Hall of Fame DE Willie Davis dead at age 85
UNDATED (AP) — Willie Davis was one of the defensive linchpins that helped the Green Bay Packers reel off six NFL championships from 1960-67, including the first two Super Bowls.
Davis has died in a Santa Monica, California, hospital at 85. His wife, Carol, told the Packers her husband had been hospitalized for about a month with kidney failure.
Davis was a five-time All-Pro while playing for the Packers from 1960-69. He was voted to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1960s and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
Davis played college ball at Grambling and was taken in the 15th round of the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, where he spent his first two seasons.
Kentucky's Montgomery, Washington’s McDaniels turning pro
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA draft list continues to grow.
Kentucky sophomore forward EJ Montgomery and Washington swingman Jaden McDaniels have announced they are leaving school early to enter the draft.
Montgomery averaged career highs of 6.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with 31 blocks while starting 25 of his 28 games for the Wildcats last season. He ranked second on the team in rebounding and blocks.
Montgomery follows pro announcements by Kentucky teammates Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey.
McDaniels is the latest one-and-done player for the Huskies and is projected as a middle first-round pick after an inconsistent season. McDaniels showed a lack of maturity and flaws in his game at times, but he averaged 13 points and 5.8 rebounds.
In other college basketball news:
— Louisville has added graduate transfer guards Carlik Jones and Charles Minlend Jr. Jones was named Big South Conference player of the year last season after helping Radford win its second consecutive regular season championship, averaging 20 points, 5.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Minlend averaged 14.5 and points and 4.7 rebounds to lead San Francisco to 22 wins, matching its highest win total in 35 years.
— Graduate transfer Dimencio Vaughn has signed to play his final season with Mississippi after three years at Rider. Vaughn averaged 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, ranking fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in both categories. He was twice a first-team All-MAAC selection and was considered one of the top available grad transfers.
— Tennessee has picked up forward E.J. Anosike as a graduate transfer. Anosike averaged a team-high 15.7 points for Sacred Heart last season and ranked sixth nationally with 11.6 rebounds a game.
— Minnesota has added frontcourt players Liam Robbins from Drake and Brandon Johnson from Western Michigan. The 7-foot Robbins has applied for immediate eligibility and will have two seasons left. The 6-foot-8 Johnson is a graduate transfer who’ll be eligible immediately for his senior season.
— Vance Jackson and Jalen Tate are joining Arkansas as graduate transfers. Jackson averaged 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds for New Mexico last season. Tate leaves Northern Kentucky after being named the 2020 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and MVP of the conference tournament.
— Washington has added Wichita State transfer Erik Stevenson and junior college standout Nate Pryor. Stevenson averaged 11.1 points per game last season for Wichita State. Pryor averaged 16.8 points and 4.1 assists per game last season for North Idaho.
Verlander throwing again
UNDATED (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander has resumed throwing as he recovers from a March groin surgery.
Verlander dealt with the problem early in spring training and made just two starts during the exhibition season, compiling a 3.86 ERA over 4 2/3 innings.
Astros manager Dusty Baker says Verlander is “doing great” and is throwing as he continues his rehabilitation from the March 17 surgery.
NTSB releases Halladay crash report
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — 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 Tampa Bay in 2017, killing him. That’s according to a report issued Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Halladay had amphetamine levels about 10 times therapeutic levels in his blood along with a high level of morphine and an anti-depressant that can impair judgment. The report says he performed high-pitch climbs and steep turns, sometimes within five feet of the water. The maneuvers put loads of nearly two-times gravity on the plane, an Icon A5 Halladay had purchased a month earlier.
The NTSB is expected to release a final reason for the crash next month.
Ex-Jays All-Star Garcia dies
UNDATED (AP) — Former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Dámaso (DAH’-mah-soh) García has died in his native Dominican Republic at 63.
Garcia broke into the majors with the 1978 Yankees and was an All-Star for the Blue Jays in 1984 and ’85. He hit .283 with 323 RBIs and 203 stolen bases before his career ended in 1989.
