Ivy League Cancels All 2020-21 Winter Sports Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIINovember 12, 2020

FILE - In this March 17, 2019, file photo, Yale players pose for a photograph with the championship trophy after defeating Harvard in an NCAA college basketball game for the Ivy League championship at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.  The Ivy League on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. The four-team tournaments were scheduled to be played Friday through Sunday at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge. The Ivy League instead will award its automatic NCAA Tournament bids to the regular-season champions, the Princeton women and Yale men. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

The Ivy League canceled all winter sports for the 2020-21 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference announced Thursday evening.  

League presidents held their vote earlier this week and began informing member schools on Thursday, per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. 

The conference counts men's and women's basketball, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's squash, men's and women's swimming and diving, wrestling and men's and women's indoor track and field among its winter sports impacted. 

Spring sports have been postponed through at least the end of February 2021 and fall sports—previously postponed until winter—will not be played. 

The Ivy League was the first conference to postpone fall sports. Now it becomes the first to do so for winter sports with the Ivy League Council of Presidents announcing an unanimous decision:

"Regrettably, the current trends regarding transmission of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent protocols that must be put in place are impeding our strong desire to return to intercollegiate athletics competition in a safe manner.

"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. 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."

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The council is made up of representatives from Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University. 

A statement from the Ivy league notes the council will continue to evaluate the "public health climate" and consider policy changes when warranted to restart intercollegiate sports. 

As it relates to the men's and women's college basketball tournament, the decision effectively removes an automatic qualifier from the field of 68. 

Winter and fall sport athletes will not lose a season of eligibility from the NCAA.