PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel its basketball tournaments in March because of COVID-19, and now it’s the first conference to cancel its fall sports season.
The league informed its student-athletes in a call Wednesday evening, saying with restrictions on travel, group gatherings, and visitors to campus, it won’t be possible for teams to participate in competition.
However, practice and other training opportunities will be permitted for enrolled student-athletes, the league said, as long as the school’s health and safety guidelines are followed.
In addition, fall sport student-athletes will not lose a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility, according to the league.
At Brown University, several programs will be affected including soccer, field hockey, crew, cross-country and football. The hope is for the league to move the fall programs to next spring.
James Perry is entering his second year as the Bears’ head football coach following a 2-8 season. Brown was scheduled to face in-state rivals URI and Bryant in September.
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The league said a decision on winter and spring sports and whether fall sports would be feasible in the spring will be made at a later date.
The Ivy League Council of Presidents offered the following joint statement:
“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. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.
“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.
“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.”