College Basketball Season Might Have Been a Bad Idea This Year
In pre-pandemic times, college basketball season would be welcome with heightened applauds, extreme excitement, and an anxious crowd cheering on the players.
Unfortunately, though, 2020 is quite different, and the basketball world is not immune to the coronavirus.
College Basketball Season 2020
After an eight-month hiatus, and the first-ever postponing of the NCAA tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, college basketball season came to life once again on the 25th of November, 2020.
The decision was issued by the NCAA Division Council, which also underlined some specifications:
- Teams practice could begin from Wednesday, Oct. 14
- No scrimmages or exhibitions will be permitted.
- Maximum contest count to be reduced by four
- Minimum non-conference games to be four
- Only 27 regular-season games to be permitted per team
The Season Should Have Been Postponed till 2021
While the Council did its best to ensure to keep the spread of the virus at bay, it seems like the gesture was good in words only since no sort of ban is currently placed on fans attending the games. Some venues, such as the Xfinity Center, have decided not to permit fans, while most venues are trying to enforce safety protocols and limit the number of people permitted.
But, what kind of social distancing can you even hope to achieve within a closed stadium?
Also, it seems like the Council had forgotten to take the actual players in the Basketball world into account before reaching the decision. Empty stadium or not, the 15 players per team, with the coaches included, and the referee are a big enough number to risk contamination. Additionally, the spread increases when an infected team goes on to play with other different teams.
How Many Cancellations Have There Been So Far?
Only 3 days after the season started, Rick Barnes, coach to the Tennesse men’s team, tested positive for coronavirus, causing two subsequent games to be canceled. Not long after, Georgia and Duke terminated scheduled games with Gardner-Webb, when a case got reported.
Speaking on a radio show from the apartment above his garage, Coach Larry Krystkowiak, to the Utah Uteh Men’s team, announced that he had tested positive, and called off the team’s opening game. All activities were suspended and the Connecticut women’s team postponed four games. Mississipi canceled an on-campus four-team event.
Additionally, Wichita State withdrew from an eight-team tournament, after several team members reportedly tested positive. After flying across the country, Arizona state learned that their opponent would be pulling out of the game due to the virus, too. However, it will now be competing against Rhode Island.
The Bottom Line
Perhaps being in a rush to start college basketball season will land the US in quite a pickle, especially because hundreds of thousands of cases are already being reported in the country on a weekly basis. With so many cases emerging, now will be the perfect time for the Council to postpone the season and attempt to control the situation.
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