The Ivy League has decided to cancel its conference tournament amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the league announced on Tuesday.
The Ivy League has decided to cancel the League's upcoming Basketball Tournaments and implement highly-restrictive, in-venue spectator limitations for all other upcoming campus athletics events.— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) March 10, 2020
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In lieu of a tournament that was slated to start on Saturday, Yale will receive the conference’s NCAA Tournament bid as the regular season champion. The decision to cancel the tournament is the first of college basketball’s postseason events to be shut down due to concerns about the spread of the virus.
Makes some sense with Harvard as the host and the school going to online only classes starting 3/23. https://t.co/PivPJqMsbU— Matt Sarzyniak (@mattsarz) March 10, 2020
Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said the following regarding the decision:
“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”
Just hours before, Turner Sports’ Jeff Zucker said that the NCAA Tournament was still in place to happen as planned:
On conference call, Turner's Jeff Zucker says the tournament plan is proceeding as scheduled amid coronavirus concerns. Still monitoring and this is subject to change, of course.— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 10, 2020
We’ll continue to monitor the situation to see if other conferences decide to follow suit and the ramifications of the decision moving forward.
UPDATE (12:20 p.m.):
Senior Harvard Crimson guard Bryce Aiken tweeted his thoughts on the cancellation, excoriating the Ivy League for making this decision:
Horrible, horrible, horrible decision and total disregard for the players and teams that have put their hearts into this season. This is wrong on so many levels and the @IvyLeague should do its due diligence to find a better solution. Everyone knows the risks of playing! https://t.co/HQXprzX9q6— Bryce Aiken (@BryceAiken) March 10, 2020