Ivy League: No Sports Until at Least 2021

The eight Ivy League universities have taken different approaches to their academic programs for the upcoming year. But they are united in their approach to sports. They will be postponing all fall sports and did not give a date for their resumption. Winter sports will not begin before January 2021. The Ivy League is the first D1conference to make a decision for the upcoming fall.

“A decision on the remaining winter and spring sports competition calendar, and on whether fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring, will be determined at a later date,” according to a statement by League. They also noted that students will not use a year of their athletic eligibility.

This will be the first time since World War 2 that Yale – Harvard football game, one of the oldest rivalries in college sports, will not be played in the fall.

As per academics, Cornell is bringing most of its students back for in-class education. Brown is dividing the academic year into thirds and bringing some students back for each portion and Princeton is having a fall semester with freshmen and juniors on campus and a spring semester with sophomores and seniors, although almost everything will be taught virtually.

Harvard plans to bring only first year students to campus for the fall semester in addition to students who need to be on campus “to progress academically.” And if constraints on density are still in place for the spring semester, one class will be brought back to campus and the assumption is that that class will be seniors. Yale will allow juniors and seniors for both fall and spring semesters but first years will be allowed on campus only for the fall semester and sophomores only for the spring.

empty stadium
Collegiate sports decision finally announced.(@AAS via Twenty20)

The gritty detail of each schools plans regarding housing, meals and student clubs are all different. But on one thing all eight schools are united: fall athletics

In addition, in an unrelated announcement today, Stanford said that it is planning to eliminate 11of its varsity sports a the end of the 2020-21 academic year. The eliminated teams which include fencing, rowing and squash will, Covid permitting, be allowed to compete in the upcoming season but thereafter will be discontinued.

In defining the process that led to the cut, Stanford officials said,

“University leaders, the Department of Athletics and the Board of Trustees have engaged in deliberative and detailed discussions for several years about how athletics could remain financially sustainable while also supporting a nationally competitive athletics experience across its 36 varsity sports.”

The cutting of teams was considered a last resort, but sadly one that ultimately had to be taken. What these decisions mean for the remainder of college sports remains to be seen.

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