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Friday’s Sports in Brief

Friday’s Sports in Brief

Friday’s Sports in Brief


Sports

Friday’s Sports in Brief

NBA SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jerry Sloan, who spent 23 years as coach of the Utah Jazz and took the team to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, died Friday at 78. The team said that for four years he had Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Sloan presided over the glory days…

Friday’s Sports in Brief

NBA

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jerry Sloan, who spent 23 years as coach of the Utah Jazz and took the team to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, died Friday at 78. The team said that for four years he had Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

Sloan presided over the glory days of the John Stockton and Karl Malone pick-and-roll-to-perfection era in Salt Lake City. He is fourth on the NBA’s victory list.

Sloan was a two-time All-Star as a player with the Chicago Bulls, led his alma mater, Evansville, to a pair of NCAA college division national championships and was an assistant coach on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal at the Atlanta Games. He fell in love with the game as a student in a one-room Illinois schoolhouse, never forgetting his roots.

Sloan often said numbers meant nothing to him. That’s a shame, because he has so many to marvel. Sloan had 1,221 NBA coaching wins, behind only Lenny Wilkens, Don Nelson and Gregg Popovich. And Sloan’s 23 seasons with the Jazz are the second-longest string with one team in NBA history; Popovich is in his 24th season with the San Antonio Spurs.

HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL Players’ Association’s executive committee authorized moving forward in talks with the league on returning to play from the coronavirus suspension, approving 24 teams making the playoffs with other aspects still to be negotiated

The NHLPA did not provide a breakdown of the vote of its 31 player representatives in making the announcement a day after the proposal was presented to the union’s executive board. In giving the format the green light, the NHLPA stressed several details still need to be negotiated before games can begin.

The proposal will now go to the NHL board of governors, which is expected to approve the plan in the next few days. Once approved, the proposal effectively ends the season of the league’s bottom seven teams.

Under the plan proposed by the NHL/NHLPA Return To Play committee, the top four teams in each conference would play each other in a mini-tournament for seeding while the remaining 16 teams face off in a best-of-five series play-in round to set the final 16 to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Though the approval is considered significant, the task of establishing a path to getting players back on the ice remains challenging.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Southeastern Conference schools will be able to bring athletes in all sports back to campus for voluntary activities starting June 8 at the discretion of each university, and the Big 12 plans to welcome football players back to campus a week later.

The announcements are the latest signs that a college football season will be launched in some form this fall. Other conferences are expected to follow, though decisions could be left to individual schools.

The move comes two days after the NCAA Division I Council voted to lift a moratorium on voluntary workouts on campus by football and basketball players, effective June 1. The NCAA updated that ruling Friday by saying voluntary activities would be allowed in all sports starting June 1.

The SEC initially announced voluntary in-person activities could resume June 8 on SEC campuses only for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. But after the NCAA issued its updated ruling, the SEC announced that June 8 date would apply to athletes in all sports.

Big 12 presidents and chancellors decided voluntary activities could begin June 15 for football, July 1 for other fall sports and July 15 for all other sports.

NFL

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NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets and quarterback Joe Flacco have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, the 2013 Super Bowl MVP’s agency announced on Twitter.

The move to bring in Flacco gives third-year starter Sam Darnold a veteran backup, but one who is also coming off a herniated disk that cut short his only season in Denver and required surgery to repair.

JL Sports, headed by agent Joe Linta, announced the agreement Friday. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed, but ESPN reported the deal is worth $1.5 million and could reach $4.5 million with incentives.

The 35-year-old Flacco spent his first 11 NFL seasons in Baltimore, where current Jets general manager Joe Douglas was a scout in 2008 — when the Ravens drafted the quarterback 18th overall out of Delaware. Flacco helped lead Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory to cap the 2012 season, beating Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgetown basketball coach Patrick Ewing tested positive for COVID-19 and is being treated at a hospital.

The school said the 57-year-old Hall of Famer is the only member of its men’s program who has contracted the coronavirus.

As a player, the 7-foot Ewing helped Georgetown win the 1984 NCAA men’s basketball championship and reach two other title games. During Ewing’s four years playing for John Thompson Jr., Georgetown went 121-23, a winning percentage of .840.

He was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 draft after the Knicks won the NBA’s first lottery. Ewing wound up leading New York to the 1994 NBA Finals, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. Ewing played 17 seasons in the NBA, 15 with the Knicks.

After retiring as a player, he spent 15 years as an assistant or associate coach with four teams in the pros. In April 2017, he returned to Georgetown for his first job as a head coach at any level, replacing Thompson’s son in that job with the Hoyas.

SOCCER

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Liga MX canceled the remainder of its spring season without crowning a champion for the first time, a decision caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.

