Ivy League Cancels Spring Sports Once Again | Athletic Business

Ivy League Cancels Spring Sports Once Again

The Ivy League has canceled spring sports for the second straight year, meaning the conference’s student-athletes will be without competition for more than a calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCAA Division I conference announced Thursday that, “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.”

“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 Council of Presidents said in a statement. “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 of Presidents left open the possibility for some form of competition, putting “in place a process that may allow for limited, local non-conference competition during the spring if public health conditions improve sufficiently to allow greater levels of in-person activity at Ivy League campuses.”

The league’s eight schools have been limited since becoming the first conference to cancel its season-ending basketball tournament last March. Every other conference followed suit, as all college sports shut down until some returned to football in the fall.

Related content: College Leagues Cancel, Restrict Access to Tourneys

But the Ivy League hasn’t been back yet, sitting out all of the 2020-21 school year now that the decision has been made about spring. Similar to last fall, as the spring semester continues, student-athletes at Ivy League schools will be permitted to train and practice “in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state and legal regulations.”

Related content: Ivy League: No Competition Until Pandemic Improves

“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’s statement reads.

With the prolonged cancellations, the Ivy League has made one concession, changing its long-standing policy that graduate students aren’t allowed to participate in athletics. Ivy League graduate students will be allowed to compete next year.

"This change is a direct result of the pandemic and will not be available in future years," the Ivy League’s memo earlier this month read, according to ESPN. "The waiver provides current 4th-year students the opportunity to complete their athletics experience at their current institution in 2021-22 after staying on track to graduate in four years."

Related content: Ivy League Calls Off All Winter Sports Due to Virus

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