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home : sports : college/pro May 31, 2020

MLB Players want more games, no more cuts
NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players appeared likely to propose more regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, people familiar with their deliberations told The Associated Press.
Friday, May 29, 2020

UFC, boxing back on in Vegas after Nevada approves return
Mixed martial arts and boxing are back in business in Nevada.

The Nevada Athletic Commission unanimously agreed Wednesday to allow two UFC events and two Top Rank boxing shows in Las Vegas over the next two weeks.

The decision ends the moratorium on combat sports that has been in place in Nevada since March 14, when the commission stopped competition amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Title IX major factor for colleges looking at possible sports cuts
Financially challenged schools considering cutting sports in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic are making difficult decisions of who gets to keep playing and who doesn't.

The choices aren't just about money when they involve women's sports. And while Title IX doesn't prevent women's sports from being eliminated, the federal law is a huge part of the conversations.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Virtual 7th-inning stretch brings familiar ballpark feeling home 
It's 3 o'clock, about the time they'd be getting ready for the seventh-inning stretch at an afternoon Red Sox game. Josh Kantor settles onto the bench of the Yamaha Electone organ in his living room and clicks on his wife's iPhone to begin another show.

Each afternoon since what would have been opening day, the Fenway Park organist has been livestreaming concerts of ballpark music and other fan requests on Facebook in an attempt to recreate the community feeling baseball fans might be missing during the sport's shutdown.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Chase Elliott ends Busch's win streak, collects $100,000 bounty 
Chase Elliott gained a measure of revenge against Kyle Busch on Tuesday night — and then let him know about it.

Elliott snapped Busch's seven-race Truck Series winning streak and collected a $100,000 bounty at Charlotte Motor Speedway before imitating Busch's victory celebration after the race by bowing to the camera.

"Hopefully nobody gets their feelings hurt over it," Elliott chuckled.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

'A step toward normalcy' - NHL shapes a return to play plan
Rosy as the news might sound, Gary Bettman made no promises in announcing the NHL has the framework of a plan in place to return to the ice.

"We hope," the commissioner said, "that this is a step back toward normalcy."

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Australian doctors say NRL aim for July 1 fans 'absurd'
Two days from the restart of the National Rugby League, the Australian Medical Association urged organizers to slow down their "absurd and dangerous" plans to have spectators in stadiums by July 1.

There will be no spectators on Thursday when the Brisbane Broncos host the Parramatta Eels in the first NRL match in more than nine weeks, but Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V'Landys hopes to lift the ban as soon as social distancing restrictions and border closures are eased in the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Busch passes Cindric to win Xfinity race at Charlotte
Kyle Busch normally celebrates his victories by climbing on top of his race car and bowing to the crowd.

But with no fans in attendance at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday night due to the coronavirus pandemic, Busch passed on the tradition after driving past Austin Cindric on the final lap of overtime to claim his 97th career Xfinity Series win.

"It kinda felt a little odd," Busch said. "I guess I could have bowed to the camera."

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

NHL plans small-group training as Phase 2 of return
The NHL hopes to have players back in team facilities soon -- with plenty of precautions.

The league, which paused its season on March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, released a memo Monday saying it is targeting early next month as the start date for Phase 2 of its return-to-play protocol, including the opening of practice rinks and allowing small, voluntary group workouts on and off the ice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Virus crisis a challenge for youth fitness nonprofits
Mariana Ochoa worries about the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on her three boys. Their school is closed. She can't take them to their favorite park at the moment. There is no backyard at their home on the southwest side of Chicago.

The fitness routines she gets from Chicago Run are a weekly highlight for Mariano, 9, Victor, 7, and Jesus, 5.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Michigan man builds Wiffle ball dream field in his backyard
There is nothing quite like the experience of live baseball. The grass, the dirt, the sunshine and the chalk lines underneath abundant sunshine, sunsets or bright lights. Overpriced beers and the right mix of action and leisure — it is hard to imagine all of that without your senses tingling.

It is like a slice of heaven.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Florida baseball team lists stadium on AirBnB for $1500
A Florida team is selling people the "ultimate baseball experience" by putting their oceanview stadium up for rent on AirBnB for $1,500 a night.

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos says guests will have access to the clubhouse, a large bedroom, the batting cage and the field.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Keselowski wins 600 to extend Johnson's losing streak
Brad Keselowski, in a contract year and trying to up his value in free agency, gave Roger Penske a victory on what should have been the most celebrated day in motorsports but was instead just a 6-plus hour NASCAR show.

Keselowski extended Jimmie Johnson's losing streak to 102 races by holding off the seven-time NASCAR champion in overtime early Monday to win the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the NASCAR schedule.

Monday, May 25, 2020

NCAA to lift ban on football, basketball workouts
The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to lift a moratorium on voluntary workouts by football and basketball players effective June 1 as a growing number of college leaders expressed confidence that fall sports will be possible in some form despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

This decision clears the way for individual workouts by athletes, mostly on their own, subject to safety and health protocols decided by their schools or local health officials..

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Berlin derby taken to the streets in battle of team stickers
The unofficial Berlin derby has been going on for months, with fans of rival soccer clubs Hertha and Union decorating the city's lampposts, road signs, transit stops and more with stickers in their respective team colors.

The official derby is finally coming on Friday, two months after the Bundesliga match between the local rivals was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Hamlin scores 2nd win at rain-shortened Darlington
Denny Hamlin won NASCAR's first Wednesday race since 1984 when rain stopped the event with 20 laps remaining at Darlington Raceway.

The Daytona 500 winner was out front but out of fresh tires and trying to hang on when he got unintended help from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. The reigning Cup champion caused Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

NFL eyeing face guard that works like surgical mask
With an eye toward getting back on the field during a pandemic, the NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same sort of protection as a surgical mask.

"A lot of players have played with a clear shield to protect their eyes," Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay said Tuesday during a video conference call with Atlanta media. "This would be extended even further."

Thursday, May 21, 2020

NCAA postseason bans nearly double despite steady APR stats
The number of teams facing postseason bans because of low scores on the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate has nearly doubled in one year.

Fifteen teams face the most severe sanction next season or the season after compared with eight in 2019-20. Stephen F. Austin and Alabama A&M each had three teams on the list released Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Belmont set for June 20 without fans, leads off Triple Crown
Horse racing's Triple Crown will look different this year from start to finish.

The Belmont Stakes will be run before the Kentucky Derby and Preakness for the first time and take place at a shorter distance. It will lead off the Triple Crown on June 20 in New York with no fans in attendance and at a distance of 1 1/8 miles instead of the 1 1/2-mile "test of the champion" that has been the race's trademark for nearly a century.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Rain postpones Xfinity Series' return at Darlington Speedway
Noah Gragson couldn't wait to get back to Xfinity Series racing at Darlington.

Instead, he and the rest of the competitors will have to wait until Thursday after heavy rain postponed the series' first race since March, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports.

"After two months of waiting, what's another couple of days?" Gragson said.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

US Open no longer 'open,' eliminates qualifying for major
The U.S. Open might feel more like a closed shop this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which already has postponed the U.S. Open at Winged Foot from June to September, has forced the USGA to do away with qualifying for the first time since 1924.

Open qualifying is the hallmark of golf's second-oldest championship. The USGA often points out that typically half of the 156-man field has to go through either 36-hole qualifying or 18-hole and 36-hole qualifying.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Angry ump: Garcia says he kept quiet to protect son-in-law
Richie Garcia was among baseball's best-rated and most popular umpires, and like many umps was known for the ones he missed: the Jeffrey Maier call in the playoffs, the pitch to Tino Martinez in the World Series.

He lost his job in the failed labor strategy of mass resignations in 1999 and was welcomed back to Major League Baseball two years later as a supervisor. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, he was fired on the eve of the 2010 season.

Garcia stayed quiet for a decade, not wanting to cause any problems for son-in-law Vic Carapazza, among the top umps of the current group.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Bull riding may be 1st US professional sport to welcome fans
One of the first professional athletic sports to allow spectators to attend as states gradually lift restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus is known for its wild, dangerous action: bull riding.

Professional Bull Riders has announced a new competition that will culminate in South Dakota on July 10-12 with live crowds. As people itch for a return to daily activity, it's all a part of an effort by professional sports organizations around the world to give bored fans at least a taste of what once was.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Michael McCaskey, who succeeded Halas as Bears' leader, dies
Michael McCaskey, who led the Chicago Bears for nearly three decades following the death of his grandfather George Halas, died Saturday after a lengthy battle with cancer, the team said. He was 76.

