NCAA to Provide Direction on Status of 2020 CBB Season by Mid-September

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2020

FILE - In this March 14, 2012, file photo, a player runs across the NCAA logo during practice at the NCAA tournament college basketball in Pittsburgh. The NCAA is on its heels again, playing defense of its archaic amateurism rules after missing an opportunity to get out in front of an issue.  (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

The NCAA announced it is currently considering contingency plans for the 2020-21 college basketball season and will make a decision by next month. 

"By mid-September, we will provide direction about whether the season and practice start on time or a short-term delay is necessitated by the ongoing pandemic," NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said in a statement.

The season is currently scheduled to begin on Nov. 10.

The coronavirus pandemic caused the NCAA to cancel both the 2020 men's and women's basketball tournaments, followed by the entire spring season of sports.

While the NCAA hasn't made any decision about the college football season, many conferences have individually canceled fall sports, including the Big Ten and Pac-12, the latter of which canceled all sports through the end of the calendar year, which will impact men's and women's basketball.

The SEC, ACC and Big 12 remain the only Power Five conferences still scheduled to move forward with the fall seasons, although they each were forced to adjust their schedules to mostly conference-only seasons.

These changes have occurred while over 160,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NCAA president Mark Emmert hinted the college basketball season could move forward but we might see a smaller March Madness in a bubble scenario.

"Starting with 64 teams is tough," Emmert said of the regular NCAA Tournament format, per Kyle Boone of CBS Sports. "Thirty-two, OK, maybe that's a more manageable number." 

The schools must first decide whether a regular season is viable amid the ongoing pandemic and if any delays or adjustments to the schedule are needed.