On the heels of the Big Ten announcing their return to play fall sports as well as the path paved for the Pac-12 to do the same, on Wednesday the Division I Council approved moving the first contest date in Division I men’s and women’s basketball to Nov. 25 for the 2020-21 season.
Additionally, no exhibition games or closed scrimmages will be allowed before that date.
The original start date was slated for Nov. 10.
By shifting the date back, at least three-quarters of Division I schools will have concluded their fall terms or moved remaining instruction and exams online, which would create a more controlled and less populated campus environment. The schedule shift is intended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 that can occur between student-athletes and the broader student body population, the Division I Men’s and Women’s Oversight Committees said in a release.
The release also states that the maximum number of contests was reduced by four, given that the season will start 15 days later than originally scheduled.
“In men’s basketball, teams can schedule 24 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to three games; 25 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to two games; or 25 regular-season games if a team does not participate in a multiple-team event. In women’s basketball, teams can schedule 23 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to four games or schedule 25 regular-season games if a team does not compete in a multiple-team event. For NCAA championship consideration, all 13 games must be against another Division I opponent. The Division I Men's Basketball and Division I Women's Basketball committees also recommended teams play a minimum of four nonconference games.”
Programs can begin preseason practice on October 14 and will have 42 days to conduct a maximum of 30 practices. During this time, players can work out up to 20 hours per week, four hours per day, and must have one day off per week.
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