A Yale graduate and the oldest of Ed and team matriarch Virginia McCaskey's 11 children, Michael joined the family business in 1983 as president and CEO following the death of Halas, a founding father of the NFL and the franchise. He succeeded Ed McCaskey as chairman in 1999 and remained in that role until brother George McCaskey took over in 2011.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Lefty QB Tua Tagovailoa is a rarity in the right-handed NFL 
When Tua Tagovailoa  signed his rookie contract with the Miami Dolphins, the left-handed quarterback from Alabama didn't have to worry about smudging his signature.

He signed the documents with his right hand.

Yes, the NFL's latest lefty QB is a natural right-hander, one whose father, Galu, turned him into a (sometimes) southpaw in his youth.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Harvick wins at Darlington as NASCAR returns to racing 
This was a 400-mile drive unlike any other in modern day NASCAR.

The grandstands were completely empty. There wasn't a single tailgate inside the track. Everyone wore face coverings — some with the team logos, others opting for plain disposable medical masks. It was nothing close to the corporate sponsorship, pomp and patriotic traveling circus that symbolizes NASCAR.

But when the engines fired at Darlington Raceway following a 10-week layoff during the coronavirus pandemic, it turned into a regular old race.

Monday, May 18, 2020

NASCAR putting its safety plan to test as racing restarts 
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Crew chief Chad Knaus won't get a look at the car Hendrick Motorsports built for Darlington Raceway until he gets to the track Sunday morning, a few hours before the race.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Tirico returns from afar, will host golf 1,000 miles away
(AP)  — Mike Tirico returns to his role as host Sunday on NBC when live golf is shown on television for the first time in more than two months, and he can't wait.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Rodgers says Packers' decision to draft Love surprised him
(AP) — Packers star Aaron Rodgers acknowledges Green Bay drafting a quarterback in the first round surprised him and complicated his hopes of playing his entire career with the same team.
Saturday, May 16, 2020

PGA Champ Thomas set to take swing on 2K21 cover
(AP) — Justin Thomas can put down the driver and grab a controller: The former PGA Championship winner made the cover of the "PGA Tour 2K21" video game.
Friday, May 15, 2020

Beach volleyball star Walsh Jennings offers virtual training
(AP) — A longtime evangelist for outdoor and active lifestyles, beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings knew the national stay-at-home orders would be especially hard on young athletes and others trying to stay fit.
Friday, May 15, 2020

Busch to rush back into racing
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR champion Kyle Busch will sprint back into competition when the season resumes by running all seven races that have been scheduled over an 11-day span.
Friday, May 15, 2020

New analytics spur helmet safety in football
(AP) — While no one is actually playing football right now, analytics and data collecting are contributing to safety in the sport like at no other time.
Friday, May 15, 2020

Extra innings: Baseball head pitches Olympics to MLB, again
Baseball. In Japan. At the Olympics.

For World Baseball Softball Confederation president Riccardo Fraccari, it seems like such a sure home run that he can't even imagine why anyone wouldn't want to be involved.

No wonder the refusal of Major League Baseball and its players' association to send top stars to the Tokyo Games has frustrated Fraccari for years.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Some MLB draftees are fortunate to avoid this year's draft
Ethan Hearn has some good friends who are eligible for baseball's amateur draft this year. Hearn is just an interested spectator this time around, and he feels pretty fortunate about his situation.

The 19-year-old catcher was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the 192nd pick of the 2019 draft. The slot value for his spot was $247,000, but the Cubs gave him a sixth round-high $950,000 signing bonus to turn pro instead of playing college ball for Mississippi State.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Teixeira upsets Smith to cap UFC's 2nd Jacksonville fight
Glover Teixeira dominated Anthony Smith and finally stopped him with punches early in the fifth round Wednesday night, earning an upset victory to cap the UFC's second show since returning to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell grabbed an entertaining split-decision victory over Ovince Saint Preux, and Drew Dober stopped fellow lightweight contender Alexander Hernandez with a second-round barrage of punches during the second of three UFC cards over eight days at a fan-free VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Golf's soft opening has Arizona event, made-for-TV matches
Televised golf returns Sunday in South Florida with an exhibition match at Seminole to fund COVID-19 relief efforts. Two of golf's biggest talents, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson, take on Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff, who are linked by their time spent a decade apart at Oklahoma State (all four of them are linked by endorsement deals with TaylorMade, the title sponsor of the match).

The following Sunday, some of the biggest names in golf and in the NFL get together for a $10 million charity match. Tiger Woods will have Peyton Manning as a partner against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Clemson's 2018 title team recognized for academic prowess
Clemson's most recent national championship football team also met the mark in the classroom.

On Tuesday, the Tigers' 2018 football team was one of 10 national champs to earn recognition from the NCAA for their Academic Progress Rate scores. The scores cover the academic years 2015-16 through 2018-19.

Every player on a team receives one point each semester for remaining academically eligible and another point for staying enrolled. Graduating players receive both points for the semester. Programs that produce a perfect score of 1,000 and those finishing among the top 10% of teams in their sport are honored by the NCAA.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Kobe Bryant's sports academy retires "Mamba" nickname
The Southern California sports academy previously co-owned by Kobe Bryant has retired his "Mamba" nickname and rebranded itself nearly four months after the basketball icon's death in a helicopter crash.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people were killed Jan. 26 as they flew to a basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

'Be Like Mike' jingle almost didn't happen, says creator
"The Last Dance," ESPN's docuseries detailing the 1998 and final season of the Chicago Bulls championship dynasty, has served as a reminder to basketball fans of the greatness of Michael Jordan on the court. While it's showcased Jordan's dominance between baselines, it's also shed light on his worldwide marketing allure.

Although the Hall-of-Famer starred in many memorable commercials  throughout the 1990s for major brands such McDonald's "Nothing But Net" spot and Nike's "Failure" ad, one of his most famous may be Gatorade's "Be Like Mike" commercial.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Former Bear Leonard Floyd hoping to flourish with Rams
Although the blueprint drawn by Dante Fowler last season doesn't precisely fit Leonard Floyd, it's plenty close enough to thrill Floyd about the chance to turbo-charge his career with the Los Angeles Rams.

In just 1 1/2 seasons with the Rams, Fowler transformed himself from another team's underachieving top-10 pick into an elite NFL pass rusher who landed a $45 million free-agent contract from Atlanta last month.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Like it or not, National League designated hitters limber up
Before all the self-proclaimed purists forecasting the destruction of baseball strategy and the very sanctity of the sport as we know it go berserk bemoaning the inclusion of a designated hitter in the National League this season, remember this:

In a most remarkable October full of huge momentum swings, the pivotal blow that decided last year's World Series was delivered by, yep, the NL DH.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Street ball scene on hiatus, including NYC's iconic courts
No sounds of bouncing balls. No scuffing of sneakers against dusty concrete. No whipping of basketballs as they fall through nylon nets or metallic ringing of balls careening off rims.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a stillness that those who best know the New York street ball scene could never have imagined.

In the six weeks since New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's actions, iconic street ball landmarks such as Rucker Park in Harlem, Brooklyn's Gersh Park, "The Cage" on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village, Dyckman Park in Washington Heights and others have all been void of the typical soundtrack that help usher in the spring warmup across the five boroughs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

UFC 249 ushers in fan-free, mask-filled era of sports
Kicks, punches and grunts echoed through the empty arena. Coaches, commentators and camera clicks resonated like never before. Blood, sweat, swollen eyelids and face masks signaled the return of UFC, the first major sporting event to resume since the coronavirus shuttered much of the country for nearly two months.

UFC 249 ushered in a new look for sports, too. One without fans and amid several safety precautions.

Monday, May 11, 2020

If games resume, athletes will 'need to know when to peak'
Making it safe for America's professional sports teams to start playing games is one thing.

Making sure athletes are in game shape is another.

The coronavirus pandemic brought sports to a halt, but stay-at-home orders are starting to be eased and a handful of NBA teams are opening practice facilities.

Monday, May 11, 2020

AP source: MLB to cut amateur draft from 40 rounds to 5
Major League Baseball will cut its amateur draft from 40 rounds to five this year, a move that figures to save teams about $30 million.

Clubs gained the ability to reduce the draft as part of their March 26 agreement with the players' association and MLB plans to finalize a decision next week to go with the minimum, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because no decision was announced.

There will be just 160 players drafted, by far the fewest since the annual selection started in 1965, and the combined value of their signing bonus pools is $235,906,800. The amount of signing bonus pool money eliminated is $29,578,100.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

McIlroy, Johnson headline charity golf match for virus relief
Live golf returns to television in just under two weeks with a $3 million charity skins match for COVID-19 relief that includes Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and the broadcast debut of fabled Seminole Golf Club.

McIlroy and Johnson, both major champions who have reached No. 1 in the world, will face Oklahoma State alumni Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in an event billed as the "TaylorMade Driving Relief."

