The Ivy League on Wednesday suspended all sports until 2021, including fall football, in response to health risks posed by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. It is the first Division I conference to do so, reports the Associated Press.
“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,” the Ivy League Council of Presidents said in a statement, adding that some sports could possibly move to spring, if the pandemic subsides by then.
The League, which is comprised of eight academically elite schools, does not award scholarships to its players nor does it compete for an NCAA football championship. Still, its move could sway decisions at other universities, even those for whom college sports accrue millions of dollars in revenue, such those in the Power Five conferences.
In fact, some Power Five athletes already began voluntary workouts last month for the upcoming season set to start on Aug. 29. However, upon returning to their respective campuses, dozens of those athletes at more than 12 colleges tested positive for COVID-19.