Ivy Leagues Kill Winter Sports Amid National Rise In COVID-19 Cases

The Ivy League has canceled all winter sports and stalled any hopes of spring sports being played in the conference. The conference sites the spike in the virus as the reason why. They’re committed to the safety of the student always and especially in these uncertain and unprecedented times.

The Ivy League became the first Division 1 conference to cancel winter competitions, following its precedence as the first to cancel its conference tourneys for basketball back in March when the pandemic was just coming to a debilitating head. They were also the first among top leagues to delay and ultimately suspend football.

The unanimous decision affects winter sports like basketball, ice hockey, squash, swimming and diving, wrestling, and indoor track and field.

Additionally, teams in spring sports like baseball, lacrosse and softball will have their seasons delayed through at least the end of February. Athletes will not lose a year of eligibility whether or not they enroll, the league said.

As a high school football coach, I can personally attest that these unprecedented times have thrown normalcy into a tizzie. Gone are the days of close player and coach interaction and hands-on learning. Having “ZOOM” meetings has become the “NORM” in most programs across the country. We’re at a place right now where the athletes are left to figure out the recruiting process with little to no opportunity to show their talent.

The anxiety it has caused for the athletes is unfathomable. The future is very unclear and athletes are wondering if they’ll have a chance to participate in their respective sports. I hate seeing it because there are so many athletes depending on sports to get a higher education. The way this country is structured, sports is a huge stepping stone for African-Americans when it comes to gaining entrance into PWI’s that they normally would not be recruited to.

The risk IMO is just too great with the pandemic and the possible bad outcomes that could occur as a result of playing. Just look at all the games having to be postponed or canceled in the NFL with all the resources they possess. Also, there were numerous cancellations in the SEC and BIG 10 — two of the richest sports conferences with plenty of resources. But this virus doesn’t see money or resources as it makes its way around the globe, infecting many in its path.

We just have to stay the course and believe in the end with a new governing body taking over in January, the task force they’ll put in place will be able to get this pandemic under control to allow all sports to once again be played without worry or insane protocols. The welcoming back of fans would be huge as many athletes feed off the energy of the crowd or family being there to support them. Being denied that opportunity is a real downer and I pray it doesn’t aid in a lot of athletes becoming depressed or dejected.

But we all must make the necessary sacrifices and follow the guidelines and protocols being asked of us in order to help alleviate the spread of the virus.


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