College basketball might have its first Plan B. An event operator in Houston has proposed a bubble involving 20 teams that would allow college basketball programs to play an entire nonconference schedule in three weeks in December.
Rhossi Carron, who ran a nonconference event in 2019 and has two planned for the upcoming season, said he sent a proposal to at least 50 programs.
It's believed to be the first detailed bubble proposal sent to programs for the 2020-21 college basketball season.
"Nothing is bulletproof, but based on what medical professionals are telling me, a bubble might be the only way to do it," Carron told ESPN. "Our goal is to create a safe, controlled and competitive environment that places priority on the safety of the student-athlete."
According to Carron's plan, 20 teams would be invited to the bubble, split into two 10-team divisions. With most campuses ending fall semester before Thanksgiving break, the teams would quarantine as a group on their own campuses for seven days following the departure of the general student body, then quarantine in the bubble for three days upon arrival.
Carron said teams would be tested when they arrive to the bubble and then every other day while in the bubble. Temperature checks would be every day. Teams would not be able to fly commercial to this event; they could take a bus or a charter plane.
It would be a completely isolated bubble, according to Carron's proposal sent to programs. All meals would be eaten on campus, nobody would be allowed in or out of the bubble and the event staff would provide video games and activities for the teams during their downtime. NBA scouts would be permitted to attend, but they must follow the same guidelines as event staff.
Carron has been consulting with multiple doctors and medical professionals and hopes to partner with a local hospital in order to ensure adequate testing and guarantee fast results.
Following the quarantine period, teams would have one scrimmage and then up to eight games against teams from other conferences.
"The goal is to knock out your nonconference schedule between Dec. 1 and Dec. 21 and then go on Christmas break," Carron said. "Then you come back and start conference play."
The plan is for schools to pay for their entrance into the "Battle in the Bubble" with money they've already set aside for buy games. Carron also wants to invite at least two HBCUs into the bubble and provide support for them, since those programs will miss out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in guarantee games this fall if traditional nonconference games are canceled.
The Pac-12 announced Tuesday that all sport competitions were postponed through the end of the calendar year, including winter sports. That decision followed the Ivy League's announcement last month that no sports would be played during the entire fall semester, which ends in early December. Multiple conference officials around college basketball have told ESPN that a conference-only season is the most likely scenario for the 2020-21 season.
"It's going to come down to what the NCAA decides about nonconference," said Carron, who still has his Hoop Hype XL and The Battleground 2k20 events scheduled for November and December, respectively.
Carron hopes that similar events can be developed in other regions, allowing most of the 350-plus teams in Division I to achieve some sort of nonconference schedule. He is also considering a second bubble session for 20 additional programs. He thinks his bubble can be replicated by conferences if they end up having to go to a bubble format during conference play.
"Can college kids bubble for three months? Probably not. But I think they can do it for three weeks," Carron said.