December 6, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 48°F


Liberty League leaves athletic decisions up to institutions

Ithaca College has not publicly announced any plans regarding athletic participation since announcing that spring break will be extended a week and that classes will be held online until April 6, but the Liberty League is managing the decisions of its 12 member schools.

Liberty League Commissioner Tracy King said the conference has not voted on any overarching decisions and does not plan to take collective action at this time. He said that decisions about athletic participation are being made by each individual institution.

Justin Lutes, associate director of Athletic Communications, said via email that the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics has not made any decisions about winter or spring athletics at this time and that the office does not have a timeline for when a decision will be made. The gymnastics team is scheduled to host the NCGA National Team Championships on March 28 in Ben Light Gymnasium, and gymnastics head coach Rick Suddaby said via email that he has not received any additional information about the meet.

Five Liberty League member institutions have currently opted to permanently or temporarily suspend athletic participation. The University of Rochester and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute canceled all spring sports for the 2020 season. Bard College is suspending athletic participation until March 30. St. Lawrence University is suspending participation through April 13, and Skidmore College is suspending participation through March 22.

King said the Liberty League is still deciding how it will handle the qualifying process for the Liberty League championships or if the championship games will be played. He also said the league has not received any information from the NCAA about how the national championships will be impacted. The NCAA has not currently made any changes to the spring championship schedules.

“If we come to the point where there are only a handful of teams remaining, we’re going to have to consider what we’re going to do moving forward,” King said. “I expect that we’ll learn more in the next couple of weeks about whether schools will remain in session. … It’s just changing so rapidly.”

In Division III, the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced March 12 that it is cancelling the 2020 season for all spring sports. The Division I Ivy League and Patriot League are the only other NCAA conferences that made a collective decision to cancel.

Athletes from the college are currently participating in competitions across the United States. Members of the men’s and women’s track and field teams begin competing March 13 in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The NCAA decided March 12 that no spectators, including family members, would be allowed into the meet. The Bombers wrestling team also begins competition March 13 at the NCAA championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The meet will also prohibit spectators, but each wrestler is allowed six passes for family members to attend.

The crew teams, tennis teams, women’s lacrosse team and softball team also traveled out-of-state by plane for training and competitions during spring break.

Emily Adams can be reached at or via Twitter: @eaadams6