Whereas main skilled and faculty groups have returned, enjoying round and thru outbreaks and stoppages, the Ivy League has not. Presidents of the league’s member universities introduced in July that no sports activities could be performed till Jan. 1, and in November the pause was prolonged till March 1. They thus turned the primary convention to cancel its soccer and basketball seasons.
In doing so, the Ivy League’s presidents have held onto a core precept: that athletes are handled primarily the identical as college students who don’t play sports activities.
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Thus, at Columbia, the place most college students haven’t returned to its Manhattan campus, and at Cornell, which is in its preliminary part of welcoming college students again this semester, the baseball groups haven’t practiced. At Dartmouth, the place the campus will likely be open solely to freshmen and seniors within the spring quarter that begins subsequent month, the baseball workforce could be nearly all freshman and seniors. Princeton’s roster is all the way down to 18 gamers, with 4 juniors taking a niche 12 months so they might return subsequent season.
The groups which are working towards are following their universities’ protocols.
At Princeton, meaning pitchers throwing bullpen classes whereas carrying masks, and gamers in teams of 5 which are usually decided not by place however who their roommates are. At Pennsylvania, gamers have largely needed to courageous the weather since their typical indoor winter facility — an inflatable dome — wasn’t put up due to air flow issues.
These have been hardly the circumstances John Yurkow, the coach at Penn, imagined practically a 12 months in the past.
The Quakers have been on their typical warm-weather journey to open the season, and Yurkow had been throwing batting observe earlier than his workforce’s sport in opposition to Florida Atlantic. As he got here off the sphere, with the primary pitch about an hour away, an assistant coach approached Yurkow and confirmed him a message on his cellphone: The season had been canceled.
“We needed to scramble to get a journey occasion of about 40 on one other flight,” stated Yurkow, who added that his assistant had gotten the messages about 15 minutes earlier however needed him to take pleasure in throwing one final batting observe session. “It was nearly a surreal feeling — like, what simply occurred? The youngsters have been indignant at first — you undergo these phases, however you assume, ‘OK, we’ll be again within the fall and have a traditional season.’”
Little, although, is regular practically 12 months later. And the prospects for an abbreviated season seem dim.
“We’re simply maintaining our fingers crossed,” Yurkow stated.