NCAA Division I Council Approves November 25 Start Date for Basketball Season

Brendan Gulick

On a day in which Big Ten football's resurrection has dominated the headlines, the NCAA Division I Council has made a critical decision regarding basketball season.

The NCAA DI Council has made the decision to begin the 2020-2021 college basketball season on November 25.

That means teams may start their preseason practices on Oct. 14, six weeks ahead of the first games of the season. Beginning on Sept. 21, teams can begin working out on the court for eight hours per week.

Rothstein says that teams will play either 24 or 25 games, but will be required to have 13 games on the schedule.

The NCAA Basketball Oversight Committee originally considered four options to open the season before recommending Nov. 25.

Over the past few weeks, most of the chatter around starting the season centered around late November because of the academic calendars this fall.

NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said last week on a webinar with athletic directors and other college sports officials that Nov. 25 was under consideration because campuses around the country will be ending their fall semesters earlier than usual.

"By Thanksgiving week, the date of Nov. 25, 76% of all Division I schools will have either finished their fall semester completely or released the general student body for in-person instruction," Gavitt said on the webinar.

That allows for at least a 6-week window for college basketball to start its season while school is out of session for all of December and roughly half of January.

To clarify, the season may start on Nov. 25, but that is not mandated. That decision will be left up to the conferences.

Coach Holtmann and the Buckeyes are scheduled to play in the Battle 4 Atlantis, which has been moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The dates of that tournament have not been made public, but those games will likely be among Ohio State's earliest games of the season.

For now, Gavitt says the NCAA is planning for the NCAA March Madness tournaments to proceed in their traditional format - 68 teams in 14 locations in late March and early April.

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