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With everything that has gone on the past few months, you may have forgotten (or never noticed in the first place) that Rick Pitino, 67, is back in college hoops as the coach of Iona. Today, Pitino weighed in with a suggestion to delay the college basketball season in hopes of a vaccine:
Suggestion to the NCAA, push the start of the season back to January and only play league games. Buy some more time for a vaccine and to get things under control. Although I can’t wait to be back on the sidelines, the health of my players and staff is what’s really important.
— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) July 1, 2020
Aside from the tournaments around Thanksgiving and a smattering of other TV spectacles, college hoops really does not get humming until after New Year’s anyways. However, we saw this year that the sport is unable to defer March Madness to a later date so any games that are canceled will likely not be made up.
It’s really tough for me to know whether the world is going to be much safer in January than it is in November. It is more time for a vaccine, yes, but there is the further question on if players will be safer left to their own devices than they would be under the structure of their sport being in-season. If there were a suggestion where the first couple months of games are canceled — limiting the travel and potential exposure to hotspot regions — but the players are still on campus and getting tested and then isolated if they test positive, that would be better in my opinion than leaving players to their own devices.