Six months after the college basketball world came to a screeching halt, The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference proposed their plan to bring hoops back.
MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor told Stadium’s Jeff Goodman about the conference’s timeline of bringing games back to the hardwood after their abrupt stop in March.
Under the proposal, the 20-game conference season will begin on December 8, with games being played three days apart instead of the traditional Thursday-Saturday arrangement for women and Friday-Sunday slate for men.
Non-conference play is still very much up in the air. The NCAA Division I council will meet Wednesday to discuss a possible start date for the season. The original November 10 date will more than likely be pushed back to sometime in late November or early December. At best, teams are looking at about five non-conference games before MAAC play begins.
Ensor told Goodman that the league considered using the bubble format that has worked so well for the NBA, but the schools opted for on-campus play for safety and financial reasons.
Ensor said that a group of four presidents and four athletic directors proposed the model. Fans are out of the question until at least December 23 with a final to decision coming later in the season.
The MAAC Tournament is scheduled for March 9-13 in Atlantic City, the site of the heartbreaking screeching halt for the men’s and women’s teams last year.
Based on what we have learned about returning to sports during a pandemic, the plan is likely to change at some point. The MAAC is one of the first conferences to release a plan for the upcoming season. Once the NCAA Division I council meets on Wednesday and other conferences begin rolling out their plans, the college basketball landscape will begin to look much clearer.
There is no doubt that the college basketball season will have some bumps in the road. Through all of the uncertainty though, the MAAC is one of the conferences showing early optimism for something resembling a full season and attempting to bring college sports back.
On Wednesday, the NCAA announced the season will begin on November 25.
Edited by Mackenzie Meaney