During the breakout of the pandemic over a year ago, the first conference that scuttled its basketball postseason was the Ivy League, and this happened during Match Madness. The conference is also the first to suspend fall sports in July last year.
Now, schools are beginning to get back on the stadium just the way they left, but cautiously.
The Ivy League has made it a requirement that all football team members get the COVID-19 vaccination, just like the other school students. Robin Harris, the executive director of the Ivy League, stated that they've reached the goal with some religious or very limited medical exceptions.
Even though the alliance of these 8 prestigious private educational institutions has always been more about academics compared to athletics, the decision of this Ivy league to stop its women's and men's basketball tournaments before others in March last year played a major role in the pandemic awareness. After the Ivies did that, other professional leagues and colleges followed amid a global sports shutdown.
It's been almost eighteen months since then and the Ivies have stayed idle, except some teams or individuals compete in some non-conference or one-off events such as the NCAA rowing championships.
Since then players get the chance to do several things so they can remain in shape, depending on their countries or home state restrictions. And because the local restrictions vary, players got back this fall in different fitness levels.
There were few students in Columbia, but Brown actually has spring football practice. In Columbia last fall, most of the students on campus were players, and most of the available students were seniors in the spring. In Harvard last fall, some freshmen were present, while in the spring, there was a small contingent.
Apart from the vaccine requirement, players in Dartmouth need to wear masks indoors, which includes improved air circulation and filtration. They'll hold some meetings on the New Hampshire campus outdoors. In Cambridge, there's a citywide indoor mask law that'll go into effect on the 3rd of September 2021.
Rat Priore, the coach of Penn, said that he's reached out to all coaches who practice or played in the spring and advised them to ramp things up after this long lay-off.
Bob Surace, the coach of Princeton, revealed that his team now has five different classes. Buddy Teevens of Dartmouth also revealed his eagerness to see his players in person after a long time.