Saturday, May 9, 2020

NBA teams start to reopen as testing plan begins emerging
The NBA took tiny steps toward a return to normalcy Friday, as a small number of practice facilities reopened for workouts and at least one team received permission from the league to test players and staff for the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took part in a teleconference with members of the National Basketball Players Association on Friday night. Silver, according to a person familiar with the call's details, told players that the league is still aiming to hold full best-of-seven playoff series should the season resume and that playing without fans is an obvious possibility.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Woods, Mickelson donate $10M to virus relief
The next match involving Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson involves a $10 million donation for COVID-19 relief efforts, along with plenty of bragging rights in a star-powered foursome May 24 at Medalist Golf Club.

Turner Sports announced more details Thursday for "The Match: Champions for Charity," a televised match between Woods and Peyton Manning against Mickelson and Tom Brady.

Medalist is where Woods plays when he's at home. Manning and Brady said they have played there before — Manning running out of golf balls before reaching the 18th, Brady posting a 106.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Jim Harbaugh proposes one-and-done rule change for NFL draft
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is pushing for a change that would allow football players to enter the NFL draft after one year in college.

"My first proposal is that we put this decision to `go or stay' in the hands of the individual and his family, not in the form of an NFL, NFLPA or NCAA rule while allowing the player to return to college football if he does not sign," Harbaugh wrote in an open letter to the football community Thursday.

Friday, May 8, 2020

CFL: Canceling season most likely scenario
Canadian Football League Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the most likely scenario is to cancel the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ambrosie made the admission Thursday in testimony to a House of Commons standing committee on finance. He appeared via video during a panel on arts, culture, sports and charitable organizations after news broke last week that the CFL requested up to $150 million Canadian in assistance from the federal government.

Friday, May 8, 2020

WBC setting up home video judging for pro boxing
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman expects professional boxing to return without spectators and with judges officiating by video from home.

Sulaiman said the World Boxing Council has produced a protocol for fights during the coronavirus pandemic that limit, for instance, a four-fight card to about 40-50 people at a venue. Those numbers include one handler for each fighter, boxing commission supervisors, media and TV production crews.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

NBA says it is handling return with extreme caution
The NBA says some players can voluntarily return to their team practice facilities starting Friday, with some very specific conditions and only in places where local and state governments have signed off on such openings.

It's unclear how many players will be back on the floor Friday when the league ban gets lifted. Miami is allowed to open its doors for the first time in six weeks but won't until at least Monday while it works out certain logistical details. Orlando isn't going to welcome players back immediately either. Same goes for Utah, the first NBA team to deal with the coronavirus after Rudy Gobert tested positive March 11 and the league shut down almost immediately. And most teams aren't allowed to open yet to because of local rules.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Patchwork decisions throw wrinkle in college football plans
There are 130 major college football teams, spread across 41 states and competing in 10 conferences, save for a handful of independents.

The goal is to have all those teams start the upcoming season at the same time — whether that's around Labor Day as scheduled or later — and play the same number of games.

With each passing day it is becoming apparent the COVID-19 pandemic is going to make that goal difficult to achieve. Despite the best intentions of conference leaders, the possibility exists of college football being played in SEC country before it begins in Pac-12 territory — or something else entirely.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

NY Jets, ageless Frank Gore agree to terms on one-year deal
Frank Gore's likely run to Canton will go through the Big Apple for at least one season.

The seemingly ageless running back, who turns 37 next Thursday, agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Jets on Tuesday.

Gore is third on the NFL's career rushing list with 15,269 yards after passing Barry Sanders on the list last year while with Buffalo. With the Jets, Gore will join a backfield that includes Le'Veon Bell and fourth-round draft pick La'Mical Perine.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Will Belichick overtake Shula for most NFL coaching wins?
The use of the adjective "winningest" in sports dates at least to the 1930s, when Don Shula was a toddler.

The word came along at the right time as a superlative made for Shula, and described him in headlines after his death Monday  at age 90.

Among the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach's many achievements, his NFL record 347 victories with the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins stood out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

UFC 249 headlining sports return on Saturday
When the UFC leads North America's major sports back into action Saturday night with a pay-per-view show in Florida, Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje know they can't do anything tentatively.

"We've got to go out there and keep sports alive," Ferguson said Tuesday after he flew into Jacksonville and was quickly tested for COVID-19.

The 24 fighters at UFC 249 all realize they added another risk to their already hazardous professions when they agreed to compete amid the growing coronavirus pandemic. While the UFC has strict safety protocols in place, no one can be certain of the dangers involved when the mixed martial arts promotion returns from an eight-week break with three shows in eight days in Jacksonville.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

NCAA accuses Louisville basketball of recruiting violations 
The NCAA has accused the Louisville men's basketball program of committing a Level I violation with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits and several Level II violations, including an accusation that former Cardinals coach Rick Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The notice released on Monday is the completion of a two-year NCAA investigation following a federal corruption probe into college basketball. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II, which led to the ousters of Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich in October 2017.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Shula remembered by peers for "playing within the rules" 
Don Shula often said he wanted to be remembered for playing within the rules, and that's what happened Monday.

In the wake of his death at age 90, an outpouring of tributes from around the NFL saluted not only Shula's two Super Bowl championships and NFL-record 347 coaching victories, but also the way he won.

"He's one of the great credits to the game that has ever been," said Shula's longtime friendly rival, former Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy. "The fact he was the winningest coach in the history of the league and did it by playing by the rules and honoring the game — certainly that is impressive. He'll be remembered for the success he had and also the type of person he was, for his ability and also his character."

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Packers and Bears have played 200 times
Last season’s Packers-Bears matchup at Lambeau Field in December marked the 200th meeting in the NFL’s most-played rivalry.

From Lambeau and Lombardi to Halas and Ditka, from Favre and Rodgers to Luckman and McMahon, from Payton and Sayers to Starr and Hornung, from the Titletown era to the ’85 Bears, the rivalry has endured for almost a century.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Byron scores 3rd NASCAR iRacing victory
William Byron showed he's the sharpest gamer in NASCAR's iRacing Series with his third victory in four events.

Byron passed Timmy Hill with seven laps remaining at virtual Dover International Speedway, where NASCAR was scheduled to actually race Sunday, to win yet again on the iRacing platform. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has consistently been the best of the NASCAR professionals in simulated racing.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Dalton goes to Cowboys as Prescott's backup
Andy Dalton is coming home to Texas as Dak Prescott's backup with the Dallas Cowboys.

Dalton and the Cowboys agreed Saturday to a one-year deal that guarantees the former Cincinnati starter $3 million and could be worth up to $7 million. The agreement was first reported by ESPN.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Bears decline Trubisky's 5th-year option for 2021
The Chicago Bears have declined their fifth-year option for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for the 2021 season, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced. The NFL Network first reported the decision.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Women's soccer loses equal pay bid
A federal judge threw out the unequal pay claim by players on the U.S. women's national soccer team in a surprising loss for the defending World Cup champions but allowed their allegation of discriminatory working conditions to go to trial.

Players led by Alex Morgan sued in March 2019, claiming they have not been paid equally under their collective bargaining agreement to what the men's national team receives under its labor deal. They asked for more than $66 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Monday, May 4, 2020

NBA opts to push back draft combine, draft lottery
(AP) — The NBA is delaying the draft lottery and draft combine, events scheduled for Chicago later this month.
Saturday, May 2, 2020

MLB owners to discuss altered draft length next week

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball owners will discuss a length for the amateur draft next week and are likely to start the selections on the original date of June 10, a person familiar with the deliberations told The Associated Press.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Marc Eversley joins Bulls as GM from 76ers' front office
CHICAGO (AP) — Marc Eversley gets a chance to help restore an iconic NBA franchise and set an example for the city's youth.
Saturday, May 2, 2020

NCAA doctor: Testing crucial to having sports in fall
(AP) — Widespread testing for coronavirus will be crucial to having college sports in the fall — especially contact sports such as football and basketball, the NCAA's chief medical officer said Friday.
Saturday, May 2, 2020

Little League World Series canceled for 1st time in history
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — This year's Little League World Series and the championship tournaments in six other Little League divisions have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, May 1, 2020

Woman hit in face by ball at Wrigley sues Cubs, MLB
CHICAGO (AP) — A woman who was struck in the face by a foul ball during a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field two years ago has filed a lawsuit against the team and Major League Baseball.
Friday, May 1, 2020

Bengals release QB Dalton, clear way for Burrow to lead 
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals cleared the way for Joe Burrow to lead the team by releasing quarterback Andy Dalton, who holds several of the franchise's passing records but couldn't lead Cincinnati deep into the playoffs.
Friday, May 1, 2020

NASCAR to resume May 17 with seven races in 10 days
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR plans to restart its engines with a flurry of races at two historic tracks.
Friday, May 1, 2020

Jeter, Walker put on ice as MLB Hall of Fame cancels induction
(AP) — Derek Jeter, Larry Walker and the rest of this year's Baseball Hall of Fame class will have to wait another year for their big moment at Cooperstown.
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Secretariat is 7-2 early favorite in virtual Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Secretariat is the early 7-2 favorite for this weekend's virtual Kentucky Derby, an animated race between all 13 Triple Crown winners on the day the Derby would have been held before the coronavirus pandemic postponed it.
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Skeptics loom as NCAA builds guardrails around compensation
(AP) — For more than 60 years, NCAA leaders have insisted college athletes had to be amateurs and to be amateurs they could not be paid for being athletes — by anybody.
Thursday, April 30, 2020

MLB season could see 3 regional divisions
Major League Baseball is exploring various options that could allow the season to start if the medical situation allows, including a plan in which the 30 teams might be split into three regional divisions.

