College hockey and college athletics, in general, got more bad news yesterday when the Ivy League announced that it has decided to cancel all winter sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means that Harvard, Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale, Princeton, Brown, and Cornell are sidelined for the 2020-2021 season. That leaves the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) with just six teams – Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac, RPI, St Lawrence University and Union College – for the 2020-2021 campaign.
This announcement follows the recent cancellations of Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Liberty League winter sports and Atlantic Hockey competitions. Other Liberty League hockey schools include Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Union, and RPI who compete in the ECAC. So, the ECAC is potentially at risk of losing up to four more schools, though those schools have announced that they plan to play hockey this season.
One of the main guidelines established by most Division I schools at the beginning of the school year was to cancel NCAA athletics if/when schools move to full-time off-campus learning.
Up to this point, the three most prominent hockey conferences (Hockey East, Big 10, and NCHC) look to be moving forward with no members opting out of the season to this point. Based on the spread of COVID-19 and local guidelines, Hockey East will certainly be a key conference to watch. If that conference decides to bypass this season, it would be difficult to see how a season with any semblance of normalcy could be played around the country.
DU is scheduled to open its season against Minnesota Duluth at the NCHC Pod in Omaha on December 2nd, just three weeks away.