Spring Ivy League competition canceled by Presidents Council

On Thursday, the Ivy League Presidents Council announced that the conference will not allow league competitions or championships this spring, but left open the possibility of local non-conference competition if “public health conditions improve considerably “.


Courtesy of Yale Athletics

Early Thursday afternoon, the Ivy League announced it would not be hosting a spring sports season this year.

In an email sent to Yale Spring Sports student-athletes just after 1 p.m., Athletics Director Vicky Chun included a note from the Ivy League announcing the cancellation of the athletic competition from Ancient Eight spring for the 2021 season. Despite the cancellation of all league competitions, the Council of Presidents noted that a local non-conference spring competition could take place if the state of the pandemic “improves significantly” .

The Ivy League office issued an official press release minutes after Chun’s email to the Bulldogs Spring Athletes.

“As campus and community leaders, we believe our public health responsibilities and educational principles prevent us from sponsoring the Ivy League track competition this spring,” said the eight presidents of the Ivy League in a joint press release.

The announcement also stated that the conference would continue to use the return-to-play sports activity phases it has used since the start of the 2020-21 academic year. Earlier this month, the Ivy League changed its phasing guidelines to pave the way for competition, according to Matt Panto, associate executive director of strategic communications and external relations at the Ivy League.

The conference announced Thursday that the staged training guidelines will remain in place despite the cancellation of the Ivy League competition – phase IV could potentially allow individual schools to participate in a local non-conference competition.

Megan Graham // Editor-in-chief of production and design

“These competitions will be subject to league stipulations and must remain consistent with institutional policies for comparable extracurricular activities, including applicable travel restrictions for on-campus students and university visitor policies,” the announcement said.

The long-awaited decision comes a week after the announcement of an exception to the Ivy League’s long-standing eligibility policies. The one-time waiver allows senior graduates to compete as graduate students at their current schools next year, provided they are accepted into a degree-granting graduate program. The announcement drew mixed reactions from student-athletes, many of whom seemed intrigued by its schedule, which fell after the application deadlines for more than 50 of Yale’s graduate programs in December and January. .

In January, the Ivy League released a “situation update” on the possibility of a spring sports competition for athletes and coaches. The memo was the Ivy League’s first official guide to spring athletics since November and warned that the return to competition would require “significant changes” in the state of the pandemic, adding that athletes may have to make entry decisions without any final clarity on the status of the spring competition. Yale’s deadline for requesting spring term leave has passed Monday, February 15.

“The league has been going in this direction for months,” said Benny Wanger ’19, former Yale baseball student, who had previously expressed frustration with the Ivy League’s decision-making process. “It’s sad, but it doesn’t surprise anyone. This is the result of poor leadership, and as all of the other DI conferences are heading into the start of their spring season as well. Since this was clearly a pre-defined decision (COVID rates drop dramatically), presidents should have made the announcement in December to help their student-athletes make future plans. If I were a current student-athlete from Ivy, I would feel totally betrayed by the administration. This decision will have a negative impact on the Ivy League for years to come. “

When asked for a timeline of the decision-making and what prompted the Council of Presidents to decide to cancel the spring sports season, Panto said the Ivy League does not comment on the Council’s discussions and referred the News to the joint statement that was released. with the ad. According to the New York Times, the Ivy League is the only NCAA Division I conference not to have published a baseball schedule.

Last November, the Ivy League announced its decision to postpone spring sports until at least the end of February. The spring season of last year was sharply cut short due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“Today is certainly a sad day because nothing gives me and my teammates more pride than representing Yale in the Ivy League and competing to win championships,” said the receiver and captain of the ‘Cal Christofori ’21 baseball team, who wrote a shared open letter expressing his desire to compete within a week of the January status update. “I know it’s incredibly difficult for all of the Ivy League spring student-athletes, who are working tirelessly in hopes of competing. My teammates and I will continue to support each other, support each other and continue to represent Yale Athletics to the best of our ability. I have no doubts that there are better days for our team, for Yale and for the Ivy League. “

The Ivy League announced the cancellation of its winter season on November 12.

Eugenio Garza García | [email protected]


Eugenio Garza García covers baseball, golf and athletic phasing. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, he is a second year student at Branford College majoring in Economics and English.

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