NJ colleges plan to play as Ivy League cancels winter sports
The Ivy League Council of Presidents voted unanimously to cancel athletic competition during the winter season but most of New Jersey's other colleges plan to compete this winter.
The Ivy League, which includes Princeton University and Penn State, said the decision was made to "safeguard the health and well being of student-athletes, the greater campus community and general public" as coronavirus cases spike around the country.
The presidents also decided not to move fall sports such as football to the late winter or spring and postponed intercollegiate athletics competition for spring sports through at least the end of February 2021.
"I am deeply saddened for our student-athletes who steadfastly desire a return to representing Princeton University in competition. Unfortunately, the uncertainty around COVID-19 remains and the risks surrounding this health crisis require more patience before returning to play," Princeton Athletic Director Mollie Marcoux Samaan said in a written statement.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which includes Rider and Monmouth universities, made adjustments to how it schedules games in order to cut down on travel this season.
Changes this season for basketball include playing a 20-game double round-robin conference schedule with five home series and five away series for each team. The men's and women's basketball schedules will mirror each other with one team being home while the other is away. The same officiating crew will be used for both games.
A schedule for the season has not yet been announced.
The New Jersey Athletic Conference, which includes Kean, Rowan, Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers-Newark, TCNJ and Stockton, has not announced a plan for the winter season.
"The NJAC had previously announced that we wouldn't start any winter competition until after Jan. 1 so we have some time," Rowan University athletics spokeswoman Marie Wozniak told New Jersey 101.5.
The Big Ten, which includes Rutgers-New Brunswick and Seton Hall, is moving forward with a season.
The Scarlett Knights men's basketball team, which competes in the Big Ten, begins the season ranked 24th in the Associated Press pre-season poll but has not announced a schedule.
Two weeks before the scheduled start of their season, the Seton Hall men’s basketball program “paused all team activities” due to positive COVID-19 tests for several student athletes, coaches, staff and managers. The school did not specify how many cases.
Seton Hall is the fourth Big East program to have COVID-19 cases after Villanova, Marquette, and UConn. The team's first scheduled game is Dec. 11 at the Prudential Center in Newark against DePaul.
All the schools canceled fall sports except for Rutgers football which began Big Ten play in October.