26-Jun-2020 / Ap
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL has canceled the Hall of Fame game that traditionally opens the preseason and is delaying the 2020 induction ceremonies for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Aug. 6 exhibition game in Canton, Ohio, between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers is the first on-field event the league has canceled during the pandemic. It will now be played on Aug. 5, 2021. Enshrinements for 20 men scheduled for this year now will occur on Aug. 7, 2021.
UNDATED (AP) — The USGA has announced its exemption categories for a U.S. Open that won’t have open qualifying for the first time in nearly a century. That includes taking the top 70 golfers in the world ranking from March 15, the last one before the ranking was frozen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Open usually takes the top 60. The exemption categories announced Thursday include a spot for Phil Mickelson, who was at No. 61 in March. The U.S. Open is the only major Mickelson hasn’t won. The U.S. Open is scheduled for Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot, just north of New York City.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Authorities in the Dominican Republic are opening an investigation into allegations Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sanó participated in the kidnapping and assault of a man. The Twins, however, say they were told Sanó was cleared of the accusations. Sanó, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Twins in January, denies the allegations and has says he's being blackmailed.
UNDATED (AP) — Vince Carter made his retirement official by announcing on his podcast Thursday that his 22-year NBA career has come to an end. The announcement was largely a formality because the 43-year-old Carter had said many times over the course of the season that this would be his last in the NBA. His 22 seasons are the most in league history. Carter appeared in 1,541 NBA games, behind only Robert Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the league’s all-time list.
HOUSTON (AP) — One of America’s top pro women’s softball teams is in an uproar after a tweet by their general manager regarding the national anthem. The now-deleted tweet by Connie May, general manager of the Houston-based Scrap Yard Dawgs, included the Twitter handle for President Donald Trump as it noted the team’s players were standing for the anthem and respecting the flag. The fallout has been swift. All 18 Scrap Yard players, including some members of the US national team, have walked out and say they won’t play for the team.
25-Jun-2020 / Ap
TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government says Major League Baseball has submitted a plan to play in Toronto and health authorities are examining it. A spokeswoman for the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed it is examining the restart plan. Anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must quarantine for 14 days, and the U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least July 21. On Tuesday, the Canadian government said it was open to MLB playing in Toronto this summer, but the league had not submitted the required plan to health authorities.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The return of Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has been delayed after he tested positive for the coronavirus. And Sacramento Kings forward Jabari Parker says he has been dealing with the virus as well. The NBA is set to start again in Central Florida next month. All 22 NBA teams that will be part of the resumed season began mandated testing Tuesday.
UNDATED (AP) — Brooks Koepka chose to withdraw from the Travelers Championship because his caddie tested positive for the coronavirus. The four-time major champion feels even worse for his younger brother. Chase Koepka is trying to make it on the Challenge Tour in Europe, just like his brother once did. He made it through a Monday qualifier for a PGA Tour event. Both withdrew out of caution from being in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Brooks Koepka says he feels responsible for putting his brother in that position. His brother had no place to stay Monday night after qualifying so Koepka had him stay in his house.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Redskins are removing former owner George Preston Marshall from their Ring of Fame and striking all references to him on their website. Marshall’s name has already been removed from the history wall at the team’s training facility. Marshall refused to integrate by signing Black players until “forced to do so” in 1962. There have been renewed calls for owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s name.
UNDATED (AP) — Jarome Iginla (juh-ROHM’ ih-GIHN’-luh) headlines the Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 after being elected in his first year of eligibility. Iginla will be the fourth Black player inducted after Grant Fuhr, Angela James and Willie O’Ree. Iginla was the first Black player to lead the NHL in goals and points and was the first Black athlete in any sport to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. Iginla is joined in the 2020 class by winger Marian Hossa, defensemen Kevin Lowe and Doug Wilson, Canadian women’s star Kim St. Pierre and longtime general manager Ken Holland.
24-Jun-2020 / Husker Athletics
Lincoln – The Nebraska basketball program added another backcourt performer on Wednesday, as Head Coach Fred Hoiberg announced the signing of Elijah Wood for the upcoming season. Wood, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound guard from Potomac, Md., has reclassified from the class of 2021, where he was going to attend Hargrave Military Academy.
