The Ivy League has scrapped all its sports until at least January—a move that throws Division I college football into question with preseason games only weeks away, CBS Sports reports. Ivy League presidents said Wednesday that due to "the continued spread of the virus," they couldn't create an intercollegiate environment "that meets out requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk." What that means for other Division I conferences—and eagerly awaited battles like Alabama vs. USC on Sept. 5 and Ohio State vs. Oregon on Sept. 12—remains unclear, per the Wall Street Journal, while the possibility of Ivy League football in spring looks equally hazy. Princeton football coach Bob Surace put it this way: "One word. Hope," he told the New York Times.
Surace also said there would have to be major public-health improvements like a vaccine, stronger therapies, and people abiding by health guidelines. Even then, he said, there's concern about another coronavirus wave in the winter. One reason why the Ivy League decision matters: On March 10 it became the first conference to nix its men's and women's basketball tournaments, which triggered waves of withering criticism—but within two days the NBA, NHL, and MLB suspended games, and all NCAA tournaments were canceled. Now all eyes are falling on the other Division I conferences: "Unless we see a change in the trajectory of the spread of the virus ... I think the situation's a lot more perilous than it was a few weeks ago," said Pac 12-commissioner Larry Scott. (Read more college football stories.)