Report: NCAA committees propose later start date for college basketball

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Wednesday, September 2, 2020
A Lafayette basketball player shoots a jump shot on the NCAA floor logo during practice for an NCAA college basketball second round game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
A Lafayette basketball player shoots a jump shot on the NCAA floor logo during practice for an NCAA college basketball second round game in Pittsburgh Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

— The NCAA’s oversight committees for men’s and women’s basketball agreed Tuesday to propose a new start date for the 2020-21 college basketball season, according to a report.

CBS Sports college basketball analyst Matt Norlander wrote Wednesday morning the proposed target date is Nov. 25, more than two weeks later than the originally-scheduled Nov. 10 start to the season.

The proposal will be sent to the NCAA Division I Council, and if approved at a Sept. 16 meeting, the day before Thanksgiving will become the new opening day of the season.

Should the Nov. 25 date be approved, preseason practices could begin as early as Oct. 14, according to the report. The Razorbacks haven't started a season that late since 1994-95 when they opened with a Nov. 25 game at UMass.

In an interview with WholeHogSports.com last week, Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said he was hopeful the season would begin on time. The Razorbacks are scheduled to open with a Nov. 10 game against Oral Roberts at home.

“We’re just taking it day by day. We hope to play as early as possible and play as many games as possible,” Musselman said. “We’re trying to do everything we can on our end to keep healthy. We can only control what we do between our own doors.”

A later start to the season would have an impact on Arkansas’ known nonconference schedule. In addition to the ORU matchup, the Razorbacks are also scheduled to play a pair of games in the MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas on Nov. 20 and 22. The MGM event is also expected to include two on-campus home games in November.

Arkansas is also scheduled to host Northern Illinois on Nov. 28, Texas-Arlington on Dec. 2, Lipscomb on Dec. 5 and Abilene Christian on Dec. 23, and face Oklahoma in Tulsa on Dec. 12 and Old Dominion in North Little Rock on Dec. 19. The Razorbacks are under contract to play at Tulsa on a date to be determined.

An SEC spokesperson confirmed this summer the Razorbacks will also be part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge in January.

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