Could Utah Utes be playing basketball, even football games by late November?

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Oregon State Beavers running back B.J. Baylor (20) gets tackled by Utah Utes linebacker Andrew Mata’afa (55), Utah Utes defensive end Bradlee Anae (6), Utah Utes defensive end Maxs Tupai (92) and Utah Utes linebacker Sione Lund (24) during in a football game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore., on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Utah won 52-7.

Oregon State Beavers running back B.J. Baylor (20) gets tackled by Utah Utes linebacker Andrew Mata’afa (55), Utah Utes defensive end Bradlee Anae (6), Utah Utes defensive end Maxs Tupai (92) and Utah Utes linebacker Sione Lund (24) during in a football game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore., on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Utah won 52-7. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Utah, other colleges hoping for late November starts as NCAA reveals decisions Wednesday

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a date many college coaches and athletic administrators have had circled on their calendars for the past month or so.

September 16.

The NCAA Division I Council is meeting Wednesday to make some decisions about the upcoming seasons for sports other than football. College basketball, which had its season cut short earlier this year because of coronavirus, is the most prominent sport, but volleyball and soccer coaches are also awaiting to hear how their sports might be affected.

Since August when various teams started practicing, some schools have been in sort of a holding pattern, practicing regularly but waiting for more definitive decisions from the NCAA. Some schools in the Pac-12, those in California and Oregon, haven’t even been allowed to practice because of mandates by their states.

The biggest decision coming out of the Wednesday meeting will be when to start the college basketball season.

In late August, the NCAA revealed four potential starting dates for college basketball games — the original Nov. 10 date, along with Nov. 20, Nov. 25 and Dec. 4. Then last Friday, the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball oversight committees met and decided on a Nov. 21 date, CBS Sports reported, and the NCAA Council needs to vote on that.

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That would be good news for all of the state’s basketball programs, except the University of Utah, which is a member of the Pac-12, which last month announced that no sports would be played before Jan. 1.

However, because of a new partnership with a company called Quidel Corporation, each Pac-12 school would have the ability to provide instant testing for coronavirus for athletes beginning in late September and that may allow the league to modify its fall schedule.

Sources in the Pac-12 office have confirmed that the league could be in position to move its starting date for sports up from Jan. 1, presumably to whatever date the NCAA decides, thanks in large part to the testing improvements.

Also an ESPN report Monday said the Pac-12’s “most aggressive” return plan for football targets a mid-to-late November start, similar to when basketball could begin. IF basketball is able to move up, it makes sense football could as well.

When asked Monday, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak preferred not to talk about the speculation of an earlier start date, but late last month he said he was confident that his team would be ready to go if the start of the season was moved up earlier than Jan. 1. Usually college teams get six weeks of full practice time before the season, after practicing …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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