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Ivy League cancels winter sports because of COVID-19

Doug Feinberg
Associated Press

The Ivy League on Thursday became the first Division I conference this year to cancel all winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball.

The decision came 13 days before the scheduled start of the college basketball season. The league had decided this past summer, when it canceled fall sports, not to allow any of its sports to start play before early December.

Coaches were informed of the news on video conference calls Thursday evening.

Former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker is the head coach of Harvard's men's basketball team.

The league was the first conference to scrap its postseason basketball tournament last March. That preceded a cascade of cancellations. All major college and professional sports were halted within days.

The Ivy League announcement affects not just basketball, but wrestling, indoor track and field, swimming, fencing and other sports.

Also Thursday, Pittsburgh’s game at Georgia Tech was postponed after the Panthers were forced to pause team activities due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Atlantic Coast Conference said both teams were having COVID-19 issues and the game slated for Saturday will instead be played Dec. 12.

Also, Conference USA announced Rice at Louisiana Tech scheduled for Saturday had been postponed because of COVID-19 issues with Louisiana Tech. No make-up date has been set.

There have been 57 games between schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision to be canceled or postponed because of the pandemic since late August – and 10 this week.

The Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 have all been forced to scramble at times this season. The Atlantic Coast Conference has not been immune, though most of the issues were in early September. This is the fifth conference game in the ACC to be postponed. One has already been made-up and Louisville at Virginia is scheduled to be played Saturday after it was postponed last week.

The conference has enjoyed relatively smooth sailing in recent weeks, though several high-profile players have been dealing with COVID-19, including Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Pitt is still scheduled to host Virginia Tech in its home finale on Nov. 21 and travel to Clemson on Nov. 28.