Morgantown, West Virginia – West Virginia assistant coach Erik Martin revealed on social media a solution to playing Big 12 basketball conference games this season. In the age of COVID, college athletics will have to get creative to play a full regular season and conference schedule, and Martin’s idea addresses this.
According to Martin, the “Big 12 Basketball Bubble 2021″ should feature all ten teams in the conference and all conference games should be played in Kansas City. Six games will be played in a two week span. Teams will play a game, then take two days off, then play another game, then take two days off until they get to six games. Players will return to campus for two weeks to catch up academics and then repeat this cycle two more times. All Big 12 teams would play 18 games in 10 weeks.”
Big 12 Basketball Bubble ‘21:
10 teams go to KC and play 6 games in a 2 week span. Game 2 days off game 2 days off, until they get to 6. They return to campus for 2 weeks to catch up on academics for 2 weeks. They repeat this cycle 2 more times. Teams play 18 in 10 weeks?
— Erik Martin (@CoachEMartinWVU) August 15, 2020
This appears to be a very doable resolution to what’s likely going to be a difficult situation this season. The NBA Bubble has been such a success that the NCAA should absolutely consider replicating it for the upcoming season. The NBA tests players daily and are kept isolated from other people outside of the bubble.
While the NCAA has not been proactive in seeking solutions (see: the upcoming football season), they should certainly look into Coach Martin’s idea of playing conference games within a bubble not just for the Big 12 but also for every conference in the country.
In addition, Coach Martin suggests that there be no fans in attendance to make the environment even more safe and prevent any kind of home court advantage for any of the teams (Kansas).
West Virginia coaches and players have good reason to do whatever it takes to play basketball this season. With perhaps the deepest, most talented rosters in recent West Virginia history, the Mountaineers will compete for a Big 12 championship and even a National Championship.
On the eve of basketball workouts starting, Coach Martin said the following: “I couldn’t be more excited about workouts tomorrow. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. It’s been 4 months since I was with my family/team, and this could be the most talented team we’ve had at WVU in my 13 years here. National Championship or Bust! Let’s Get it!!!”
I couldn’t be more excited about workouts tomorrow. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. It’s been 4 months since I was with my family/team, and this could be the most talented team we’ve had at WVU in my 13 years here. National Championship or Bust! Let’s get it!!!!!
— Erik Martin (@CoachEMartinWVU) July 20, 2020