NBA bans draft workouts
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA has told teams that they may not conduct or attend any workouts with draft-eligible players during the league’s coronavirus hiatus, a major change from typical procedures.
Teams also are being prohibited “from watching, requesting, or sharing any video (live or recorded) of a draft-eligible player or prospective early entry player taking part in a workout” during the league’s shutdown.
Teams will be allowed to conduct interviews by phone or video, though they will be capped at a total of four hours with any draft prospect. They can also send questionnaires to players in advance of any interviews.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Adam Silver does not expect any decisions to be made until at least May about the possible resumption of the 2019-20 season, saying the coronavirus pandemic simply makes it too difficult to project what will happen next.
In other sports outbreaks news:
— The NFL draft will be conducted in a virtual format, with team personnel working from their homes. The draft originally was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, but the NFL canceled all public events last month as a safeguard against the coronavirus. In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings.
— Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association. The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press.
— Golf's oldest championship won't be played this year for 1st time since 1945.The R&A announced it is canceling the British Open in July because of the spread of COVID-19. It is pushing the British Open back one year and staying at Royal St. George's. That assures the 150th Open will be at St. Andrews in 2022.
— The NFL is delaying the start of its offseason workout program while formulating a plan with the NFL Players Association on how to proceed during the coronavirus pandemic. At least for the time being, NFL coaches won’t be allowed to communicate with players via videoconferencing.
— IndyCar has adjusted its schedule again because of the coronavirus pandemic. The doubleheader at Detroit scheduled for the end of May has now been canceled. IndyCar will make up the two dates by hosting doubleheaders at both Iowa Speedway and Laguna Seca in California.
— A doctor at French soccer club Reims (ranss) has killed himself after getting infected with the coronavirus. The city’s mayor tells Le Parisien newspaper Bernard Gonzalez “is a collateral victim of COVID-19 because he had tested positive and was in isolation for 14 days.
—The nonprofit group that raises funds for the bulk of the world’s anti-doping research is shifting $120,000 to conduct 15,000 COVID-19 tests. The goal is to help scientists get a better sense of how many people have the new coronavirus but show no symptoms. The Partnership for Clean Competition was founded in 2008 by the NFL, Major League Baseball, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
— Two people familiar with the league’s plans say the NFL is planning a telethon during the draft to aid coronavirus relief efforts. The people tell The Associated Press that the league hopes its massive reach will raise awareness and funds in battling the pandemic. The draft is the NFL's biggest offseason event. It's being held from April 23-25. It had been scheduled for Las Vegas but now will be done remotely.
— Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal are each pledging $250,000 to help provide meals for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Boston and St. Louis. The pledges will benefit Feeding America, the St. Louis Food Bank and Greater Boston Food Bank. Both Tatum and Beal are natives of St. Louis.
— The Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers have issued a challenge to area residents to raise $200,000 for the city’s 12 community centers by noon Thursday. If that happens, the two professional teams say they will kick in an extra $420,000.
— Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane has launched a fundraising campaign to support local charitable groups addressing critical needs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Beane is donating $20,000 to the community’s United Way chapter and providing incentives for Bills fans to get involved.
— Chicago’s eight pro teams and mayor Lori Lightfoot are teaming up to encourage residents to stay home to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox as well as the WNBA’s Sky, MLS’ Fire and National Women’s Soccer League’s Red Stars are joining with the mayor in the “We Are Not Playing” campaign.
NFL ALL-DECADE TEAM
8 unanimous picks for All-Decade Team include Brady, Watt
UNDATED (AP) — Tom Brady, J.J. Watt and Adrian Peterson are among eight unanimous selections to the 2010s NFL All-Decade Team announced by the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also chosen on every ballot of the 48-member Hall of Fame selection committee are Von Miller, Aaron Donald, Joe Thomas, Marshal Yanda and Justin Tucker. All but tackle Thomas and guard Yanda are active.
The 55-member team is comprised only of players who made an AP All-Pro team, a Pro Bowl or a Pro Football Writers of America all-conference squad from 2010-19. Four of the unanimous players — Brady, Miller, Yanda and Tucker — won Super Bowls during the decade.
