If there is football in the fall, the Ivy League programs won’t be participating. That goes for the entire slate of fall sports, too. The league has cancelled fall sports for the 2020 season, but there is still a chance these sports could resume in the spring. The conference will reevaluate the possibility of sports on January 1, 2021. The Ivy League becomes the first Division I conference to make such a drastic decision.
CBS Sports’ Job Rothstein reported the news on twitter, writing his sources say “the conference will not entertain any sports being played until after January 1st.” He added an updated timeline for winter sports – likely including basketball – should be available in mid-July. Another CBS Sports insider, Matt Norlander, has been in touch with several Ivy League sources regarding the news.
“Football hasn’t been decided yet if it would be moved to the spring, but logistically, I don’t know how that would work,” an Ivy League source told Norlander. “… You can’t move all the sports to the spring; the logistics don’t work. The soccer field is the lacrosse field. The scheduling would be a nightmare.”
“If things don’t get better we’re not even going to play basketball,” a different source told Norlander. “They’re holding out hope we can play basketball. You saw where Stanford just dropped 11 sports, so if I’m a soccer coach, I’m a tennis coach, I’m worried.”
Have been in contact with multiple Ivy League sources, and here’s the situation: football is not dead-dead but basically there’s no hope it can be played in the spring of '21. Also: men’s basketball in Ivy League is done until Jan. 1, 2021 at the earliest. https://t.co/Rjh2xvY976
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) July 8, 2020
The Athletic’s Dana O’Neil and Nicole Auerbach are also both reporting the possibility of a postponed – not fully cancelled – season, as well as Sports Illustrated’s Mark Blaudschum.
“The feeling is that once we made the decision to postpone fall sports, we will have some time to assess the situation before making any decision about playing next spring,” one Ivy League source told Sports Illustrated in a report published Wednesday morning.
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
How will this decision affect fall sports in other leagues? Opinions are mixed. One Power 5 administrator told The Athletic he would view the Ivy League’s decision as a “big domino” in the decision-making process for other schools.
“My suspicion is that the majority of presidents in the FBS are uncomfortable with the notion of playing football this fall but for various reasons don’t want to be the first to step out and say that,” the Power 5 administrator told The Athletic. “So, more than anything else, that decision provides the cover they need. I expect it’ll be a big domino.”
On the other hand, 247Sports is reporting the Ivy League’s decision won’t necessarily guide the decision for Power 5 schools.
“I don’t think people understand how that [decision] simply doesn’t affect us,” an administrator told 247Sports.
Regardless of whether or not the Ivy League’s decision impacts similar decisions within the Power 5 conferences, it shouldn’t affect the current timeline. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey still expects his conference to come to a conclusion by the end of July.
“We said from the onset of this pandemic that circumstances around the virus would guide our decision-making, and it is clear recent developments related to COVID-19 have not been trending in the right direction,” Sankey said. “There are important decisions to be made in the coming weeks, and by late July there should be more clarity about the fall season.”
An official announcement from the Ivy League is expected Wednesday evening. This story will be updated if more information becomes available at that time.