SI Insider: How an Altered Academic Calendar Could Impact Winter College Athletics

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SI's Pat Forde shares his thoughts on how the individual decisions made about class schedules and breaks for students could impact winter sports like college basketball. A few schools like University of South Carolina and Marquette University have already made changes to their academic calendar.

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The last few days we've started to see the beginnings of something we wrote about last week, and that is schools changing their academic calendar for the fall semester in order to end classes on campus before Thanksgiving, and then send students home for a long winter break of up to two months. University of South Carolina is going that route. Marquette University also going that route. 

Now, we have no idea what all the permutations could be for a college football season, but think ahead to college basketball and what this might mean there. That season usually begins in early November. And some of the biggest games really are played late November, early December, on through into the Christmas break and beyond. Universities are saying that campuses need to be shut down and students need to be home for safety during what is a predicted second outbreak of the coronavirus. Does it really make sense to have the basketball teams toiling away, producing television inventory? Or is that bad optics for universities to handle for that and other winter sports? 

I think there's a possibility we could be looking at a basketball season that is postponed and doesn't start until January, possibly even late January, and maybe it's just a conference-only season. Lots of things obviously to be ironed out here. But as schools begin to alter the academic calendar, time to start thinking about what that is also going to mean for the athletic calendar.