Ivy League Cancels Fall 2020 Football Season

David Visser

Today was far from encouraging for those hoping for college football in the fall. First came the terrible news that 37 North Carolina student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19. UNC subsequently paused voluntary workouts, as did Ohio State following undisclosed test results. That's obviously of concern for everyone, and especially the ACC and Big Ten. But another conference made headlines as well, as the Ivy League announced that it's canceling not just football but all its fall sports. 

It'll be interesting to see how this affects other conferences. This isn't the first time the Ivy League has been out in front on shutting down athletics, as it was also the first conference to cancel basketball and baseball in the spring. 

Here's an excerpt from the Ivy League's website:

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.

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.