Penn baseball left in limbo
T
he Ivy League will not have a conference spring sports season, meaning it won't hold competitions or host league championships, the conference announced on Thursday. 

Teams are allowed to play local non-Ivy League opponents, but only within a 40-mile radius. 

It's a significant blow to Penn, a program widely considered as one of the best in the Philadelphia region. 

"We promise kids that they'll get a great degree and that they'll get to play baseball for four years, that's it," said Penn head coach John Yurkow. 

"Those are the only two promises we make, and to see that cut short for these guys, not just once, but now a second time, it's heartbreaking." 

The NCAA hasn't yet indicated how a "local-only" schedule would impact eligibility. Assuming approval from the NCAA, the Quakers could attempt to schedule games with fellow city schools such as La Salle, Saint Joseph's, and Villanova, but that pales in comparison to playing for a league pennant. 

"Our kids play to win an Ivy League championship and to play in the NCAA tournament," Yurkow said. "This is a really tough spot to be in." 

The Quakers had an impressive roster entering last year before the global pandemic derailed the season. Several star players left the program to retain their eligibility. Christian Scafidi, a former Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, transferred to Notre Dame while fellow hurler Mitchell Holcomb moved to Rice and outfielder Peter Matt left to play at Duke.

"I would have loved for those guys to have stayed at Penn and finished their career," Yurkow said. "It's tough for any program to see talent like that move on, but you understand it given the circumstances." 

It's unclear what's next for the Quakers. 

The program is waiting on further guidance from the NCAA on return-to-play measures. 

"For my seniors, you can look at the local competition and think that at least it's something, but they came here to win an Ivy League championship and to reach the NCAA tournament," Yurkow said.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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