The Ivy League may have announced its cancellation of Ivy Madness, but the fight is not over.
Basketball players, coaches, and fans have taken to the internet to express their disappointment, anger, and anguish with the League's decision, hoping that collective action may result in a reconsideration from the Ancient Eight's governing body.
A petition authored by "Ivy League Men's and Women's Basketball Teams" calling for the reinstatement of the Ivy League Tournament has been circulated online, and as of Wednesday morning has over 9,500 signatures. The campaign cites the injustice in "discriminat[ing] against one sport and allow the others to continue to compete", since as of now Ivy teams from spring sports are flying as far as California to participate in their scheduled contests.
Although Penn's teams aren't explicitly mentioned in the petition's creation, Penn Athletics confirmed to CNN that 'the Penn Women's Basketball team created and wrote the petition with the support of multiple Ivy League teams."
The document goes on to mention that the NCAA Tournament-bound Yale men and Princeton women are still permitted by the League to travel across the country for March Madness, yet the Ivy Tournament was forcibly canceled despite being localized in the Northeast.
The two most-liked comments on the petition are from a pair of student-athletes who are on the receiving end of the decision to cancel the games: Penn junior Eleah Parker and Columbia sophomore Madison Hardy. Out of the hundreds of comments, one recurring theme stands out: letting the teams, especially for the seniors, play it out for the NCAA Tournament bid.
Between the petition and tweets from athletes and coaches, voices condemning the decision are sweeping the internet. Harvard senior Bryce Aiken, who had his final season with the Crimson cut short due to a foot injury sustained in December, garnered more than 26,000 likes for a tweet criticizing the Ivy League's decision from the perspective of a student-athlete.
Other tweets, like the one from Penn women's basketball coach Mike McLaughlin, took on more of a somber tone. Rather than play for an Ivy League title at the end of the week, McLaughlin and five other coaches — not including those from the Yale men and Princeton women — had to inform their teams that the season was over.
Two-time All-Ivy first-team member Matt Morgan, a 2019 Cornell graduate, also took to Twitter to voice his frustration.
Only time will tell if the action will amount to any change from the Ivy League, but whatever its response may be, thousands of supporters will be watching.
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