The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One council has opted to delay the start of the basketball season by two weeks.
According to an announcement on the NCAA website, the first games will be played on November 25, 2020. In order to keep COVID exposure limited there will be no pre-season games and also no close scrimmages.
“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 towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”
By moving the start date back the council also determined most of the schools will be done their fall terms allowing for the campus’s to be less crowded giving them a little more control of the environment.
The number of games needed to be played, how they are played, and how many you need to qualify for March Madness have also been changed in order to better protect players and staff amid the pandemic.
The announcement currently does not alter the August 14 decision of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to cancel all fall sports.