“Elijah is a versatile guard who can play several spots in our system,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He has the offensive skillset to create his own shot and the athletic ability to finish at the rim. He also will help us defensively, as he possesses the length and size to guard multiple positions.”
Wood was ranked among the top-150 players in the country by both Rivals and 247 Sports and a four-star recruit by both websites in the spring of 2019, but fell out of the rankings after not playing AAU basketball after his junior year. He spent his senior year at Berkmar (Ga.) High School, helping Coach Greg Phillips’ squad to a 18-10 record and a Class AAAAAAA quarterfinals appearance.
Wood, who originally signed with Rhode Island in the fall of 2019, played his sophomore and junior seasons at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. As a junior, he averaged 11 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. Wood reached double figures in 12 of 19 contests and dished out five or more assists eight times as a junior. During his sophomore year, he moved into the lineup and averaged 11.5 points, 5.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. His season was highlighted by a 10-point, 11-assist double-double vs. Northwest.
Wood, who chose Nebraska over schools such as Florida, Mississippi, Providence and TCU among others, played AAU basketball with Team Thrill.
Wood joins a recruiting class which includes grad transfer Kobe Webster (Western Illinois), transfers Trey McGowens (Pittsburgh) and Trevor Lakes (University of Indianapolis), junior college transfers Teddy Allen (Western Nebraska CC) and Lat Mayen (Chipola College) and freshman Eduardo Andre.
24-Jun-2020 / Ap
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has issued a 60-game schedule that will start July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks as the sport tries to push ahead amid the coronavirus following months of acrimony. This will be MLB’s shortest season since 1878. Each team will play 10 games against each of its four division rivals and four games against each of the five clubs in the corresponding division in the other league, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. The sides expanded the designated hitter to games involving National League teams and will start extra innings with a runner on second base.
TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government is open to Major League Baseball playing in Toronto this summer, but the league has not submitted the required plan to Canadian authorities. A senior federal government official says if MLB were to submit an acceptable restart plan to the government, an exemption letter similar to the one provided to the NHL could be provided. Ontario’s chief medical officer also says Major League Baseball hasn’t submitted a plan to local health authorities that is needed for the Blue Jays to play in Toronto amid the pandemic.
St. PETERSBURH, FL. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have reached terms with first-round draft pick Nick Bitsko, giving the Pennsylvania high school pitcher a $3 million signing bonus. The 18-year-old right-hander was the 24th overall selection after going 4-2 with a 1.27 ERA and 68 strikeouts in two seasons at Central Bucks East High. Several months after announcing plans to graduate a year early, Bitsko’s final prep season was canceled this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
UNDATED (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request by American women’s soccer players to allow an immediate appeal of his decision to throw out their claim of unequal pay against the U.S. Soccer Federation. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles has scheduled a trial for Sept. 15 on the players’ remaining claim of discriminatory work conditions. Lawyers for the women had asked him to enter a final judgment on his decision to dismiss the pay claim, which would have allowed them to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
UNDATED (AP) — The rope found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway was not a hate crime. Federal authorities say the rope had been hanging at the Alabama track since at least October. Video evidence showed it had been hanging from the garage door but was the only one fashioned as a noose. Wallace coincidentally was assigned that garage. NASCAR stood by its decision to investigate the discovery found in the stall of its only Black driver. Wallace successfully called for a ban of the Confederate flag and has become an activist for the sport during a push for racial equality.
23-Jun-2020 / Ap
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. edged Ryan Blaney to win the second stage of a rain-delayed race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The day began with a show of support for driver Bubba Wallace. Fellow drivers lined up and pushed his car to the front of pit road in a show of solidarity after which Wallace climbed out, sat on the window ledge and sobbed. The move came one day after a crew member found a noose in his garage stall. Wallace is the only fulltime Black driver in the top NASCAR series. Two weeks ago, he successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its facilities.
MIAMI (AP) — The Toronto Raptors arrived in southwest Florida today, set to begin their preparations for next month’s restart of the NBA season. If the Raptors return to the NBA Finals, they could be in Florida for nearly four full months. The reigning NBA champions will start training for the season restart later this week at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, making that school their home base until they head north to the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida, around July 7. They landed in Fort Myers on Monday afternoon, then boarded buses for the team hotel.
