The NCAA Division I Council voted on Wednesday to delay the start of the season a day before Thanksgiving. For the past few weeks, discussions centered around waiting until the 21.2 range until November 22 for the season to begin. The NCAA senior vice president of basketball’s Dan Gavitt said last week on a webinar with athletic directors and other college sports officials that the idea was underway on November 25, as campuses around the country would end their fall semester.
Gavitt said on the webinar, “By Thanksgiving week, November 25, 76% of all Division I schools date I have finished my fell semester completely or released to the general student body.”
With a full month of December for normal students and home in early January, it provides a window of at least six weeks for the college basketball season.
The season was originally expected to begin November 10, with the men’s Champions Classic featuring Duke, Michigan State, Kansas and Kentucky. It is unclear when and how the opening season events and non-conference games will occur for the first two weeks of the season. The bubbles and “controlled environment,” as Gavit referred to them last week, are being considered for several illegal tournaments, sources have told ESPN.
There is only one guideline for the start date on November 25, as the conference and individual schools will make adjustments to fit inside the framework of the Division I Council’s plan for the session.
Gavit said the NCAA still plans for the NCAA tournament to be scheduled in March and April with 68 teams and 14 sites.