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NEW YORK (AP) — The Major League Baseball Players Association has given management a wide-ranging response to a 67-page proposed set of protocols for a season to be played during the coronavirus pandemic. The union says it addressed protections for high-risk players, access to pre- and postgame therapies, testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, in-stadium medical personnel and sanitization procedures. Players viewed many of the concepts in the original draft submitted last week as over-the-top, such as arriving in uniform at the ballparks, a prohibition on them leaving without team permission and a ban on guests other than immediate family members.

UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are making tough financial decisions concerning their front office staff with the major league season still on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. A person with direct knowledge of the situation says the Cubs are instituting pay cuts based on compensation, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. The Pirates announced Thursday that they are instituting furloughs for several employees in business operations beginning June 1.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — IndyCar has altered its schedule again amid the coronavirus pandemic, cancelling the June 27 race at Richmond and the July 12 street course event in Toronto. The open-wheel series is slated to finally begin June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, but its next event won’t be held until July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race scheduled for June 21 at Road America in Wisconsin has been changed to a doubleheader on July 11-12.

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson receiver Justyn Ross will have shoulder surgery next month to alleviate an issue that cropped up during the team's spring workouts in March. Ross led the Tigers with 66 catches last season that went for 865 yards and eight touchdowns. He had 1,000 yards receiving as a freshman, highlighting his season with a 74-yard TD in the national championship win over Alabama.

UNDATED (AP) — Some Louisville football and basketball players will return to campus Wednesday in a phased approach and begin voluntary workouts on June 8. The first phase of 30 football players and 15 men’s and women’s basketball players will arrive next week after being advised of safety protocols. Indiana University hopes to have some student-athletes back by mid-June.




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DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Rain wiped out the final 20 laps of last night’s NASCAR Cup race at Darlington, allowing Denny Hamlin to come away with the victory. Hamlin was out of fresh tires when the race was stopped, but he received help when Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch caused a hard-charging Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution. Busch finished second in NASCAR’s first Wednesday race in 36 years. Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones completed the top five.

UNDATED (AP) — As the NBA continues to work through multiple return-to-play scenarios, two people with knowledge of the situation say Orlando, Las Vegas and Houston remain under consideration as cities that could host regular-season and playoff games. Wednesday marked the end of the 10th week since the NBA shut down on March 11. The pandemic halted the regular season with 259 games remaining, but none of those contests have yet to be officially canceled.

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same protection as a surgical mask. Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay says the issue came up about a month ago during a conference call with the league’s competition committee. Many players already wear visors to protect their eyes. McKay says the new mask would cover even more of the face. The medical director of the NFL Players Association tells ESPN's Adam Schefter that league engineers and sports equipment company Oakley are already testing prototypes of the modified mask.

UNDATED (AP) — The LPGA Tour will not have its qualifying events at the end of the year and will keep the same roster of players it has on all of its tours. The LPGA already has canceled seven events, plus the UL International Crown team event, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut the tour down since Inbee Park won the Women's Australian Open on Feb. 16. It hopes to resume on July 23-26 with the Marathon Classic in Ohio.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres are suing to obtain a green card for their British-born strength and conditioning coach. The Sabres say federal immigration officials wrongly denied a petition by the team to secure the card for Ed Gannon. The team maintains U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services misstated facts and arbitrarily failed to follow its own rules in denying permanent residency status to Gannon, who has worked for the team since 2015.




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CLEVELAND (AP) — The new NFL Players Association president says he doesn’t know when players will be allowed to return to team training facilities. And Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter isn't willing to guess what the NFL might look like when it’s back on the field. The league has told all 32 teams that they may proceed with limited openings based on state restrictions meant to combat the virus outbreak.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels will implement furloughs across their organization starting June 1. They're the latest team to take steps against the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Angels’ furloughs will impact employees across the front office, scouting department and minor league system. They had already pledged to pay their employees through May. The $1 million employee assistance fund is separate from the $1.2 million already put up by the team to pay Angel Stadium’s roughly 1,800 workers.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers would prefer to stay home in their new ballpark whenever it is time to get back to spring training. They still haven’t played a game, or even had an organized workout, in their $1.2 billion stadium with a retractable roof. General manager Jon Daniels says there would be a lot of advantages to workouts in Texas instead of returning to their camp in Arizona. Spring training has been on hold for more than two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NEW YORK (AP) — WNBA teams will have to get their rosters down to 12 by May 26 so that players can get paid starting June 1. That's according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press. The league and the players' union are still working out details of how often players will get paid and how much. The person said players who are waived over the next week won't get paid, but they will receive benefits through June 30.

