The Ivy League said late Thursday that it would cancel its winter sports season because of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming the first conference that plays Division I men’s and women’s basketball to make that call.
An announcement from the league said the decision was made by the presidents of the league’s eight universities. The reported decision comes less than two weeks before the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I basketball season was set to begin.
The league was the first major conference to call off its fall sports season as well. Ivy officials also said Thursday that the conference will not conduct competition for fall sports during the upcoming spring semester, as it had said it might. The league said that its members would postpone any spring sports at least until the end of February.
“The unanimous decisions by the Ivy League Council of Presidents follow extended consideration of options and strategies to mitigate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, an analysis of current increasing rates of COVID-19 — locally, regionally and nationally — and the resulting need to continue the campus policies related to travel, group size and visitors to campus that safeguard the campus and community,” the statement read.
The Ivies’ decision comes as the fall football season has been increasingly interrupted by cancellations related to mounting coronavirus cases, and just a day after the University of Miami and Stetson University called off their opening basketball game.