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Ivy League cancels basketball tournament due to COVID-19 threat

Photo Credit: The Ivy League

The Ivy League announced on March 9 that the Ivy League Presidents have made the decision to cancel the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments due to concerns regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). The tournament was originally set to take place on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14.

“The Ivy League’s regular-season champions, Princeton women and Yale men, are the automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Tournaments,” a press release from the Ivy League stated.


“Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris stated via the press release.

"We appreciate the Ivy League's concern for the health and safety of the teams, coaches and fans in regards to canceling the Ivy League Basketball Tournaments. I am extremely disappointed for our student-athletes who will not have the opportunity to continue their careers as Princeton Tigers,” men’s basketball Head Coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said in a statement released by Princeton Athletic Communications. “This is an emotional time for all involved with Princeton Men's Basketball, especially our seniors — Jose, Will and Richmond. They have been outstanding representatives of our program, I am heartbroken that they will not have another opportunity to compete on a national stage for our University.”

“We understand that the well-being and safety of the teams, coaches and fans was at the heart of the decision made to cancel the Ivy League Basketball Tournaments. At the same time, our team is disappointed to not have the opportunity to compete this weekend alongside our fellow competitors,” women’s Head Coach Carla Berube stated in her statement released by Princeton Athletic Communications. “We were looking forward to showcasing the high-quality caliber of play inside the Ivy League on both the women's and men's sides. I am especially saddened for my colleague, Mitch, and his team. We were all looking forward to a great weekend for everyone involved with Princeton Basketball.”

All postseason games and matches for other winter teams are continuing in accordance with policies implemented by each institution. Despite this, all policies are subject to change as circumstances regarding the coronavirus evolve.

In response to the cancellation, Bryce Aiken, a senior guard from Harvard, posted on Twitter, “Horrible, horrible, horrible decision and total disregard for the players and teams that have put their hearts into this season. This is wrong on so many levels and the @IvyLeague should do its due diligence to find a better solution. Everyone knows the risks of playing!”

The NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement via Twitter on March 11 on limiting attendance at NCAA events.


“I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” the statement read. “This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes.”

This story is breaking and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Last updated March 11 at 4:50 p.m.

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