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DI Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee reaffirms support of multiple-team event legislation

Proposal would give teams three options to construct schedules

After examining multiple-team events for the past two years, the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee reaffirmed its support for legislation that would allow new scheduling options by the 2020-21 academic year.

The Division I Council introduced the proposal, which was recommended by the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee in June. The new legislation would allow Division I men’s basketball programs to schedule up to 28 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to three games; schedule 29 regular-season games and a multiple-team event that includes up to two games; or schedule 29 games without participating in a multiple-team event.   

A formal vote on the proposal is scheduled to take place in January at the NCAA Convention. If approved, the change would go into effect Aug. 1, 2020, for the 2020-21 men’s basketball season. However, an event that had all participating teams with contracts signed before June 26, 2019, could be honored for the 2020-21 season under the current rule that allows for 27 regular season games to be scheduled with one multiple-team event that includes four games.

The new legislation would require that: 

  • Three-game multiple-team events may not include more than three games and must conclude no more than 10 days after the first game of the event. Two-game multiple-team events cannot include more than two games and must conclude no more than five days after the first game of the event.
  • All participating schools must participate in the same number of games in the event.
  • Non-Division I schools cannot participate unless they are hosting the event.

“This proposal sustains and enhances the multiteam events that are such an integral part of the college basketball season,” said Judy MacLeod, commissioner of Conference USA and chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee. “Student-athletes and fans love the experience and excitement of these events in November and December. The legislation will contemporize, clarify and provide alternatives for schools scheduling to play in multiteam events for years to come.”

The Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee began reviewing multiple-team events in October 2017 because the legislation was a decade old and primed for review, as well as in response to member confusion about the legislated qualification requirements for participating in those events. During the 2018-19 regular season, 92% of men’s basketball programs participated in a multiple-team event.

In the past few years, the committee has provided feedback on numerous waiver requests due to scheduling issues related to a fourth game of an event. Fourth games generally have been added on and included teams that were not part of the main event.

If the proposal passes, it would lessen the need for schools to ask for waivers because they would have the flexibility to construct their regular-season schedule to fit their needs.

The NCAA staff plans to make outreach efforts to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association Compliance Administrators and event operators to increase awareness of the new legislation and how it can impact the 2020-21 schedule.

The Division I Council introduced a proposal recommended by the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee that would revise June scholastic event rules to expand the start and conclusion time for coaches to attend without adding days to the evaluation period.