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have signed first-round draft pick Ed Howard to a minor league contract that includes a $3,745,500 bonus. The 18-year-old shortstop was a prep star at Mount Carmel High School on Chicago’s South Side. He also started for the 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team that advanced to the finals of the Little League World Series. Howard had committed to the University of Oklahoma. He received a signing bonus equal to his assigned slot value.
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative and possibly unhappy return to the field amid the coronavirus pandemic. Six days after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark negotiated to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16, widen use of the designated hitter to National League games and introduce an experiment to start extra innings with a runner on second base, the deal was rejected by the union.
22-Jun-2020 / Ap
LOS ANGELES (AP) — This was a different version of The ESPYS. No red carpet, no nattily dressed athletes, no house band or monologue poking fun at the past year’s top athletes and moments. The focus was on honors, the pandemic and racial justice. Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for sparking a national conversation about mental health. Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins was honored as the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year for helping his hometown in the Dominican Republic acquire public service needs. Sunday night's show was hosted remotely by NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird of the WNBA.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — NASCAR says it's investigating the discovery of a noose in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace on Sunday at the NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama. Wallace is the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR’s elite Cup Series. Two weeks ago, he successfully pushed for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and properties.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — The NASCAR Cup Series races today at Talladega Superspeedway after thunderstorms washed out the race on Sunday. The race is now scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT today. It's the first amid the coronavirus pandemic in which NASCAR opened the gates for up to 5,000 fans.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Players will consider their next move today in the drawn-out talks to start the pandemic-delayed baseball season. The executive committee of the players’ association was set to vote and reject Major League Baseball’s latest offer for a 60-game season on Sunday. Players want 70 games and $275 million more than teams are offering.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Max Tuerk, an All-America offensive lineman at Southern California who was drafted by the Chargers, has died. He was 26. Tuerk’s family says he died while hiking with his parents on a favorite trail in Cleveland National Forest north of San Diego. Tuerk played for the Trojans from 2012-15. He was a freshman All-American and an All-Pac-12 first-team selection in 2014. As a three-year starter, he played under three head coaches — Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton. He was taken by the Chargers in the 2016 NFL draft, and played one game for the Arizona Cardinals before being cut in 2018.
18-Jun-2020 / Husker Athletics
Nebraska junior outfielder Aaron Palensky became the latest Husker to join professional baseball, as he signed with the New York Yankees organization, it was announced on Thursday.
“A childhood dream came true today and I’m thrilled for what the future holds with the New York Yankees,” Palensky said. “I am forever grateful for what Nebraska has done for me, playing under Coach Bolt and Coach Erstad during the last couple years. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and believe joining the Yankees organization gives me the best chance to the make it to the big leagues.”
“Aaron has been a model ambassador for Husker baseball and an absolute joy to coach,” Nebraska Head Coach Will Bolt said. “His talent, work ethic and demeanor will allow him to excel at the professional level. It will be fun to see him climb the ranks and pursue his dream.”
Palensky, who started every game for the Huskers in each of the last two seasons, led Nebraska’s offense in most categories during that span. In 2020, Palensky recorded at least one hit in 11 of his 15 games, including four multi-hit efforts, before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He batted .302 (16-for-53) and led the team in runs scored (15), doubles (5), walks (15) and RBIs (19), while sharing the team high in home runs (4) during the season.
During his first year at Nebraska in 2019, Palensky received second-team All-Big Ten honors after batting .320, which ranked eighth in the conference and led the Huskers. He also led the team in hits (71), runs scored (43), home runs (7) and total bases (107), while sharing the team high in doubles (11) and triples (2). In addition, Palensky compiled 35 RBIs and went 6-for-6 stealing bases.
A native of Papillion, Neb., Palensky spent his first season of college baseball at Southeast Community College before transferring to Nebraska. He batted .417 with 18 home runs, 77 RBIs, 72 runs scored, 24 stolen bases and 43 extra-base hits, while posting an .850 slugging percentage and .515 on-base percentage. Palensky graduated from Papillion La Vista South in 2017 after receiving second-team Super-State accolades as a senior.
The MLB Draft, which was held from June 10-11, was shortened to five rounds in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after previously consisting of 40 rounds. With the draft concluded, teams are permitted to sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents to fill out their systems.
