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NCAA Official Discusses Possible Start to Basketball Season

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With a recent decision to continue with Big 12 football and other fall sports, the next question comes what about basketball and spring sports?

While it has been more than five months since the Mountaineers season-ending victory over the Baylor Bears in March, it appears the athletes will have to wait at least another month to see if the 2020-21 season will proceed as scheduled.

NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt issued a statement Monday on the continuing preparations for a 2020-21 season, indicating contingencies for a Nov. 10 start date are now being considered as a result of COVID-19.

“As we prepare for the 2020-21 college basketball season, we have exercised patience and discipline in monitoring the effects of COVD-19 and making decisions regarding the season,” he said. “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.”

The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees will collaborate on finalizing recommendations for the start of the college basketball season, according to Gavitt.

“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 said.

Gavitt conceded that mid-September is likely only the first milestone in a series of important decisions that must be made in order to conduct a regular college basketball season and postseason championship.

Currently, West Virginia’s men’s team is scheduled to begin its season on Nov. 10 in Morgantown against Fairleigh Dickinson. The annual Backyard Brawl is to occur three days later at the Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 13. The women’s team has not released its non-conference schedule at this point.

Despite the way the season will look remaining up in the air, according to WVU Athletics Aug. 15 COVID testing update, there were zero active cases in men’s basketball and zero active cases in women’s basketball.

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