NCAA Sets Basketball Start Date, Extends Recruiting Dead Period

MatthewMcGavic

The NCAA's Division I Council has set an official men's & women's basketball start date of Nov. 25 and extended the current recruiting dead period to January 1, the organization announced today.

The season itself was reduced by a maximum of four games, and the number of games will be determined by whether a team enters a multiple-team event. Programs can begin preseason practice on Oct. 14 and will have 42 days to conduct a maximum of 30 practices. During this time, players can work out up to 20 hours per week, four hours per day, and must have one day off per week.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” said NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt in a 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.”

In addition to extending the mandatory dead period to the new year, the D1 Council also prohibited schools from giving complimentary game tickets to prospective student-athletes and their high school or two-year college coaches during this time.

“While the Council acknowledged and appreciates the growing desire to resume in-person recruiting by select coaches’ associations, Council members ultimately concluded the primary concern right now must be protecting the current student-athletes on our campuses,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We encourage our coaches to interact with prospective student-athletes virtually in this time period.”

A dead period is a period of time where "a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period," according to the NCAA's official definition.

In short, coaches can still communicate with prospective recruits and transfers so long as it is not done in person. Calling, texting, DMing, emailing, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc. are all permissible.

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