Among the formats under consideration is one in which teams could be restricted to playing within their region, two people familiar with the discussions said Tuesday. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Rams now chasing rest of power-packed NFC West
A year ago, the Los Angeles Rams were fresh off a Super Bowl trip and back-to-back NFC West titles, feeling good about where they stood in the division.

Now they seem to be looking up at the competition in the NFL's toughest division. While the Rams got rid of cornerstone players Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks  because of bloated contracts and dwindling production, their counterparts got stronger.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

AP source: Bulls hiring 76ers' Eversley as GM
The Chicago Bulls have hired Philadelphia 76ers executive Marc Eversley to replace the fired Gar Forman as general manager and work under new top basketball executive Arturas Karnisovas, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the move hadn't been announced. ESPN first reported the hiring.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Evaluating the NFC North draft class
The Minnesota Vikings were forced by a salary-cap crunch this spring into a soft remodel, with many more exits than enhancements to the lineup.

They ramped up the project over the weekend.

While NFL draft picks never come with warranties, particularly in a year like this with an abbreviated-at-best training period, Minnesota's record 15-player class was assembled with the potential for immediate impact at several positions of need.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

USA Swimming unveils tentative schedule
USA Swimming is planning a return to the pool.

Though, no one is quite sure how it will all play out during the coronavirus pandemic.

The national governing body unveiled a tentative schedule Monday that begins with a series of regional events in August before a national lineup of meets kicks off in early November — all leading up to next summer's Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska and the Tokyo Games.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Blackhawks fire team president McDonough
The Chicago Blackhawks fired team president John McDonough on Monday, cutting ties with a key figure in the most successful decade in team history and raising questions about the direction of one of the NHL's marquee franchises.

The surprising move, coming with the season suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, could have a domino effect on Chicago's leadership structure. Stan Bowman has served as general manager for almost 11 years, but the Blackhawks haven't made the playoffs since 2017 — a painful drought for a franchise that hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Draft averages record 8.4 million viewers
Seth Markman was just as nervous as NFL coaches and general managers about the unknown factors involved with a virtual draft. But the ESPN executive producer said he was overwhelmed with how everything came together over the three days.

It also ended up being must-see TV as the first significant live sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic ground everything to a halt. The draft averaged a record 8.4 million viewers over all three days, according to the NFL and Nielsen. The previous high was 6.2 million last year.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Endorsements could be big for top NCAA players
Imagine a major-college quarterback with a sizable social media following who posts entertaining and informative updates about his life on and off the field.

Now imagine a restaurant hiring him as its pitchman and paying him $500 or $1,000 each time he posts content with its messaging.

That scenario could become reality as soon as 2021 as the NCAA figures out the details of how college athletes can be compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Armstrong talks Rodman's role in Bulls titles
Dennis Rodman was one of the rivals Michael Jordan had to conquer on his way to his first run of three straight NBA titles. And Rodman then became one of the teammates who helped Jordan pull off his second three-peat.

B.J. Armstrong saw both sides.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Packers stay on offense, add RB A.J. Dillon, TE Deguara
The Green Bay Packers have stayed on offense throught the first two days of the NFL draft, a major change from their usual strategy.

One day after trading up four spots in the first round to take Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick, the Packers added Boston College running back A.J. Dillon in the second round and Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara in the third round Friday night.

Before this season, the Packers hadn't used a first-round pick on offense since taking Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod at No. 32 overall in 2011. The Packers went with defense with their first two picks last year, their first three draft choices in 2018 and their first four selections in 2017.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Rams grab Akers, Van Jefferson to replace Gurley, Cooks
The Los Angeles Rams went right to work patching the biggest holes in their lineup when they finally got some picks in the NFL draft.

The Rams drafted possible replacements for Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks in the second round Friday night, grabbing Florida State running back Cam Akers with the 52nd overall pick and Florida receiver Van Jefferson with the 57th overall pick.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Bears open draft with TE Cole Kmet, CB Jaylon Johnson
Cole Kmet grew up in the Chicago suburbs cheering for Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher and former star tight end Greg Olsen. His dad, Frank, played on the Bears' practice squad in the early 1990s.

Now, Kmet gets to suit up for his hometown team.

The Bears addressed one of their biggest weaknesses on a struggling offense by drafting the Notre Dame tight end with the No. 43 overall pick Friday night before adding Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson at No. 50.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

NFL helping launch of wheelchair football league at draft
The competitive drive never has left Brad Lang, who hopes to be playing football in the fall.

In the first Wheelchair Football League, which is being launched by Disabled Sports USA.

On Saturday, Lang, a Marine veteran who lost both legs in an explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan in 2011, will announce a draft pick for the Carolina Panthers. He was selected by the NFL to represent the new league that plans to play in Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Kansas City, Missouri.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Cubs players sharing house while awaiting baseball
When the coronavirus pandemic stopped spring training last month, Ian Happ offered Nico Hoerner, Zack Short and Dakota Mekkes a place to stay if they wanted to remain in Arizona.

That's how "The Compound" was born.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Minor leaguers, college players get creative to stay ready
Andre Nnebe hollers over the breeze coming off the bay behind home plate and announces to the group, "First pitch, 2:10!"

The Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer thanks college catcher Eamonn Lance for showing up because now there can be live batting practice, something Nnebe hasn't done since the coronavirus put a sudden halt on sports.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Buffalo basketball gets probation for forged documents
The University at Buffalo men's basketball team has been placed on one-year probation and agreed to other NCAA sanctions after a former assistant coach was found to have forged recruiting documents.

The decision was announced by the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference school as part of a negotiated resolution reached Tuesday. The school said it self-reported the infractions in October and cooperated with the NCAA investigation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Gronkowski to reunite with Brady in Tampa Bay
Four-time All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski has agreed to a reunion with Tom Brady.

The agent for the retired New England star confirmed Tuesday that pending completion of a physical Gronkowski has agreed to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are acquiring his rights from the Patriots.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Mock Draft: 3 QBs may go in first 5 picks of NFL draft
Talk about virtual drafts, what is a mock draft, really? Make believe.

The upcoming NFL remote draft beginning Thursday night has a touch of irony to it. The producers of said mock drafts rarely are even remotely accurate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Davis, US boxers choosing delayed Olympics over pro riches
Keyshawn Davis took several weeks to choose his path to boxing stardom after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the top professional prospect on the U.S. Olympic qualification team was suddenly facing nearly a year without an amateur fight that mattered.

He could wait 16 months for his shot at gold in Tokyo, or he could accept one of several lucrative offers to begin his professional career immediately.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

MLB players say pay shouldn't be cut over empty ballparks
Major League Baseball players are upset over the prospect teams may seek additional pay cuts if games are played in empty ballparks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Their anger was stoked last week when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was told by Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon that the union would have to agree to lower salaries if games are played without fans.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Byron wins 2nd NASCAR virtual race in a drama-free event 
Nobody did anything to get fired or lose a sponsor in this week's edition of NASCAR virtual racing.

William Byron won his second consecutive NASCAR virtual race on Sunday by holding off Timmy Hill — the driver who moved him out of the way to win an earlier iRacing event — in a race low on dramatics.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Former Bull, Armstrong, gives perspective on 'The Last Dance'
B.J. Armstrong played on three NBA championship teams with Michael Jordan. He knows how Jordan is behind closed doors. He knows the sort of trials and tribulations that occur over the course of a season.

And he was amused at one bit of drama that viewers saw during the first two episodes of "The Last Dance" — the ESPN and Netflix documentary series built around Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98 — specifically, the part where Jordan held nothing back in critiquing the play of teammates Ron Harper and Toni Kukoc in practice.