18-Jun-2020 / Husker Athletics
Nebraska Head Football Coach Scott Frost and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Fred Hoiberg will each donate a portion of their salaries for the upcoming fiscal year back to the Husker Athletic Department’s general operating fund. The amount donated to the department will be determined as the Athletic Department finalizes its budget in the near future.
A native of Wood River, Neb., Frost is in his third year as the Huskers’ head football coach. He was a two-year letterwinner at quarterback for Nebraska in 1996 and 1997, leading the Huskers to the 1997 national championship. His parents are both University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduates and his mother, Carol, is a member of the Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame.
“These are difficult times across our country and in college athletics, and Nebraska Athletics is not immune to the financial crunch,” Frost said. “This athletic department has been so important to my family for several decades. Before I ever played or coached here, I was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan first. I wanted to do my small part to help ensure our athletic department and all of our teams have the necessary resources to compete for championships moving forward.”
Hoiberg is entering his second season leading the Nebraska men’s basketball program and has deep family roots to the University of Nebraska. Both of his parents are Nebraska graduates and his grandfather, Jerry Bush, was the Huskers’ men’s basketball coach from 1954 to 1963.
“When I took this job, one of the things that stood out to me most about Nebraska was its complete commitment to the student-athlete, not just in football or men’s basketball, but in all sports,” Hoiberg said. “After a little more than a year here, I am even more impressed with the resources available to our young men and women. It is important to me to contribute to keeping Nebraska a leader in student-athlete support and services.”
18-Jun-2020 / UNK Athletics
Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney women's soccer team's adjusted 2020 schedule has the Lopers opening the fall at home against the Washburn Ichabods.
To help alleviate costs brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, all NCAA Division II women's soccer programs are playing a maximum of 14 games this fall. The revised schedule hasn't changed too much from the original but UNK does lose four non-conference games as well as a non-league contest vs. Emporia State.
At this time the Lopers will host WU on Sunday, September 13, to kick off the year with Emporia State (Sept. 25), Newman (Oct. 2), Central Oklahoma (Oct. 4), Northwest Missouri State (Oct. 9), Missouri Western State (Oct. 11) and Fort Hays State (Nov. 1) also coming to Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field. Schools can change three dates if they both agree to the switch; those dates would be Sept. 13 to Sept. 11, Sept. 20 to Sept. 18 and Nov. 1 to Oct. 30. The move would push up a Sunday game to a Friday afternoon or evening. UNK is at Hays on Sept. 20.
It'll be "Flex Weekend" on Sunday, November 8, as the top eight teams in the league standings will face each other. The eighth seed will travel to the first place team, number two hosts seven etc. The four winners advance to the MIAA Tournament at the highest remaining seed on November 13 and 15. The schools that are in places nine through 12 will play on November 8 as well with the match ups based on geographic proximity.
Finally UNK currently has home scrimmages vs. Nebraska Wesleyan (Aug. 22) and Central C.C.-Columbus (Aug. 29). The team, currently going through voluntary workouts that began June 1, will report to fall camp in mid-August.
18-Jun-2020 / UNK Athletics
Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team's adjusted 2020 schedule has the Lopers playing 20 MIAA matches this fall.
To help alleviate costs brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, all NCAA Division II women's volleyball programs are playing a maximum of 20 dates this fall. Teams can play multiple matches on a date and thus UNK and many other schools are aiming to combine a weekend schedule onto a single day. This will open up dates to allow for non-conference action.
If some switches are made the Lopers begin the year as scheduled at the Colorado School of Mines Tournament (September 4-5) with opponents to be determined. UNK is hopeful its annual home tournament can take place the following weekend (September 11-12) but that is TBD as well.
There are currently four MIAA weeks where things might change to one site. They are September 25-26 (opponents are Newman and Central Oklahoma), October 6 & 9 (Central Missouri and Fort Hays State), October 23-24 (NU and UCO), and November 3 & 7 (UCM and Hays). More switches could take place as long as all parties agree; UNK's travel partner is Hays.
Currently the Lopers have 10 home and 10 away matches. The first scheduled home match comes September 18 vs. Emporia State. The MIAA Tournament, which was moved to Kansas City last fall, returns to campus this season. That event will come the week of November 16-21.
UNK, currently going through voluntary workouts that began June 1, reports to fall camp in mid-August.