Ivy League cancels all sports until Jan.1, over 100 NCAA football players test positive for COVID-19

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Jon Niola (Flick'r)

The Ivy League has cancelled sports until Jan. 1

Ole Olafson , Reporter

College football, and all NCAA fall sports for that matter, are in serious limbo to say the least.

Joe Bender reported for the Sporting News that the Ivy League has officially announced that it will not allow any if its varsity sports programs to compete until at least Jan. 1, 2021.  The policy not only affects the entire fall sports calendar, but also the beginning of winter sports, like hockey.  The postponement and possible cancellation of the football season won’t be particularly impactful to college football as a whole, since the Ivy League competes with relatively smaller schools in the DI Football Championship Subdivision and does not compete in the FCS Playoffs.  Ice hockey, on the other hand, is a different story.  There are six Ivy League hockey teams who compete in the DI East Coast Athletic Conference, part of the highest level of collegiate hockey.  At the end of last year’s coronavirus-shortened season, Cornell was the number-one ranked team in the country and Harvard was #25.  A late start for those school’s hockey programs could certainly cause scheduling issues for other highly ranked regional programs like Boston College(4), Clarkson(7),Massachusetts(9), UMass Lowell(12) and Maine(15).

College football, in particular, is reeling.  Over 100 players have tested positive for COVID-19, while teams are in the midst of trying to prepare for a possible fall season.  The high rate of positive cases has caused a number of schools, including Houston, Kansas State, North Carolina and Ohio State, to temporarily shut down their voluntary workouts.  Some schools have even been requesting players to sign documents that seem to waive liability for COVID-19 sickness before joining voluntary workouts, a practice that concerned lawmakers are seeking to make illegal.

Lawmakers aren’t the only ones concerned, as Josh Peter reported Wednesday for USA Today.  Over 1,000 people have already joined a new organization called College Football Parents 24/7.  The organization, headed by seven-time NFL Pro Bowler Chris Hinton and his wife, Mya Whitmore-Hinton.  The couple have two, highly recruited, sons who are struggling with the decision to skip this year’s season, should there be one, due to COVID-19 concerns.

The group is demanding answers to hard COVID-19 questions from the NCAA, like who will be responsible for a player’s care if they suffer long-term health issues from the disease they contracted while playing football.

The primary reason why schools mightily resist efforts to alter or cancel their football season is financial.  The Big Ten reportedly generated $759 million in football revenues last season, followed by the SEC at $721 million.

There are 13 schools whose football programs generated more than $90 million for their university last year.