Monday, April 20, 2020

ESPN, NFL Network ready to tackle challenges of remote draft
(AP) — The NFL draft is annually one of the most ambitious productions that ESPN does. Next week's coverage might go down as THE most ambitious in the network's 40-year history.
Saturday, April 18, 2020

Little League World Series faces 0-2 count amid coronavirus outbreak
(AP) — Put them in, coach. The boys and girls of summer are ready to play.
Friday, April 17, 2020

Tokyo Games may not provide much economic stimulus for Japan
TOKYO (AP) — IOC member John Coates, who oversees planning for next year's Tokyo Olympics, has claimed the postponed games could help "kick start" Japan's economy.
Friday, April 17, 2020

llinois' Dosunmu declares for NBA draft
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu declared for the NBA draft in a video posted to his Twitter account Wednesday.
Friday, April 17, 2020

IL Supreme Court: Daily fantasy sports are games of skill
SPRINGFIELD — A statute dating back to the early 1800s cannot be applied to daily fantasy sports betting, Illinois’ highest court ruled Thursday. Fantasy sports, the court ruled, are games dominated by skill, not by chance.
Friday, April 17, 2020

Hall of Famer Willie Davis dead at 85
Willie Davis, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive lineman who helped the Green Bay Packers win each of the first two Super Bowls, has died. He was 85.

The Packers confirmed Davis' death to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday, as did his former teammate and fellow hall member, Dave Robinson.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Baseball commissioner 'to turn over every stone to try to play the game in 2020'
Rob Manfred wants Major League Baseball to be in position to take the field whenever government and health officials give the go-ahead.

"I think it's incumbent upon us to turn over every stone to try to play the game in 2020 if there's any way we can in the environment," the baseball commissioner said Wednesday during an interview with The Associated Press.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Documentary on Bulls dynasty begins Sunday nite
Michael Jordan described his final NBA championship season with the Chicago Bulls as a “trying year.”

“We all were all trying to enjoy that year knowing it was coming to an end,” Jordan said today via video conference from his home in Florida.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Baseball Hall of Famer Halladay on drugs, doing stunts when plane crashed
Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Halladay had high levels of amphetamines in his system and was doing extreme acrobatics when he lost control of his small plane and nosedived into the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, killing him, a National Transportation Safety Board report issued Wednesday said.
Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pro wrestling 'essential' under Florida governor's order
Body slams and pile drives can go on in the Sunshine State.

With Florida under a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, there's one business deemed essential by Florida's governor that is raising some eyebrows: pro wrestling.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

NASCAR's Larson fired, sponsors walk after racial slur
As sponsor after sponsor dropped Kyle Larson after he used a racial slur during a live-streamed virtual race, his NASCAR team owner was backed into a corner.

Chip Ganassi could let McDonald's and Credit One Bank and Chevrolet pull their funding and bankrupt his team or he could cut ties with the driver he had plucked from sprint car racing and groomed into an elite stock car driver.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hank Steinbrenner, Yankees co-owner, dies at age 63
Hank Steinbrenner, the oldest son of George Steinbrenner and one of the four siblings who own the controlling shares of the New York Yankees, died Tuesday at age 63.

The team said he died at home in Clearwater, Florida, due to a long-standing health issue.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tour de France rescheduled to Aug. 29
The Tour de France has new dates, and it will be followed by cycling's two other major races.

Because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, the iconic race around France will now start on Aug. 29 and finish on Sept. 20. The Giro d'Italia and the Spanish Vuelta, cycling's two other Grand Tours, will take place after the French race.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

AP source: Panthers make McCaffrey highest-paid running back
The Carolina Panthers have rewarded Christian McCaffrey for his production and versatility, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

The team agreed to a four-year, $64 million contract extension with McCaffrey on Monday, a person familiar with the contract negotiations told The Associated Press.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Karnisovas sets course to boost Bulls toward ultimate prize
Arturas Karnisovas developed a passion for the Chicago Bulls when he was a teenager in Lithuania. He watched from afar as Michael Jordan set out on a path that turned Chicago into a championship dynasty and a global brand.

Now it's his job to direct Jordan's old team back to the top of the NBA.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Transfer portal causing college basketball coaches headaches
Gregg Marshall began his career as an assistant at tiny Randolph-Macon and Belmont Abbey, but it was during eight years on the staff of Hall of Fame coach John Kresse at College of Charleston that he learned to build a basketball program.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Glenn Beckert, four-time All-Star for Chicago Cubs, dies at 79
Glenn Beckert, a four-time All-Star second baseman for the Chicago Cubs in the 1960s and '70s, died Sunday. He was 79.

Citing his family, the Cubs said he died of natural causes in Florida.

Monday, April 13, 2020

MLS goalkeeper Attinella moonlights as children's book author
Jeff Attinella is unique in that he's the only MLS goalkeeper who can also say he's a children's book author, a side job that has helped earn him the nickname "Dadtinella" from the Portland Timbers faithful.

He's already written five books for kids, and has even launched a publishing company.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Youth baseball scrambling nationwide amid pandemic
The end to months of fundraising, planning and practice ended with a press release and tears.

Mike DeLuca envisioned his youngest son, John, capping his baseball career the same way most 12-year-old All-Star squads from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, had for the last two decades: with a week spent playing teams from all over the country at Cooperstown Dreams Park in early August.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Amid uncertainty, college football trying to plan for season
Spring football was shelved because of the coronavirus. There is still plenty of work going on in college football.

With the pandemic casting uncertainty on the 2020 season, programs are starting to wrestle with two weighty issues: Getting ready to play some kind of season if it is safe to do so and trying to manage what for many would be a substantial financial blow if the season is shortened or canceled.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Ron Rivera aims to start changing culture in Redskins locker room
Ron Rivera made plenty of mistakes as a first-time NFL head coach that he hopes not to repeat this time around.

Rivera also did enough good things early on with Carolina in 2011 that he's trying to duplicate now with Washington. The new Redskins coach took some big swings in free agency, but has so far been more focused on incremental additions and subtractions to change the culture within the organization and build for the future.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Virtual racing puts NASCAR, IndyCar ahead in sports shutdown
Get this: Some 1 million people have tuned in to watch professional racers play a video game on national television.


Saturday, April 11, 2020

UFC 249 canceled after ESPN, Disney halt promotion
UFC 249 was canceled Thursday after ESPN and parent company Disney stopped UFC President Dana White's plan to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After defiantly vowing for weeks to maintain a regular schedule of fights while the rest of the sports world halted, White confirmed the decision to cease competition in a text to The Associated Press.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Jimmie Johnson mulls future in red-flagged farewell season
Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR champion and all-around Everyman, has added home-schooling elementary teacher to his resume.

The sports stoppage from the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a red flag on Johnson's farewell tour. He had planned a final season of racing a full NASCAR schedule, but so far that has lasted just four races.

Friday, April 10, 2020

AP source: Bulls tab Nuggets' Karnisovas to lead operations
The Chicago Bulls came into the season thinking they were poised to contend for a playoff spot. The plan did not unfold the way they envisioned, and now, they have a new leader in the front office.

The Bulls hired Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas to run their basketball operation, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday night.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Burton to donate 500,000 respirator masks across Northeast
The Burton snowboard company is donating 500,000 respirator masks to hospitals across the Northeast, harnessing the company's worldwide footprint to help put a dent in the country's lagging stockpile of personal protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic.

Donna Burton Carpenter said her company's largest binding manufacturer, Fudakin in China, directed her to a nearby factory that was making FDA-approved KN95 respirator masks. The price of masks were increasing almost by the hour as competing bidders sought to increase their supplies.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Brady: It was 'just time' to leave Pats for new challenge
Tom Brady entered his final season in New England with a strong inkling that it would be his last with the Patriots.

The six-time Super Bowl champion who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency last month said Wednesday on SiriusXM's "The Howard Stern Show" it was "just time" for a change, reiterating he has no hard feelings about coach Bill Belichick not making him a Patriot for life.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

LeBron: Closure not likely unless Lakers can finish season
Instead of preparing for a playoff run, LeBron James is mostly spending the spring playing hoops with his teenage sons and enjoying tea time with his young daughter.

And when he isn't binge-watching "Tiger King" with his wife, he is scanning the news for information on whether the coronavirus pandemic will allow the Los Angeles Lakers to finish their impressive season chasing an NBA championship.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Redskins weigh drafting Young vs. trading No. 2 pick
It has long seemed like a virtual certainty that the Redskins will take Chase Young with the second pick in the NFL draft.

If the Cincinnati Bengals select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow first overall as expected, the Ohio State pass-rusher and Heisman Trophy finalist would fall into Washington's lap.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Ex-MLBer finishes med school, preps to fight virus
If he wanted, Mark Hamilton could show off his World Series ring at work.

But the fill-in first baseman for the 2011 champion St. Louis Cardinals prefers to keep that prize safe at home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

College baseball talent level to go up with change to draft
As disappointing as it's been to have the college baseball season shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Michigan coach Erik Bakich sees a silver lining.

