NCAA approves new start date for basketball

Sports

WCIA — The NCAA pushed back its start date for men’s and women’s basketball on Wednesday, announcing games will not begin before Nov. 25. That’s 15 days before the originally scheduled date.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said in a statement. “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.”

 The Division I Men’s Basketball and Division I Women’s Basketball committees are recommending teams play a minimum of four non-conference games. Practices can start Oct. 14.

The maximum number of contests was reduced by four, given that the season will start 15 days later than originally scheduled. 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 meet sport sponsorship requirements and be considered for NCAA championship selection if they play 13 games, which represents a 50 percent reduction of the current minimum. For NCAA championship consideration, all 13 games must be against another Division I opponent.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” said NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt. “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.”

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