CBS Sports reported earlier today that both the men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees have jointly agreed to recommend the start date of Nov. 25 to the Division I Council. This comes after consideration of a variety of schedule models and start dates we reported on last month. The Division I Council is scheduled to meet on Sept. 16, and are expected to vote on the start date for the season then.
It was cautioned, however, that the proposal being sent is still subject to change pending the shifting nature of college athletics in the country and delays may further push the season start date back regardless. Big Ten fans are certainly more than familiar with those words of caution, however.
The date is an interesting result as the one most heavily favored in a large scale survey of athletic directors reported last week was for a January start date with a limited non-conference schedule leading into a conference season. However, the Thanksgiving start date received the second-highest vote among power six athletic directors, and the previously scheduled Nov. 10 start date was the second-most favored among all 258 polled. In discussions among the various committees tasked with deciding on the proposal to submit for a vote, Pac-12 officials in particular were reported by CBS to favor a Dec. 4 start date. This seems to suggest the league is open to altering their decision to postpone all sports until at least Jan. 1, 2021.
If the proposal is passed, there will not be much direct known impact to Michigan State’s schedule as it has not been released yet. As of right now, The Spartans are scheduled to tip-off the season on Nov. 10 in the Champions Classic in Chicago versus Duke, so that game will either be delayed or cancelled. The Orlando Classic tournament is scheduled to tip-off on Nov. 26, which the Spartans will also participate in. Other teams scheduled to play include Auburn, Belmont, Boise State, Gonzaga, Saint Louis, Siena, and Xavier. Also announced are participants, but no dates or matchups for the Gavitt Games. The annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge is also left to sort out the answer for what happens next.