"I do think the coming years will be the deepest college baseball has ever been," he said.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Illinois freshman sensation Cockburn declares for NBA draft
Illinois could be taking a huge hit on the basketball court in their next season as freshman sensation Kofi Cockburn declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday. Cockburn follows Alan Griffin and Tevian Jones, who entered the transfer portal, as potential losses for the Illini in the upcoming year.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

NFL going with virtual format for upcoming draft
The NFL draft will be conducted in a virtual format, with team personnel working from their homes.

In a memo sent to the 32 teams Monday and obtained by The Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Silver says not to expect NBA decision before May
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is bracing for several more weeks of uncertainty about the remainder of this halted season, revealing Monday night that he does not expect the league will be able to decide anything until at least May.

Silver spoke on the NBA's Twitter account as part of the league's new NBATogether initiative, in a conversation hosted by Turner Sports' Ernie Johnson. Silver touched on many topics, including how the league is looking at numerous scenarios for a return, but in every case the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic makes it impossible right now to move too far forward.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

British canceled, Masters moved to November
The Masters goes from that annual rite of spring to two weeks before Thanksgiving. The U.S. Open now is scheduled in September for the first time since amateur Francis Ouimet took down Britain's best at Brookline in 1913 to put golf on the map in America.

And the oldest championship of them all won't even be played.

Golf organizations tried to salvage a season unlike any other Monday with a series of changes, starting with the British Open being canceled for the first time since 1945. The PGA Championship, which last year moved to May, would go back to August. That would be followed by the PGA Tour's postseason, the U.S. Open and Ryder Cup in consecutive weeks, and then the Masters on Nov. 12-15.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Ex-NFL kicker, Saints hero Tom Dempsey dies at 73
Tom Dempsey, the kicker born without toes on his kicking foot who made a then-record 63-yard field goal, died late Saturday while struggling with complications from the new coronavirus. He was 73.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate first reported Dempsey's death. Ashley Dempsey said Sunday that her father, who has resided in an assisted living home for several years after being diagnosed with dementia, tested positive for the coronavirus a little more than a week ago.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Pro day cancellations forcing changes to NFL draft
Bill Polian simplified the NFL's draft process years ago.

He studied film, relied on medical experts, checked the numbers and interviewed players.

With the flurry of pro days canceled because of the new coronavirus, the Hall of Fame executive who constructed multiple Super Bowl teams during his 32-year career believes it's time for a return to his throwback approach.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Byron wins virtual Bristol; Bubba 'rage quits' early
William Byron led the most laps in NASCAR's first two virtual races and had nothing to show for his gaming skills. The third time out, he got the win.

Byron easily won the iRacing event Sunday at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, where NASCAR would have been really racing before the coronavirus pandemic caused sports to shut down.

Monday, April 6, 2020

WNBA postpones start of season this month because of coronavirus
NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA season will not start on time next month because of the coronavirus pandemic, and when it begins is unclear.
Saturday, April 4, 2020

Bears declare open competition between Trubisky, Foles
(AP) — The Chicago Bears declared the quarterback competition between Mitchell Trubisky and newcomer Nick Foles an open one on Friday.
Saturday, April 4, 2020

Basketball Hall of Fame is set to announce its 2020 class
(AP) — A unique Hall of Fame class will be announced Saturday in a unique way.
Saturday, April 4, 2020

Athletic directors at biggest schools bracing for financial crisis
(AP) — Athletic directors at the nation's biggest sports schools are bracing for a potential financial crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Patriots use team plane to help Mass., fly masks in from China
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Bears finalize contracts with former All-Pro Quinn and Ifedi
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears finalized a five-year, $70 million contract with former All-Pro pass rusher Robert Quinn and a one-year deal with former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Germain Ifedi on Wednesday.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Cardinals - Cubs series in London in June is canceled
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Ed Farmer, White Sox broadcaster, former pitcher, dies at 70
CHICAGO (AP) — Ed Farmer rooted for the White Sox growing up on Chicago's South Side and went on to become an All-Star reliever for them.
Friday, April 3, 2020

Payton's back at work, is unsure if Brees plays beyond 2020
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Saints coach Sean Payton said he didn't mean to insinuate on a television appearance that record-setting quarterback Drew Brees informed him of plans to retire after the upcoming season.
Thursday, April 2, 2020

IndyCar's virtual race to be aired on NBC Sports Network
(AP) — IndyCar’s virtual racing will be televised beginning with Saturday’s iRacing event, which has been picked up by NBC Sports.
Thursday, April 2, 2020

NCAA throws baseball coaches a curve with added eligibility
(AP) — Widely hailed as the right thing to do for student-athlete welfare, the NCAA's decision to extend spring sports athletes' eligibility a year  because of the coronavirus pandemic is causing consternation for baseball coaches.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

NASCAR steps up to produce PPE's amid COVID-19 crisis
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The five 3D printers at NASCAR's Research & Technology center – two delivered in February and installed less than two weeks ago -- are typically focused on composite parts and working on an updated stock car.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

NFL teams rely on tape as virus alters pre-draft routine
AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Let's go to the tape.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

NCAA to give spring sport athletes extra year of eligibility
(AP) — The NCAA will permit Division I spring-sport athletes — such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players — who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus pandemic to have an additional year of eligibility.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

'There's no blueprint' - Virus upends college recruiting
(AP) — After Michigan lost to Ohio State in the semifinals of the women's Big Ten Tournament, coach Kim Barnes Arico and her staff immediately hit the road. They intended to take advantage of a full week off before the NCAA Tournament by making visiting as many potential recruits as possible.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

USA Basketball may face roster challenges for 2021

(AP) — Knowing when the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will be solves one problem for USA Basketball.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tech boom: MLB programs helping women find jobs in baseball
Rachel Folden figured something out early on during her first spring training with the Chicago Cubs — long before the coronavirus pandemic wiped out team activities.

None of the players care all that much that one of their coaches is a woman. As for the girls she encounters, they care very much that one of the coaches is a woman.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Call to the wild: Great outdoors offers an escape in tough times
Jim Klug's office phone rings off the hook with anxious anglers inquiring about the status of their upcoming fly-fishing trips.

It's a stressful time for the co-owner of a fishing travel company as he postpones and re-books international and domestic expeditions due the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Timmy Hill virtual winner of NASCAR's live iRacing event 
Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead sang the national anthem from a remote location. Troy Aikman, borrowing Matthew McConaughey's trademark phrase "All right, all right, all right," commanded drivers to start their, uh, simulators.

NASCAR's new normal resumed Sunday with another virtual event, the second in an iRacing series thrown together after the coronavirus pandemic stopped nearly all sports. NASCAR's 36-race season was suspended four events into the year.

Monday, March 30, 2020

NBA players adapting to workouts without gyms
Denver's players, if they're so willing, have the same assignment each day: Go to their phone or tablet, launch an app and view their individualized daily workout plan that was created by the Nuggets' strength and conditioning staff.

For now, it's the best idea the Nuggets have — as they, like every other NBA team, are figuring out new ways to do almost everything.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

MLB owners, union talk Christmastime baseball
If the final pitch of the 2020 baseball season comes closer to Christmas than Halloween, that's fine with the players.

Major League Baseball owners ratified a 17-page agreement with the union on Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with players willing to extend the season as long as needed to cover as close to a full schedule as possible.

Even if it involves neutral sites in warm-weather cities and domes. Even if it involves playing in empty ballparks. Even if it involves lots of day-night doubleheaders.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Athletic trainers aiding fight against coronavirus
Athletic trainers across the country are changing their routines and joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Athletic Trainers Association put together an app aimed at helping trainers assist understaffed hospitals. The app was intended to give health care providers a database to look for help nationwide. More than 950 athletic trainers have signed up over the last week.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

NCAA weighs eligibility extensions
The NCAA Division I Council is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to allow another year of eligibility for spring sport athletes such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players, who had their seasons wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing similar relief to winter sport athletes, such as basketball and hockey players and wrestlers, will also be considered. According to a memo recently sent to college sports administrators from the NCAA, there does not appear to be support for that.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Bears finalize 2-year deal with former All-Pro TE Graham
Jimmy Graham insisted he can become a dominant tight end again. And he looks forward to showing it in Chicago.

The Bears finalized a two-year contract with the former All-Pro and one-year deals with six other players on Thursday.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Ovechkin, Crosby favor NHL going directly into playoffs
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby prefers the NHL skip the rest of the regular season and head directly to the playoffs if games resume during this pandemic-interrupted spring.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is on the same page, saying he'd even be willing to finish two goals short of his ninth 50-goal season, which would tie the NHL record shared by Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy.

