One NCAA tournament to rule them all.
At least, that’s the proposal for the 2020-21 men’s basketball season submitted unanimously by ACC coaches.
Stadium Sports reporter Jeff Goodman reported that Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is leading the proposal. Several ACC coaches tweeted support, sharing common language that cites safety of the players, the ability to "incentivize" the regular season and the best interests of the game.
"This is what's best for our student-athletes, fans and the sport of college basketball," Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes tweeted. "It will incentivize everyone that loves and cares about our great sport during these unprecedented times, and it will provide a safe environment for all to participate in."
A tournament for all teams would mean 353 make it. The field has been 68 teams for several seasons, and such an expansion could mean three extra rounds.
“I think it’s going to be impossible to pick the tournament," Syracuse coach Boeheim told Syracuse.com. "It’s going to be a disruptive season. We could not be able to play games that will determine whether schools are better than other schools. So you can’t pick the tournament and you can’t seed the tournament because you won’t have any criteria. So you just put everybody in. It rewards all the players – if you only play 10 games, you’re in the tournament.”
Revenue earned by the NCAA and distributed to its members makes up a significant share of athletics department budgets.
In 2016-17, the NCAA received more than $1 billion in revenue for the first time, with 75 percent of it coming from the men's basketball tournament.
But the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of the 2019-20 tournament in March. The NCAA Board of Governors voted to allot $225 million to schools for 2019-20, a decrease of 62.5 percent from the expected $600 million.
Numerous schools across the country have furloughed or laid off athletics department employees since the pandemic began, and some have cut sports. UNC recently announced that projected athletics department revenue for 2020-21 could be down $30 million to $52 million and that coaches and staff members will endure salary cuts.
The NCAA Division I Council, according to ESPN.com, is expected to announce a decision on the format for winter sports, including men's and women's basketball, on Sept. 16.