God help us.
March Madness may soon be a thing of the past, if the NCAA goes through with a proposal to move back the start of the college basketball season to the middle of December.
San Jose Mercury News writer (and apparent enemy of America) Jon Wilner received confirmation from Dave Gavitt, the NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball, that the idea was being discussed.
“There’s definitely a portion of the membership that thinks it’s worthy of consideration,” Gavitt said. “There are merits on a lot of levels.”
Gavitt then threw the brakes on a little, tweeting that it is not “currently under formal discussion nor on the agenda” for the committee:
Clarification of timing of men’s basketball season: pic.twitter.com/cqvK01pCH4
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) October 15, 2015
The main motivation for moving the season back would be to get basketball out from under college football’s shadow, as November is arguably the most intriguing month of the year in the sport.
Less time in the NFL’s shadow would also be a motivation. (Although—can we please stop fearing the NFL? Somebody?)
The move back to December would also mean the season could begin after final exams, making college basketball a one-semester sport, which is important for those who like to pretend the academic aspect of the sport is still important.
An NCAA Tournament that begins in April would also present a problem for basketball fans–as the NBA playoffs begin that month (although they do last through June).
Because of that, it might be tougher for the NCAA to secure arenas that are also used for the NBA and NHL playoffs, which also begin in April.
Gavitt also mentioned that an April tournament would move the event from the first business quarter to the second, meaning that advertisers would have to adjust budgets accordingly.
College basketball has owned the month of March for years, so it would be interesting to see how it would fare going up against the NBA and NHL, in terms of advertising revenue.
Of course, none of this is about the fans, tradition, or common sense.
But then again, nothing in college sports is.