Ivy League Decides To Not ‘Hold League Competition Or Host League Championships This Spring’
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, and all the Ivy League universities will not be playing league competitive sports in the spring this year.
“Consistent with its commitment to safeguard the health and wellbeing of student-athletes, the greater campus community and general public, the Ivy League Council of Presidents has decided not to hold league competition or host league championships this spring,” an Ivy League press release stated. “While acknowledging that the current public health environment is not compatible with a traditional Ivy League season, the Council has also put in place a process that may allow for limited, local competition during the spring if public health conditions improve sufficiently to allow greater levels of in-person activity at Ivy League campuses. “
The press release included a joint statement from the Ivy League Council of Presidents as they came to the conclusion that it’d be best to simply not have athletic competition at all in the spring.
“As campus and community leaders, we believe that our public health responsibilities and educational principles preclude us from sponsoring Ivy League athletics competition this spring,” The Ivy League Council of Presidents said. “The public health measures now in effect at all Ivy League universities have been carefully designed to support our teaching and research missions while keeping our students, faculty, staff and neighboring communities safe. These policies include restrictions on travel, limitations on campus visitors, and other pandemic related regulations that are not compatible with the Ivy League’s usual competition schedule. In the Ivy League, these measures must apply equally to our athletics programs along with other academic and co-curricular activities.”
The council acknowledged the disappointment this news would bring to the Ivy League community, student-athletes, coaches, and staff.
“We know that this news will come as a disappointment to many in our community,” The Ivy League Council of Presidents said. “We regret the many sacrifices that have been required in response to the pandemic, and we appreciate the resilience of our student-athletes, coaches and staff in the face of adversity during this difficult and unusual year. While we would like nothing better than to deliver a complete season of competition, these are the necessary decisions for the Ivy League in the face of the health concerns posed by the ongoing and dangerous pandemic. We will continue to monitor the situation as we move forward so that our universities can determine whether Ivy League principles and evolving health conditions might allow for limited, local competition later this spring.”
While competition with other universities will not happen, the Ivy League is allowing “athletics training opportunities and practices for enrolled student-athletes…provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state and local regulations.”
The Ivy League mentioned this was similar to what was permitted in the fall of 2020.
“These decisions are grounded in public health best practices and informed by the pandemic related policies currently in place at member institutions,” The Ivy League said. “The ability of the league’s members to continue on-campus operations during the ongoing pandemic requires rigorous limitations on travel, visitors, gatherings, and other elements that are essential for intercollegiate athletics competition.”
The Ivy League outlined the following “newly adopted parameters for practice and competition” via the press release:
- The Ivy League will not be conducting a conference spring season
- Continuance of Ivy League athletics activities phases
- Potential opportunities for local spring competition
You can read the full press release with more information regarding each of these three parameters on the Ivy League’s site here.
Spring sports, as listed by the NCAA are:
- Baseball (M)
- Beach Volleyball (W)
- Golf (M & W)
- Lacrosse (M)
- Lacrosse (W)
- Rowing (W)
- Softball (W)
- Tennis (M & W)
- Outdoor Track & Field (M & W)
- Volleyball (M)
- Water Polo (W)
According to ESPN, the Ivy League “became the first Division I league to cancel its men’s and women’s basketball seasons”. Basketball is considered a winter sport.
When it comes to the student-athletes, at least two baseball players found out through a tweet.
The Penn men’s lacrosse team sent a letter to the league’s presidents and athletic directors per Inside Lacrosse.
Their arguments were for a spring season and included the following rational:
“1. Several Different Scientific Reports Found No Evidence of On-Field Transmission…2. Having Competition Would Not Be Hypocritical — Cancelling the Season Would Be…3. The Consequences of Cancelling Another Season Are Dire,” Penn Men’s Lacrosse student athletes said via Inside Lacrosse.
One of the reasons for having spring sports that stood out from their letter was regarding mental health.
“It would be depressing for students to miss out on a second consecutive season,” the Penn men’s lacrosse team said via Inside Lacrosse. “We all put hours into our respective sports almost every day, probably 350 days a year, in hopes of being able to compete in a small number of competitions in the spring. Furthermore, we only have four to five years to compete, so losing another year would be disastrous. For the Class of 2021, this would virtually eliminate the opportunity to have a college career for the majority of the class, except for those so talented to have played in their first and second years. Student-athletes have also expressed thorough displeasure with the fact that the Ivy League is the only conference in all of Division I that has not released a schedule to play at all this school year.”
Inside Lacrosse also included Penn’s tweet on February 4 that stated: “It is so 𝙂𝙍𝙀𝘼𝙏 to have our student-athletes on campus. Here’s some practice footage from our first day back in action masked and physically-distanced. We can’t wait to see everyone we missed and catch up with all our Quakers.”
You can read the full letter on Inside Lacrosse here.
Another tweet that stood out was from a “women’s sports historian”.
“As a frontline APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse per Nurse Practitioner Schools) first & fan second it is in my opinion that they seriously reconsider”:
According to the Harvard Crimson‘s Davit Antonyan and Benjamin L. Fu (on February 10, eight days before the spring sports news): “Some Harvard student athletes whose senior year seasons were canceled by the coronavirus pandemic are making plans to use their final year of collegiate athletics eligibility at other universities after obtaining their Harvard degrees.”
Here’s what Ivy League student-athletes, a coach, and more people had to say about this news:
In the wise words of Denzel Washington who played Coach Herman Boone in the major motion-picture “Remember The Titans”:
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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