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NCAA basketball season could see its start pushed back

While the start of 2020 college football season has been an up-and-down mess, the NCAA is hoping to avoid a repeat performance when it comes to college basketball.

In recent days, Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, has spoken publicly about the sport’s efforts to have a 2020-21 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA will consider a variety of contingencies; Gavitt and other leaders have mentioned the possibility of a bubble for the NCAA Tournaments, too.

Costs could certainly be a limiting factor; however, the NBA and WNBA have offered up a bit of a template for safely hosting an elongated stretch of basketball.

On Monday, Gavitt and the NCAA pushed out an official statement, which echoed what Gavitt mentioned last week: the expectation of a decision by mid-September regarding the current Sept. 29 start date (for practice) for teams that are set to play Nov. 10.

In the coming weeks, the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees will take the lead with me in a collaborative process of finalizing any recommendations for consideration by the NCAA Division I Council for the start of the college basketball season. By mid-September, we will provide direction about whether the season and practice start on time or a short-term delay is necessitated by the ongoing pandemic.

Back in March, the NCAA was forced to cancel the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. It marked the first time since 1939 with no NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the first time since 1982 with no NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.