"This is definitely not a decision we want to make, but I know it's the right decision for the Ivy League," Robin Harris, the Ivy League conference's executive director said. The league has decided to cancel the 2020-2021 winter season and suspend spring sports until the end of February, barring any COVID-19 disruptions. "The Council will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the public health climate and consider changes to policies when warranted in order to return to more normal campus operations, including potential spring intercollegiate athletics competition," the Ivy League said in a release.
The Ivy League was the first to cancel sports back in March and to cancel their fall events due to COVID-19. It is now the first league to cancel winter sports. Teams affected include basketball, wrestling, indoor track and field, swimming, and fencing. "We are heartbroken to be here again," Harris said. "It's based on the current trends of the virus and rates and the impact that has on our campus policies that are going to continue to restrict travel, group gathering sizes, visitors to campus. Athletics is important to all of our schools, to our presidents. All aspects of campuses are being asked to make sacrifices and change the way they operate, and unfortunately, that has extended into athletics as well."
Harris had previously stated that coaches could determine how to best handle making sacrifices while still keeping the seasons open, like eliminating overnight stays and changing the way meals on the road are handled, but now that just doesn't seem safe enough. "Student-athletes, their families and coaches are again being asked to make enormous sacrifices for the good of public health -- and we do not make this decision lightly," the council said. "While these decisions come with great disappointment and frustration, our commitment to the safety and lasting health of our student-athletes and wider communities must remain our highest priority."