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Ivy League to allow senior athletes to play extra season

Jan 2, 2019; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Nassir Little (5) reacts after drawing an offensive foul from Harvard Crimson guard Noah Kirkwood (10) during the second half at Dean E. Smith Center.  The Tar Heels won 77-57.  Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2019; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Nassir Little (5) reacts after drawing an offensive foul from Harvard Crimson guard Noah Kirkwood (10) during the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. The Tar Heels won 77-57. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Current Ivy League senior student-athletes will receive the opportunity to play an extra season, the Ivy League Council of Presidents decided on Thursday, according to an ESPN report.

The Council approved a one-time waiver due to the fall and winter sports seasons being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report.

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“This change is a direct result of the pandemic and will not be available in future years,” the memo states, according to ESPN. “The waiver provides current 4th-year students the opportunity to complete their athletics experience at their current institution in 2021-22 after staying on track to graduate in four years.”

The Ivy League traditionally has refused to let graduate students play athletics for the highly academic collection of schools. The Ivy League consists of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale.

Harvard athletic director Erin McDermott sent an email to senior student-athletes at the school, according to The Harvard Crimson.

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“In granting this waiver, the Presidents acknowledge the unique impact of the pandemic during the current academic year across all three sport seasons for those students in their final year of Ivy League eligibility,” McDermott wrote. “This change is a direct result of the pandemic and will not be available in future years.”

More than 20 Ivy League men’s basketball players are currently in the transfer portal, according to ESPN.

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The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel its men’s and women’s postseason tournaments last March as the coronavirus was about to erupt in the United States.

–Field Level Media