Top NCAA Exec Proposes Starting Basketball Season Two Weeks Early
The NCAA’s highest-ranking basketball exec has "floated the idea to conference leaders about accelerating the start of the men’s basketball season, moving it up two weeks to increase scheduling flexibility and get more games played in the event of a winter interruption," according to Pat Forde of SI.com. NCAA Senior VP/Basketball Dan Gavitt said that he has "proposed moving season-opening games from Nov. 10 to Oct. 27, with perhaps a corresponding acceleration of practice from the currently scheduled start date of Sept. 29." The goal is for schools to play "something closer to a full slate of regular-season games amid what could be an uncertain collegiate school year both academically and athletically." With many schools shutting down campus between Thanksgiving and the start of second-semester courses in January, Gavitt said that it is "'almost a certainty' that some basketball games scheduled for that window will be canceled." Ford writes the "optics of leaving winter sports teams on campus for six weeks or more while their fellow students are home is an issue, and there are concerns about traveling for several non-conference games during that time." Gavitt’s solution "would call for front-loading the schedule with up to four games played per team in that window between Oct. 27 and Nov. 10." Gavitt said that he first started "sounding out conference leaders about the concept a couple of weeks ago, and response to the idea thus far falls into the wait-and-see category" (SI.com, 7/6).