Ivy League shuts down basketball and other winter sports, but leaves the door open to future eligibility of its athletes

By Joel Alderman

The Ivy League has done it again. By canceling basketball, hockey, and other winter sports today (Nov. 12) the conference becomes the first Division I entity to take the initiative.

Obviously. the decision for Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale was made by the Ivy League Council of Presidents because of the spike in the coronavirus pandemic throughout the country.

In addition, any hopes that football would resume for a spring season were also dashed. Baseball and other spring sports were at best put on hold until the end of February.

In a departure from earlier policy, the league announced that its athletes in fall and winter sports will not lose a season of eligibility.

History repeats

In March, the Ivy League was the first Division I conference to cancel its postseason basketball tournaments. In July, it became the initial major combine to announce it would not hold football and other sports during the fall.

As reported in our earlier story on, the historically black college Bethune-Cookman, was the first Division I school to cancel athletics for the full academic year. But the decision was made only on behalf of itself and not a league, However, he Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference canceled its winter sports seasons last month.

Yale-Harvard football again in the Bowl

In a somewhat related development, it has been learned that the 2021 Yale-Harvard football game a year from now will take place in the Yale Bowl, the scene of the last one in 2019. Although the universities traditionally rotate home field, the logistics of interrupting the alternating cycle would create too many problems.

A final word of caution. We have learned that the Ivies make everything subject to COVID. As well they should.

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