Ivy League decides to cancel spring sports season over COVID-19 concerns

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Ivy League announced Thursday that it was canceling its conference spring sports season due to “rigorous limitations” that persist on campuses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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In a statement, the Ivy League Council of Presidents said the decision was made in order to comply with conference schools’ stringent restrictions on campus travel, visitors and gathering policies. The edict was also made to follow state guidelines covering the campuses of the eight conference members.

“We know that this news will come as a disappointment to many in our community,” the league’s university presidents wrote in a joint statement. “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.”

In July, the Ivy League became the first Division I sports conference to rule out playing all sports in the fall due to the coronavirus, league officials wrote at the time in a statement. In March 2020, the league became the first conference to cancel its men’s and women’s conference basketball tournaments, and followed suit in November by canceling winter sports, ESPN reported.

>> Coronavirus: Ivy League cancels fall sports schedule

Although athletics have been severely limited, the council implemented a process that would allow athletes to compete in limited, local events during the spring if public health conditions improve, ESPN reported.

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