Last week, we reported that the Ivy League was going to make an announcement regarding the playing of athletic competitions in the fall semester in the wake of COVID-19. It appears the July 8th announcement is merely an announcement of the inevitable. Bruce Feldman and Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported Monday that several coaches in the Ivy League anticipate the postponement of all fall sports, including football, to the spring semester.
If the Ivy League postpones its season, it could have ramifications across collegiate athletics. The Patriot League, a frequent football scheduling partner with the Ivy League, will certainly adjust its plans in the wake of the Ivy League postponing its season, which could have a potential effect on the FCS Playoffs. While the Ivy League does not participate, the Patriot League does, and the NCAA will be placed in a difficult spot. Any non-Ivy League teams scheduled to play Patriot League programs will scramble as well to replace those games.
This could also make waves in the bowl subdivision. While the Ivy League obviously does not play FBS programs, a number of schools such as Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, BC and others who all envision themselves as peer institutions to the Ivies may feel the pressure to make a decision on contests. While it’s hard to believe programs like Alabama, Clemson or Georgia would care about what the Ivies do, if a critical mass of programs postpone their seasons those programs may be placed in a difficult position where they cannot make the required of games played in order to play a season.
In short, yes it is merely the Ivy League considering postponement, but this could have ramifications, both direct and indirect, across the country. The Ivy League set off the chain of dominoes in March when it cancelled its men’s basketball tournament due to COVID-19, and it appears they may be primed to do the same now.