NCAA announces start date to Division I basketball season

Owen MacMillan Sports editor

Kent State basketball will return this fall for the first time since the cancellation of the Mid-American Conference basketball tournament due to the initial spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCAA Division I council announced Sept. 16 that men’s and women’s basketball teams would be allowed to begin their seasons on Nov. 25.

“It’s exciting that we have a start date and it’s exciting for my players to know that we are planning to have a season,” men’s basketball coach Rob Senderoff said. “We have a start date for practice, so those things are great. We obviously have to be careful and our players have to be careful, but it’s great to know that we are planning on having a season and hopefully it’s as close to a normal season as we can get.”

Women’s basketball coach Todd Starkey is remaining realistic, but hopes that the new start date sticks.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the Nov. 25 start date,” Starkey said. “We’ve been preparing for our players to play a season this whole time, and it’s exciting to see an actual date out there. But we want to be prepared and ready for anything at this point.”

The council announced several adjusted schedules, with a maximum of 27 regular season and tournament games.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said in an NCAA release. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”

Both men’s and women’s teams played over 30 games last year, and will have to cut a few out-of-conference games that would have been played. Schedules have not been released at this time.

Both teams are currently on campus and practicing.

Owen MacMillan is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]

SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA 

Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.