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MARIST BASKETBALL SCHEDULE MODEL IS SET

Marist Athletics

Men Will Play Tuesdays And Fridays; Women To Play Wednesday And Saturday

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has set the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball schedule model, pending final NCAA Board of Director approval at its Sept. 22 meeting.

The Marist College men’s team will play every Tuesday and Friday; the Red Fox women will play on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The actual schedule of games will be released next week. Teams can play up to 27 games total during the year, including non-conference.

“We’re extremely pleased to have a schedule model in place for the 2020-21 basketball season,” Marist Director of Athletics and MAAC Women’s Basketball Committee Chair Tim Murray said in a statement. “A crucial part of the process was the engagement of our presidents. This is a very challenging time on our campuses, and we’re appreciative for their leadership and focus on basketball. I know the athletes are looking forward to getting back on the court after an abrupt ending to last season.”

The schedule was built around health and safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the MAAC to postpone all fall sports and for the Pioneer Football League, of which Marist is a member, to cancel its season.

The NCAA Division I Council already ruled that college basketball could start no earlier than Nov. 25, a throwback to yesteryear when hoops teams began play around Thanksgiving. Last year, the Marist men began the 2019-20 campaign on Nov. 8. By the time late February and March rolled around, the pandemic had cut short most conference tournaments and completely canceled the NCAA Tournament.

“The 2020-2021 MAAC Basketball scheduling model that the Council of Presidents approved on Monday represents what we see as our best plan to complete the MAAC schedule,” Canisius Director of Athletics and MAAC COAA Chair Bill Maher said.  “… This framework, which received the endorsement from our athletic administrators and head coaches, gives the MAAC a clear path forward, but also affords us the flexibility to respond to interruptions should we experience that in the coming season.”

The top priority entering the 2020-21 basketball season will be the safety and wellbeing of MAAC student-athletes and coaches. The flexibility Maher mentioned refers to an open week in late February that will allow schools to make up any canceled/postponed games due to COVID-19. The ability to be able to adjust and be flexible is key in an ever-changing environment.

In terms of the Tuesday/Friday, Wednesday/Saturday schedule, league officials said an additional day between contests allows student-athletes and basketball staffs to be accommodative to NCAA COVID-19 testing standards.

Any game-spacing issues will be reassessed as soon as NCAA testing protocols are finalized. Right now, fans will not be allowed to attend games through Dec. 23, at which point the MAAC Basketball Working Group will review the policy in accordance to amended local and state regulations.

 

 

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