As Harvard, Yale and Princeton go, so is college sports?

Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities only Announced his return to campus protocol for the 2020-21 academic year. This is news for college sports fans, as it heralds the decision their Ivy League colleagues must make on Wednesday and provides important guidance (and a bit of peer pressure) to the rest of college sports.

“After careful deliberation and informed by a broad contribution from our community, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Announced plans to bring up to 40% of our college students to campus, including all freshmen, for the fall semester. Assuming we maintain a 40% density in the spring semester, we would bring a class back again, and our priority right now is to bring seniors to campus. Under this plan, the first few years they would return home and learn remotely in the spring. We will also invite back to campus those students who cannot successfully learn in their current home learning environment.

“Some of the attributes we value most about our campus are exactly the things that make adaptation to pandemic conditions particularly challenging. Our bustling urban environment, the ease of taking the T in Boston, our intergenerational residential communities that house 98% of our college students, our global research community of students, faculty, staff, postdocs, and visitors from around the world – Harvard was built for connection, not insulation. “

Shortly after this post, the athletics department posted this tweet:

Since 40% of students returning to campus are almost all freshmen, the Harvard orientation seems to imply a different emphasis on sports participation. The announcement continued:

“We anticipate that the Ivy League will issue a decision on July 8 about fall sports competitions and training. Even in the absence of this guide, we recognize that our medium density plan will necessarily impose limits on possible athletic activities at Harvard this fall. An improved focus on wellness will be important to all members of our community.Wellness programming and resources will be developed by the Department of Athletics, the Harvard Center for Health and Wellness Services, the Office of the Dean of Students and other partner organizations. “

This announcement, coupled with decisions by Yale last week, and Princeton today, about developing a similar approach on campus, creates tremendous pressure on schools to make their decisions known. Both schools are trying to offer a “residential experience” for incoming freshmen, knowing full well that local and regional health guidelines will dramatically impact that experience.

From his statement on the website, Harvard Athletics echoed a similar sentiment, saying: “Even in the absence of this guide, we recognize that our medium-density plan will necessarily impose limits on possible athletic activities at Harvard this fall … For university events. ” , fans can check the individual team’s programming pages or the composite programming page. This page will also be updated immediately as changes are confirmed. “

College sports fans should pay close attention to the dynamics at play. It seems like a long time ago when March Madness was canceled, but two things happened in a close succession that closed the postseason tournament: the Ivy League chose not to play its conference tournament, and Duke announced that it would not participate in the ACC tournament. . Duke President Vincent Price is a former president of the University of Pennsylvania. Will history repeat itself?