Swim Poll of the Week: 52% in Favor of Delaying Start to NCAA Season Until January

swim-poll

This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Thursday October 1, 2020, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Do you support an NCAA swimming and diving season not starting until January?

The Pac-12 Conference announced Thursday night that it will resume the football, basketball and winter sports seasons, with swimming & diving to commence “consistent with the NCAA season dates for those sports.”

The Pac-12 had postponed the fall season and delayed the winter season through Jan. 1, 2021 in an Aug. 11 decision due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But according to Thursday’s release, in consultation with “updated health and safety recommendations” and a new rapid-results testing program, the league has reversed course. Changes by the Big Ten and other conferences’ willingness to continue with sports also left the Pac-12 on an island by itself among the Power 5 conferences.

Thursday’s announcement specifically cites changes in the rationale from six weeks as including, “consistent access to sufficient testing across all Pac-12 programs” and less prevalence of COVID-19 in school communities. The return also includes new protocols to monitor athletes’ cardiac functioning after the possible link between COVID-19 and myocarditis, an infection of the heart tissue that includes potentially dangerous swelling.

The Big Ten Conference Administrator’s Council has determined that with the exception of football, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s ice hockey, there shall be no competition prior to January 1, 2021, in an email to swim and dive coaches obtained by Swimming World.

The Big Ten is the second power five Division I conference to make a decision regarding a swimming and diving season, after the Southeastern Conference announced they would only hold dual meets and no conference championship as of yet. There has been no indication on what the meets will entail in terms of spectator attendance and lane restrictions, or if teams will be limited on where they can travel.

The Big Ten Conference recently became the fourth power five conference to move forward with a condensed conference-only football season, following the lead from the SEC, ACC and Big 12, with decisions regarding the other sports seasons coming shortly. The Pac-12, which houses premiere swimming and diving teams Stanford, Cal, and Southern Cal, has made an agreement with the Quidel Corporation to allow for daily COVID testing, and could return to competition sooner than the original January 1 date.

There is still no word on if the NCAA championships will proceed as scheduled in March, but with the Big Ten only proceeding with meets starting in January, it could hinder the post-season.

Here are the answers regarding an NCAA swimming season starting January 1:

Yes, give them time to formulate a plan – 48%

No, the safety protocols are already in place – 52%


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