With the COVID-19 pandemic putting nearly the entire world on pause, it’s unclear whether the 2020-21 college basketball season will or should start on time.
Wednesday, former Kentucky and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino shared his opinion when the season tips off.
Pitino, who is entering his first year as Iona Gaels head coach tweeted that he believes the season should start in January to allow a COVID-19 vaccine to be developed and slow the spread of the virus.
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
Stadium reporter Jeff Goodman added that this opinion is something other college coaches are sharing, so perhaps there’s some momentum for it if things don’t get better soon.
While this suggestion may not be popular, it is a fair idea from the former Wildcat coach.
The spread of COVID-19 is currently rising in several different states, including by 247% in Florida and 161% in Texas which is home to some of the nation’s most prominent college programs.
Thus, waiting to allow the spread to slow and vaccines to be developed may make the most sense, but at the end of the day, the NCAA will likely take a hard look at the finical implications of a shortened or delayed season before making any drastic changes.