Matt Norlander of CBS Sports provided the college sports world with a shred of good news on Monday evening: the NCAA has picked four start dates for college basketball that they are slated to discuss.
His sources said that NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt told conference commissioners that these four dates would be discussed as potential starting points for the college basketball season:
First practices allowed: Sept. 29
First day of season: Nov. 10 (No change to start of season)
First practices allowed: Oct. 9
First day of season: Nov. 20
First practices allowed: Oct. 14
First day of season: Nov. 25
First practices allowed: Oct. 24
First day of season: Dec. 4
According to Norlander’s sources, starting the season around Thanksgiving has gained a lot of traction due to the fact that most students won’t be on campus then. There are apparently a whole host of meetings that are happening this week that will help decide the fate of the season.
Sources told CBS Sports the NCAA’s men’s basketball oversight committee and the men’s basketball selection committee are holding separate meetings Wednesday to discuss these potential start dates, among other action items. On Thursday, Division I conference commissioners will hold a meeting to discuss the basketball season, as will the NABC. On Friday, the women’s basketball committee and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association will convene and seek feedback on the recommended models as well.
Obviously the decision makers for college hoops will be closely watching how the altered college football season goes. The ACC, Big XII and SEC are still planning on playing football this fall and will provide a bunch of new data points for how playing college sports can/can’t be safely done.
It should be noted that Tennessee Volunteers 247Sports writer Grant Ramey reported that Wisconsin contacted Tennessee after cancelling football to assure them that they still planned on playing basketball at the regular time.
In a Zoom call with reporters, Rick Barnes said after the Big Ten cancelled fall football, Wisconsin called the next day saying they still planned to play basketball on time.— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) August 24, 2020
Vols scheduled to open season at Wisconsin on Nov. 11.
Surely the NCAA will also be monitoring how campuses being reopened are affected by COVID-19, as North Carolina and Notre Dame have had large outbreaks mere days after opening.
“They’re trying to be transparent with everyone, given the lack of a central figure and central decision making with major football,” another conference commissioner told CBS Sports. “They’re trying to take some of the feedback and criticism that’s existed in that sport and trying to be more transparent with basketball decision-making.”