NCAA basketball is back.
The NCAA’s Division I Council voted Nov. 25 as the start date for the 2020-2021 college basketball season on Wednesday.
“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” said NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing toward the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”
Fresno State basketball, however, still needs to hear from Fresno County and the campus on how they will handle the resumption of athletics at Fresno State.
“We appreciate the NCAA’s determination on men’s and women’s basketball and we are excited about the possibility of college basketball returning nationally in the near future,” Fresno State Athletics Director Terry Tumey said in a statement. “That said, we continue to work through the same circumstances that we have since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which include working with our campus leadership and county public health officials to allow for the safe reintroduction of student-athletes to our campus and the resumption of athletic activity here at Fresno State.”
Fresno State and the Mountain West (MW) conference do not have set schedules for the upcoming season at this time.
The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Oversight Committees explained that moving the start date back from Nov. 10 is to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in a more controlled and less populated campus environment.
The max number of regular-season games has been reduced to 27 games, four less than the normal amount.
In men’s basketball, programs can schedule 24 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to three games; 25 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to two games; or 25 regular-season games if a team does not participate in a multiple-team event.
Women’s basketball can schedule 23 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to four games or schedule 25 regular-season games if teams do not compete in a multiple-team event.
Men’s and women’s basketball programs will be able to begin practice on Oct. 14 and will have 42 days to conduct a maximum of 30 practices.
For NCAA championship consideration, teams must play at least 13 games and those games must be against another Division I opponent. The Division I Men’s Basketball and Division I Women’s Basketball committees also recommended teams play a minimum of four non-conference games.
Earlier this month, the conference said winter and spring sports would proceed as originally planned.
The NCAA decision comes five days after both women’s and men’s basketball oversight committees submitted joint recommendations to start on Nov. 21.