The Ivy League has canceled fall sports competitions as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The league reportedly won’t entertain starting any sports until after January 1, 2021 – which means basketball won’t start as scheduled, if at all.
“As athletics is expected to operate consistent with campus policies, it will not be possible for Ivy League teams to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition prior to the end of the fall semester,” the conference said in a release. The Ivy League will allow practice and other athletic training for enrolled students, given those activities are structured to meet school and state regulations.
Plenty of eyes were watching to see what the Ivy League planned to do with the football season – it was the first conference to cancel its postseason basketball tournament, setting off a domino effect that ultimately concluded with the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament. It was also the first Division I conference to cancel its spring sports calendar. However, whether a similar trend follows is yet to be seen.
The Ivy League isn’t in the Football Bowl Subdivision and does not rely on the hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket sales and TV rights at risk that could incentivize major programs and conferences to play.
“We all pay attention to it, just to see what’s out there, but I think their model is a little different than our model when it comes to football,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, who also is the chair of the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee, told ESPN. “Is it definitely going to impact what we do? As a whole, not necessarily.”
The Ivy League said it would decide on the remaining winter and spring sports competition calendar and if fall sports would be feasible in the spring, at a later date.