Finally, there is a little clarity on the 2020-21 Division 1 college basketball season.
Not a lot, by any stretch of the imagination. But some.
On Wednesday night, the Division 1 Council approved moving the first contest date in Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball to Nov. 25 for the 2020-21 season. Programs can begin preseason practices on Oct. 14, and there will be no exhibition games or closed scrimmages allowed.
It’s certainly positive news for coaches and student-athletes anxious to get back on the court. But, as is the case with anything in a COVID-19 pandemic world, it’s all fluid and fickle.
Many things will still have to be ironed out, including travel, scheduling and safety protocols.
“I’m happy for the kids. We’ll get to start our season,” said UMass Lowell women’s coach Tom Garrick. “Our program, we don’t stress about much. I think that’s the best way to approach it and I think it’s the best way for me to keep my sanity. They’re going to tell us when we can play, we’re going to show up and be ready.
“Scheduling doesn’t bother me. We’re going to lose some non-conference games and there’s been discussions nation-wide in different conferences of some type of bubble situation. So everything is still kind of up for debate — I guess that’s the best way I can put it as to how we’re actually going to approach the season. I’m not waiting with bated breath, I’m just kind of holding the flight pattern until they tell us when we can do what we can do.”
Garrick also praised UMass Lowell for putting its student-athletes in a safe environment.
The Division 1 Men’s and Women’s Oversight Committees said moving the start date back from Nov. 10 is intended to have contests begin when at least three-quarters of Division 1 schools will have 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 that can occur between student-athletes and the broader student body population.
In men’s basketball, teams can schedule 24 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to three games; 25 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to two games; or 25 regular-season games if a team does not participate in a multiple-team event.
In women’s basketball, teams can schedule 23 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to four games or schedule 25 regular-season games if a team does not compete in a multiple-team event.
Teams will be considered for NCAA championship selection if they play 13 games against another Division 1 opponent. The Division 1 men’s basketball and Division 1 women’s basketball committees also recommended teams play a minimum of four non-conference games.
It will obviously be ideal for programs to avoid airplane travel as much as possible. Thus, the concept of a bubble — a scaled down version of the NBA’s successful Orlando bubble — is being considered in college basketball circles.
Whether or not that’s doable at the college level remains to be seen, particularly since you’re dealing with amateur athletes who have academic responsibilities.
“I just don’t know if it’s viable,” Garrick said. “My whole thing, and it’s not like it’s coming out of my pocket, so God bless everybody, but if every college is losing money and that’s why we’re trying to get back to normalcy, I don’t know how you could spend that amount of cash on a bubble. But it’s there to be had somewhere, so hopefully we can get things underway and find our new normal.
“We’ve thought about so many different scenarios it’ll make your head spin. But that’s a good thing. People are trying to figure this out for the betterment of everyone.”
Travel is one advantage that mid-major conferences like the America East Conference have. UMass Lowell takes a bus to face eight of its nine AE opponents, with the exception being UMBC. There are also an abundance of schools in the northeast that the River Hawks could play in non-conference contests.
There’s been discussions of pods and home-and-home games. Everything is on the table.
“They’re going to work it out and it’ll be well-thought-out,” Garrick said. “We have great leadership in our conference, so I know that they’ll come up with something that works for everyone and it’ll be an optimal situation — as much as it can be.”
Council members also approved a transition practice period from Sept. 21-Oct. 13, designed to provide additional time for players to prepare for the upcoming season. Teams may participate in strength and conditioning activities, team meetings and skill instruction for up to 12 hours a week, with an eight-hour limit on skill instruction. Players must have two days off per week during the transition period.
After last year’s 16-15 finish and trip to the AE semifinals, Garrick and his team are itching to start playing.
“Now we have a date that we can stick on the calendar and know we have to be ready by then,” Garrick said. “That gives us a goal to shoot for and it’s going to make everybody’s job a lot easier.”آموزش سئو