CBS Sports reports that the NCAA is hoping to start its basketball seasons on either November 25 or December 4 – a delay of only 2-3 weeks from original plans.
The NCAA’s plans for college basketball could have major ripple effects for swimming & diving, also a winter sport at the college level. Conferences have been split on fall sports, with some moving forward with slightly-delayed seasons and others postponing all fall sports to the spring. There’s also a possibility, though, that basketball continues in the winter while other winter sports are postponed or adjusted, the same way several major conferences have kept football (a major revenue-driver like basketball) in the fall while moving other fall sports.
- Option 1: no change to original dates
- Practices start Sept. 29
- Competitive season begins Nov. 10
- Option 2: ten-day delay
- Practices start Oct. 9
- Competitive season begins Nov 20
- Option 3: roughly two-week delay
- Practices start Oct. 14
- Competitive season begins Nov. 25
- Option 4: roughly three-week delay
- Practices start Oct. 24
- Competitive season begins Dec. 4
The CBS report says that “Nov. 25 and Dec. 4 are at this point considered the preferred dates,” with one source telling CBS that November 25 was the current frontrunner. That would be a delay of about two weeks to the season from original plans. The Thanksgiving holiday seems to be a popular time to start competitions, CBS reports, because college campuses would be relatively empty over the holiday when hosting the first college basketball games of the season.
Officials are hoping to settle on a set of dates at a scheduled meeting of the NCAA oversight committees on Monday, August 31. That decision could still change based on the coronavirus pandemic and how the football season goes for those schools still competing.
Swimming, like basketball, is a winter sport, but typically swims a fall season of dual meets and invites. Most Division I swimming programs would be starting practices at some point in the next month, with competition typically beginning in early September.