Ithaca College Cancels All Winter Sports for 2020-21
November 10, 2020


Ithaca College, Liberty League Announce Decision on Winter Sport Competition

ITHACA, N.Y. – Throughout the fall semester, the presidents, vice presidents, and directors of athletics at Liberty League institutions have engaged in planning and analysis for the possibility of a safe return to competition for the winter sport season.

After careful consideration of each campus's safety measures to mitigate risk of exposure to COVID-19, including limiting off-campus travel; restricting visitors to campus; strict protocols for physical distancing; robust testing; quarantine and isolation needs; and significant academic calendar modifications, the Liberty League has reached the difficult decision to cancel all conference competition and championships for the winter season.

This will directly affect the sports of basketball, swimming and diving, and indoor track and field. IC's non-Liberty League sports, gymnastics (NCGA) and wrestling (ECWC), will also adhere to the overarching principles set by the Liberty League.

"I know that this is disappointing news for our winter sport student-athletes and coaches at Ithaca College," said Susan Bassett '79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports. "The national surge in COVID-19 cases as we enter the winter season, unfortunately provides a challenging context to consider travel and competition. For IC, the most important thing is the return to campus for the spring semester for all students. We will provide meaningful athletics experiences for our student-athletes upon our return to campus. This will include opportunities to train and practice, with measures in place to enhance safety for student-athletes, coaches, and the campus community."

Bassett noted that the Liberty League decision does not preclude individual institutions from engaging in athletics competition, and Ithaca College will continue to explore potential opportunities.

"Ithaca College will continue to monitor the COVID-19 landscape and consider limited, local competition if the situation safely allows. Our sports medicine team will lead our comprehensive deliberations in full alignment with the college's Health and Safety Advisory Group and Public Health Task Force, along with guidelines from the NCAA, CDC, New York State, and Tompkins County Health Department."

Details on a return to campus for winter sport student-athletes will be provided at a later date. Spring sport competition will be evaluated in January and February.

"Managing our current COVID reality continues to ask us to balance our profound commitment to public health and the well-being of our students with the very real desire to restore opportunities for competition to our scholar-athletes, who have worked incredibly hard and are deeply connected to their sport and their teammates," said President Shirley M. Collado. "This is not a decision we take lightly, but it represents all the complexities that we're navigating during this pandemic. I want to express my sincere gratitude for the collaborative work of the Liberty League member schools in making thoughtful, difficult choices that are rooted in our dedication to our students and prioritize the health and safety of all."

"I'd like to recognize the commitment of President Collado, Athletic Director Susan Bassett, our fantastic health and wellness staff at IC, and our coaching staffs who have remained so engaged in providing support to our student-athletes during this challenging time," said Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life. "This decision, made in conjunction with Liberty League leadership, as well as our peer league affiliates, could not have been a more difficult one. However, we continue to guide our process with the intent to prioritize our campus community's health and safety to the best of our ability. We will continue our work of implementing a comprehensive strategy that will put Ithaca College in the best possible position to re-engage in intercollegiate athletics competition safely and successfully."