SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) announced its unanimously approved plan for the upcoming Men’s and Women’s basketball seasons Thursday, including a 22-game regular season and a prohibition on fans for the time being.
The conference said game venues will only be allowed to house essential personnel, but hinted fans may be allowed in the future.
The GLVC said it will “work closely with its member institutions as it evaluates the national, regional and local landscapes, and review and modify game-environment procedures as necessary.”
“We are pleased that the conference is moving forward with a schedule, but obviously, we are disappointed that, at least for the moment, we have to start the season without fans,” said Drury University Vice President and Director of Athletics Corey Bray. “The result of not having spectators in the O’Reilly Family Event Center is a tough blow for our basketball programs in terms of the atmosphere and energy brought by our crowds, and it’s a setback for our athletics department economically.”
“Currently, however, the Center for Disease Control continues to emphasize that large crowds are to be avoided,” continued Bray. “The health and well-being of all our fans is of paramount importance to us, and we want all of them back at the O’ cheering on the Panthers and Lady Panthers as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Both sports are permitted to begin practicing on Oct. 15.
The 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball schedules will be conference only and feature 22-games.
The League’s 15 teams will be divided into three five-team divisions. Drury and Southwest Baptist will be in the West Division along with Missouri S&T, Rockhurst and William Jewell.
The East Division will feature Illinois Springfield, Indianapolis, Lewis, McKendree and Southern Indiana.
The Central Division will feature Lindenwood, Maryville, Missouri-St. Louis, Quincy and Truman State.
Al 15 teams will play a balanced schedule of 11 home games and 11 away games.
Each team will play its divisional opponent twice, both home and away, and will also have home and away contests against four random non-divisional opponents, while playing every other non-divisional opponent once.
The Championship Tournaments is scheduled to be contested at a site to be determined, March 4-7, and will feature the top eight teams based on the GLVC’s “Point Rating System.”
“After discussing a number of scheduling parameters for the season, we are pleased to be able to proceed with our basketball schedules this year,” said GLVC Commissioner Jim Naumovich. “As we have done with all of our sports thus far, we will continue to do our due diligence in reviewing the testing guidelines put forth by the NCAA Sport Science Institute, as the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans remains our top priority.”
Drury’s 2020-21 basketball season will start on Friday, Nov. 27, at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Both Drury teams will open their home schedule on Thursday, Dec. 3, against Southwest Baptist.