Live look at the 2020 college lacrosse season. pic.twitter.com/Rp20G9YeJM— Eri_Barrister (@Eri_Barrister) March 11, 2020
Despite putting out a press release yesterday announcing spring sport in-venue spectator limitations for the remainder of the season, the Ivy League reversed course today and decided to cancel all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year. Here is some more information from today’s release.
With further developments in the outbreak of COVID-19, the Ivy League Presidents are announcing their unanimous decision to cancel all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year. Individual institutions will decide whether or not winter teams and student-athletes who have qualified for postseason play will participate.
While the health concerns are definitely valid and it is always better to be safe than sorry, the news was still devastating for many Ivy League players, coaches, fans, & alums. Given how well the Ivy League was in 2020, the news was especially tough, as the conference had as many as four teams in the top 10 of all the polls as recently as a week ago.
Tough news for every sport, especially in lacrosse.— Edward Lee☀️ (@EdwardLeeSun) March 11, 2020
The @Inside_Lacrosse men's media poll has No. 2 @CornellLacrosse, No. 3 @TigerLacrosse, No. 5 @YaleLacrosse and No. 16 @PennMensLax.
The women's poll has No. 7 @DartmouthWLax, No. 11 @PennWomensLax and No. 15 @princetonwlax. https://t.co/QHuQVe6ldT
“I am devastated,” Yale coach Andy Shay said when reached for comment by US Lacrosse Magazine. “I just don’t want to talk about it.” ... “Totally blindsided by the announcement,” Bears coach Mike Daly said in a text message. “Devastated for our team and especially our seniors.”
The one silver lining is that there have been reports that the Ivy League will request a blanket waiver for all spring sports athletes whose seasons were canceled.
Ivy League personnel just told me it will likely request a blanket waiver/extra year for all spring sport athletes whose seasons were just canceled.— Dana O'Neil (@DanaONeilWriter) March 11, 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to spread, one must wonder if other conferences will soon follow suit and also cancel the remainder of their spring sport seasons. Rutgers today announced that spring sports will continue on but without spectators.
As everyone across the world continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19, the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our primary concern. We continue to seek advice so we can observe best practices and directives as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health. Rutgers Athletics is taking the following steps beginning on Thursday, March 12, and proceeding through at least Friday, April 3.
All Rutgers University Athletics home competitions will take place as scheduled without spectators. Credentialed media will be accommodated.
The Big Ten put out a release today stating that “At this time the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will continue to be held as scheduled.” The most important part of the release is of course the phrase “at this time.” Additionally, the NCAA announced today that upcoming championship events, including the men’s & women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments, will go on but without fans.
The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance.
With nearly 10% of the college lacrosse landscape now grounded due to the Ivy League canceling their season, only time will tell if more conferences will err on the side of caution and follow the Ivy’s lead, thus ending the 2020 season early.