Friday, March 27, 2020

NCAA slashes distribution by $375 million 
Canceling March Madness because of the coronavirus pandemic will cost the NCAA about $375 million that it would have distributed to 350 schools across the nation.

Some will be able to absorb the losses better than others.

The NCAA announced Thursday it will distribute $225 million to its Division I member schools in June, nearly two-thirds less than the $600 million scheduled to be handed out in installments from April to June.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Expanded playoffs bring new challenges to NFL teams
Lovie Smith's coaching tenure in Chicago might not have ended had the Bears made the playoffs his final three seasons instead of missing out by one spot his last two years.

Playoff droughts in Cleveland and Tampa Bay wouldn't be nearly as long or painful had the Browns and Bucs sneaked their way into the postseason as the third wild card in 2007 and '16, respectively.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Seven-inning doubleheaders? MLBers open to new ideas
If Major League Baseball needs to squeeze more games into a condensed season without exhausting pitching staffs, perhaps this idea could get tossed into play: seven-inning doubleheaders.

"Maybe that's something we have to consider," Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on a conference call Wednesday.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Game Zero: Spread of virus linked to Champions League match
It was the biggest soccer game in Atalanta's history and a third of Bergamo's population made the short trip to Milan's famed San Siro Stadium.

Nearly 2,500 fans of visiting Spanish club Valencia also traveled to that Champions League match.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Carolina Panthers release 9-year veteran quarterback Cam Newton
The Cam Newton era is over in Carolina, as the Panthers released the 30-year-old quarterback after nine seasons.

The move became a mere formality after the Panthers made it clear last week they were moving on from Newton by giving him permission to seek a trade and then agreeing to a three-year, $63 million contract with free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater about 90 minutes later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Mets star pitcher Noah Syndergaard needs Tommy John surgery
Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard became the latest big-name pitcher to need Tommy John surgery, joining the Yankees' Luis Severino and Boston's Chris Sale.

New York said Tuesday that Syndergaard needs reconstruction of his ulnar collateral ligament and will miss the season that's been put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak. Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek will operate on the right-hander on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Olympics officially postponed
The Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee made the decision after speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Infantino eyes reboot for soccer to avoid crisis
The future of soccer could be fewer games and fewer top competitions to help avoid a financial crisis, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a newspaper interview published Monday.

With soccer around the world in near-total shutdown and no end in sight because of the coronavirus pandemic, Infantino said the sport risked going into recession.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Blue and yellow again: Rams unveil new logo
The Los Angeles Rams have unveiled a brand-new logo and some familiar new colors ahead of a milestone season.

The Rams' primary colors are royal blue and yellow again after the franchise's rebranding announcement, which was made Monday with rather less fanfare than the team originally hoped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bears give Trubisky competition after disappointing season
The Chicago Bears added competition for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky by trading for 2018 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

They also brought in former All-Pro to boost their pass rush by agreeing to a five-year, $70 million with Robert Quinn and have another former star on the way in tight end Jimmy Graham.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Worldwide athletes group calls for postponement of Olympics
A worldwide group representing Olympic hopefuls is calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympics until the coronavirus pandemic is under control — a decision the IOC says could be as much as four weeks away.

"As the world unites to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, the IOC ... must do the same," Global Athlete said in a news release Sunday.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Barefoot Hamlin wins NASCAR's virtual Homestead race
The stands were packed, Jimmie Johnson caused several wrecks, Denny Hamlin raced barefoot and damaged cars were repaired with the push of a button — a few virtual signs that NASCAR backed quite an unreal race.

NASCAR eased off the brake in the real sports world brought to a sudden halt by the coronavirus and introduced the country to iRacing with some of the sports biggest stars. Hamlin, the three-time Daytona 500 winner, beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the final corner Sunday at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the bizarre spectacle.

Monday, March 23, 2020

'New football journey': Tom Brady officially signs with Buccaneers
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A new look for the NFL: Tom Brady in Tampa Bay pewter and red rather than Patriots red, white and blue.
Saturday, March 21, 2020

How long until news if Olympics will open?
TOKYO (AP) — The Olympic flame has arrived in Japan from Greece. Next comes the torch relay around the country, which is scheduled to start on Thursday from Fukushima prefecture in northern Japan. Organizers have asked crowds to be restrained, but have been imprecise about what that means. Greek officials last week stopped a relay there on the second day and did not resume because of crowd size.
Saturday, March 21, 2020

Source: Falcons agree to 1-year deal with Todd Gurley
ATLANTA (AP) — A person familiar with the deal says the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a one-year deal with three-time Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley,
Friday, March 20, 2020

Red Sox ace Sale to have Tommy John surgery
BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale will have Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, an operation that would keep him out the entire 2020 baseball season if and when it resumes after the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, March 20, 2020

Jacksonville dumping QB Nick Foles in trade to Bears
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to mitigate one of the costliest mistakes in franchise history. The Chicago Bears could benefit from the purge.
Friday, March 20, 2020

Kerr says USA Basketball still planning for Tokyo 2020
The USA Basketball coaching staff for the Tokyo Olympics is still preparing as if there will be a gold medal to try and defend this summer, even in highly uncertain times caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. men's assistant coach Steve Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, said on a conference call Tuesday that he has had some recent contact with U.S. head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs as plans for the Olympics continue.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

French Open delayed; US Open switch 'possibility'
The French Open was postponed for about four months because of the coronavirus pandemic, shifting from May to September and juggling the tennis calendar.

The French tennis federation said Tuesday it will hold its 15-day clay-court event at Roland Garros in Paris from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4, instead of May 24 to June 7, "to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organizing the tournament."

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NFL considering delaying approval of deals
The NFL is considering delaying the approval of free agent deals being made the last two days because of a lack of signed contracts.

A person familiar with the discussions on Tuesday night tells The Associated Press that due to free agents not being able to travel and actually sign agreements, which is league policy, the deals might not be confirmed by teams Wednesday when the NFL's business season begins. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because such discussions are not made public.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How will NCAA recoup millions from lost tournament?
The NCAA made more than $1 billion last year, almost $867 million from the men's Division I basketball tournament, and most of that from a massive television rights deal with CBS and Turner that runs through the 2032 tournament.

The cornonavirus not only wiped out the games, but it will create some unexpected red ink on the NCAA's balance sheet this year. Exactly how much is to be determined.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

MLB delays opening day to mid-May at earliest due to virus
Major League Baseball pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest on Monday because of the new coronavirus after the federal government recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement following a conference call with executives of the 30 teams.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

April NFL draft on schedule, no public events in Las Vegas
The NFL will proceed with its draft but without public events next month in Las Vegas. It's not yet clear, however, if the draft itself will be held in the city.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday the draft will take place April 23-25 as scheduled, but under a modified format still being developed. The draft will be televised regardless of its venue or format.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

IESA officially suspends winter State series
In a release sent out on Sunday, the IESA officially suspended all winter State series for this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are plans to put on the Spring contests as scheduled, though. The release stated:
Monday, March 16, 2020

NFL players approve labor deal, 17-game season
By a close vote, with some 500 union members not participating, NFL players approved a new labor agreement with the league. It features a 17-game regular season, higher salaries, increased roster sizes and larger pensions for current and former players.

The deal, which runs through the 2030 season, was accepted by the 32 team owners last month. The NFL Players Association's membership spent the last week voting on the 439-page document after its executive board narrowly rejected it by a 6-5 vote, and the player representatives voted 17-14 in favor, with one abstention.

Monday, March 16, 2020

UFC to fight on despite "panic"
The UFC is determined to fight on amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While leagues and organizers across sports canceled or delayed competition this week, the UFC proceeded with its plans to hold a fan-free event Saturday night in Brasilia, Brazil. Next weekend, the promotion still plans to stage a full fight card with fans inside London's O2 Arena.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Cone takes over US Soccer
New U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone's first challenge will be to confront the fallout over the federation's widely condemned legal stance in the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the women's national team.

The first woman president in the 107-year history of the governing body will also oversee the appointment of a new chief executive and early preparations for the 2026 World Cup.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

NCAA to extend eligibility of spring sports athletes
The NCAA is planning to extend the eligibility of athletes on spring sports teams by one year to make up for the season lost to the new coronavirus.

The details of how the extra eligibility will work are still being ironed out.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The day the sports world stopped spinning
March 12, 2020 could be a day that lives in infamy in the minds of sports fans all across the country. It was truley the day the sports world stopped spinning as concerns over the COVID-19 virus resulted in cancellations, postponements, or suspensions for nearly all major professional sports, the NCAA, and even high-school athletics.
Friday, March 13, 2020

NBA suspends season over coronavirus
The NBA has suspended its season "until further notice" after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus, a move that came only hours after the majority of the league's owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

American women hide US Soccer logo during anthem in protest
The increasingly bitter dispute between American women's national soccer team and the U.S. Soccer Federation spilled onto the field Wednesday night when players wore their warm-up jerseys inside out  in a protest before their 3-1 victory over Japan.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Directors of hitting, pitching becoming more common
The Chicago Cubs had data. Lots of data. On velocity, pitch shaping and mechanics. Swing path, bat speed and launch trajectory. Numbers on numbers on numbers.

