Rumors started to spread throughout the Twitterverse last week that the Ivy League was considering sitting out all Fall sports. Today that became official.
In a press release, the league announced there would be no Fall sports due to COVID-19, and everything would be put on hold until at least January, with no guarantee that the sports will be made up in the Spring.
The Ivy League Council of Presidents offered the following joint statement:
“As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many values and cherish.
With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall.
We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision.”
Students athletes who were on teams that participated in Fall sports will have eligibility stay intact. Any student who wishes to pursue a fifth-year it appears will run into some issues based on the wording of the press release.
While this is not the first time the Ivy League has been the first to cancel, the conference basketball tournament was canceled on March 10, this time around its unclear if other conferences will follow suit.
As the Ivy League chooses to sit out Fall sports, and with it take a financial hit, other leagues are having a harder time deciding what to do.
Big time FBS schools like the University of Alabama and Ohio State University are part of an elite tier that brings in millions upon millions of dollars every year due to Football. For some of those schools, the profits from Football pay for many other sports. Without the money, schools across the country have started cutting programs that cost more to fund than they bring back in return.
The rest of the sports world will now have to wait and see what the big-time players decide to do. Will the Ivy League set the president again or did they jump the gun.