Rick Pitino skeptical for 2021-21 season, warns college basketball 'nearly impossible' with protocols
Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino has some harsh words for the NCAA as the college basketball season tips off in nearly two weeks.
Pitino is not the only one skeptical about the upcoming hoops season. With COVID-19 concerns already lingering, the Ivy League has announced the cancellation of winter sports on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the B1G still doesn’t have a conference schedule in place with the Nov. 25 start date for the season quickly approaching. The ACC-B1G Challenge is still on the schedule, as are other non-conference games for teams within the B1G, but the conference has yet to announce a league slate.
As everything remains in flux, Pitino laments that the NCAA needed to be more flexible and creative with scheduling during the pandemic. Pitino believes the college basketball season even could be in jeopardy.
For Pitino, he would have been open to the idea of an NCAA-wide style tournament that was proposed earlier in the year:
The NCAA basketball committee going to wish they listened to the ACC proposal to have an open NCAA tournament. Protocol makes this basketball season nearly impossible to survive.
— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) November 13, 2020
Last season’s NCAA Tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
While Pitino is now coaching at a mid-major (Iona), his voice is still one of the largest in the sport. It’ll be interesting to see if any other big-name coaches will push for the ACC’s proposal as a safety net to avoid March Madness from being eliminated again.