They also had a problem. The pipeline from research and development to their players and coaches wasn't working as well as they wanted.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

White scores 20, Bulls beat Cavaliers 108-103
Coby White scored 20 points to help offset a career-high nine turnovers in his first NBA start, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-103 on Tuesday night.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Two NCAA conferences bar fans
The Ivy League on Tuesday canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments and two other Division I conferences announced they will restrict fan access to their postseason games because of concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Ivy League's four-team tournaments were scheduled to be played Friday through Sunday at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge. The Ivy League instead will award its automatic NCAA Tournament bids to the regular-season champions, the Princeton women and Yale men.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

MLB: No plans to alter schedule because of outbreak
Major League Baseball says it doesn't plan to alter its schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"While MLB recognizes the fluidity of this rapidly evolving situation, our current intention is to play spring training and regular season games as scheduled," the league said in a statement.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

PGA Tour media deal aims for more video, bigger audience
The PGA Tour announced an expansive media rights deal Monday that brings ESPN back into the fold with its streaming service, joining two networks as part of a package designed to deliver more video content and reach a broader audience.

For regular television, the nine-year deal that begins in 2022 looks the same.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Connolly, Driedger lead Panthers to 2-1 win over the Blues
Brett Connolly scored early in the third period and Chris Driedger stopped 26 shots, leading the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Mike Hoffman also scored for Florida and Aleksi Saarela assisted on both Panthers goals, the first assists of his career. He has played in nine regular-season games for the Panthers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Allen, Blues blank Blackhawks for 9th win in 10 games
Jake Allen stopped 29 shots for his second shutout and the St. Louis Blues blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Sunday night for their ninth win in 10 games.

Robert Bortuzzo and Alex Pietrangelo scored for Central Division-leading St. Louis, which killed four Chicago power plays as it rebounded from a 4-2 home loss to lowly New Jersey on Friday. Jaden Schwartz had two assists.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Bradley grabs 2nd successive MVC Tournament crown
Bradley guard Darrell Brown was not happy with his selection to the Missouri Valley Conference all-league second team earlier in week.

He displayed his displeasure in a big way on Sunday.

Monday, March 9, 2020

No. 16 Mich St tops No. 19 Ohio St 80-69, shares B10 title
Cassius Winston kissed Michigan State's logo in the middle of its basketball court, following the school's quarter-century long tradition toward the end of his last game at the Breslin Center.

The senior scored 27 points to help the 16th-ranked Spartans beat No. 19 Ohio State 80-69 on Sunday to win a third straight Big Ten championship.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Dosunmu, No. 23 Illinois hold off No. 18 Iowa 78-76
The rivalry between Illinois and Iowa is heating up.

"Basically, they want to kill us, and we want to kill them," the Illini's Ayo Dosunmu said.

Dosunmu scored 17 points to lead No. 23 Illinois past No. 18 Iowa 78-76 on Sunday, securing the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament for the Illini.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Devils derail Blues' eight-game win streak
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The St. Louis Blues' eight-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of a team very few would have expected to beat them.
Saturday, March 7, 2020

DeBrincat helps Blackhawks top Oilers to win 4th straight
CHICAGO (AP) — Alex DeBrincat scored two goals, rookie Adam Boqvist had two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Thursday night.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Assumption's Ryan Dooley named student-athlete of the month
CANTON, Mo. — Culver-Stockton College women's basketball standout Ryan Dooley has been named the student athlete of the month for February. Dooley, a senior guard from Assumption, Ill. is a two-year member of the women's basketball team. Dooley appeared in all 31 games for the Wildcats this season, averaging a team-best 16 points, 4.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
Friday, March 6, 2020

No. 19 Ohio State rallies past No. 23 Illinois 71-63
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — With one of Ohio State's key big men out with an ankle injury, freshman E.J. Liddell stepped in and played his best game as a Buckeye so far.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Sticky substances still a problem for MLB
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Gaylord Perry threw a spitball. Joe Niekro had an emery board and a piece of sandpaper. Whitey Ford used his wedding ring.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Boo Who? Astros already paying price, Red Sox await fate
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — By recent standards, the heckling the Houston Astros heard at JetBlue Park was rather tame. Some boos during pregame introductions, a chant of "cheaters!" in the ninth inning.
Friday, March 6, 2020

MLB Spring Training Round up
Dylan Cease said it was probably the best he had ever commanded his fastball.

Not bad at all for a spring training game in March.

Cease pitched four sharp innings for the Chicago White Sox in a 5-1 win against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. The 6-foot-2 right-hander allowed one run on Keston Hiura's long homer in his final inning and three hits in his second exhibition start.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Curry set to return for Warriors on Thursday night
Stephen Curry is scheduled to return from a more than four-month absence with a broken left hand to play for Golden State against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.
Thursday, March 5, 2020

An NCAA Tournament with empty arenas? It can't be ruled out
Imagine an NCAA Tournament with no fans in the arenas.

What normally would be thought an impossibility isn't so far-fetched as the United States and the rest of the world attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kris Bryant ruling: Cubs did nothing 'nefarious'
Arbitrator Mark Irvings accepted Theo Epstein's rationale for delaying Kris Bryant's debut at the start of the 2015 season, concluding there was no proof of "a nefarious motive" by the Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations to delay the third baseman's eligibility for free agency.

In a 42-page decision obtained by The Associated Press, Irvings accepted Epstein's explanation that injuries to Mike Olt and Tommy La Stella prompted the timing of Bryant's call-up to the Cubs in April 2015. Had Bryant been brought up one day earlier, he would have been eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. Instead, he will be eligible after the 2021 season.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kansas unanimous No. 1 in Top 25; Baylor down to 4
A string of losses to unranked opponents led to upheaval in the AP Top 25 this week.

Kansas kept winning, strengthening its grip on No. 1.

The Jayhawks were the unanimous choice for the top spot in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll released Monday, receiving all 64 votes from the media panel.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Bulls hold off Doncic, Mavericks 109-107
Coby White scored 19 points, Otto Porter Jr. added 18 in his return from a broken left foot and the Chicago Bulls hung on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-107 Monday night when Luka Doncic's desperation heave bounced off the rim.

Denzel Valentine added a season-high 17 points and the Bulls won for just the second time in 12 games even though leading scorer Zach LaVine sat out with a strained left quadriceps.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Heat stun Bucks 105-89, hold Antetokounmpo to just 13 points
The Miami Heat stand alone, the first team to beat the Milwaukee Bucks twice this season.

Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler each scored 18 points, Goran Dragic added 15 and the Heat beat the Bucks 105-89 on Wednesday night — moving to 2-0 against the NBA's best team.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Major League Baseball spring training round up
Joe Maddon hugged Anthony Rizzo, shared an in-game microphone with Kris Bryant, slapped hands with the Cubs' mascot and drew a warm reception from the Chicago fans at Sloan Park.

As if he'd never been away at all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Bowman holds off Busch bros for 2nd NASCAR win
Before Alex Bowman started looking for tattoo shops somewhere between Los Angeles and Phoenix, he celebrated a win that suggested even more permanent success ahead for the hard-working driver and his resurgent team.

Bowman raced to his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday, holding off Kyle and Kurt Busch at Fontana.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Dosunmu scores 17 Illini hold off Hoosiers 67-66
Ayo Dosunmu is becoming legendary at Illinois for his hustle, talent and an intangible yet reliable ability to take over a game and win it in the final seconds.

 On Sunday, the sophomore guard (and possibly NBA hopeful either this year or next) added another chapter, scoring a game-high 17 points, including a key 3-pointer down the stretch, to lead Illinois over Indiana 67-66.

Monday, March 2, 2020

With virus in mind, Sungjae Im wins Honda Classic
Moments after getting his first career PGA Tour win, Sungjae Im took a moment to reflect on what it means.

Not for himself — for his homeland, and for those dealing with a virus that has the world on edge.

Monday, March 2, 2020

St. John's hits 14 3s to stop No. 10 Creighton, 91-71
Greg Williams Jr. drained his seventh 3-pointer from right in front of the St. John's bench, springing delirious teammates onto the court as he bounded into their arms during a timeout.

With an out-of-character shooting display from all over the gym, the Red Storm handed No. 10 Creighton a thorough beating that was hard to see coming.

Monday, March 2, 2020

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