NCAA Discussing Possible Start Dates for College Hoops

We’ve already talked about the importance of college hoops to the overall health of college athletics and the NCAA. If canceled yet again, this would have catastrophic consequences for college athletic departments and NCAA finances. According to CBS Sports, four different scenarios are being contemplated for the start of college basketball:

Option #1:

First practices allowed: Sept. 29th

First Day of the season: Nov. 10th

Option #2:

First practices allowed: Oct. 9th

First Day of the season: Nov. 2

Option #3:

First practices allowed: Oct. 14th

First Day of the season: Nov. 25th

Option #4:

First practices allowed: Oct. 24th

First Day of the season: Dec. 4th

Last season, DU started play November 5th so the first two options are very similar to the prior years’ schedule. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, options 3 & 4 are seen as the NCAA’s favored dates:

It is interesting to note that college basketball is trying to start in December when many other collegiate fall sports have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The dates clearly reflect an eagerness by the NCAA to complete their season as close as possible to plan, ending with the billion-dollar NCAA Tournament.

The decision-making process will include the following key items:

  • A tentative meeting between the NCAA men’s and women’s oversight committees was scheduled yesterday (Monday).
  • A decision is expected later this week or next to develop a recommendation for the Division I Council to share with NCAA members and college Presidents.
  • A vote by the Division I Council will take place on Sept. 16th  proceeded by a vote by the men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees.
  • That would be followed by a meeting being planned by the NCAA and the council on either Oct. 13th or 14th which would be too late for the first three proposed dates. This meeting will likely to be moved up.

As playing options begin to take shape, ESPN reported that the NCAA has applied for a trademark for the term “Battle in the Bubble.” That would not only be applicable to a potential branded event, but apparel, too. After all, this is all about student-athlete health – and money (but, of course, the players still can’t get paid for some reason…but that’s a discussion for another time when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic).

This, in turn, could create some headroom for college hockey to start in the late fall along with basketball. Josh Fenton, the commissioner of the NCHC, told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he is following basketball to get an idea when it might be appropriate to start the 2020-2021 college hockey season.

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