The NCAA has put off making a determination for how the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball seasons will be held for quite some time now. However, senior vice president of the NCAA Dan Gavitt put out a statement Monday saying that they will make a determination for the winter sport by mid-September.
“We have learned a great deal over the course of the summer, and with health and safety being our priority, we have developed and studied contingency plans for alternatives to the scheduled Nov. 10 start date,” Gavitt said in the statement.
Gavitt said they will “provide direction” whether a short-term delay to the season is necessary by mid-September. He later said that time frame will likely be the first of multiple crucial decisions for both the regular season and postseasons.
The Big East recently canceled the fall season, with the hope of pushing affected sports to the winter or spring. It has also reportedly been considering a conference-only schedule for the 2020-21 season since mid-July, according to Adam Zagoria.
The idea of a college basketball bubble has been floated around, for both conferences and postseason play.
Geno Auriemma, the UConn women’s basketball head coach, said he doesn’t see the idea of a bubble happening, even for March Madness, at his media availability last Monday.
“What are you going to do?” Auriemma wondered. “You take the 11 Big East teams and put them in a bubble. Could you do that? That’s a lot of people in the bubble that you don’t realize have to be there. Does that make sense? Team doctors and trainers and managers and people living in a hotel room for three months. I don’t know you. Can it be done? Probably. But I don’t see it happening.”
He also spoke to the difficulty of not having a schedule at this point, particularly with balancing the level of activity the team does. Prior to a normal season, teams know exactly when they can practice and when they will play their first scrimmages, but this year it is essentially up to them without a declared schedule, Auriemma said.
Typically the team would show up in late-August and wouldn’t really turn on the jets until mid-September for an early-November start, Auriemma said. But now they could open as soon as November and as late as next season, if things are canceled.
In other news, UNC also just canceled in-person classes one week after starting the semester up after they had 135 new cases pop-up last week.
UNC just updated its dashboard: there were 135 (!!) new Covid-19 cases last week, compared to just 11 the week before. https://t.co/8baWzQ9knF— Andy Thomason (@arthomason) August 17, 2020
UConn announced two positive tests after doing initial testing with student move-ins this weekend, though that number has risen to seven total positive cases — four on-campus students and three commuters. Students are back on campus for a two-week quarantine and all students who have moved in were required to be tested.