College hoops may be preparing to tip off again, but in the case of Marquette University and UWM's basketball programs, they'll have to do it without fans in the stands.
Both schools announced this week that home games – at Fiserv Forum and the Al McGuire Center for Marquette, as well as at the UWM Panther Arena for UWM – would be left empty due to COVID-19 concerns. Fans will not be allowed in any capacity for the schools' basketball games – both men's and women's – through at least December.
"Unfortunately, given the current conditions relative to the pandemic, and after evaluating various scenarios, we have reached the conclusion that we will not be able to accommodate season tickets for the 2020-21 men's and women's basketball seasons," said Bill Scholl, Vice President and Director of Athletics at Marquette University, in a statement on Thursday. "Further, it is unlikely we will be able to host fans at games for the remainder of this calendar year. We will continue to evaluate our options and be in touch with any individual game ticket opportunities in the new year if circumstances allow."
"A determination of extending or halting this policy will be re-evaluated in the coming months, should the ever-changing conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic improve over the course of the 2020-21 basketball season," wrote the UWM athletic department, in a statement posted Wednesday. "Milwaukee Athletics is hopeful that fans will be allowed to attend home basketball games later in the season. If allowed to attend games later in the season, fans will be required to wear a facemask, use only new mobile ticketing and cashless options to be launched by the Milwaukee Ticket Office this winter, and practice physical social distancing."
Even with no student section, or fans of any other variety, in the building, both teams are gearing up to play seasons later this year. The Marquette men's basketball team is scheduled to tip off on Nov. 25 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and the MU women's team is currently set to begin on Dec. 4 against Providence. Meanwhile, over in Panthers country, both men's and women's teams are expected to start their seasons in December – albeit with unconventional Horizon League schedules, both exclusively staying in conference and playing back-to-back games against each of their ten fellow Horizon opponents, totalling 20 games.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.