Winningest NFL coach Don Shula dead at 90
MIAMI (AP) — Former Buffalo Bills coach Mark Levy, a longtime rival of Don Shula, says the late Miami Dolphins coach was “one of the great credits to the game that has ever been.”
Shula, who died Monday at age 90, won the most games of any NFL coach and led the Dolphins to the only perfect season in league history. He retired following the 1995 season with 347 wins, 173 losses and six ties, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
Shula became the only coach to guide an NFL team through a perfect season when the 1972 Dolphins went 17-0.
Levy says Shula “was the winningest coach in the history of the league and did it by playing by the rules and honoring the game.”
In other NFL news:
— The NFL is moving its five games scheduled for London and Mexico City this season back to U.S. stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic. All five regular-season games will be played at the stadiums of the host teams. Scheduled were two home games for the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London and two at Tottenham's new facility, with the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins as hosts. The Arizona Cardinals were to be the home team for the game at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Opponents had not been announced.
— The Dallas Cowboys have made room for new backup quarterback Andy Dalton by waiving the player who sat behind Dak Prescott for most of the past three seasons. Cooper Rush saw mop-up duty in five games. Prescott hasn't missed a game in his four seasons. Dalton, a former Cincinnati starter, is guaranteed at least $3 million in his one-year contract.
— Former third-round pick Nazair Jones was one of four players waived by the Seattle Seahawks as the team reached its 90-man roster limit. Jones, running back Adam Choice, defensive tackle Shakir Soto and linebacker Pita Taumoepenu were all released Monday. Jones was the only one to have played in a game for Seattle.
— The Chicago Bears have signed wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. to a one-year contract. A 13-year veteran who has played in Super Bowls with San Francisco and Carolina, Ginn caught 30 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns with New Orleans last season. He has 409 receptions for 5,702 yards and 33 touchdowns for Miami, San Francisco, Arizona, Carolina and New Orleans.
Red Sox OF Verdugo says he'll be ready for start of season
BOSTON (AP) — New Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo said on Monday that he is fully healthy and he will be ready for the season -- if there is one.
Verdugo has used the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic to rehab a stress fracture in his spine he already had when Boston acquired him from the Dodgers in the deal that sent Mookie Betts to Los Angeles on the eve of spring training. At the time, the Red Sox said he was not expected to break camp with the rest of the ballclub; Verdugo had said he may be ready “slightly after” opening day.
Verdugo said he remained active at home after the Red Sox complex in Fort Myers, Florida, was shut down. But things have been easier since he was allowed to return to the ballpark last week, and he is now working out four days a week. Because of social distancing mandates, the only other player he has seen there is pitcher Chris Sale.
NCAA accuses Louisville basketball of recruiting violations
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA that accuses its men’s basketball program of committing a Level I violation with an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits and several Level II violations that accuse former Cardinals coach Rick Pitino of failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance.
The notice is the completion of a nearly two-year NCAA investigation.
Louisville acknowledged its involvement in federal corruption investigation of college basketball related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II, which led to the ousters of Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich in October 2017.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-BASEBALL SALARIES
AP Exclusive: Trout, Cole top 65 to earn $100,000 per game
NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole aren’t the only major leaguers with a big financial incentive to get back on the field.
While they head a starry quartet that would take in more than $200,000 per game, 65 players would earn at least $100,000 each time their team wins or loses.
That's according to an Associated Press analysis of their contracts.
Most rookies and those making the minimum would get nearly $3,500 each from a major league payroll of about $24 million per game. Clubs would benefit, too, with huge revenue streams flowing from regional sports networks and national broadcast contracts.
SOUTH KOREA-SEASON STARTS
Play ball: Korean baseball league begins in empty stadiums
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The new baseball season has begun in South Korea with the crack of the bat and the sound of the ball smacking into the catcher’s mitt echoing around empty stadiums.
Umpires wore protective masks and cheerleaders danced beneath rows of unoccupied seats as professional baseball got back on the field today after a weeks-long delay because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There were many faces in the stands in at least one stadium but they were pictures instead of real people because fans aren’t allowed into the venues.
The country’s professional soccer leagues will kick off Friday. They will also play without spectators in the stadiums.
Rays minor leaguer talks about killings of 3 family members
DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays minor leaguer Blake Bivens says he learned through social media of the deaths of three family members last summer.
Speaking publicly for what is believed to be the first time about the Aug. 28 deaths of wife Emily, 1-year-old son and mother-in-law Joan Bernard, Bivens on Sunday recalled details of traveling home to Keeling, Virginia, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he had been on a road trip with the Rays’ Double-A Montgomery affiliate.
The 24-year-old pitcher’s brother-in-law, Matthew Bernard, was arrested, charged with three counts of murder and is awaiting trial.
Bivens spoke for more than 30 minutes with interim senior pastor Travis Gore of The River Church during a conversation aired live on Facebook.
The athlete said his faith has helped him cope with the deaths.