Documents show how college basketball can be played in a bubble at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut in December


The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which annually joins multi-team college basketball events, has sent a detailed pitch to several NCAA stakeholders and college basketball programs about how a bubble has at least 32 teams for at least 16 teams The plan to host the games is from December 9-20, according to confidential documents obtained by CBS Sports.

There is the Mohegan Sun in Unsville, Connecticut, where a still anonymous event will occur. The Basketball Hall of Fame, located in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts, has played its tip-off tournament at the resort and casino since 2011.

The Hall of Fame will conduct the program with the substantial assistance of Mohegan Sun. Repeated COVID-19 testing will be provided by Connecticut-based Hartford Healthcare. In addition to two events run by the Hall of Fame – Tip-Off Tournament and Hall of Fame Invitational – sources have also considered relocating CBS Sports The Empire The Classic, The Gotham Classic and Legends Classic. New York City area tournament planned until Unsville. Here are 35 schools associated with each of those five events:

  • The empire: Boiler, Michigan, NC State, Villanova

  • Gotham: Green Bay, Jacksonville State, Iona, LSU, Mercer, Stony Brook, Syracuse

  • Legends: Yukon, Eastern Washington, High Point, Liberty, Monmouth, Notre Dame, USC, Vanderbilt

  • tip off: Albany, Leh, LEU, Marquette, Minnesota, Quinnipiac, Rhode Island, UCF

  • Of invitation: Army, Florida, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Purdue, Siena, Stanford, West Virginia

The total teams for the event remain to be determined, but 16 are the initial goals. A source said that there is also the possibility of organizing two separate bubble events to accommodate more teams. If that happened, the combined teams through Empire, Gotham and Legends could tie in with more MTE tournaments to accommodate each other’s major schedule. While ESPN carried several of its annual November MTE events for Disney World in Orlando, another source said discussions were ongoing about whether it would make more sense for some teams to swap out of an ESPN event I will come Home, in the Northeast, in Mohegan Sun.

The opening pitch of the Basketball Hall of Fame is entirely: an 18-page operations plan; 13-page outline on basketball specials and health protocols; And an attached scheduling format for a four-game round-robin that would allow each team to receive four nonconfidence games during a 12-day trip.

“Upon arrival, all services are not required to exit the property until the ‘bubble’ is completed,” Pitch reads.

Sixteen schools will be divided into two pools of eight. According to the document, “Bracket A will play on December 12, 14, 16 and 18. Bracket B will play on December 13, 15, 17 and 19.” It is not yet known which schools will be in which brackets.

The first three days will be for travel and arrival (9 December), a test day, one day before the game begins. The game schedule includes 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm and 8 pm – all time Eastern and “a national television partner will broadcast the event.”

Mohegan is an attractive bubble spot not only for its pro-level basketball arena (it is home to the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA) and history in hosting college basketball events, but because it is already in the time of the Coronovirus game. Has gained experience organizing: a bubble hub for boxing and mixed martial arts. According to documents obtained by CBS Sports, the Basketball Hall of Fame has determined at this point “there will either be no fan recruits or very limited capacity using the Arena’s upper level. The property is open to guests every day. Friends. And families can join the Mohegan Sun and any interactions between friends and family are subject to review by each school. ”

The Mohegan Sun is secluded in the southeast part of Connecticut: it sits about an hour from the airports of both Providence and Hartford and consists of two hotel towers, approximately 1,600 rooms, and ample social-distance-friendly meeting space and team There are ballrooms for practice.

To participate in the program, a protocol mandates everyone in the team travel team to produce a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving at the resort. Thermal scanning will be required for everyone throughout the campus, which also has “100% ultraviolet coverage” to help combat coronovirus.

In its pitch, the Hall of Fame also lists these health and safety measures:

  • “Masks are required by all participants and staff until the time of playing or feeding”.
  • “All hotel rooms are fogged between each guest stay using electrostatic sanitizer”
  • “Masks will be mandatory for all Mohengan Sun team members and guests of the program”
  • “Plexiglas is installed at all transaction points on the property”
  • “Restaurants operating under State of CT and CDC guidelines”
  • “Arena production staff are tested weekly according to Mohegan Sun’s protocol before working in any program at the Arena”
  • “On-property testing is available to any staff member with COVID-19 symptoms”

The memo also states: “The test will repeat each day with a faster version of the COVID-19 test at consecutive stops. The re-test will take place in the morning of the closed day.”

For a 16-team event, a team should be expected to be tested four times. At this stage, the Hall of Fame plans to have a deep nasal swap for the type of test, called “anterior nasal detection”.

No person associated with the incident – players, coaches, team personnel, referees, etc. – will be allowed to leave the Mohegan Sun property before performing their duties. The teams will have an entire hotel floor for themselves.

“Other guests at the property will not be allowed on the team floor for the duration of the stay,” the memorandum states.

The Hall of Fame also promises that the Mohegan Sun will guide teams before and after the game and allow them to walk in private hallways and corridors and avoid the general public using the resort. The arena has seven locker rooms, which is ideal for organizing a program with so many schools. The Mohegan Sun Expo Center will also have assembled practice courts, covering 170,000 sq ft and will be cleaned before each practice session. (Look below.)

Should anyone produce a positive COVID-19 test, “the person in question will immediately quarantine in a new hotel room with an exit planned and the Mohegan Sun contact tracing program in motion.” The memorandum – which is not a final draft and is seeking feedback from schools and stakeholders – does not mention how the incident would work around a team or multiple teams due to an outbreak of coronovirus.

Schools will pay $ 75,000 to participate; Travel will not be included in that cost. Teams will be provided with 15 rooms and receive three meals as 25 people at a travel party, as well as a promise that any and all expenses tied to running the MTE will be awarded to the Hall of Fame and / or Mohegan. Will fall on the flax. Schools will be responsible for all transportation of property.

The initial plan indicates that the media will be allowed the event to cover the game, although it does not specify the maximum capacity for the press. Media will be socially distant in the skybox level. The team bench will also be socially distracting with six feet between chairs, as we have seen in their respective bubbles with the NBA and WNBA.

“This plan is subject to change as we are closely following the CDC rules and recommendations and will follow these regulations [sic] And recommendations as needed, ”one of the documents.

The Basketball Hall of Fame plans come at a time when there is movement going on behind the scenes in sports. Event organizers around the country are trying to prepare for the adjustment ahead of the Division I Council vote on September 16, which could extend the college basketball start date to November 25. An example: Sources tell CBS Sports that Battle 4 is preparing for Atlantis. Transfer your tournament out of the Bahamas and, at this point, are looking at the Pentagon basketball facility in Sioux Falls in South Dakota as the preferred option.

Anchored in the Northeast with so many Division I schools, Mohegan Sun college basketball establishes itself as an ideal place for great bubble experimentation. Across sports coaches already wonder if such bubbles for college basketball, if they can be pulled with dozens of teams at the same place at the same time, will be the most non-existent for the 2020-21 season. – Confidence slate will be included. If so, they will become precious, important opportunities for all schools. No official movement is expected to take place until after the Division I Council has decided on a plan to start the season.