Colorado head basketball coach Tad Boyle said it would not be possible for the Pac-12 to have an NBA style bubble for their athletes, citing the Pac-12’s differences in resources from the professional leagues.
But on Thursday, Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reported that a modified bubble is being considered, leveraging the Pac-12’s tradition of using travel partners.
Each Pac-12 team has a travel partner—most of them are within the same state. Colorado’s travel partner is Utah. With most sports, teams travel to a state and play both travel partners in the same weekend. This has been going on in the Pac-12 for years.
The Pac-12 discussion, as reported by Wilner would have all four teams play in a single location. For example, if the Los Angeles schools were on the schedule for Colorado, CU and Utah would travel to a single gym, where Colorado, Utah, USC and UCLA would play in a single weekend, preventing the players from being exposed to multiple campuses.
Wilner says, in theory, the women’s teams would also be able to travel with the men’s teams and play in the same pod.
This plan is similar to what has been happening on the PGA Tour for months. A large group of people will travel to a centralized location for the weekend, everybody will get tested, and a bubble is created for the weekend and then moved to a new spot.
The working group believes basketball has similar risks as football. Players are constantly face-to-face, indoors, with constant contact between players.
The plan works under the assumption that teams would not play a non-conference schedule, that every Pac-12 team would maintain the same health and safety standards and an improvement in testing and decline in community spread would be possible by January 2021.
Any plan for the basketball season has to be approved by the Pac-12 medical advisors.