Each year, the second Friday in November is the day that marks the start of college basketball games that actually matter. That’s the first day of the official season, and that is the full launch day. But, each team is permitted two exhibition games (more on that later) and has the choice of playing a closed three hour scrimmage against another div1 team, or playing an official game that is in an arena in front of fans against a college team that is not a div1 team (so div2, div3, NAIA, etc). So, at Hoops HD we always like to (sort of) welcome in the new season on the first day that there is actually a game between two college basketball teams that the public is able to go see. AND THAT DAY IS TODAY!!! So, let me wish all of you a HAPPY COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON 2017-2018!!!
Notre Dame will be hosting Holy Cross College, which is actually so close to Notre Dame’s campus that it is virtually on their campus. If you have ever seen the movie Rudy, Holy Cross is where he went to school when he was still fighting to be accepted into Notre Dame. It’s a game that has no impact whatsoever on the regular season, and it is a game that would be of very little interest even if it did count toward the regular season, and it’s a game that isn’t even going to be broadcast on TV (only Live Stats), but it is the first time two college basketball teams have played each other since last year’s championship game between Gonzaga and North Carolina.
There is something else about this game. It is being played for charity, and it needed a waiver from the NCAA in order to happen. The rules for exhibition games were (and really still are) what was mentioned above in regards to being allowed two contests. Notre Dame, and many other schools, are actually playing three exhibition games/scrimmages. The reason for that is back in August the NABC, and its new president Kansas coach Bill Self, had discussed the notion of adding a third exhibition game to the schedule that could be against another div1 team, and open to the public, and where all the proceeds given to charity in one form or another. It’s my understanding that while the NCAA did not change the rules, what they did say was that schools who wanted to play in a charity game like that could file a waiver, and the NCAA would review all waivers on a case by case basis.
Now, what is a waiver?? It is rather self explanatory. It is asking the NCAA for permission to be excused from having to follow one of their rules. This could be because of an extenuating circumstance (IE player is academically ineligible, but has a 3.8 GPA and is only ineligible because his/her advisor told her to take the wrong classes), or a kid wants to transfer and doesn’t want to have to sit out a year because a family member is terminally ill, or something along those lines. It is asking to be excused from an NCAA rule due to a reasonable circumstance. Fortunately, in this case, the NCAA believes that an opportunity to make a lot of money for charity is a reasonable circumstance, and they have been approving nearly all of these waivers and allowing schools to play an additional exhibition game where the all money goes to charity. A lot of these games will be benefiting disaster relief for the recent hurricanes and wild fires, so you cannot help but feel that these games are a very positive thing. It is my hope that this soon becomes the rule, and that schools will no longer need to file waivers. Specifically, I’d like to see the rules changed to where we have three exhibition games instead of two, and if a school so chooses all three can be against div1 teams that are open to the public and where all the proceeds are given to charity.
We are doing our best to keep up with the list of exhibition games. More are being added every day, and seemingly every hour. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR COMPREHENSIVE LIST
NEWS AND NOTES
-It goes without saying that college basketball has had a spectacular offseason for all of the wrong reasons. We’ve got assistant coaches going to jail and facing federal corruption charges, we saw the six year North Carolina case finally come to an end with virtually zero penalties, and we are basically in a situation to where the NCAA and college basketball in particular is being criticized more heavily than I can recall at any point in my lifetime. I do think that all of this needs to happen, and once we come out the other end things will be back to normal, but for now it kind of makes enjoying the season a little more challenging. Some of us just want to relax and watch basketball, and that’s a little harder to do when you turn on the TV to watch a game and they’re talking about legal scandals instead of the game itself. Ironically, these charity games that we’re seeing are creating some much needed good will and charity toward the NCAA as well as the causes that they are being set up to aid. And, we’ve actually got people who are excited about exhibition games for perhaps the first time in history!! Kansas and Missouri will play in Kansas City this Sunday, the game sold out almost instantly, and if you haven’t been following the fans on social media then you should because it has been amazing!! I love that something charitable has created so much hostility between two fanbases over a meaningless exhibition game!
-Many are noticing that these charity exhibition games are not on TV and understandably questioning why that is. So far as I know, there is nothing preventing them from being shown on TV. Having said that, these are WAIVERS. It could be that the NCAA would question approving a waiver if a game were to be shown on TV?? I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but I suppose it could be?? I understand wanting to sell as many tickets as possible and that putting a meaningless game on TV could effect ticket sales, but at the same time I think that putting an 800 phone number on the screen so people can call and make donations to whatever charity the game is being played for could also increase the amount of money that is being raised. So, there is no rule saying they can’t be on TV, but none of them (so far) are for whatever reason. UPDATE: The Border War will be streamed. Check it out here.
-Chad Sherwood and Jon Teitel are once again doing an amazing job with our comprehensive preseason coverage. CLICK HERE FOR ALL ARTICLES AND CONFERENCE PREVIEWS
-Our preseason conference podcast will begin next week. So, in closing, let me once again say HAPPY COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON EVERYBODY!!!