Garcia had several health problems in recent years, including a stroke, according to his son, Dámaso Jr. He was also dealing with respiratory issues, but the death is not related to COVID-19 according to his son.
Manfred wants MLB ready for business
UNDATED (AP) — Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred wants his leagues to be in position to take the field whenever government and health officials give the go-ahead. Manfred says he thinks it’s incumbent upon MLB to turn over every stone to try to play the game in 2020 if there’s any way it can in the environment.
Among the plans being investigating is basing all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and using the 10 spring training ballparks there, along with the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field and possibly college facilities.
Arizona’s governor says his state is willing to host all 30 major league teams when public health concerns allow, which eventually could lead to the start of the baseball season primarily in empty spring training ballparks. Having all teams based in the Phoenix area is among the contingency plans being examined.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is cutting the salary of senior staff by an average of 35% for this year due to the pandemic’s impact on the season. MLB is guaranteeing paychecks to its full-time employees of its central office through May.
In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:
— Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen says he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago. Allen is the first active NFL player to acknowledge testing positive during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s not hospitalized and is “feeling good,” according to a statement issued by the team. The 24-year-old Allen became the Rams’ starting center last year in his second NFL season. He played in nine games before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury.
— At least one member of the Los Angeles Chargers organization has tested positive for the coronavirus and two others have reported symptoms. ESPN reported that the first positive diagnosis happened two weeks after the team facility was shut down on March 12. A team spokesman says owner Dean Spanos, general manager Tom Telesco and coach Anthony Lynn are fine.
— This year’s Tour de France is now scheduled to be held from Aug. 29 through Sept. 20 and will be followed by cycling’s two other major races. The International Cycling Union announced the new dates after organizers were forced to postpone the Tour’s scheduled June 27 start because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. The UCI also says the world championships will go ahead as planned from Sept. 20-27 and will be followed by the Giro d’Italia and the Spanish Vuelta. No official dates were given for those two major races.
— The parent company that oversees the NHL Buffalo Sabres has announced a series of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and furloughs affecting 125 employees. Pegula (peh-GOO'-luh) Sports and Entertainment says 104 employees are being furloughed. Another 21 were laid off yesterday, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
— Speedway Motorsports has laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 as part of a company restructuring during the sports shutdown. Speedway Motorsports owns the Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas tracks, all of which host NASCAR’s Cup Series races.
— The major college football conference commissioners held a 30-minute conference call Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence, stressing that college sports cannot return from the coronavirus shutdown until campuses have reopened. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Pence asked good questions and was “hopeful and optimistic” about the fight against the coronavirus. American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said they stressed the differences between pro and college sports and talked about how academics and college athletics were inseparable.
— World Wrestling Entertainment started releasing professional wrestlers Wednesday in budget cuts related to the coronavirus pandemic. The moves came even with the company allowed to continue to run live TV shows in Florida after Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed WWE an essential business. Pro sports were added to a list of businesses permitted to stay open in an April 9 memorandum. WWE is allowed to continue putting on shows without shows.
— The U.S. Tennis Association says it is overseeing a commitment of more than $50 million to help the sport deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The USTA says it is shaving more than $20 million from its budget by reducing salaries of its management and eliminating programs in player development and marketing. The group that runs the U.S. Open says the total future support provided by the USTA and its industry partners for the sport at the grassroots level “will be determined by the financial performance” of the 2020 Grand Slam tournament in Flushing Meadows.
PGA-BYRON NELSON-NEW COURSE
Nelson going to ranch for new home in '21
McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — The Byron Nelson is moving to TPC Craig Ranch, about 30 minutes north of downtown Dallas.
Craig Ranch will host the tournament for at least five years, beginning next spring.
The announcement Wednesday from the PGA Tour and the Nelson came three months after officials said the tournament was moving from the links-style Trinity Forest Golf Club.