According to multiple reports, the NCAA men’s and women’s oversight committee is ready to propose a new start date for the college basketball season.
On Tuesday, Jon Rothstein reported that Wednesday, Nov. 25 will be the proposed start date for the 2020-21 season.
In addition, Rothstein also reported the committee will also propose that no scrimmages or exhibitions take place this season due to ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current scheduled start for the 2020-21 season is Tuesday, Nov. 10. If Nov. 25 becomes the new start date, practice would not begin until Wednesday, Oct. 14.
Changes to the start date would have a dramatic impact on non-conference schedules throughout the country.
Indiana has signed contracts for games at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for Nov. 10 (NJIT) and Nov. 13 (Western Michigan) and also is scheduled to participate in the 2020 Maui Invitational. There has been no announcement from the Maui Invitational yet on the status of that event, but one participant, Stanford, may be unable to compete as the PAC-12 already announced that no sports will be played this calendar year.
In addition to the NJIT and Western Michigan games, Indiana also has agreements to play Robert Morris and Nebraska Omaha in December at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. However, the status of all guarantee games in college basketball appears to be up in the air if fans cannot attend games this winter. Without gate revenue, it would make little sense for schools to pay opponents for games in their home arenas.
The next step, according to Matt Norlander, will be sending the proposed start date to the Division I council. The council is expected to meet on Wednesday, Sept. 16, according to Norlander.
As we prepare for the 2020-21 college basketball season, we have exercised patience and discipline in monitoring the effects of COVID-19 and making decisions regarding the season. We have learned a great deal over the course of the summer, and with health and safety being our priority, we have developed and studied contingency plans for alternatives to the scheduled Nov. 10 start date.
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.
We recognize that we are living and operating in an uncertain time, and it is likely that mid-September will be just the first milestone for many important decisions pertaining to the regular season and the NCAA basketball championships. While circumstances may warrant flexibility resulting in a different and perhaps imperfect season, the ultimate goal is to safely provide student-athletes and teams with a great college basketball experience.