Brady says time was right to change teams
UNDATED (AP) — Quarterback Tom Brady says it was time for a change.
Brady appeared on SiriusXM’s “The Howard Stern Show” for about two hours Wednesday and discussed a myriad of topics, including his decision to leave the New England Patriots. The six-time Super Bowl winner said he was ready for a new challenge when he elected to become a free agent and signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month.
Brady reiterated he has no hard feelings about coach Bill Belichick (BEHL'-ih-chik) not making him a Patriot for life. He added that so many wrong assumptions were made about his relationship with Belichick, or about how Belichick felt about him.
In other NFL news:
— The Falcons are moving to black pants with black jerseys for their home uniforms in 2020. Those changes are part of a redesign the team says respects past fashion choices with updates “to match the modern progression of Atlanta.” The team's first redesign in 17 years also include white jerseys and white pants for road uniforms. The Falcons will continue to use black helmets.
NFL draft to become charity endeavor
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is turning the league’s 2020 draft into a three-day fundraiser to help six charities dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The “Draft-A-Thon” will be featured during the draft April 23-25 to raise money for non-profits selected by the NFL Foundation. Among the charities are the American Red Cross, CDC Foundation’s All of Us, Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund, the Salvation Army, and United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that the Draft-A-Thon will deliver much-needed funding to many who are suffering as well as those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In other developments related to the coronavirus:
— The track world championships in Eugene, Oregon, have been rescheduled for July 15-24, 2022. The event was pushed back a year because the Tokyo Olympics were delayed until 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. The track worlds were originally scheduled for Aug. 6-15, 2021.
— Formula One says it will furlough half of its staff until the end of May and senior executives will take pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic. F1 says senior leadership figures will take “voluntary pay cuts while still continuing to work and not in furlough,” and CEO Chase Carey will take a “much deeper” pay cut. F1 has postponed eight races so far this season and the Monaco Grand Prix has been canceled. The season is currently scheduled to begin in France on June 28. More postponements are likely to turn into cancellations, but F1 has said it is still hoping to stage between 15 and 18 races out of the original 22.
— The president of the International Paralympic Committee says the body has “cash-flow” problems because of the Olympic and Paralympic postponement until 2021. Andrew Parsons says about 5% of spending is being cut from the IPC’s budget. Parsons says the problem is due partly to broadcast rights holders who want to delay their payments until the product is delivered. Parsons says it’s not a question of “losing money” but rather some temporary belt tightening.
— The players and coach on Switzerland’s national soccer team have declined to take more than $1 million of payments that were due from their federation in 2020. The team was scheduled to play in the now-postponed European Championship in June and had two games in Qatar canceled last month because of the coronavirus pandemic. The shutdown of games has cost the Swiss soccer body millions of dollars. Federation chairman Dominique Blanc says it’s a “magnificent gesture” from the players. Blanc tested positive for the virus three weeks ago. Team captain Stephan Lichtsteiner says, “we wanted to set an example and show solidarity.”
— A two-time Olympic finalist in the 800 meters has died after getting infected with the coronavirus. The Italian Olympic Committee announced the death of Donato Sabia at 56. Sabia finished fifth in the 800 at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and seventh at the 1988 Seoul Games.
— A groom who worked at Belmont Park has died of coronavirus complications. The New York Racing Association says Martin Zapata died Tuesday. The 63-year-old native of Panama had spent the past two years working for trainer Tom Morley in New York, which has been hard-hit by the pandemic. NYRA says Zapata tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24 and was hospitalized two days later. He lived and worked at Belmont Park.
— The opening of the stable area and training track at Saratoga in upstate New York is being delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The training track was set to open April 15. The New York Racing Association says it has yet to decide an appropriate date to safely open. Saratoga’s racing season is still scheduled to begin on July 16 and run through Sept. 7.
— The Tokyo Olympic flame has been taken off public display in Japan. And it’s not clear when it will reappear again, or where — or under what conditions. After the Tokyo Olympics and the torch relay were postponed until next year, the flame was put on display in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima. It was supposed to remain on display through the end of April, but it was removed to an undisclosed location after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH'-bay) declared a state of emergency yesterday that includes limiting large crowds.
Lafrenière tops list of NHL draft-eligible prospects
UNDATED (AP) — Forward Alexis Lafrenière remained No. 1 when the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s released its final ranking of draft-eligible prospects Wednesday, while German forward Tim Stuetzle was ranked as the top European prospect.
Lafrenière was leading the Quebec Major Junior League with 112 points on 35 goals and 77 assists in 52 games when play was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sudbury Wolves center Quinton Byfield and Erie Otters defenseman Jamie Drysdale are ranked second and third among North American prospects.
The draft can’t feasibly be held until the playoffs are completed or the entire season canceled. The draft had been scheduled for Montreal in late June.
Oilers' Cave out of emergency surgery, remains in coma
UNDATED (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers say forward Colby Cave has undergone emergency surgery after suffering a brain bleed.
The team posted on Twitter that doctors removed a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on Cave’s brain Tuesday. He remains in a medically induced coma at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
Cave’s wife, Emily, said earlier on Instagram that doctors were “fighting to keep him alive” in surgery.
The 25-year-old Cave scored one goal in 11 games with Edmonton this season.
NC State accepts NCAA case referral for independent process
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State has accepted a recommendation for its NCAA case involving recruiting violations tied to former one-and-done star Dennis Smith Jr.
The school agreed to go through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process, the new independent investigation process for complex cases. The NCAA created the IARP following reform proposals from the commission led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the wake of a federal corruption investigation into college basketball.
North Carolina State was charged last summer with four violations.
In other college basketball news:
— DePaul guard Jalen Coleman-Lands has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Coleman-Lands was limited to nine games as a junior transfer in 2018-19 after breaking his left hand. He played in all 32 games this past season and led the Blue Demons with 63 3-pointers while averaging 11 points.
Woods, caddie sued
UNDATED (AP) — A Florida man has filed a lawsuit against Tiger Woods and his caddie, claiming he suffered injuries from the caddie pushing him out of the way during a tournament two years ago.
The civil complaint was filed yesterday in Pinellas County and alleges Brian Borruso tried to take a selfie as Woods approached his tee shot left of the 13th green in the third round of the Valspar Championship. Borruso maintains caddie Joe LaCava “intentionally shoved” him and caused him to stumble and fall into the crowd before being treated for injuries at a hospital.