We're still months away from the planned start of the 2020-21 college basketball season, but longtime head coach Rick Pitino already thinks the NCAA should be proactive and push the start of the campaign back until the new year.
Pitino, who became Iona head coach in March, tweeted on Wednesday that the NCAA should postpone basketball until at least January and also plan for a schedule comprised of only league games while hoping a vaccine exists and becomes widely available in early 2021:
Suggestion to the NCAA, push the start of the season back to January and only play league games. Buy some more time for a vaccine and to get things under control. Although I can’t wait to be back on the sidelines, the health of my players and staff is what’s really important.— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) July 1, 2020
Pitino turns 68 years old in September. As of June 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that "8 out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older."
Pitino isn't the first person to suggest a sports entity should postpone its season to buy time for medical experts to make advancements toward treating the coronavirus.
Last month, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's MMQB told WFAN and Radio.com personality Mike Francesa the NFL could push the start of its campaign back from Sept. 10 to Oct. 15 or even later.
Last week, ESPN's Paul Finebaum said he's heard from sources who believe there is a "very good" chance the 2020 college football season won't start in late August as scheduled.