December 20, 2001

The Day Cornell Sports Shut Down

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On the morning of Sept. 13, about 48 hours after the tragic terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and 36 hours before the beginning of the first full weekend of the Cornell fall sports season, the university decided to suspend all of that weekend’s athletic competition.

The decision — the result of lengthy discussions between President Hunter R. Rawlings III, Athletic Director Andy Noel and Vice President Susan Murphy ’73 — affected 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 was more important to “reflect on the tragedy and focus on family and friends.”

The announcement came as no surprise, considering several other universities — including Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Penn and Harvard in the Ivy League —