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Ivy League cancels all fall sports competition

Winter season to take place after Jan. 1

The Ivy League canceled all fall athletic competition, according to an announcement released Wednesday afternoon. Winter sports will not begin until after Jan. 1. 

As each of the members schools announced plans and guidelines for the fall semester adjusted in light of COVID-19, and “as athletics is expected to operate consistent with campus policies, it will not be possible for Ivy League teams to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition prior to the end of the fall semester,” according to the letter announcing the decision and signed by all eight Ivy League university presidents, including President Christina Paxson P’19. Guidelines from the Ivy League will also follow. 

“Practice and other athletic training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will be permitted provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations,” the letter states, but the canceled fall season will not count against an athlete’s NCAA eligibility.

The decision makes the Ivy League the first Division 1 conference to suspend fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Winter sports teams will receive an update on their practice schedules in mid-July, according to Jim Rothstein of CBS Sports. 

“Brown has played football 130 consecutive years without interruption,” said Head Coach James Perry ’00. “Not playing is a huge deal. We were trying for three months to find a way. Our administration was looking out for athletes and it became clear there wasn’t a path to playing.”

“The kids are really bummed out about not having football but we’re a storied program and a school that’s going to do really well in the future. We’ll get through it and we’ll be stronger for it,” Perry added.

The Ivy League has not ruled out the option of a spring football season. But the New York Times reported that the Ivy League had not yet applied for a waiver from the National Collegiate Athletic Association to do so. 

“If at some point they try to find a way to play football in the spring, I’ll be right there to make that happen,” Perry said.

The Ivy League was also the first conference to pause sports this spring, when the country began to shut down in response to the pandemic. 



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