Teams had played 10 of the Clausura’s 17 dates before suspending play March 15. The league said in a statement that restrictions caused by the health emergency made it impossible to continue without putting people at risk.

Some teams had begun testing players for COVID-19 as a step toward resuming the season, most likely in stadiums without fans. Twelve players from Santos Laguna in the northern city of Torreon tested positive this week.

Cruz Azul, seeking its first league title since 1997, finished with 22 points and a one-point lead over second-place León, which joined Cruz Azul in qualifying for the next CONCACAF Champions League. Santos Laguna and América were next with 17 points each.

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Sports

Friday’s Sports in Brief

NFL While only one quarterback, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, was taken on the second day of the NFL draft, the guys who haul in passes were everywhere. Starting with the top two selections on Day 2 — Clemson’s Tee Higgins to Cincinnati and Southern California’s Michael Pittman to Indianapolis — seven wideouts were drafted in the…

Friday’s Sports in Brief

NFL

While only one quarterback, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, was taken on the second day of the NFL draft, the guys who haul in passes were everywhere.

Starting with the top two selections on Day 2 — Clemson’s Tee Higgins to Cincinnati and Southern California’s Michael Pittman to Indianapolis — seven wideouts were drafted in the second round. Add that to the six who went in the opening session, and it set an NFL record through two rounds.

Three more receivers were selected in the third round — were teams running out of prospects? The NFL these days is built on passing offenses. This draft is loaded with outstanding pass catchers. Many teams had both Higgins and Pittman rated as top-32 talent.

So Cincinnati held firm atop the second round by grabbing Higgins to catch Joe Burrow’s passes. The pair worked out together heading toward the draft. And Higgins idolizes Bengals star receiver A.J. Green.

Pittman takes his 6-foot-4, 224-pound frame to Indianapolis. The Colts had no first-rounder, and they quickly gave new quarterback Philip Rivers a target in Pittman, whose father also played in the NFL.

BASEBALL

NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan (AP) — When Wang Wei-chen had a base hit for the Chinatrust Brothers, no one booed or cheered from the stands at the suburban Taipei ballpark.

No one hurled insults at the umpires. And no one yelled the Chinese-language line of encouragement “add oil” to either team.

The 12,150 blue plastic seats were devoid of fans Friday night for the game between Chinatrust Brothers and Fubon Guardians, down from the average crowd of 6,000 at professional baseball games in Taiwan. No fans have come to any games here since play started on April 11.

Taiwan’s five-team Chinese Professional Baseball League is barring spectators over concerns of spreading the coronavirus in a crowded space. But Taiwan has relatively few cases of COVID-19, so the league decided it was safe to let in players, coaches, cheerleaders, costumed mascots, face mask-wearing batboys and the media.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — Steve Dalkowski, a hard-throwing, wild left-hander whose minor league career inspired the creation of Nuke LaLoosh in the movie “Bull Durham,” has died. He was 80.

He died Sunday at the Hospital of Central Connecticut. His sister, Patricia Cain, said Friday he had several pre-existing conditions that were complicated when he became infected with the new coronavirus. Dalkowski had been in assisted living for 26 years because of alcoholic dementia.

Dalkowski never reached the major leagues but was said to have thrown well over 100 mph. Long before velocity was tracked with precision, he spawned legends that estimated he approached 110 mph or 115 mph — some said even 125 mph.

NCAA

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The NCAA Division I Council denied a request to temporarily waive the minimum number of sports required to be a Division I member and delayed a decision on allowing all college athletes to be immediately eligible one time after transferring.

The NCAA announced that a request made recently by five FBS conference commissioners to waive numerous Division I requirements for up to four years would be considered in the coming weeks. But a blanket waiver permitting schools to drop below the minimum 16 sports would only be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The request was made with schools bracing for tough times as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic begins to take a toll athletic departments.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA is giving teams new scheduling options for the 2020-21 season.

The NCAA’s Division I Council approved a proposal to give men’s basketball programs choices with 28- and 29-game schedules.

The council vote still must be reviewed by the NCAA Board of Directors and won’t be considered final until the conclusion of its board meeting on Wednesday.

The proposal will allow schools that schedule 28 regular-season game to participate in one multiple-team event of up to three games. Programs with 29-game regular-season schedules can participate in a multiple-team event with up to two games.

A team that does not participate in a multiple-team event can have up to 29 regular-season games. Three-day multiple-team events must by completed within 10 days and two-day events must conclude within five days, under the proposal.

Non-Division I programs may participate only if they are the event host.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas landed top basketball recruit Greg Brown III when he decided to attend the college where his father played football instead of following other elite players to the NBA’s developmental G League.

