The 2020-21 College Basketball season is less than two weeks away, but there is already plenty of turmoil. The United States is currently experiencing a massive COVID-19 outbreak in virtually every state. Rick Pitino, who is back in the sport this year as the head coach at Iona, is very concerned about the current plan by the NCAA.
Back in September, ACC coaches proposed a pretty bold change to the season, calling for an all-encompassing NCAA Tournament with every single Division I team. That would allow the NCAA to establish bubbles to work through the season, rather than try to have teams hosting numerous games on campus and traveling across their conference footprints all winter. Pitino supported the idea initially, and brought it back up on Friday.
“The NCAA basketball committee going to wish they listened to the ACC proposal to have an open NCAA tournament,” Pitino tweeted on Friday. “Protocol makes this basketball season nearly impossible to survive.”
Today, he is back on the platform, calling for reform to the schedule, which currently has the season starting on Nov. 25. “Save the season,” he said. “Move the start back. Play league schedule and have May Madness. Spiking and protocols make it impossible to play right now.”
We’ve already seen how bad things have gotten with college football this week. We’ve had over 60 games canceled or postponed already this week, with 15 getting the axe just this week. The SEC and Pac-12 have been the most negatively impacted this week, showing that this is a true nationwide problem.
College basketball teams are smaller, which helps, but there are more frequent games and travel which causes issues. Rick Pitino is right to fear that this season may not work as currently constituted, and considering the NCAA had over eight months to figure out a workable solution, it is pretty disheartening that we’ve gotten little effective leadership on this issue.
Right now, there is no downturn in sight for the virus, and we’re probably not going to be able to rely on a vaccine being available enough to just eliminate this over the next few months. We know teams will do their best, but there’s only so much that you can prevent with how prevalent this is right now.
PITINO HAS A POINT!
WHO IS RICK POTINO
Richard Andrew Pitino is an American professional basketball coach who is the current head coach for Iona College. He is also the head coach of Greece’s senior national team. He has been the head coach of several teams in NCAA Division I and in the NBA, including Boston University (1978–1983), Providence College (1985–1987), the New York Knicks (1987–1989), the University of Kentucky (1989–1997), the Boston Celtics (1997–2001) and the University of Louisville (2001–2017), and Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League and EuroLeague (2018–2020).
Pitino led Kentucky to an NCAA championship in 1996. He is the only coach to lead three different schools (Providence, Kentucky, and Louisville) to a Final Four. In 2013, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
||Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
||September 18, 1952
New York City, New York
||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
||165 lb (75 kg)
(Oyster Bay, New York)
||Hawaii (interim HC)
||New York Knicks (assistant)
||New York Knicks
|Career highlights and awards
|As head coach:
- NCAA Tournament champion (1996, 2013*)
- NCAA Regional champion – Final Four (1987, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2012*, 2013*)
- AAC Tournament champion (2014*)
- AAC regular season champion (2014*)
- Big East regular season champion (2009, 2013*)
- Big East Tournament champion (2009, 2012, 2013)
- 2× C-USA Tournament champion (2003, 2005)
- C-USA regular season champion (2005)
- 5× SEC Tournament champion (1992–1995, 1997)
- 2× SEC regular season champion (1995, 1996)
- America East Tournament champion (1983)
- 2× America East regular season champion (1980, 1983)
- Adolph Rupp Cup (2009)
- C-USA Coach of the Year (2005)
- 3× SEC Coach of the Year (1990, 1991, 1996)
- John Wooden National Coach of the Year (1987)
- NABC Coach of the Year (1987)
- 2× Greek League champion (2019, 2020)
- Greek Cup winner (2019)
- National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (1999)
|Basketball Hall of Fame as coach