When the COVID-19 pandemic first started sweeping across the United States, the Ivy League reacted quickly by canceling its basketball tournament. Months later with the health crisis worsening, the Ivy League could be on the verge of postponing football season and setting a precedent for leagues across the country.
Ivy League expected to move college football season to spring semester
The Ivy League took the unprecedented step on March 10 by wiping out its men’s and women’s basketball tournament to ensure the safety of its student-athletes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It eventually created a domino effect with the NCAA canceling March Madness, the NBA suspending its season and MLB postponing Opening Day.
Many hoped the situation would improve in the summer, clearing the way for sports to return this fall. Unfortunately, the situation has gotten far worse. The United States has experienced a 41% spike in COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks, per CBS and more than 130,000 have died from the virus.
Uncertainty now hangs over the 2020 college football season. But while many athletic directors keep expressing some home that football will be played this fall, the Ivy League is reportedly set to make another unprecedented move that could change everything.
According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and Nicole Auerbach, Ivy League coaches expect an announcement on Wednesday that will move all of the league’s fall sports, including football, to spring 2021.
Many coaches, including Oklahoma Sooners icon Lincoln Riley, have highlighted the benefits of moving fall sports to the spring. It would not only give schools more time to prepare, but we could also be much closer to a vaccine for the coronavirus being available.
The Ivy League became the first college sports power to cancel its basketball tournament and the other entities followed within 48 hours. While it might not happen as quickly this time around, per The Athletic, it is expected to cause a cascade effect through the Division I level.
Will college football be played in 2020?
The NCAA anticipated college football, along with all fall sports, returning in the fall. When the NCAA’s Division I Council lifted the moratorium on voluntary workouts, it was viewed as a step forward with student-athletes allowed to return to campus.
Since that time, more than 100 football players have tested positive for COVID-19. Kansas (12 players), Texas Tech (23 players), the Texas Longhorns (13 players) and Clemson (37 players) have been among a growing list of programs with numerous cases.
Now, following the outbreak across campuses throughout the country, doubt is settling in. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who was optimistic in June, admitted this past week that things are “a lot more perilous” for the 2020 season.
As a result, momentum is building toward moving the 2020 college football season to the spring. Once the Ivy League goes through with its big move, it wouldn’t be a surprise if other conferences and leagues follow.