The Ivy League has officially decided to cancel all spring athletics for the remainder of the school year amid the coronavirus outbreak.
What we are all witnessing is terrible, frightening, and something we thought we’d never see. The outbreak of the coronavirus has changed our lives in more ways than one. People are being quarantined, working from home, and refraining from simple everyday contact such as shaking hands.
It’s caused a stir in the sports world too, as fans are getting banned from games. There’s been a whole lot of talk regarding the cancellation of certain events, and with that, the Ivy League just announced a major decision.
For the remainder of the school year, the Ivy League has decided to cancel spring athletics. This comes after they decided to cancel their men’s and women’s basketball conference tournaments. The decision was unanimous among university presidents.
What this means for basketball
At the moment, Princeton women’s basketball and Yale men’s basketball have been given their respective conference titles and thus are automatically in the NCAA Tournament.
But will they even participate in the NCAA Tournament?
Well, it’s up to each school individually. They can decide for themselves whether or not they want to take part in postseason play for winter sports.
Then again, we still don’t know if the NCAA Tournament will play out as usual. There’s a huge chance the NCAA could cancel it as this outbreak becomes worse and worse. They’ve already reportedly decided to ban fans from the big dance, which is a major decision considering it’s one of the bigger sporting events in the country every single year.
What this means for other sports
A big story here — that many people may not know about — is how this decision affects NCAA Lacrosse. Per the Maverik Division 1 media poll, four of the top-20 men’s teams are part of the Ivy League, with three of them in the top five. Cornell, Princeton, Yale, and UPenn are No. 2, 3, 5, and 16, respectively. Princeton also has arguably the top player in the nation in Michael Sowers, who’s second in the country in both points and assists.
Two of the top-20 women’s teams are additionally in the Ivy League, with Dartmouth and UPenn at No. 7 and 11, respectively.
Thus, the landscape of college lacrosse has drastically changed for the rest of the season.
The baseball and softball seasons for the Ivy League have hardly even started, as no team has played an in-conference game yet in either sport. Thus, the seniors essentially lose their chance at one last season to wrap up a conference title, which is absolutely devastating for those who worked their whole lives for an achievement like that.
What this means for other conferences
It’s clear the cancellation of many events has been teased, but it’s an absolutely tough decision to make. Even the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo could succumb to a cancellation.
In my opinion, this decision will affect other conferences’ decisions in how they handle this major setback moving forward. The Ivy League’s willingness to put the foot down may trigger other conferences to do the same, as this outbreak could become worse by the day.
As mentioned before, the NCAA will reportedly have no fans attend the men’s nor women’s basketball tournaments. It’s only a matter of time before we see games canceled altogether.
This is a sad time, and not just in the sports world. People are getting sick, people are dying, people are losing loved ones. It’s simply tragic in more ways than one.