Were you hoping that Yale’s men’s basketball team would be able to defend its league title? Were you hoping that Dartmouth’s or Yale’s football teams would be able to defend their titles on the gridiron this spring? Well, sorry to be Debbie Downer — played by Dartmouth alumni Rachel Dratch on SNL no less — but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ivy League has opted to cancel all winter intercollegiate sports for the 2020-2021 academic year. Spring sports, while not yet canceled, have been delayed — until at the earliest February. Additionally, fall sports will not compete this spring, which was initially raised as a possibility.
Ivy League Sets Precedent by Keeping Its Athletes Safe
As Jeff Borzello reports for ESPN in a piece entitled “Ivy League cancels winter sports season, delays spring play,” “‘This is definitely not a decision we want to make, but I know it’s the right decision for the Ivy League,’ Robin Harris, the conference’s executive director, told ESPN. These decisions were made unanimously by the Ivy League Council of Presidents. ‘The Council will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the public health climate and consider changes to policies when warranted in order to return to more normal campus operations, including potential spring intercollegiate athletics competition,’ the Ivy League said in a release. The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel its men’s and women’s conference tournaments in March and was also the first conference to announce it wouldn’t hold fall sports because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, it became the first league to cancel winter sports — including men’s and women’s basketball. Other sports affected include wrestling, indoor track and field, swimming and fencing.”
We Commend the Ivy League’s Decision to Cancel Winter Sports
We know this is tough news for athletes across the Ivy League today but we have a feeling it wasn’t too difficult a decision for the Ivy League Council of Presidents to reach. After all, these university leaders have the best interests of their student-athletes in mind and with COVID-19 cases across America at an all-time high, it simply isn’t safe — or necessary — for young people to compete in intercollegiate sports right now. There will come a time when student-athletes across the Ivy League can return to the courts, gridirons, and fields, but that time just isn’t now.
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