said. We couldn’t participate until the end of February. As far as winter sports are concerned, we could perhaps start at the beginning of March, when it seems so unlikely that they didn’t want to settle their hopes.
In its statement, the Ivy League Council of Presidents said that the trend to transfer KOVID-19 has crushed the desire to participate in athletics competitions.
Sports students, their families and coaches are once again called upon to make great sacrifices for the health of the population – and we do not take this decision lightly, according to the Council. While these decisions are accompanied by great frustration and disappointment, our commitment to the long-term safety and health of our student athletes and the general public must remain our top priority.
Although the first Ivy League dominoes fell in March, it is unlikely that this time around all conferences in the country will follow the League’s decision.
This is a decision about what is fair and responsible for the Ivy League, based on current trends and policies on our campus, and that our presidents put the health and safety of student athletes, coaches and campus residents in general first, Harris said. Others will have to make better decisions for their schools and conferences. It’s hard to predict the future. The trends are not very good.
Harris said the Ivy League had not discussed with the NCAA whether it would receive an NCAA entry into the tournament or money from the NCAA. The League has not changed its policy of allowing post-graduate athletes to participate in the sport, although the NCAA allows a year out every winter during the season.