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Blanket waiver approved for men’s basketball MTEs

Waiver provides flexibility to members as COVID-19 impacts schedules

The Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee on Friday recommended, and NCAA staff approved, a blanket waiver for multiple-team events as event operators and NCAA member schools work through the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on scheduling for the 2020-21 season.

The blanket waiver includes the following conditions:

  • Scheduling requirements: Events in which a school participates in three contests can now conclude up to 14 days after the first game of that event, and events in which a school participates in two contests can now conclude up to nine days after the first contest of that event. This change provides an additional four-day scheduling window for the events.
  • Same conference: Up to two schools from the same conference can compete in the same event, provided they do not play each other. However, if the event is bracketed, teams from the same conference may play each other in the final game.
  • Same event: Schools may participate in the same event twice in a four-year period, provided the school competes in the event during the 2020-21 season and the event is relocated from its previously scheduled location as a result of the pandemic.
  • Non-Division I participation: A multiple-team event can include up to one non-Division I member school that is not sponsoring or hosting the event, provided that non-Division I team is located within 400 miles of the sponsoring school or conference.
  • Number of contests per event: Schools participating in the same event can play a different number of games during the event, provided all teams were originally scheduled to play the same number of games, to allow flexibility if a team encounters a COVID-19 outbreak or a mandatory quarantine and cannot compete.
  • Two multiple-team events: Schools may compete in up to two multiple-team events during the 2020-21 season, provided they do not exceed 27 regular-season contests.

“The committee’s action today acknowledges the scheduling challenges faced by our member schools in conducting a college basketball season in the midst of the ongoing pandemic,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball. “This flexibility will allow teams and event operators to adjust schedules as needed to provide the best possible opportunity for college athletes to experience a full basketball season.”

The Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee is expected to consider similar waivers at its Nov. 4 meeting.