Credit: Kyle Calzia | Mustang News

The Division I Council approved a Nov. 25 start date for the 2020-21 Men’s and Women’s Basketball season. The season was originally planned to begin Nov. 10.

The date was pushed back 15 days with the intention to start the season when at least 75 percent of Division I schools will have moved instruction fully online or concluded their fall terms, according to an announcement made by the NCAA. The intention is to create a less populated environment that may decrease the risk of COVID-19 between student-athletes and the overall student population.

Any exhibition games or closed scrimmage games are prohibited before Nov. 25. Men’s Basketball programs are allowed three options for their amount of scheduled games.

Women’s Basketball programs are allowed to schedule 23 regular-season games and compete in one multiple-team event with up to four games, or schedule 25 regular-season games with zero multiple-team events.

Teams must play at least 13 games to qualify for NCAA championship selection, all of which must be against Division I opponents. Teams were also recommended to play a minimum of four non-conference games.

Teams may begin full practices beginning Oct. 14, and have until the Nov. 25 date to hold a maximum of 30 practices. The Division I Council also approved a transition period between Sept. 21 and Oct. 13 to allow student-athletes to prepare for the upcoming season. While full practices may not be held during this time, teams are allowed to participate in strength and conditioning activities, sport related meetings and skill instruction for up to 12 hours per week.

Cal Poly Men’s Basketball will look to rebound from last year’s disappointing end to the season as John Smith enters his second year as head coach. Women’s Basketball had their season ended prematurely in March by the COVID-19 pandemic, after the team defeated the third seed UC Irvine in the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference tournament.

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