NCAA Sets Start Of Basketball Season, Guidelines
The effect of COVID-19 forced an abrupt end to last college basketball season and will now have an impact on the coming one, the NCAA announced in a release Wednesday evening.
The NCAA announced Thursday evening the college basketball season will now begin Nov. 25 instead of early November, and the number of games teams will play are limited.
The start of practice has been pushed back to Oct. 14, teams cannot play more than 27 regular season games, which is four fewer than last season, scrimmages are not allowed and the Division 1 Council has recommended teams cannot play more than four nonconference games.
The change to the start of the season is so teams open up "when at least three-quarters of Division I institutions will have either concluded their fall terms or moved remaining instruction and exams online creating a more controlled and less populated campus environment that may reduce the risk of COVID-19,” NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said in the release.
North Carolina was supposed to play three games in the Maui Invitational in Hawaii in late November, but according to reports, that event will likely move to either Indianapolis of an Indian Reservation casino outside or Asheville, NC. That’s if it takes place.
Among UNC’s scheduled non-ACC games that now likely won’t take place are versus Ohio State in the CBA Sports Classic in Brooklyn, at Monmouth (NJ), a true road game at Hawaii, plus home games versus Elon, Charleston and UNC-Wilmington, plus the Tar Heels’ annual matchup in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which appears unlikely to take place as well.
As for its ACC slate, UNC is slated to play home-and-home games against Clemson, Florida State, Duke, NC State, Syracuse and Miami. The Tar Heels are scheduled to play eight teams once, including at home versus Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, and on the road at Boston College, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Virginia.
More notes about the new rules being adopted, according to the report on NCAA.com:
*The Oct. 15 start date to practice allows teams to practice 30 times over a 42-day period before opening play.
*24 regular-season games and up to three games in one multi-team event.
*25 regular-season games and up to two games in one multi-team event.
*25 regular-season games without playing in a multi-team event.
*A transition period will take place from Sept. 21 to Oct. 13 between out-of-season activity and preseason practice.
*Teams may partake in conditioning, sport-related meetings and skill instruction for up to 12 hours a week.
*Skill instruction may not exceed eight hours a week. Athletes must receive two days per week during this period.
“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” Gavitt said, also in the release. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”
While the waiver process exists for schools to request to play games prior to the Nov. 25 start date, the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee have indicated they are unlikely to support such waivers.