The eight prestigious American colleges known as the Ivy League will not hold spring sports competitions in 2021, according to an announcement today from the Ivy League Council of Presidents. The league includes Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Cornell. All competition and postseason play is canceled because of ongoing public health concerns related to Covid-19.
Some training and practices may continue on individual campuses, according to the announcement, and if health conditions improve, it’s possible that teams will participate in local, nonleague competition.
“[T]hese are the necessary decisions for the Ivy League in the face of the health concerns posed by the ongoing and dangerous pandemic,” says the statement.
Cancellation of the spring season means that the Ivy League will go more than a year with no sports. On March 11, 2020, the league canceled play for the remainder of the academic year, which included final competition for the winter season and all spring sports. The league was the first division 1 conference to shut down last year. Just two days later, the NCAA tournaments, Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL all ceased competition.
Since then, most major pro and college teams have resumed play with few or no fans present, while contending with outbreaks and stoppages. But the Ivy League has stuck with the principle that athletes are treated the same as students who don’t play sports. “In the Ivy League, these [public health] measures must apply equally to our athletics programs along with other academic and co-curricular activities,” says today’s statement from the league.
Last week the league said undergrad athletes graduating this spring would be granted a one-year waiver, enabling them to compete on league teams as graduate students next year.
Princeton has the winningest sports program in the league. Of its 33 teams, called The Tigers, 29 have won at least one Ivy League title in the last ten years. According to the Daily Princetonian, director of athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan sent an email to students today that said: “While this is not exactly the news we had all hoped for, I am very much looking forward to meeting with you to talk about ways that we can work collectively to move toward more robust training opportunities and hopefully some competition later this spring.”
MORE FOR YOU