An Ivy League university played in the first college football game. Ivy League schools are often trendsetters in this way. A little over 150 years later, the Ivy League is leading the way again during the COVID-19 pandemic. This past week, the Ivy League announced that all intercollegiate athletic activity would be canceled for fall 2020 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether Ivy League universities will participate in winter 2021 and spring 2021 intercollegiate play — and whether fall sports like football will be moved to the spring — remains to be determined.
As Justin Kramer reports for The Dartmouth in a piece entitled “Ivy League cancels fall sports, no competition until 2021,” “The Ivy League is the first Division I conference to cancel fall sports. In the immediate future, this decision means that the entirety of Dartmouth’s football, cross country, field hockey, rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, tennis and volleyball seasons have been canceled for the fall. According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, no athletics will take place before Jan. 1, 2021, so the Ivy League’s decision also has ramifications for winter sports such as basketball, ice hockey and swimming — these athletes will at least have the start of their seasons delayed.”
While we are disappointed that there will be no fall sports this year in the Ivy League, we understand and respect the decision. Indeed it’s our hope that other universities will follow the lead of the Ancient Eight by prioritizing the safety of its student-athletes over competing in intercollegiate play this fall. It remains to be seen whether the likes of Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, and all the top-ranked football programs will choose to suspend their fall seasons. Only time will tell. Stay tuned.
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