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News, Sports, University News

Ivy League will not hold athletic competitions for spring season

League provides alternative plan allowing for local competition if public health conditions improve

By
University News Editor
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Brown mascot statue wearing a mask. White tents lie behind this statue.

Reaching Ivy League Phase Four, which would permit athletes to participate in limited levels of local competition, will depend on public health conditions and the campus-wide restrictions specific to each Ivy League institution.

The Ivy League will not hold any competitions or championships for the spring season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement released Thursday.

There may be opportunities for local non-conference competition later in the season if public health conditions allow.

These decisions, made by the Ivy League Council of Presidents, were based on the schools’ “public health responsibilities” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement reads.

“We know that this news will come as a disappointment to many in our community,” the presidents wrote in a joint statement. “We regret the many sacrifices that have been required in response to the pandemic, and we appreciate the resilience of our student-athletes, coaches and staff in the face of adversity during this difficult and unusual year.”

Reaching Ivy League Phase Four, which would permit athletes to participate in limited levels of local competition, will depend on public health conditions and the campus-wide restrictions specific to each institution, according to the statement. Local competition is currently not allowed on any Ivy League campus, and whether athletic teams can move forward on this plan will be announced later this spring.

Brown would have to move into Activity Status Level Three to permit local competition, wrote Deputy Director of Athletics Colin Sullivan in a Thursday email to student-athletes.

Athletic training at Brown may continue in Ivy League Phase One, which permits outdoor strength training and conditioning in groups of up to fifteen people, The Herald previously reported. Teams can gather in-person for up to twelve hours a week.

While student-athletes do not currently have the option to request clock extensions or season-of-competition waivers, the League is working with the National Collegiate Athletic Association to “explore the possibility of a blanket waiver” because of how limited spring competition will be, according to a Thursday release from the Brown University Athletics Department.

The League will also provide non-participation waivers to teams who are not able to compete in local competition. These students, however, will not necessarily be eligible for a fifth year of competition at their school. The League announced this month that current senior student-athletes will be allowed a fifth year of eligibility as graduate students if they are accepted to and enroll in a graduate program at their institution for the 2021-22 school year only, The Herald previously reported.

“While we would like nothing better than to deliver a complete season of competition,” the presidents wrote in their joint statement, “these are the necessary decisions for the Ivy League in the face of the health concerns posed by the ongoing and dangerous pandemic.”

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