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NCAA Releases Health, Safety Guidelines For College Basketball; Pac-12 To Start Nov. 25

Utah Utes players, including Timmy Allen #1, celebrate on the court after the team's 69-66 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in the annual Neon Hoops Showcase benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at T-Mobile Arena on December 18, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Two giant steps happened in college basketball for the Pac-12 that led to a start date for the 2020-21 season.

The first one was getting the Pac-12 CEO Group’s approval to begin play on November 25. This includes men’s and women’s basketball.

Second was to get health and safety guidelines from the NCAA.

On Friday, the NCAA released those guidelines.

The latest resocialization measures focused on testing, travel, and access to the court and bench areas.

“This basketball resocialization guidance is based on the best information available in a rapidly changing COVID-19 environment.” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “It is predicated on the assumption that rapid testing capabilities will be readily available later this year. We will constantly assess emerging information as we prepare for the start of the basketball season at the end of November.”

Main Requirements

Among the requirements, players, coaches and staff members involved will need to test three times per week on non-consecutive days throughout the season. This includes referees.

Testing isn’t the only requirement for players and staff in order for them to practice and compete. They must do the following:

  • Wash their hands before putting on their mask.
  • Put the mask over their nose and mouth and secure it under their chin.
  • Try to fit the mask snugly against the sides of their face.
  • Make sure they can breathe easily with a mask on.
  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents should not be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mast from spreading COVID-19 to others (source control).

Testing Requirements

Schools are encouraged to proactively define those individuals who constitute the “inner bubble” which includes student-athletes and essential basketball personnel whose job function requires direct access to players on a regular basis.

“A typical basketball team has 15 players, all of whom typically train on a single basketball court at the same time in an enclosed space. Generally speaking, it is expected that the total number of Tier 1 individuals within a team would approximate 25-30,” the NCAA health guidelines states. “If any Tier 1 individual becomes infected, schools should consider quarantining the entire team, including coaching staff and other essential personnel who are part of Tier 1, for 14 days, provided determinations around who must be quarantined are ultimately the jurisdiction of applicable public health officials. At present, there is not a recommendation for consideration of testing out of quarantine.”

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.