Geno Auriemma expects college football cancellations to delay start of basketball season

Ryan Young
·Writer
·3 min read

While the college football world appears to be unraveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, UConn coach Geno Auriemma is starting to worry about the upcoming basketball season.

Two FBS conferences had officially canceled fall sports as of Monday night over concerns related to the coronavirus. Both Old Dominion and UConn canceled them individually, too. Auriemma said Monday that he thinks it’s “just a matter of time” before it’s canceled as a whole.

That move, he said, is sure to set off a chain reaction that ends up delaying the basketball season, too.

“Patience is everything right now,” Auriemma said, via ESPN. “You can’t really have anything other than patience. I’m trying to be realistic, too. I told our staff this morning, ‘Once the rest of the country cancels football, we’ll know there’s no fall sports at all.’

“So there won’t be any [basketball] games in November. And then we can start thinking about January, maybe, or February. Who knows?”

Auriemma is preparing to enter his 36th season with the Huskies. The 66-year-old has won 11 national titles during his time at UConn — most recently in 2016, which marked the program’s fourth straight.

Geno Auriemma doesn’t see a ‘bubble’ happening

Both the NBA and the WNBA have found success in holding their seasons inside a “bubble” in Florida in recent weeks.

Compared to Major League Baseball’s attempts to play games in teams’ home markets — the league has had to deal with several different outbreaks and postponed several games already — the bubble appears to be the safest way to play amid the pandemic, which is still raging across the country.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

Auriemma, however, doesn’t think that is going to be a realistic possibility at the collegiate level.

“Are you going to take the 11 Big East teams and put them in a bubble? Could you do that?” he said, via ESPN. “That’s a lot of people in the bubble that you don’t realize would have to be in there. Does that make sense: team doctors, trainers, managers ... people living in a hotel room for three months.

“Can it be done? Probably. But I don’t see it happening. I’ve actually heard people talking about it, and you could do it financially. But I don’t know that there's going to be this giant groundswell of, ‘Hey, yeah, let's do that.’ I don't see that.”

Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma stands on the sideline looking contemplative.
It’s “just a matter of time” before college football is canceled this fall, Geno Auriemma said, which is sure to end up delaying basketball this winter, too. (AP/Mark Zaleski)

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