Flexibility key for Atlantic 10 season
Schedules, travel, game sites could be altered to cope with pandemic
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.