Coronavirus updates: Ivy League players petition for return after conference tournament gets cancelled


Due to coronavirus concerns, the Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments have been canceled, the league announced on Tuesday. As a result, Yale, which won the league’s regular season championship, move forward to the NCAA Tournament on the men’s side, while Princeton will represent the women. The statement from Ivy League executive director Robin Harris said they are disappointed themselves, but made the decision based on “recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals.”

Not everyone is happy with this decision, and some players are trying to change their minds to keep the tournaments alive. Members of the Ivy League men’s and women’s basketball teams started a petition on Change.org to explain their case and encourage others to take a stand with them.

The petition, titled “Reinstate the Ivy League Tournament,” leads off their argument by calling out the Ivy League’s decision. 

They wrote: 

“The hypocrisy of our Ivy League presidents is baffling and alarming. We are disappointed and disheartened that they would discriminate against one sport and allow the others to continue to compete. Other conferences, such as the SEC and Pac – 12, are still scheduled to host their men’s basketball championship tournaments. These tournaments are scheduled to start March 11 or later.

They went on to describe how their work throughout the regular season has led up to this tournament saying, “Every single team in this league devotes their entire year to reaching this level of competition.” 

It continues, “We feel the decision to cancel the tournament was made without enough serious consideration for the student athletes and the investments that have been made up to this point in our season. This is the pinnacle of what we have worked for since August.”

In the post, they reference that had the concern been so great, other tournaments would have canceled as well. 

The explanation reads, “This weekend, other Ivy League teams are still scheduled to compete on the East Coast and across the country, with a limited amount of spectators. As of right now, Yale Women’s Lacrosse is flying to California to compete against Fresno State and multiple Ivy League baseball and softball teams are competing in Florida. Additionally, Ivy League wrestlers are flying to Minneapolis to compete in the NCAA tournament.”

In the petition, they argue that since it’d been deemed safe for those teams to travel, then they should be able to move locally to compete. 

“This is discrimination against the Ivy League men’s and women’s basketball teams,” they claimed. 

Concluding, the members of the teams involved said all they want is the chance to play. 

“We just want to play. As much as we want our family and friends to be in attendance, we don’t need spectators to play the sport we love. We acknowledge that this is a serious health issue and that there is a lot to consider in finding an alternate solution,” they said. “However, we are ready and willing to invest the time and energy to ensure that we can compete in the Ivy League tournament. 

As of late afternoon on Tuesday, the petition has over 4,000 signatures.





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