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Ivy League presidents agree to cancel all fall sports, including golf

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There will be no college golf played in the Ivy League this fall.

GolfChannel.com has confirmed that the league’s presidents have decided to cancel all fall sports and are still discussing whether any fall athletic competition could be transitioned to the spring. The news was first reported by CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, who added that no sports would resume until after Jan. 1.

An official announcement by the league followed Wednesday evening, as the presidents released a joint statement:

"As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.

"With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall.  

"We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision."

Unlike many other fall sports, men’s and women’s college golf is in a unique position in that the majority of their seasons, including their conference and national championships, are contested in the spring. However, one Ivy League coach said that while the league is still mulling when – or if – sports can return next year, the expectation is low that there will be Ivy League golf championships come April.

“It’s hard to be optimistic,” another coach said.

A more realistic option is that teams play only a handful of regional tournaments once the weather warms up.

The league plans to announce early next week when its student-athletes can resume on-campus practice and training "provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations."

Also, fall student-athletes will not have their eligibility affected by this decision, though the Ivy League does have a rule that prohibits graduate students from competing.

Each of the Ivy League’s eight members sponsor men’s golf, including reigning league champion Princeton, which has won a league-best 21 conference titles, while Cornell is the only institution without a women’s golf program. Harvard is the defending women’s champ.