There will be no soccer – men’s or women’s – at Columbia University this fall.

The Ivy League announced Wednesday night that its Council of Presidents decided that all intercollegiate athletics will not be played during the fall semsester.

Citing that the safety and well-bring of students was its highest priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, the league’s schools were not in the position to participate in intercollegiate athletics. The Council stated that Ivy League institutions were implementing campus-wide policies including restrictions on student and staff travel, requirements for social distancing, limits on group gatherings, and regulations for visitors to campus.

The Ivy League Council of Presidents offered the following joint statement:

“As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.

“With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk, consistent with the policies that each of our schools is adopting as part of its reopening plans this fall.

“We are entrusted to create and maintain an educational environment that is guided by health and safety considerations. There can be no greater responsibility — and that is the basis for this difficult decision.”

In a press release, the Ivy League said that practice and other athletic training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will be permitted provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations. The league will also issue guidelines on a phased approach to conditioning and practice activities to allow for interaction among student-athletes and coaches that will begin with limited individual and small group workouts and build to small group practice sessions, if public health conditions permit.

Fall sport athletes will not use a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility in the fall, whether or not they enroll. Students who wish to pursue competition during a fifth-year will need to work with their institutions in accordance with campus policy to determine their options beyond their current anticipated graduation date.

There was no immediate comment from Columbia University atheltic officials.

Ivy League Council of Presidents

Christina Paxson, Brown University
Lee Bollinger, Columbia University
Martha Pollack, Cornell University
Philip Hanlon, Dartmouth College
Lawrence Bacow, Harvard University
Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania
Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton University
Peter Salovey, Yale University