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Soccer’s All-Star Game has been canceled for the first time in its quarter-century history because of the coronavirus pandemic. MLS All-Stars had been scheduled to play counterparts from Mexico’s Liga MX on July 29 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. MLS says the 2021 game will take place at Banc of California Stadium, most likely against All-Stars from Liga MX.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic —or NFL rules against players working out at team facilities — keep him from preparing for a new season with his new Tampa Bay team. Brady gathered some of his new Buccaneers teammates on a high school field for a throwing session. Brady wore a Buccaneers helmet and an orange jersey over his shoulder pads. The informal, players-only workout lasted two hours, according to The Tampa Bay Times.

UNDATED (AP) — Changes designed to enhance opportunities for minorities to get executive, head coaching and coordinator positions were passed by NFL owners. The changes include addendums to the Rooney Rule, which has fallen short in its goal of increasing diversity. All clubs will now be required to interview at least two minority candidates from outside the organization for head coach vacancies; at least one minority candidate for any of the three coordinator vacancies; and at least one external minority candidate for senior football operations or general manager positions.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Jazz have announced that forward Bojan Bogdanović underwent surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his right wrist. The procedure was by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michelle Carlson in New York City. There's no timetable for Bogdanović's return. The NBA season remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bogdanović was averaging 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his first season with the Jazz. He also was playing a career-best 33.1 minutes per game.




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PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Starling Marte says his wife Noelia has died of a heart attack. Marte wrote on Instagram Monday, “It is a moment of indescribable pain. On behalf of my family, I am grateful for the expressions of esteem and solidarity in this difficult time.” The 31-year-old Marte has played his entire eight-year big league career with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded to the Diamondbacks during the offseason.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower-court ruling prohibiting the NCAA from limiting compensation for education-related expenses for student-athletes. The decision upholds an injunction approved by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken on behalf of a nationwide class of student-athletes. The appeals court ruling clears the way for Division I conferences to independently set rules for education-related compensation provided to student-athletes.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has given the go ahead for professional sports teams in the state to play without spectators soon. The Democratic governor said Monday that sports could return in the “first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions.” That is extremely welcome news for teams, who were wondering if they would have to make contingency plans to play elsewhere. Los Angeles County officials said last week there was the possibility that their stay-at-home order could be extended through the summer.

UNDATED (AP) — LeBron James reiterated Monday that he is hopeful the NBA season can resume, with the caveat that the health and well-being of players won’t be jeopardized by a return to play. The Los Angeles Lakers star said it remains his wish that the season comes back “sooner than later.” The NBA suspended the season on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and two unidentified members of the Lakers were among the league’s players who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

UNDATED (AP) — The final episodes of “The Last Dance” have aired, yet ESPN has one more program to show about the Chicago Bulls’ sixth championship. ESPN will show “Game 6: The Movie” on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EDT, following a rebroadcast of episodes nine and 10 of “The Last Dance.” The game will feature game footage captured by five NBA Entertainment cameras. It marks the first time that the game has been available to watch in high definition. The Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz 87–86 as Michael Jordan hit the game-winning basket with 5.2 seconds remaining to cap their sixth championship in eight seasons.




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DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Kevin Harvick took the lead from Alex Bowman on a late restart and pulled away over the final 30 laps at Darlington Raceway to win NASCAR’s first Cup race in 71 days. It was the first Cup race since the schedule was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event was run without fans and with an emphasis on masks and social distancing. Roughly 900 people were approved to be inside the gates, all considered essential.

JUNO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rory McIlroy’s final drive allowed him and playing partner Dustin Johnson to win $1.85 million for charity in the TaylorMade Driving Relief exhibition in Florida. With the match down to a closest-to-the-pin contest after regulation, McIlroy barely stayed on the shelf left of the pin, measured at 13 feet to beat Matthew Wolff’s attempt by five feet. More than $5.5 million was pledged during the exhibition match for COVID-19 relief funds.

