NCAA VP has 'high level of confidence' college basketball returns for 2020-21 season
There are still a lot of uncertainties regarding college athletics as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the country. It’s unclear whether or not college football and other fall sports will be played in 2020, and very few have started looking ahead to winter and spring sports for the upcoming academic year.
NCAA Senior Vice President Dan Gavitt remains quite optimistic that a great college basketball season awaits this year, though. After last year’s March Madness tournament had to be canceled due to the pandemic, Gavitt is looking forward to the return of the sport.
“In college basketball, we are still planning on starting the season, right now, on schedule on November 10,” Gavitt told Andy Katz.
Gavitt pointed to the NBA’s safe restart (so far) as a reason behind his confidence for the upcoming season.
“We’re all looking forward to the NBA finishing their season, the playoffs, crowning a world champion,” he said. “As long as basketball is being played safely anywhere in the world this season, we’ll be playing NCAA college basketball as well, both regular season and certainly the tournament in 2021.”
Conference tournaments and the NCAA tournaments were interrupted last season due to the pandemic. The association opted to cancel the postseason out of an abundance of caution and uncertainty when the virus first hit the nation.
Gavitt admits that the season won’t look the same as previous years. There are adjustments that will be made and alternative plans in place.
“We’ve got all sorts of plans and alternatives that we’re looking at in order to be able to do that in a safe and responsible way. But a high level of confidence that there’s going to be, while different, a great experience playing college basketball again for those guys that want to come back to school, finish their education, and have a great college basketball experience,” Gavitt said.
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) August 1, 2020