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Committee chair wants opening-day splash

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, this year's chair of the Division I basketball committee, is just like you and me.

He too wants to see a better and maybe more collective way to kick off the college basketball season, and while it will take more than his wishes to get things changed, rest assured that these discussions are at least happening on higher levels.

According to Smith:

It's not within the committee's purview to create or mandate an official start of the season, but we will continue to discuss this topic and perhaps explore options. Perhaps there is a way to create that big splash that is currently lacking. We suspect fans would like it, television networks would rally around it, and frankly, the game deserves it.

Right now, the staggered approach to opening the season kind of gets lost in a time when the tension in Division I football is so huge. We're right in that window where the awareness of BCS football is so prevalent. Can we create something in that space to raise awareness and attention for basketball? Even if it's not an "official start date," perhaps there could be a more coordinated effort among a number of teams to begin their seasons on the same day, or maybe there's one multi-team tournament or event that distinguishes itself as the de facto tip-off to the season that everyone would want to be involved with.

That'd be super considering last week, the ho-hum reaction I mainly heard was something along the lines of, "Oh, so college basketball is starting up?" The sport could announce its arrival in a bigger and more meaningful way, so let's get it done.