Schools around the country thought and rethought decisions to hold or postpone upcoming athletic events in the wake of Tuesday’s tragic events. The Ivy League was no different.
Brown, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Harvard all announced yesterday that their athletic competitions would be canceled through Sunday, Sept. 19. As of late last night, Princeton and Columbia athletic Web sites indicated the two schools still planned to compete this weekend.
“Due to the scope of this terrible national tragedy, we want to allow an appropriate period of time for reflection in respect for the people who have been touched by this tragic event,” Brown Athletic Director David Roach said in a statement. “This tragedy has affected our alumni and the entire Brown community, and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families.”
Yale announced Wednesday that all varsity athletic events are canceled through Sunday. The announcement also applies to club sports. Tom Migdalski, club sports director, sent an e-mail to club sports participants Thursday morning notifying them of the cancellations.
The series of announcements by Ivy League schools came on the same day that the NFL decided it would cancel its slate of games this weekend. The collegiate football world followed suit as all Division I-A contests this weekend were canceled yesterday.
While many athletic conferences made decisions on whether to play this weekend, the Ivy League allowed its member schools to determine the appropriateness of resuming athletic competition.
“Intercollegiate athletics is part of our educational mission,” according to a statement on the Columbia athletics Web site. “Therefore we, in intercollegiate athletics, will be guided by our academic decisions. As long as classes are being held, practices and competition may, if practical, proceed.”
While Columbia indicated it would resume athletic competition, the school’s athletic Web site indicated that most sporting events for the weekend were postponed. The Lions’ football game against Fordham was still set for Saturday, according to both schools’ Web sites last night.
Princeton also intended to play its football game against Lafayette until the Leopards decided yesterday to cancel all of their athletic events.
“As troubled and conflicted as many of us are about what constitutes the appropriate action, Princeton respects Lafayette’s decision and the principle of institutional autonomy,” Princeton Director of Athletics Gary Walters said in a statement.
Princeton head coach Roger Hughes said Princeton’s decision to continue with events was in attempt “to get back to a sense of normalcy.”
“This has been a very difficult week for everyone,” Hughes said.