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College basketball floats idea of bubbles for safe season
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The NBA bubble has held. So has the NHL's double bubble. The WNBA and MLS, no leaks.
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In this unprecedented landscape of sports in a pandemic world, one indisputable fact has emerged: bubbles work.
Thousands of tests, minimal to no positive COVID-19 test results.
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So as the NCAA gets set to announce its plans for the 2020-21 college basketball season, there are clear precedents and blueprints in place should it decide to go the bubble route.
“It's certainly viable,” said Mark Starsiak, vice president of sports at Intersport, a Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency, “From a basketball standpoint, I think we can follow those models.”
The college football restart has been scattershot. The season has already started, yet 53 FBS schools have the pads and helmets hanging on hooks while waiting for better pandemic news.
A much more unified plan is in place for the college basketball season.
The NCAA is hoping to start the season in late November/early December, with a vote by the Division I council expected Sept. 16.
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A partnership between the Pac-12 and Quidel Corp. to potentially do daily, rapid COVID-19 tests on athletes should help smooth a return to the court.
The question then becomes: What's the best way to safely play basketball again?
Bubbles may be the answer.
While bubble football would be next to impossible logistically, basketball could fit nicely.
The travel parties are much smaller and college basketball already has plenty of multiple-team events, from holiday and conference tournaments to the NCAA Tournament. Add the effective safety measures of the pro leagues, find suitable sites and bubble basketball could work.