Despite uncertainty surrounding university sports and the logistics of how soccer and basketball seasons may want to be performed safely in the midst of a pandemic, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt dropped a bomb to start the month of August.
In an interview with NCAA.com’s Andy Katz, Gavitt now not solely demonstrated the NCAA was once nevertheless planning an on-time start to university basketball on November 10, but brought that he used to be “certain” they’d find a way to play this season as lengthy as the game is “being played safely somewhere in the world.”
So what would “different” suggest for college basketball? This afternoon, university basketball insider Jon Rothstein broke the news that various energy conferences have had early discussions about playing games in a “bubble” kind setting, including that it’s a route gaining traction due to student-athletes’ capacity to take on line classes.
While the SEC is no longer one of the leagues in present day discussions about a university basketball bubble – Jeff Goodman mentioned that the Big East and Big Ten have been the first two conferences to do so – the Kentucky basketball application has in reality hooked up its own bubble to get players on campus and settled in safely.
“We’re safe as long as no one’s breaking the bubble,” UK head teach John Calipari advised the media back in July. “We’re just trying to defend against all that stuff. And we’re unique. I mean, we’re in the (Wildcat Coal) Lodge the place they’re in a single room with a single bathroom. They stroll throughout the parking lot (and) they’re in a sterile gym that no one else is using. No one else is in the building. Conditioning is outside.
Kentucky basketball’s bubble has no longer solely allowed student-athletes to cross into their dorms and get pictures up from time to time, they’ve been able to research the system with coaches on hand. Before giving gamers a one-week spoil to head domestic and see their households – the group will be again in its entirety on Sunday – UK used to be in a position to get its first look at a 5-man offense with the new group.
With Calipari’s self-proclaimed gold popular of sterile bubbles working to close to perfection, ought to the SEC seem to be to Kentucky for idea involving comparable on-campus bubbles to resume the season?
In this scenario, though, the SEC would have to go ahead with a conference-only schedule, comparable to the tough pass they made in football. As difficult as it would be to leave out out on high-profile activities and contention matchups, a conference-only schedule would probably be the solely way to keep away from man or woman contract disputes with non-conference foes, especially with smaller schools.
This past year, Kentucky’s SEC agenda began on January 4 with a domestic matchup against Missouri and ended with on March 7 with a avenue win over Florida. When you take out the team’s avenue trip to Lubbock, TX to take on Texas Tech on Jan. 25, the entire 18-game conference slate used to be carried out in roughly two months. The SEC’s ten-game conference-only soccer schedule is currently scheduled to commence on Sept. 26, with a midseason bye week and open date for all programs on Dec. 12 prior to the SEC Championship being performed on Dec. 19. 14 scheduled weeks for the university football season.
The University of Kentucky has announced November 24 as the final day of in-person instructions this fall in hopes of getting students off campus by Thanksgiving. After participating in man or woman preseason camps and getting shut to game shape at their own respective on-campus basketball facilities, the different 13 faculties may want to head to Lexington for a quarantine duration beginning, say, Saturday, Nov. 14. The SEC and character colleges would have to signal off on athletes moving to online-only training a week earlier than initially planned.
NBA players, for instance, entered the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex bubble in Orlando beginning July 7 and exhibition video games started on July 22, followed by means of legitimate video games returning July 30.
While this state of affairs would maximize time with students off campus (UK’s Spring Semester is tentatively set to begin Jan. 13), the season should also start in January and end “on time” if the SEC is hellbent on pushing matters returned to 2021.