Receiver Kendrick Bourne signs tender with 49ers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne signed his one-year restricted free agent tender Monday.
The 49ers placed a second-round tender worth $3.259 million last month on Bourne. That gave the Niners the right to match any contract offer Bourne received or get a second-round pick in return.
Bourne had 30 catches for 358 yards and five TD last season for San Francisco.
In other NFL moves:
—The Jacksonville Jaguars have re-signed defensive tackle Carl Davis. Davis is suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Davis played in three games in 2019 — two for Jacksonville and one for Indianapolis.
— The Atlanta Falcons have announced their one-year agreement with running back Todd Gurley. The framework of the $6 million deal was completed on March 20, less than 24 hours after Gurley was released by the Los Angeles Rams.
Beloved Detroit Tigers star Al Kaline dies at 85
DETROIT (AP) — Al Kaline, who spent his entire 22-season Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Tigers and was known affectionately as “Mr. Tiger,” has died. He was 85.
John Morad, a friend of Kaline's, confirmed to The Associated Press that he died Monday at his home in Michigan. Morad, who spoke first to the Detroit Free Press, said he'd been in contact with Kaline's son.
Kaline was the youngest player to win the American League batting title in 1955 at age 20 with a .340 batting average. The right fielder was a 15-time All-Star, won 10 Gold Gloves and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1980 in his first year of eligibility.
The beloved No. 6 later sat behind a microphone as a Tigers broadcaster from 1976 to 2001 and was also a special assistant to the general manager.
NHL PLAYOFF POSSIBILITIES
NHL playoff scenarios run the gamut of where, when and how
UNDATED (AP) — Neutral site NHL playoff games? Awarding the Stanley Cup in September? Nothing is off the table as the league considers options to complete the season.
Play is on hold for now because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Players have different opinions on what a playoff format might look like. Ideas range from completing all or part of the regular season to expanding the number of teams competing from 16.
Kentucky's Maxey becomes second Wildcat to enter NBA draft
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey will enter the NBA draft, becoming the second Wildcats starter in as many days to turn pro and forego his remaining collegiate eligibility.
Maxey scored 26 points against then-No. 1 Michigan State in his collegiate debut and finished the season tied for second in scoring on the team at 14 points per game. The 6-foot-3 freshman shot nearly 43% with 33 3-pointers and also averaged 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists while starting 28 of 31 games for the Southeastern Conference champions. SEC coaches voted him to the all-freshman team and all-SEC second team.
In other college basketball news:
— Louisville forward Jordan Nwora has announced on social media that he will enter the NBA draft. The 6-foot-7 Nwora was selected to The Associated Press All-America third team as a junior and his decision to turn pro was expected after limited participation in last year’s NBA combine because of a knee injury.
— Florida guard Scottie Lewis is returning for his sophomore season. In an announcement on social media, Lewis says “playing in the NBA is still a top priority” but his “heart is in Gainesville.”
— Purdue coach Matt Painter says center Matt Haarms intends to play his final college season at another school after entering the transfer portal. The 7-foot-3 Haarms averaged 8.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game last season with the Boilermakers. But Haarms lost his starting job last season after suffering a hip injury in December.
FIFA INVESTIGATION-FORMER FOX EXECUTIVES CHARGED
Former Fox executives charged with bribes in World Cup bid
NEW YORK (AP) — A pair of former sports marketing executives of 21st Century Fox have been indicted on charges they paid bribes to soccer officials to obtain confidential bidding information during FIFA’s sale of U.S. television rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Charges were unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn against former 21st Century Fox Inc. executives Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez. They are accused of making payments to officials of the CONMEBOL, South American soccer’s governing body.
ESPN had U.S. English-language television rights to the World Cup from 1994-2014, but Fox in 2011 gained the rights for 2018 and 2022 tournaments. After the 2022 tournament in Qatar was shifted from summer to late autumn, a time when it is likely to get less attention in the U.S., FIFA awarded Fox rights for 2026 without competitive bidding.