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.”