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Ivy League cancels fall sports, what’s next?

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–With the football season a mere two months away and sports teams heading back to the grind, numerous questions regarding the season and COVID-19 linger.

As athletes return to practice facilities, positive coronavirus cases are on the rise.

Last week West Virginia University reported five positive tests among the men’s basketball student-athletes and one staff member. An additional four in football and one in women’s soccer have tested for COVID-19.

Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Clemson and Alabama are a few of the schools that have reported positive test results.

As both college and professional athletes return, the numbers continue to climb, leaving questions as seasons look to resume or begin.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Ivy League was the first Division-I conference to make a decision on fall sports, placing all sports on hold until at least January. The decision affects football as well as men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s field hockey and volleyball.

Now lies the question, will more conferences follow suit?

Practices could take place in the fall but conditions would have to improve for sports to be played next year.

In March, the Ivy League was the first to pull out of post season play and then everyone else followed.

On Thursday, the Big 10 canceled their non-conference schedule, which includes the West Virginia-Maryland contest.

While Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby thinks “it’s a little early” for the conference to just up and postpone or cancel the season but that is obviously something that could happen in the future.

“We need to do what our doctors and our scientists are telling us, which is move slowly ahead and constantly reevaluate,” Bowlsby told CBS Sports on Thursday. “The virus is going to decide whether we’re ready and able to play.”

“The conference-only schedule isn’t an advantage to teams.The only advantage to [a conference-only schedule] is you can spread the games out over more weeks,” Bowlsby said. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to start your schedule the first week of October. You’re going to try to start it on time and spread it out so you have more time to recover and more time to get over outbreaks. For whatever reason, the Big Ten felt like they wanted to go to it right now.” 

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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