When the Ivy League canceled its conference basketball tournaments in March as a precaution against COVID-19, it set off a firestorm of controversy in league circles that soon abated when the threat of the novel coronavirus sunk in. The rest of the sports world soon followed the Ivy League’s lead.
When the Ivy League announced its plans for sports during the fall semester Wednesday, America watched for a sign of further cancellations or delays to come.
The league showed Wednesday that it was again opting for maximum caution, announcing that there will be no intercollegiate athletics competition prior to the end of the fall semester.
A decision on the remaining winter and spring sports calendar and on whether fall sports would be feasible in the spring will be determined at a later date, the league announced.
The Ivy League Council of Presidents explained its position in the league’s long awaited announcement:
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.”
The Ivy League’s move makes nonconference hoops even unlikelier than the already dim prospect of any basketball at all thia season as COVID-19 continues to hit America especially hard.