Report: Big Ten, Big East Among Conferences Discussing Playing CBB in Bubble

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

The new Big Ten Conference logo
Tony Ding/Associated Press

Multiple conferences, including the Big Ten and Big East, have reportedly had preliminary discussions about holding the 2020-21 season in a bubble.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported the idea is one of many being considered at the moment, and Jeff Goodman identified the conferences.

The NBA, NHL and MLS have found success holding their seasons in the so-called bubble, which isolates players from the general public.

The NCAA containing its players to one area has several potential roadblocks, the most prominent being college athletes are not considered employees. Each of the aforementioned professional leagues collectively bargained a bubble with their respective union. College basketball players would have no such representative.

Creating a bubble for college basketball would have to include some acknowledgement that players are employees, a categorization the NCAA has regularly fought.

Then there are the logistical problems that would come with setting up what one would assume would be several bubbles across the country. It's likely conferences would want to prioritize league play because that is where a majority of their revenue comes from, aside from rights deals for the NCAA Tournament. 

Players also remain students and would have to be taking classes that would allow for online learning. The conferences would likely have to hire several tutors full time to stay in the bubble with players as well. 

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