The NCAA has signaled that it’s open to adjusting its eligibility rules for the NCAA Tournament should COVID-19 cause for pauses with program around the country.
The Athletic originally reported this potential adjustment.
At issue is the NCAA’s requirement that a team play at least 25 games to be eligible for postseason play. Last season, due to COVID-19, the NCAA dropped the requirement to 13 games.
The NCAA’s goal was to use its normal rules to govern March Madness, but with more programs — including the TCU women — dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks and pauses, NCAA executive vice president Dan Gavitt said they’re open to adjustments.
“It’s not something we need to do right now but if we get into mid to late January and it’s an ongoing problem, it’s something we might have to look into,” Gavitt said.
The Big 12 has had few issues with COVID-19 to this point. TCU’s women’s program announced a pause on Thursday, but it’s the only Big 12 program to need a pause to this point. Around the country, eight men’s programs have needed a pause. Recently, a matchup between Ohio State and Kentucky was canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests, and UCLA’s men canceled its game with Alabama State an hour before tip-off due to positive tests.
The Big 12 has a policy on COVID-19 and competition as it relates to conference standings. Should a team not have enough players to play a conference game, that team would have to forfeit the game and take a loss in the standings.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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