Should college basketball be pushed back to January?

Ryan Kostecka

Sports are a massive part of the fabric of this nation — and over the past four months, they've been virtually nonexistent.

That's about to change towards the end of this month as MLB, NBA, MLS, NWSL, NHL and WNBA are all scheduled to start or have either resumed play already. College football is also tentatively scheduled to begin mandatory practices on July 13.

But with the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus spreading rapidly throughout the country, many health professionals and people are skeptical at best that the seasons resuming will actually be able to take place.

With this in mind, one of college basketball's most prominent — and controversial — coaches came up with the suggestion of pushing the college basketball season back. He would like to see a start date set for January.

"Suggestion to the NCAA, push the start of the season back to January and only play league games," Pitino tweeted on Wednesday. "Buy some more time for a vaccine and to get things under control. Although I can’t wait to be back on the sidelines, the health of my players and staff is what’s really important."

The 2019-20 season was canceled on March 12, right as conferences throughout the nation were either in the middle of their respective tournaments or finishing out the regular season. 

The Utah men's basketball team had just fallen to Oregon State in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament, while the women's team saw its season come to and end a week prior after falling to Oregon in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

As of right now, the 2020-21 season is set to begin on time, with the Champions Classic in Chicago set to be held on Nov. 10. 

In some regards, it makes a lot of sense to postpone the season until January to allow more time for a vaccine and further assure the health and safety of the coaches and athletes. Postponing the season though will push out the dates of the NCAA Basketball tournament and everything that comes with that, which is a lot. 

It's still too early to decide on what to do with the upcoming season, but at least this is being talked about and hopefully considered.

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Twitter — @UtahUtes_SI and Ryan Kostecka at @Ryan_Kostecka

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