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Ivy League Cancelation ‘Devastates’ Athletes

  • On Feb. 18, the Ivy League tweeted it had canceled their spring conference season.
  • The Ivy League is now the only D-I conference that hasn’t held any sports events this year.
Photo: Brown Athletics/Design: Alex Brooks

On Feb. 18, the Ivy League tweeted it had canceled its spring conference season. It is now the only D-I conference that hasn’t held any sports since last winter. 

When the Ivy League canceled play before other conferences in 2020, Brown pitcher John Torroella said he was shocked and disappointed but understood the decision once other conferences followed suit. 

But now, Torroella is watching other conferences’ college baseball games on TV. “It’s definitely devastating. It feels like we’re singled out,” he told FOS.

On Feb. 23, Torroella planned to turn in his paperwork to enter the transfer portal.

The Decision

The Ivy League said its decision was based on the idea that athletes should be treated the same as all students — and since the student body couldn’t participate in gatherings resembling practices or games or travel, neither could athletes. 

Ivy League athletes begged for a season via social media just like some Power 5 athletes notably did, but their wishes didn’t materialize. 

Financially, the Ivy League had little motivation to put on a season during the pandemic, unlike Power 5 schools. The conference doesn’t make any significant revenue from sports — and may save some money this year without game-day costs.

Next Steps

Planning for a 2021 spring season, Torroella and several of his teammates spent the fall semester learning remotely and training in Florida, he said. They returned to campus in January, quarantined for 14 days, and have been abiding by campus rules for testing, mask-wearing, and distancing while still trying to hold some form of split practices.

The Ivy League said non-conference exhibition games may be possible if restrictions ease, but Torroella is skeptical. 

Torroella plans to return to Florida to try to stay in shape and will look for a new school to play for next year. 

“The Ivy League is clearly not investing at all in their student-athletes,” Torroella said.