The NCAA’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee will propose a start date of November 25 to the Division I Council for the 2020-21 season, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
Per Rothstein, the committee will also propose no college basketball scrimmages and exhibitions due to health and safety reasons tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The college basketball season was initially scheduled to start November 10.
Reports of the possible start of college basketball season come amid general uncertainty about how sports can proceed. Some major conferences, such as both the Big Ten and Pac-12, have postponed their fall sports seasons. The Pac-12, in particular, postponed all athletic competitions until at least the end of this calendar year, meaning that both men’s and women’s basketball among other sports will be impacted. Other major conferences, however, are still proceeding with their fall seasons.
In mid-August, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said that despite uncertainty pertaining to COVID-19, there will be March Madness in 2021.
“We are going to have a tournament,” Gavitt said in a conversation with Andy Katz, 2021 selection committee chair Mitch Barnhart and longtime basketball coach Craig Robinson. “It’s going to be special. We have our preferences about how we’d like to have it be, but if we have to adjust to the virus, which we don’t control, we will adjust accordingly. The health and safety of the players and the coaches and all the people around the games — the referees and fans — will be primary. But ultimately it will also include determining a national champion in the fairest and most equitable way that we can under these unusual circumstances.”
Gavitt added that they are planning for possible contingencies, but did not go into specifics citing “that’s not what our primary goal is.”
NCAA president Mark Emmert is among a group of NCAA leaders who have discussed the potential of a bubble structure for tournaments.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported Monday that the NCAA applied to trademark the phrase “Battle in the Bubble,” which could apply to tournaments and other athletic events.
The 2020 men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled just days before they were set to begin last March.
It marked the first year the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has not been played since its inception in 1939.