“Follow the money.”
Earlier today, lawyer Josh Gerben tweeted that the NCAA has filed a trademark for the phrase “Battle in the Bubble,” providing a possible insight into the immediate future of college sports and college hoops.
The NCAA has filed a trademark for "BATTLE IN THE BUBBLE."— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) August 31, 2020
The filing, made on August 26th, indicates:
1. The NCAA intends to use a bubble for potentially multiple sports.
2. The NCAA intends to sell BATTLE IN THE BUBBLE branded clothing.#NCAA #bubble pic.twitter.com/9M1bobLBw5
Since the pandemic started and the professional sports leagues restarted, it has quickly become clear that the best possible method for sports to exist is in a bubble. The NBA, NHL, and WNBA seasons have all gone off without a hitch. MLB began its season looking more normal, with teams travelling across the country and playing without friends. As expected, teams have missed games due to COVID-19, and overall, it has been a bit more of a logistical nightmare.
As colleges around the nation have either started in-person or online, the one consistent aspect has remained clear: The more people, the better chances for outbreaks. Over the weekend, NBC reported that 1,200 students at University of Alabama have tested positive.
The bubble is (and has been) the clear solution for the marriage of sports and our enjoyment. The NCAA lost a lot of money after canceling last year’s March Madness, so it is of little surprise to see them pursuing whatever avenues are open to provide a college hoops season.
The filing of the trademark shouldn’t be surprising at all. It doesn’t mean the season will go off completely without a hitch, but with so many schools either already in or transitioning to fully remote classrooms, logistically, student-athletes would have an easy time partaking in classes and playing basketball. The question will just be where it all happens.