Ivy League Cancels All Competitions in 2020 Fall Semester

Amidst continuing health and safety concerns due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Ivy League Council of Presidents has set in place plans for intercollegiate athletics activity in the upcoming fall semester.

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.

“As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools,” says The Ivy League Council of Presidents in a joint statement. “These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.”

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.

“With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall,” says the council. “We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision.”

Ivy League Council of Presidents

  • Christina Paxson, Brown University
  • Lee Bollinger, Columbia University
  • Martha Pollack, Cornell University
  • Philip Hanlon, Dartmouth College
  • Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University
  • Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania
  • Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton University
  • Peter Salovey, Yale University