Report: NCAA Set to Announce Start Date of 2020-2021 College Basketball Season
The 2020-2021 men’s college basketball season will start on Nov. 25 per CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Late Wednesday evening, the NCAA Division 1 Council made it official, announcing that both, men's and women's basketball, will start at the same time.
“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said in a press release. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”
Pushing back the start of the season by two weeks, allows for campuses to have three quarters of their fall semesters over with and final instruction and exams to be conducted online.
That, in essence, will create an environment that can lower the risk of COVID-19 since campuses will be less populated.
Another major announcement is that the maximum number of regular season games a team can play is 27, which is reduction of four from previous seasons.
All programs can begin preseason practice on Oct. 14 and will have 42 days to have a maximum of 30 practices.
Starting on Sept. 21 through Oct. 13, a transition period of sorts will begin to prepare athletes, mentally and physically, for the upcoming season. During that time, teams will be allowed up to 12 hours a week of strength and conditioning, sport-related meeting, and skill instruction.
For the University of Alabama, its' season-opener was slated to be against Jacksonville State on Nov. 10 inside Coleman Coliseum, and it remains to be seen if that matchup will remain the opener for now.
Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats and his squad were also set to take part in the 2020 Maui Invitational on Nov. 23-25, but Rothstein has reported that the event will more than likely take place in Asheville, N.C. as of now. Those dates will have to change, too.
Other non-conference home opponents for Alabama include Furman, UNC-Asheville, Vermont, and Houston. That contest with the Cougars is currently scheduled for Dec. 19.
On Dec. 12, the Crimson Tide was scheduled to play Clemson in a neutral-site game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga.
An official schedule announcement from the school and men's basketball program could be coming in the next few weeks as a new schedule begins to formalize with the NCAA's announcement.