The Ivy League is the first NCAA Division I conference to cancel all winter sports. A big reason for this was COVID-19 and the spread of the virus.
The Ivy League is the first NCAA Division I conference to cancel all its winter sports. According to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, it follows the precedent set last March where the Ivy League was the first league to cancel its basketball conference tournament.
With the health & wellbeing of student-athletes & the greater campus community in mind, The Ivy League Presidents decide to forego athletics competition in fall & winter sports, postpone competition in spring sports through February 2021.
— The Ivy League 😷 (@IvyLeague) November 12, 2020
This was most likely not an easy decision to make. Players only have a limited amount of years to prove themselves at an elite level. Some of them might also have goals to play professionally in the NBA or in another pro basketball league. Unfortunately, a lot of these players will not get this chance in the 2020-21 season.
As mentioned before, the decision was made because of COVID-19. According to Clara Linnane of Market Watch, the U.S. set a sixth new case record in eight days on Thursday. There were almost 143,000 cases and unfortunately over 65,000 people in a hospital. According to Norlander of CBS Sports, the decision to cancel the Ivy League came in the last 72 hours. It also comes 13 days before the scheduled start of the 2020-21 college basketball season.
As a result, eight schools will not play Division I basketball this year. These are Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. Yale was ranked 99th according to Norlander of CBS Sports.
Furthermore, in October, Bethune-Cookman withdrew from the 2020-21 college basketball season according to Kyle Boone of CBS Sports. This means that at least nine schools will not be participating in the 2020-21 college basketball season. Unfortunately, this is might be the start of a trend. The reality is the protection of students and staff is the number one priority. There might be more schools and Division I conferences that will cancel their 2020-21 college season within the next 13 days.