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NCAA: Expect Mid-September Update on Timing of Practices, Season

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VP for Basketball Dan Gavitt announced via press release

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-NCAA President Press Conference Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Circle the middle of next month on your countdown calendar.

In a press release posted today, the NCAA and SVP for Basketball Dan Gavitt announced that they will be giving an update in approximately four weeks:

As we prepare for the 2020-21 college basketball season, we have exercised patience and discipline in monitoring the effects of COVID-19 and making decisions regarding the season. We have learned a great deal over the course of the summer, and with health and safety being our priority, we have developed and studied contingency plans for alternatives to the scheduled Nov. 10 start date.

In the coming weeks, the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees will take the lead with me in a collaborative process of finalizing any recommendations for consideration by the NCAA Division I Council for the start of the college basketball season. By mid-September, we will provide direction about whether the season and practice start on time or a short-term delay is necessitated by the ongoing pandemic.

We recognize that we are living and operating in an uncertain time, and it is likely that mid-September will be just the first milestone for many important decisions pertaining to the regular season and the NCAA basketball championships. While circumstances may warrant flexibility resulting in a different and perhaps imperfect season, the ultimate goal is to safely provide student-athletes and teams with a great college basketball experience.

This at least kicks the can down the road toward a tangible next deadline. In an interview over the weekend NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline delivered this blunt assessment: “Right now, if testing in the US stays the way it is, there’s no way we can go forward with sports...We’re not in a place today where we can safely play sports.”

We’re all living in limbo (and waiting for Ryan Mutombo to make his college decision, of course), but the Georgetown Hoyas and their fans will have to hold out a little while longer before the powers-that-be provide any additional insight.

Hoya Saxa.