UNDATED (AP) — The California State University system’s plan for a mostly virtual fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t necessarily close the door on football at its three schools that play in the far-flung Mountain West Conference. San Diego State athletic director John David Wicker says the school is looking at having football players return to campus no earlier than July 7 and is making plans to play the season as scheduled. SDSU is proceeding because it envisions a fall schedule that includes a hybrid model of classes, in which some students will be on campus for in-person instruction such as labs while other classes will be held online.

UNDATED (AP) — English Premier League clubs will try today to agree on protocols to allow a return to training during the coronavirus pandemic. Teams already have started checking players and coaches for COVID-19, with a total of 1,600 weekly tests anticipated across the 20 clubs in England's top division. Today’s meeting comes two days after the German league resumed its schedule.

UNDATED — All Spanish league clubs can begin small group training sessions this week despite stricter lockdown restrictions remaining in place in parts of Spain because of the coronavirus pandemic. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona have not been allowed to loosen confinement measures like most of the country, but teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona have been given the go-ahead to move into the second phase of training. Players had only been allowed to train individually across Spain until now.




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Lincoln – The Nebraska men’s basketball program size in the frontcourt with the signing of Eduardo Andre to a National Letter-of-Intent on Friday.

Andre, a 6-foot-10, 220-pound center from London, England, played at AZ Compass Prep during the 2019-20 season. Andre, who chose NU over offers from Illinois, Maryland and Texas A&M among others, averaged 10.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game as a senior. 

“Eduardo brings length and explosiveness to our frontcourt,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “His ability to protect the rim gives us a dimension that we didn’t have last year, and he has the skillset to play inside-out. Eduardo has only been playing competitively for a few years, but he has a lot of upside, and we think can develop in our program.”

A three-star recruit by both 247 Sports and Rivals, he was ranked among the top 200 seniors in the country by 247 Sports. Prior to his transfer to AZ Compass Prep, Andre was rated among the top 10 recruits in Texas in the class of 2020.

Andre who didn’t begin playing competitive basketball until he was 14 years old, played two seasons of basketball at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, where he averaged 12.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game during his junior campaign. For his efforts, he was named the District 11-5A Defensive Player of the Year. He played AAU basketball with the Dallas Mustangs program.

Andre joins a recruiting class which includes grad transfer Kobe Webster (Western Illinois), transfers Kobe King (Wisconsin), Trey McGowens (Pittsburgh) and Trevor Lakes (University of Indianapolis) and junior college transfers Teddy Allen (Western Nebraska CC) and Lat Mayen (Chipola College).




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HOUSTON (AP) — Former major league manager and infielder Art Howe is in intensive care in a Houston hospital with the coronavirus. The 73-year-old Howe confirmed to Houston TV station KPRC 2 Thursday night that he has been dealing with the illness since first feeling symptoms of COVID-19 on May 3. Howe is best known as the manager of the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics playoff teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He also managed the Astros and Mets.

UNDATED (AP) — Brad Keselowski has won the pole for Sunday’s race at Darlington Raceway without burning an ounce of fuel. The Team Penske driver watched NASCAR's chief scorer Kyle McKinney finally pluck the No. 1 ball out of a random draw, giving the 2012 series champion the top starting position when the Cup season resumes. Keselowski will be joined on the front row by Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports. Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola close out the top five starting spots.

MIAMI (AP) — Authorities say police in South Florida are trying to find New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar after multiple witnesses accused them of an armed robbery at a party. Miramar police issued arrest warrants for both men Thursday on four counts each of armed robbery with a firearm. Baker faces an additional four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. The warrant says Baker and Dunbar were attending a cookout at a Miramar home Wednesday night when a fight broke out, and Baker pulled out a handgun.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Orlando Magic are the latest NBA team to reopen their practice facility since the coronavirus shutdown. Nikola Vucevic (VOOCH'-uh-vihch) was among the first Magic players to arrive for voluntary workouts under the watch of assistant coach Lionel Chalmers, who was in a mask and gloves for the session. The NBA requires anyone who is present for the workouts, except for the player while he is working out, to be wearing personal protective equipment.




