ESPN Cancels 8 NCAA Men’s Basketball Events
No more basketball in the bubble at Walt Disney World…
Even with the success of the “NBA Bubble” this seems like the right call, kids.
Today, ESPN.com announced that eight men’s college basketball events, set to tip-off at The ESPN Wide World of Sports, are canceled.
No College Basketball at WDW
ESPN had planned to move eight of its 10 non-conference events to the ESPN Wide World of Sports property at Walt Disney World in Orlando, including the Champions Classic, Charleston Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off, Wooden Legacy, Orlando Invitational, Jimmy V Classic, and Diamond Head Classic.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports was the site for the NBA’s bubble.
“ESPN Events set out to create a protected environment for teams to participate in early-season events in Orlando,” an official statement from ESPN said. “Based on certain challenges surrounding testing protocols, we opted to resume these tournaments during the 2021-22 season.”
There was supposed to be a second basketball bubble at Walt Disney World, but that dream burst.
The bubble was expected to run from Nov. 25 until early December, highlighted by the Champions Classic and the Jimmy V Classic. While the other six events are likely to resume in 2021, there is hope for the Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic to move to a different location for this season, sources told ESPN.
Borzello added that testing for the athletes was a major component of the decision to cancel.
Now, with these plans axed, some two dozen teams will be forced to scramble to fill out their schedules less than a month before the start of the season. ESPN hopes to still salvage two of the marquee tournaments, the Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic, at other locations.
The Athletic also looked to answer the question of why the NBA could do what the NCAA could not.
There were incredibly high stakes for everyone involved and the league could wield a pretty big hammer if anyone stepped out of line. It’s simply not the same dynamic with disparate programs having disparate interests and resources kiting into Orlando. Brian Hamilton, college basketball writer