NCAA Says College Basketball Season Can Start The Day Before Thanksgiving

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The NCAA Division I Council announced on Wednesday that the 2020-2021 men’s and women’s college basketball seasons can begin on Nov. 25.

Keith Srakocic/AP

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Keith Srakocic/AP

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The council also lowered the maximum number of games a team can play in the shortened season. Men’s teams can schedule 24 or 25 regular-season games in addition to one multiple-team event. Women’s teams can schedule 23 regular-season games and one multiple-team event, or 25 regular-season games.

Teams must play a minimum of 13 games in order to meet sport sponsorship requirements and be considered for NCAA championship selection, which the council said amounts to a 50% reduction of the current minimum.

Officials said programs can begin their preseason practices on Oct. 14, regardless of when their first scheduled game occurs. Council members also approved a transition period, allowing athletes to participate in strength and conditioning activities and skill instruction for a certain number of hours per week from Sept. 21 to Oct. 13.

Gavitt said games and events already on the calendar between Nov. 10 and Nov. 25 will have to be rescheduled, noting schools can request waivers to play earlier but are unlikely to receive them.

«Because this is really based on medical and health and safety reasons, the oversight committees are not very open-minded about supporting waivers to start earlier than the 25th,» Gavitt said.

Conference and team schedules have not yet been released.

  • coronavirus on campus
  • college sports
  • NCAA basketball


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