The 6-foot-9 forward from Austin is expected to play just one year in college before turning pro. He had long listed Texas among his top college choices but in the last few days had listed the G League as a possibility. The league recently signed elite recruits Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd.

Brown is just the latest standout recruit for Texas coach Shaka Smart, who has coached first-round NBA draft picks Jarrett Allen, Mo Bamba and Jaxson Hayes. Each of those players was at Texas for just one season and the program has yet to translate that recruiting prowess into NCAA Tournament success.

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Sports

Friday’s Sports in Brief

PRO BASKETBALL BEIJING (AP) — China denied NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s claim that it demanded the firing of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over a tweet that supported anti-government protests in Hong Kong. “The Chinese government never posed this requirement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. During an appearance in New York on…

Friday’s Sports in Brief

PRO BASKETBALL

BEIJING (AP) — China denied NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s claim that it demanded the firing of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over a tweet that supported anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

“The Chinese government never posed this requirement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

During an appearance in New York on Thursday, Silver said the NBA was “being asked to fire (Morey) by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business.”

“We said, ‘There’s no chance that’s happening,’” Silver said. “There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV did not air the two NBA preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets last week. Tencent, which has a $1.5 billion deal to stream NBA games in China over the next five years, has also stopped showing Rockets games but has not totally dropped all NBA content.

The league and LeBron James, one of its biggest stars, have been heavily criticized by some U.S. lawmakers for the perception that they caved to the Chinese regime. Morey has not been rebuked publicly by the league, and Silver has said that the league will support his freedom of expression.

NEW YORK (AP) — A group of fans held signs, wore shirts and chanted support for Hong Kong and Tibet in the Brooklyn Nets’ first game since returning from China.

The fans sat behind the backboard near the Nets’ bench at Barclays Center in their 123-107 loss to Toronto on Friday night.

The Nets returned this week after playing exhibition games against the Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The games were not televised in China after relations between the NBA and Chinese officials became strained following Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

One sign was aimed at LeBron James and Nets owner Joe Tsai, the co-founder of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who were critical of Morey’s tweet. Tsai wrote a Facebook post explaining why the since-deleted tweet was upsetting to the Chinese.

PRO FOOTBALL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes escaped significant ligament damage when he dislocated his right kneecap, and there is optimism the reigning NFL MVP could be back on the field in about a month.

Mahomes had an MRI exam that showed the ligaments were intact, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team was still sorting through the results and putting together a timetable for his return.

The Chiefs play Green Bay a week from Sunday, then face the Vikings and Titans before a Monday night matchup against Tennessee on Nov. 18. The Chiefs (5-2) have their bye the following week, so it is possible they hold Mahomes out until Dec. 1 against Oakland.

Mahomes was hurt in a 30-6 victory in Denver on Thursday night while sneaking for first down on fourth-and-short deep in Broncos territory.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets guard Kelechi Osemele says he needs season-ending shoulder surgery and is waiting for the team to authorize the procedure, but the team wants him on the field.

Osemele said the team doctor and an outside doctor have both recommended the surgery. But a person with direct knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press both doctors determined it is actually a pre-existing injury and cleared Osemele to play through it.

Osemele is expected to practice Saturday or face a fine and/or suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly commented on the situation.

The Jets acquired Osemele from Oakland in March. He says he was initially hurt in August and re-injured his shoulder at New England on Sept. 22.

GOLF

JEJU ISLAND, South Korea (AP) — Top-ranked Brooks Koepka withdrew from the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup before the third round after aggravating a left knee injury a day earlier when he slipped on wet concrete.

Playing his second event since stem cell treatment on the knee Aug. 25, Koepka shot a 3-over 75 on Friday at Nine Bridges after opening with a 69. The defending champion was 13 strokes behind leader Justin Thomas in the limited-field event with no cut.

Koepka returned to Florida to meet with his doctors, leaving his status for the HSBC Champions in two weeks in China uncertain. He missed the cut two weeks ago in his season debut at Las Vegas.

The American won three PGA Tour titles last season. He has four major titles, also winning the PGA in 2018 and the U.S. Open in 2017 and 2018.

HORSE RACING

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is banned from entering horses in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, where he was barred earlier this year.

Fred Hertrich, chairman of the Breeders’ Cup board, said it would honor Santa Anita’s house rule and not allow Hollendorfer to enter horses in the event Nov. 1-2.

The Stronach Group, whose track ownership includes Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields in the San Francisco Bay area, ordered Hollendorfer off the grounds after six horses — four at Santa Anita and two at Golden Gate — died under his care earlier this year. Santa Anita had 30 horses die during its winter-spring meet.

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