It is looking more certain that if there is college basketball this season, it won’t be starting until the new year. A new release by Iowa State says as much.
Cyclones athletic director Jamie Pollard put out a new update on ISU athletics this morning. After the NCAA’s decision to cancel fall championships, he says the Big 12 is figuring out how to move forward with the volleyball, soccer and cross country seasons. Meanwhile, the status of winter sports is up in the air.
That includes men’s and women’s basketball. Pollard writes that Iowa State does not believe winter seasons will begin until Jan. 1, 2021 at the earliest.
There have been some significant hints to this being the case in recent days. The Pac-12, which canceled fall sports—including football—this week, isn’t permitting games until Jan. 1. That means the cancellation of the majority of member schools’ non-conference games. That timetable could become the standard if Pollard is right here.
— Iowa State Athletics (@CycloneATH) August 14, 2020
“Neither the NCAA nor the Big 12 have made any decision on winter sports (basketball, wrestling, swimming & diving, gymnastics and track & field). Those discussions will begin in the coming weeks,” Pollard writes in the letter. “At this time, we believe those seasons would likely not start until Jan. 1, 2021.”
ESPN’s Dick Vitale says he recently heard that Jan. 1 could become the effective start date for the college basketball season, citing a “key administrator in a power conference.”
All college sports have to be treated as “up in the air” for the time being. Earlier this week, NCAA vice president Dan Gavitt said pretty definitively that there will be a 2021 NCAA Tournament, after March Madness had to be canceled this year. The NCAA has indicated that it is looking at potential bubble solutions for its championships. Hopefully, with months until they are set to be played, the organization can come up with an effective and safe plan. Of course, that still leaves major questions about how to get through a regular season of some sort first.