About 500 years ago, also known as March 2020, the Ivy League was the first Division I conference to cancel their men’s basketball tournament in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
And the oldest conference might be ahead of the curve again when they chose to cancel all sports until until at least January 1st, 2021.
Consistent with campus health & safety policies across the League, The Ivy League Presidents outline phased-in approach to intercollegiate athletics activity, including no competition prior to the end of the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) July 8, 2020
» https://t.co/7iwQGnECsT pic.twitter.com/DYUFoFshA4
To clarify: Ivy League source says no sports until January 1. Hopeful to move fall sports to spring, but that's TBD.— Dana O'Neil (@DanaONeilWriter) July 8, 2020
Ivy League expected to allow activities/meeting/lifting during the fall — to be determined by individual schools — per multiple sources. ADs haven't closed door on a spring football season.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) July 8, 2020
From the Ivy’s official statement:
With the safety and well-being of students as their highest priority, Ivy League institutions are implementing campus-wide policies including restrictions on student and staff travel, requirements for social distancing, limits on group gatherings, and regulations for visitors to campus. 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.
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 Ivy League will also issue guidelines on a phased approach to conditioning and practice activities to allow for interaction among student-athletes and coaches that will begin with limited individual and small group workouts and build to small group practice sessions, if public health conditions permit.
Fall sport student-athletes will not use a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility in the fall, whether or not they enroll. Students who wish to pursue competition during a fifth-year will need to work with their institutions in accordance with campus policy to determine their options beyond their current anticipated graduation date.
Local campus policies for the student body regarding return to campus and in-person learning will apply to student-athletes.
A decision on the remaining winter and spring sports competition calendar, and on whether fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring, will be determined at a later date.
As far as college football is concerned, the Ivy doesn’t participate in the FCS Playoffs anyway, so this would only affect out-of-conference games in that sport. But the Ivy annually puts a team in the NCAA Tournament, and plays a competitive out-of-conference men’s basketball schedule. All those preseason tournaments and guarantee games are now out the window.
This is a breaking story and we’ll have more on this as it becomes official, but for now it’s safe to assume if you’ve got a futures bet on any of the Ancient Eight in a revenue sport for the upcoming season, you’ll be getting a refund.