Sac State men’s, women’s basketball teams could begin seasons Nov. 25


Jordan Latimore

Sac State junior guard Brandon Davis driving to the rim, getting by his defender at the Nest against Montana State on Thursday, Feb. 27. Practice is currently limited to outdoors until the first possible regular practice on Oct. 14.

Ian Edwards, sports editor

With fall sports having been postponed, the status of men and women’s college basketball has been up in the air. However, it is possible that competition within the Big Sky Conference will get started within the next few months, meaning the Sacramento State men’s and women’s basketball teams would be able to play this season.

After deliberation from the Division I committee Sept. 16, the first available start date for the 2020-2021 college basketball season was set for Nov. 25. Tom Wistrcill, commissioner of the Big Sky Conference, said the conference is looking to get underway on time. 

“We’ll play basketball this year, I told our players that, I’ve told the coaches that,” Wistrcill said to the Montana Sports Network. “…We’re committed to getting basketball going, we’re committed to having it around the country, committed to an NCAA Tournament, we’re certainly committed to a Big Sky Tournament. And I feel really good about us playing basketball during this season.”

PAC-12 Commissioner Larry Scott released a statement Sept. 16 after having a conversation with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, which says that with the correct health and safety protocols and “stringent” testing, state health officials will allow contact practices and return to competitive games. 

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While this is good news for huge conferences like the Pac-12, there are still things that need to happen for Sac State to meet those requirements. Brian Berger, assistant athletic director and media relations, said that the problem right now is the testing, which is not “economical” for the school.

Practices would be cleared to start Oct. 14, six weeks prior to the season. This is the earliest possible date, meaning that conferences can still elect to postpone to a later date. 

Indoor practice is prohibited in Sacramento County; however, the men’s basketball team has been practicing outdoors in groups up to 12 people. The team has also had practice on the concrete courts just behind the dorms, Berger said.

Sac State men’s basketball had their season cut short March 12, just minutes before their game against Eastern Washington in the conference tournament.