NCAA considering interesting changes to the schedule of college basketball's season
College basketball's season could start earlier
If you're one of those people annually bothered by college basketball's start date, you'll be happy to hear that changes could be on the way.
College hoops has been targeted over the past decade for starting its season on a Friday night without a litany of interesting matchups. Personally, this has never much bothered me, but I understand the critiques. So here we are, on the precipice of change. Recent discussions by the Division I Men's Basketball Oversight Committee included this proposal: Start the season on the Tuesday before the second Friday of November.
This amounts to a three-day jumpstart from when college basketball has begun its season in recent years. It's not a drastic change and it's not expanding the calendar of the season all that much. The midweek start would certainly be better for publicity, but it's also on coaches at top-50 programs to schedule each other, schedule ambitiously and help the sport by way of putting forth anticipated tilts.
Moving the start date up to a Tuesday but still having most ranked teams open up with mid-major schools does little to boost awareness or interest of the initiation of a season.
Another tweak that could be on the table, per the NCAA: "Committee members also discussed standardizing the playing season to 21 weeks with a mandatory three- or four-day break for the student-athletes at some point during their school's winter vacation period."
That's probably for the best.
When could this change become official? Legislation for this type of thing would be voted on later this year and would go into effect at the earliest for the 2018-19 season.
"The timing could have other benefits," per the NCAA. "In recent years, it has become part of the sport's culture to hold regular-season openers with ties to U.S. military venues to honor and entertain current and past service members. The date currently being considered would ensure that Veterans Day would be included in the early part of the season annually."
This is, to me, the most important aspect. College basketball's ties to Veterans Day have become a big part of the story when its season begins. Keeping with that newfound tradition must be at the forefront of any discussion tied to the first week of the season.
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