An early start to the basketball season may not be easy for Grand Rapids Community College

NJCAA recommends early start to basketball season
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 17:08:13-04
College basketball may begin early

There are many questions surrounding college sports for the upcoming school year.

However, college athletic asscociations are making plans for a return to sports.

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) recently announced its recommendations for fall and winter sports. Among them was moving the start of men's and women's basketball practice up to mid September and the start of games up to mid October.

"I thought everything would be pushed back," Jeff Bauer, Grand Rapids Community College men's basketball coach said. "I get the rationale, that rationale is and you will see a lot of division three schools and division two schools going to this model, where they are moving everything up and what they are preventing is kids going from campus to back home to campus to back home."

The NJCAA is trying to limit the amount of competition between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Grand Rapids Community College currently only has a couple of games scheduled in that time frame.

"One of the models is, and probably the leader, is cutting the number of games non-conference," Bauer said. "So if we have to do that to comply with don't play any games between Thanksgiving and New Years that would be an easy fix for us."

The ability to start early is exciting, but it might not be realistic.

GRCC is still trying to decide if it will have in-person classes in the fall or go mostly online.

Two-thirds of the men's basketball roster does not live close to campus.

"I'd love an extra two weeks of practice," Bauer added. "At the same time is everybody going to be there at this point. There is just so many moving parts at this point and time."

Some community colleges in Chicago and Ohio have already canceled their seasons.

While they are planning and hoping to play at GRCC, there is no guarantee that a basketball season will happen.

Decisions still have to be made at regional, state and school levels.

"If the governor comes out and says we are going to continue this," Bauer said. "I don't know the phases, I'm not well versed if we stay in phase two I think we are in at our school level, if they continue to do that and she pushes back her things absolutely that could be something that could shut us down."

Bauer expects to have a better idea about the season in the next two weeks.