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NCAA provides some guidance on scheduling

The new official start date for NCAA basketball games is November 25. How this affects the University of Hawai’i basketball team’s 2020-21 season remains to be seen.

The NCAA Division I Council approved the new starting date for games on Wednesday, along with several other measures. The previous starting date was November 10, but most teams across the nation had to adjust schedules due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rainbow Warriors’ previously announced 2020-21 schedule had three home games contracted for mid-November: Washington State on November 11, San Diego on November 15, and North Carolina on November 20. A possibility of rescheduling or cancelling those games has yet to be announced.

Also, the Warriors have a game against Hawai’i Pacific set for November 25, but it remains to be determined if that will stand. HPU is a NCAA Division II program, and NCAA-II teams are still awaiting rulings/guidance on scheduling.

After that, the next game on the schedule is a road game at Santa Clara on December 2. Again, it remains to be determined if that game will stay on schedule if travel issues related to the pandemic are a factor.

The NCAA Division I Council also announced on Wednesday that teams can play anywhere between 13 to 27 regular-season games for the 2020-21 season. The wide range was set in consideration of teams that might be affected by COVID-19 issues.

Hawai’i previously was expected to play 29 regular-season games, including 20 in the Big West Conference, and the other games mentioned earlier in this article. The Big West has yet to announce an official plan or schedule for conference games.

Among the other notable announcements from the NCAA Division I Council:

• Official team practices can start on October 14, and teams will have 42 days to conduct a maximum of 30 practices before playing the first game.

• There will be no closed scrimmages or exhibition games with other programs. In previous years, UH played closed scrimmages and exhibition games with the state’s NCAA-II programs (HPU, Chaminade and UH-Hilo).

• A “transition period” is scheduled for September 21 through October 13. Teams can participate in strength and conditioning, sport-related meetings and skill instruction for up to 12 hours a week during this period.

• The current recruiting dead period has been extended to January 1. In essence, coaches are not allowed to recruit in-person for the remainder of 2020. Virtual/electronic methods have been the recruiting norm since April.

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In related news to the 2020-21 schedule, several media outlets are reporting that the 2020 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic will not be played at the Stan Sheriff Center this December due to travel-related issues.

There are reports that the Diamond Head Classic and other non-conference tournaments will be played in a “bubble” at Orlando, Florida.

There has been no official announcement from UH or the Diamond Head Classic.

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