The Ivy League announced on Thursday that the start of spring sport competition will be delayed until at least March 1. Citing concerns around the spread of COVID-19, the Ivy League Council of Presidents released a statement announcing the delay.
Along with the delay of spring sport competition, the Ivy League announced the cancellation of all winter sport competition, including basketball. One head coach, not affiliated with the Ivy League, shared with College Baseball Nation that potential loss of revenue from college basketball would be concerning for college baseball.
While spring sport competition has been delayed until March 1, "[a]thletics training opportunities and practices for enrolled student-athletes will be permitted," according to a press release from the Ivy League.
In 2020, most teams began play on February 14 in 2020; however, no Ivy League teams played until the following weekend. The earliest allowable game day for the 2021 season is February 19, so the delay of the start of competition until March 1 for Ivy League teams likely only removes one weekend from most teams' schedules.
The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel spring sport competition in 2020 and has taken the most cautious approach of any conference to the restart of college athletics.
Read the full statement from the Ivy League Council of Presidents:
Throughout the last nine months, we have asked our campus communities to make extraordinary adjustments in order to do our part in combating the global pandemic and to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty members, staff and the communities in which they live and work.
Regrettably, the current trends regarding transmission of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent protocols that must be put in place are impeding our strong desire to return to intercollegiate athletics competition in a safe manner.
Student-athletes, their families and coaches are again being asked to make enormous sacrifices for the good of public health — and we do not make this decision lightly.While these decisions come with great disappointment and frustration, our commitment to the safety and lasting health of our student-athletes and wider communities must remain our highest priority.
We look forward to the day when intercollegiate athletics — which are such an important part of the fabric of our campus communities — will safely return in a manner and format we all know and appreciate.