Sources: Big East Conference, Others Consider Basketball Bubbles
The Big East is "one of several leagues considering setting up bubbles for its men's and women's basketball seasons," according to sources cited by Adam Zagoria of FORBES. A source said, "We're considering it along with several scheduling alternatives." Possible locations include the CHI Health Center Arena in Omaha and IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where the WNBA is "currently playing in a bubble." The source said additional locations "are also being considered." It "remains unclear" if Big East men's and women's basketball "would be in the same or different bubbles." It also is "unclear when conference games would be played in the bubbles and how they would work in relation to school calendars." The Big East "isn't the only league to reach out to officials at IMG, either." A source yesterday said, "Multiple leagues have reached out due to the fact that we've been able to handle the WNBA bubble." The source declined "to mention which other leagues had reached out" (FORBES.com, 8/12).
BUBBLE PLAY IN SIN CITY? UCLA basketball coach Mick Cronin "proposed the possibility of using a bubble in Las Vegas for challenge games between conferences, the Pac-12 tournament or the NCAA tournament, noting that it was feasible because players were completing virtually all of their schoolwork online and wouldn't have to be yanked out of classes." Cronin yesterday said, "I just know we have to think progressively and come up with the best way to do everything." He added, "Hopefully we're all playing home and home with fans in January and there's a vaccine and daily testing and life's great." However, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott yesterday "seemed philosophically opposed to a bubble." Cronin "acknowledged the financial challenges that would prohibit encasing students in a protective environment for an extended period" (L.A. TIMES, 8/13).
SHOW ME THE MONEY: The Athletic’s Frank Isola said there will be a college basketball season because "there's too much money involved." Isola: "They were really blindsided by this. When everything started to shut down, no one knew how to react, they didn't have a plan in place. If everything stays the way it is now, which isn't ideal obviously, you could probably come up with some type of bubble format and have a tournament." He added, "Nobody's going to be playing 30 games. You're probably not going to go down to the Bahamas, maybe not going to go to Hawaii but you can play your conference games and try to pull off some type of tournament. I just think there’s too much money." But ESPN's Michael Wilbon asked regarding a potential bubble, "Who's going to pay for all of that?" (“PTI,” ESPN, 8/12).