First reported on Aug. 27 by CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, the NCAA is looking at four potential start dates for the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball season. The four potential start dates are —
First practices allowed Sept. 29 and first day of the season Nov. 10 (No change to start of season.)
First practices allowed Oct. 9 and first day of the season on Nov. 20.
First practices allowed Oct. 14 and first day of the season on Nov. 25.
First practices allowed Oct. 24 and first day of the season on Dec. 4.
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According to Norlander’s article, the NCAA is targeting the two later options, seeming as though they all feel the safest when there are as few students on campus as possible during the majority of the season.
According to Norlander’s source, there were a cluster of meetings involved to figure out all the logistics, options, money and more.
“Sources told CBS Sports the NCAA’s men’s basketball oversight committee and the men’s basketball selection committee held separate meetings Wednesday to discuss these potential start dates, among other action items,” Norlander stated in the article. “On Thursday, Division I conference commissioners will hold [a] meeting to discuss the basketball season, as [will] the NABC. On Friday, the women’s basketball committee and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association will convene and seek feedback on the recommended models as well. The review process will include feedback on issues ranging from different start-of-season options, the latest recommended models being shared with the NCAA’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory board, plus myriad logistical questions, concerns and curiosities that exist with nonconference scheduling.”
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With the recent news regarding Big Ten football now in talks to start their season around Thanksgiving break, this would make a whole lot of sense if the NCAA had both seasons at the same time. While the athletic training staff would have their work cut out for them, this may be the safest option for the players, who can, for the most part, create a UW athlete bubble resulting in a reduced number of cases as long as the players make smart decisions.
As the students return to campus, the NCAA will monitor the number of cases per university closely as they try to make a very big decision that could bring back college athletics.