Some NFL teams reopening training facilities
UNDATED (AP) — A limited number of NFL teams are reopening their training facilities, while many are prohibited by government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioner Roger Goodell gave the 32 clubs the go-ahead for limited re-openings on Tuesday, as long as state and local municipalities allow them.
Coaching staffs and all players, except those undergoing injury rehab, are barred from the facilities in the first phase of the league’s plan.
With such states as California, New York, New Jersey, Washington and Virginia still under heavy restrictions, that immediately leaves nine franchises unable to use their facilities. The Las Vegas Raiders still have their training complex in Alameda, California.
In other NFL news:
—Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter isn't willing to guess what the NFL might look like when its back on the field. The new NFL Players Association president said he's focused on player safety as the league cautiously heads toward normalcy in the COVID-19 pandemic. Tretter doesn't know when players will be allowed to return to training facilities that began opening around the league.
— The San Francisco 49ers are encouraged by how productive their virtual offseason has been amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But they are even more hopeful of getting back on the field for training camp in July after California Gov. Gavin Newsom said sports could resume under some restrictions if the state continues to make progress.
— Changes designed to enhance opportunities for minorities to get executive, head coaching and coordinator positions were passed by NFL owners. They include addendums to the Rooney Rule, which has fallen short in its goal of increasing diversity in the league. All clubs will now be required to interview at least two minority candidates from outside the organization for head coach vacancies.
— 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 early Tuesday. 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.
MLB-VIRUS OUTBREAK-NATIONALS RINGS
An unusual ring to it: Nats opt for virtual Series ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals will unveil their World Series championship rings during a “virtual” ceremony shown on television and online Sunday -- an unprecedented approach brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
With the start of the Major League Baseball season on hold because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Nationals owner Mark Lerner said he hopes the plan to show off the team’s hardware would provide “a moment of joy in these uncertain times.”
Teams typically unveil their title rings at a home stadium packed with fans.
In other MLB developments:
—The Los Angeles Angels will implement furloughs across their organization starting June 1. Furloughs will impact employees across the front office, scouting department and minor league system. The Angels had already pledged to pay their employees through May. Furloughed employees will keep their medical benefits for the rest of the year or until Oct. 31, depending on their contracts.
—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. Spring training has been on hold more than two months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic. That has also delayed the start of the regular season.
Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanović undergoes right wrist surgery
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 performed Tuesday in New York City. There's no timetable for Bogdanović's return. The team said in a release that he’ll begin rehabilitation “at the appropriate time.” The NBA season remains on hold 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. The 31-year-old Bogdanović signed a four-year, $73 million contract with Utah last summer.
AP source: WNBA teams to cut rosters down to 12 by May 26
NEW YORK (AP) — WNBA teams will have to get their rosters down to 12 by May 26 so players can get paid starting June 1.
The league and the players' union are still working out many details of how often players will get paid and how much. Those negotiations largely depend on the length and start date of the season.
Players who are waived over the next week won’t get paid, but they will receive benefits through June 30. The WNBA offered rookies health benefits starting May 1. Veteran players receive year-round benefits.
NHL's plan to return face possible border restriction hurdle
UNDATED (AP) — The NHL is still more than a week away from determining a return-to-play format. That word comes from a person familiar with discussions. And what that plan resembles could be complicated further should the U.S. and Canada extend border restrictions to non-essential travel into July. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced border restrictions will stay in effect through June 21.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly tells The Associated Press he's hopeful the decision to close the border to non-essential travel for another month won’t “have a material impact” on the league’s discussions to restart its season.
In other sports-related coronavirus developments:
— The English Premier League’s first wave of mass coronavirus testing of players and staff found six people infected at three of the 20 soccer teams. Socially distant training sessions can begin, without the involvement of the six people with COVID-19 who have to self-isolate for seven days. The league is not identifying whether players or coaches tested positive from the tests on 748 people on Sunday and Monday.
— Japan’s beloved high school baseball tournament has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament is a huge annual event in Japan and is followed much the way Americans follow the college basketball tournament. The Japanese High School Baseball Federation says the cancellation was the first since World War II. The high school tournament has showcased some of the biggest stars in Japanese professional baseball. They include major leaguers like Ichiro Suzuki, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Matsui. The summer tournament was scheduled to start in August at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya. A smaller spring tournament was canceled earlier.
— 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.
— Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says the city is talking with the organizers of the Boston Marathon about what to do if the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t let up by the race’s proposed new date of Sept. 14. The mayor said on Tuesday that the decision to reschedule the marathon from April to September was made with the hope that the disease “would no longer be a significant public health risk.”
— South Carolina’s highest-paid head coaches are taking 10% salary cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic. Football coach Will Muschamp, men’s basketball coach Frank Martin and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley are taking the cuts. The university also said Tuesday that school president Robert Caslen and athletic director Ray Tanner are among the top-level administrators taking the 10% cut.
OCEAN SEARCH-MISSING WRESTLER
Former WWE pro Shad Gaspard missing in ocean off California
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former World Wrestling Entertainment pro Shad Gaspard was still missing Tuesday after he was swept out to sea in Southern California last weekend while swimming with his young son.
Gaspard's 10-year-old son, Aryeh, was rescued and several other swimmers made it out of the water safely after they were caught in a rip current Sunday afternoon at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. A police statement says a lifeguard saw a wave crash over Gaspard and he was swept out to sea.
Gaspard gained prominence in the WWE as one half of the tag-team group Cryme Time, along with his partner, JTG.
After retiring from the WWE in 2010, Gaspard has had small roles on TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard.”
HORSE RACING-BELMONT STAKES
Belmont to be run on June 20
ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) — The Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 on Long Island in front of no fans as the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
This is the first year the Belmont will take place before the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The Derby was moved to Sept. 5 and the Preakness to Oct. 3.
The rescheduled Belmont will be contested at distance of a mile and an eighth instead of the race’s trademark mile and a half that has been in place since 1926.
Burmeister, who coached UTSA to NCAA tourney, dies at 72
CHICAGO (AP) — Ken Burmeister, a college basketball coach for 21 seasons who took Texas-San Antonio to the NCAA Tournament and later guided Loyola of Chicago, died Tuesday. He was 72.
Loyola said Burmeister died following a bout with cancer.
Burmeister posted 72 wins at Texas-San Antonio from 1986-90. He led the Roadrunners to their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Illinois in 1988.
Burmeister took over at Loyola in 1994 after working as an assistant at nearby DePaul and went 40-71 over four seasons. Following his time at Loyola, he went on to coach for a season at Trinity University in San Antonio and at Incarnate Word for 12 years.
SOUTH KOREA-SEX DOLLS
FC Seoul faces sanctions after putting sex dolls in seats
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean soccer club is facing penalties that include expulsion from its own stadium for putting sex dolls in empty seats during a match last weekend.
The K-League is one of the few soccer leagues operating during the coronavirus pandemic and is playing in empty stadiums.
FC Seoul’s attempts to increase the atmosphere at the stadium backfired during a match. The club expressed its “sincere remorse” but initially said it believed it was using regular mannequins to mimic a home crowd.
K-League officials have referred the matter to a disciplinary committee.