The Ivy League announced Wednesday that it would be postponing all fall sports until the end of the fall semester, a move that could have a domino-effect on larger college athletics operations. Cornell University is an Ivy League member and was set to hold its seasons in the fall, including football starting in late September.
News of the announcement began to emerge last week in reports across several news outlets before being made officially on Wednesday by the Ivy League Council of Presidents. Cornell Athletic Director Andy Noel published a statement reacting to the news.
“While extremely disappointing that our student-athletes will not have the opportunity to compete for the Big Red this semester, I am assured this decision was deliberated by the Ivy presidents with much care and thoughtful discussion," Noel said. "The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, families and the entire Cornell community will always be the paramount consideration. Losing the opportunity to compete in the short term is a heartbreak to everyone closely connected to the programs, from the student-athletes and coaches to families and staff. However, given the magnitude of the global pandemic, health and safety must be our focus.”
There have been plenty of reports over the last week that the fall sports would be postponed until spring 2021, but the statement from the Council of Presidents did not commit to that, saying the decision was available and would be made at a later time. The exact wording of the announcement said that continuation of sports could not take place until the "end of the fall semester," which would impact not only fall sports but also basketball, potentially hockey, and other sports that take place over fall and winter.
"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," the announcement stated.
Elsewhere, Ithaca College has been quiet about its participation in sports this fall after their Division III conference, the Liberty League, announced that it would be starting athletics events Sept. 26.