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NCAA eyes mid-September decision on start time for basketball season

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MORGANTOWN, WV (WV Illustrated) – It has been 163 days since West Virginia’s season-ending upset over Baylor on the basketball court — but the Mountaineers likely won’t know for another month whether their 2020 season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson will tip off as scheduled.

Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, released a statement on Monday outlining the current status of college basketball, stating that he and his colleagues have “exercised patience and discipline” amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will keep monitoring the situation before their planned 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,” Gavitt said. “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.”

Gavitt also says the oversight committees have explored various contingency plans for the upcoming season.

“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,” Gavitt continued. “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.”

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