Better Late Than Never: College Basketball Could Begin Play Nov. 25

Tracy Ringolsby

The NCAA's Men's and Women's Basketball Oversight Committee will propose a Nov. 25 start date for the 2020-21 season to the Division I Council, according to CBS Sports.

The committee will also propose no college basketball scrimmages and exhibitions due to health and safety reasons tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled just days before they were set to begin this past March but NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said that despite uncertainty pertaining to COVID-19, there are plans for March Madness in 2021

The 2020-2021 college basketball season was initially scheduled to start on November 10. 

The committee does have four potential start dates, but the Nov. 25 date has emerged as the top choice.

Option 1

First practices allowed: Sept. 29
First day of season: Nov. 10 (No change to start of season)

Option 2

First practices allowed: Oct. 9
First day of season: Nov. 20

Option 3

First practices allowed: Oct. 14
First day of season: Nov. 25

Option 4

First practices allowed: Oct. 24
First day of season: Dec. 4

A fifth possbility would be to open the college season around New Years Day, and limit it to conference competition. For the Mountain West that would mean a 20-game schedule, with a home-and-home with every team.

The late November start date gain support in part because it would be around  Thanksgiving Break, and many schools will students stay home after that break, and finish the semester on-line. That would mean empty campuses, limiting crowds, and limiting risk of a coronavirus outbreak.

The January-start option is still on the table, but is unlikely to be seriously addressed until the fall, one source said. The NCAA, and college basketball's stakeholders, continue to diligently try and communicate without over-promising, so there are plans made four or six weeks in advance -- and not two weeks or three months.

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