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Ex-SEC Coach, A.D. Newton Still In Favor Of Starting Basketball Later

gfx - they said itCM Newton knows a thing or two about college basketball and college athletics.  The 83-year-old coached at Alabama from 1968 to 1980, coached at Vanderbilt from 1981 to 1989, and served as Kentucky’s athletic director from 1989 to 2000.

With that background, it might surprise a few to learn that Newton has long been a proponent of starting the college basketball season later… after the college football season:


“If I were the czar of basketball, I’d move it into one semester and take all the rule books out.  Move it into the second semester, and the guy’s got to come in and pass 14 hours or whatever the academic credit before he ever gets to play.  If you do that, you don’t need test scores or clearinghouses or worry about out-of-season practices or any of that stuff.  Just throw the rule book away.”


Now, throwing the rule book away isn’t going to happen.  Moving the start of basketball season to January won’t happen, either, but both are interesting ideas.  Starting the season later might help increase the sport’s popularity at a time when television networks are paying bank-breaking sums for football, a sport that easily trumps college basketball viewership.

One reason the season won’t be moved is indeed television.  Televised coverage of golf to be specific.  “I was part of negotiating the most recent contract with CBS,” Newton told  “I don’t know why we couldn’t use The Masters to lead into basketball rather than vice versa.  Yeah, April Madness.”




It would probably be a good thing overall.  Being that no other collegiate sports compare to basketball and football when it comes to popularity, it only makes sense to give each sport their own semester and put them on display.  No real reason to force the top 2 sports to compete with one another unless you have to.  Add to that all the students that go home during Christmas break while the season is still in full swing.  You could still have preseason holiday tournaments and things like that, but you don't have to play the season itself until football is over.  Maybe have made for TV kickoff events the day after the football national championship game.


I think college basketball could be a lot more popular.


I don't know about you, but when I think Masters, I think college basketball.


Something tells me the audiences do not overlap the way one might wish.


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