Furman's College Basketball Bubble?
The Furman community will always be behind the players, coaches and the basketball program.
It is no secret that college basketball will look different across the country this year. Furman's program will be no exception. The good news is that our basketball team will most likely play this winter. However, the biggest hinderance to the upcoming season is the cost of testing. The NCAA announced health and safety guidelines for the college basketball season, including a suggestion to test players, coaches, and officials three times per week .
That is expensive, and presents a potential roadblock for Furman, especially considering that the University has already had to make a lot of adjustments in order to accommodate the financial toll of COVID-19, including the elimination of two varsity sports as well as pay cuts and furloughs for staff. However, these changes ought to have allowed Furman to save some money, some of which will hopefully be used to ensure a basketball season.
Furman’s basketball team has been on a hot streak over the last few years. The success of the team has grown tremendously due to fantastic coaching, incredible team chemistry and fan involvement. Unfortunately, accommodating fans is going to be a major challenge this season. Because of COVID, there is a good chance that fans will not be allowed in the stands unless the pandemic subsides significantly between now and the spring semester.
Usually, basketball is a big part of campus life in November and December, but that will not be the case this year. Furman will shift to remote instruction for exams after Thanksgiving break, therefore students will not be on campus during the first few months of basketball season. The NCAA announced that the season would begin on November 25th, which is five days after the shift to remote instruction.
One possibility for the team that we could see starting in January is the use of a bubble strategy. Bubbles seem to have been effective for the NBA, and the MLB will also be using them during playoffs. While the restrictions will likely not be as extensive as those for NBA players, there will undoubtedly be more restrictions for players on campus.
Even though fans may not be in the stadium cheering for every Noah Gurley dunk or Clay Mounce three pointer, there will still be other ways Furman fans can show their support and appreciation. Some of the ways may include viewing parties at the amphitheater or painting signs for Timmons Arena. The Furman community will always be behind the players, coaches and the basketball program.