The Ivy League will not be competing in conference this spring.
Penn Athletics Director M. Grace Calhoun announced today in an email that, due to current COVID-19 rates, the Ivy League Council of Presidents has decided not to hold conference athletic competitions or league championships this spring.
"Due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, and in order to maintain compliance both with campus travel, visitor and gathering policies, and also with the state guidelines governing each institution, the Ivy League will not conduct conference seasons or conference postseason events in any spring sports," the email said.
Penn athletes will be permitted to continue with in-person practices, which began earlier in February. The Council also left open the possibility of competing against local non-conference schools, pending safe COVID-19 levels.
"While acknowledging that the current public health environment is not compatible with a traditional Ivy League season, the Council has also put in place a process that may allow for limited, local competition during the spring if public health conditions improve sufficiently to allow greater levels of in-person activity at Ivy League campuses," the email said.
Local competition will be permitted once individual Ivy League schools reach Phase IV of the conference's phased athletic activity plan. Penn is currently in Phase I, which allows for socially distanced athletic activities to be held.
This news follows last week's announcement that current Ivy League senior athletes will be permitted to compete for their respective schools as graduate students.
Several other conferences have already begun spring competition, while Penn's spring athletic teams have now officially lost two seasons of competition due to the pandemic.
"We know that this news will come as a disappointment to many in our community," the Council said in a statement. "We regret the many sacrifices that have been required in response to the pandemic, and we appreciate the resilience of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff in the face of adversity during this difficult and unusual year."
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