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Ivy League suspends all fall sports due to pandemic

Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings drops back to pass against Harvard in New Haven, Conn., on Nov. 18, 2017. (AP file photo)
Yale wide receiver Reed Klubnik celebrates with fans and teammate tight end John Lager, left, after scoring the winning touchdown during the second half of Yale's victory over Harvard at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass., on Nov. 19, 2016. (AP file photo)

The Ivy League on Wednesday became the first Division I conference to suspend all fall sports, including football, leaving open the possibility of moving some seasons to the spring if the coronavirus pandemic is better controlled by then.

“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.

Though the coalition of eight academically elite schools does not grant athletic scholarships or compete for an NCAA football championship, the move could have ripple effects throughout the big business of college sports.

Football players in the Power Five conferences have already begun workouts for a season that starts on Aug. 29, even as their schools weigh whether to open their campuses to students or continue classes remotely.

Dr. Chris Kratochvil, the chair of the Big Ten’s infectious disease task force, said there is no “hard deadline” for a decision.

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