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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins will temporarily furlough 90 to 100 baseball operations employees beginning June 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic. A person confirmed the furloughs to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins didn't comment publicly. The person said about 40 percent of the baseball operations staff will be affected, with the status of those furloughed to be evaluated monthly. Their health benefits will continue through the end of October.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A spokesman for The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia says several NFL teams are eyeing the facility owned by state Gov. Jim Justice as a potential training facility during the coronavirus pandemic. Spokesman Cam Huffman says no franchise has officially signed on to practice at the resort, which has previously hosted training camps for New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans. The Greenbrier has been closed since March 19 due to the pandemic, and the annual PGA event at the resort has been canceled.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgetown guard Mac McClung plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal after taking his name out of consideration for the NBA draft. McClung averaged 15.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 21 games as a sophomore this past season, missing time with a right foot injury. His departure follows the transfers of four other Georgetown men’s basketball players during last season.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former NBA point guard Mo Williams is Alabama State's new head coach. Williams played 14 seasons in the NBA, winning a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant for California State University at Northridge, under coach Mark Gottfried.

UNDATED (AP) — The Italian soccer league is hoping to resume competition on June 13. The date was agreed to during a video conference with all 20 Serie A clubs and is subject to approval by the Italian government. Full team training will restart on May 18 after a revised medical protocol was approved. The clubs have already resumed training on an individual basis.




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As a result of the Governor’s announcement on May 11, beginning June 1st NSAA member schools are permitted to open weight rooms for voluntary strength and conditioning sessions.

Prioritizing the health and safety of all students and staff must remain the focus of each NSAA member school.

These requirements must be followed when conducting voluntary strength and conditioning sessions:

Maintain social distance by being 6 feet apart
Follow gathering guidelines of groups of 10 or less students
Groups of 10 or less must be pre-determined
Once groups determined, students may not switch from one group to another
Interaction between groups shall be avoided
Sessions can only include weightlifting, running, and exercises designed to promote physical fitness
Sport-specific drills are not permitted, and sport-specific equipment may not be used
Implement diligent and effective cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces following the guidance of the CDC
It is the responsibility of each NSAA member school to comply with the above requirements
 
Additionally, NSAA member school sponsored camps, clinics and open gyms are prohibited in any sport at this time.

Should the conditions warrant, these requirements will be adjusted.

Any further official updates will be posted on the NSAA website and the NSAA social media platforms.




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Lincoln – University of Nebraska assistant Matt Abdelmassih was recognized by ESPN as one of the top young coaches in the country, as the website unveiled its "40 Under 40" list Wednesday morning.

 

ESPN college basketball writers Myron Medcalf, Jeff Borzello and John Gasaway compiled the list, which attempts to rank coaches according to both achievements and potential. Abdelmassih is No. 22 on the list, which includes head coaches and assistant coaches.

 

Abdelmassih was instrumental in helping turnaround the Iowa State and St. John’s programs before reuniting with Fred Hoiberg at Nebraska in April of 2019.  Abdelmassih’s first class at Nebraska, which was put together in just over a month, was the Huskers’ second-best class of the Big Ten era. His 2020 recruiting class features as a pair of transfers in Trey McGowens (Pittsburgh) and Kobe King (Wisconsin) who are among the top 11 transfers in the country this offseason, while junior college transfers Teddy Allen and Lat Mayen are listed as two of the top 20 recruits nationally by JUCORecruiting.com

 

During his tenure at St. John’s, Abdelmassih recruited the majority of roster for the Red Storm, including the starting lineup for the 2018-19 squad which won 21 games and reached the NCAA Tournament.  He recruited three freshmen who were Big East All-Freshman Team selections, while adding transfers who were major contributors.

 

Abdelmassih was on Hoiberg’s staff all five seasons at Iowa State, as the Cyclones made four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2014 and Big 12 Tournament titles in 2014 and 2015. He played a significant role in recruiting for the Cyclones, including All-Americans Royce White and DeAndre Kane.

 





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Tommy Gunz
GI Vapors