September 14, 2001

University Cancels All Weekend Sports

Print More

Yesterday morning, about 48 hours after the tragic terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the university decided to cancel all of this weekend’s athletic schedule.

The decision — the result of lengthy discussions between President Hunter R. Rawlings III, Athletic Director Andy Noel and Vice President of Academic and Student Services Susan Murphy — affects football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country, volleyball, field hockey, women’s tennis and golf.

“We are canceling all sports events Friday to Sunday,” Rawlings said. “All intercollegiate sporting events have been canceled, both home and away.”

“It just seemed obvious to not concentrate on intercollegiate athletics,” Noel said, adding that it is now more important to “reflect on the tragedy and focus on family and friends.”

“Given the scope of this tragedy, I believe it is appropriate to cancel our entire competitive calendar this weekend,” added Associate Director of Athletics, Bob Chaddock.

The announcement comes as no surprise, considering several other universities, including Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Penn and Harvard in the Ivy League have taken similar measures. However both Rawlings and Noel were quick to stress that Cornell’s decision was undertaken independently, unaffected by the choices of other schools.

“I’ve been on the phone — since I’m the chair of the Ivy League — and different universities have taken different positions,” Rawlings explained. “Some have canceled everything, others are deciding on a case by case basis. There was not an Ivy Group decision.”

“The Ivy League has dealt with important issues on an institutional basis,” Noel concurred. “The general feeling is that every university has to reflect on the situation and make its own decision.”

As a result of the Ivy League’s position, schools have pursued very different policies. Yale, for example, chose to postpone all events through the weekend as early as Wednesday; Dartmouth, on the other hand, permitted a volleyball match to take place the same day. (Since, it has also canceled all events through the weekend.)

“We respected the administrations at Yale and Dartmouth very much,” said Noel, “but we knew we had to decide for ourselves.”

The decision has been brewing since a few hours after the attacks.

“Discussion started as soon as the events began to sink in,” Noel recalled. “For many, many hours, we were in disbelief as to what happened.”

Though events have been canceled, no such decision has been taken for practice schedules.

“[The approach to] practices are the same as holding classes,” Rawlings said. “It’s healthy to have them. Otherwise life becomes abnormal.

“You need to concentrate on what you’re doing. Getting together in groups is very positive…especially in settings that you’re familiar with.”

As of now, no rescheduling plans have been set. Some events, including the football game against Bucknell will likely be canceled all together.

Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj