Ivy League sports competitions canceled for fall and winter

Harvard University hockey players won't be competing this winter after the league's council canceled winter sports competitions because of the pandemic. By Mirna Alsharif, CNN

(CNN) -- Ivy League schools will not be competing in intercollegiate sports this winter because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ivy League Council of Presidents said.

Fall sports competitions will not be rescheduled for the spring as had been announced when they were postponed in July, the council said in a release.

The Ivy League will also postpone intercollegiate athletics competition for spring sports through at least the end of February 2021, according to the news release.

"Regrettably, the current trends regarding transmission of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent protocols that must be put in place are impeding our strong desire to return to intercollegiate athletics competition in a safe manner," the council said.

The announcement comes as the US continues to post daily new highs of new coronavirus cases around the country. There have been more than 100,000 new cases every day for more than a week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Other leagues are struggling to keep to their schedules amid the growing coronavirus crisis. In the Southeastern Conference, No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 11 Georgia, No. 21 Auburn, Louisiana State, Mississippi State, Missouri and Tennessee won't be playing this weekend because four of the teams don't have enough players due to positive tests and quarantined athletes.

Winter sports include men's and women's basketball and hockey. Football highlights the fall sports slate.

Athletes will still be able to train and practice, as long as they follow local regulations, according to the release.

Winter and fall athletes will not lose a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility whether or not they enroll, according to the news release.

The Ivy League includes Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University. The league sponsors 33 sports with more than 8,000 student athletes competing annually.

The council will "continue to closely monitor and evaluate the public health climate and consider changes to policies when warranted in order to return to more normal campus operations," the release said.

"We look forward to the day when intercollegiate athletics -- which are such an important part of the fabric of our campus communities -- will safely return in a manner and format we all know and appreciate."

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