Richmond Times-Dispatch

Flexibilit­y key for Atlantic 10 season

Schedules, travel, game sites could be altered to cope with pandemic

- BY JOHN O’CONNOR Richmond Times-Dispatch joconnor@timesdispa­ (804) 649-6233 @RTDjohnoco­nnor

Don’t get wed to those A-10 basketball schedules rolling out this week, the league commission­er warned Wednesday. Bernadette McGlade advised that extensive flexibilit­y very well may be required, as with all things in this pandemic era.

Each of the A-10’s 14 teams has as many as nine nonconfere­nce games along with 18 leagues games. COVID’s grasp on the country may reach its peak after the holidays, when almost all A-10 games will be played.

League directors of athletics voted that the A-10 office has the ability to adjust the schedule at any point, and make other necessary decisions, McGlade said.

That could include “establishi­ng a smaller pod in an area that’s not, quote-unquote, a hot spot,” McGlade said. “It could include something as simple as reversing the site of a game. That could make home-away games uneven.

“Everyone has come together, coalesced around what we need to do to be successful in the COVID environmen­t.”

On Nov. 18, a week before the season is scheduled to open, and on Dec. 4, the A-10 will consider if the inventory of nonconfere­nce games has slipped to a point where the league wants to add more A-10 games.

The A-10 tournament with all teams participat­ing remains scheduled for March 10-14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the league could reduce the 14team format, McGlade said.

Depending on potential disruption­s related to COVID, it’s possible that the A-10 could determine that its regular-season winner will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, rather than the A-10 tournament champion.

Modificati­ons are probable in team travel, McGlade added. Charter flights will be prevalent, and A-10 members are minimizing overnight stays. The A-10 constantly monitors COVID situations in areas where member campuses are located.

“Limiting time in environmen­ts that you’re not controllin­g, which is basically any time you’re off your own campus, is something that is absolutely happening with all of our institutio­ns,” McGlade said.

NCAA protocols require that each player and staff member tests at least three times a week on non-consecutiv­e days.

 ??  ?? Bernadette McGlade said all A-10 programs are trying to limit the time they spend outside of their own campuses.
Bernadette McGlade said all A-10 programs are trying to limit the time they spend outside of their own campuses.

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