NHL commissioner says season may not be completed
UNDATED (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has raised the possibility of not being able to complete the regular season. During an interview on NBCSN, he stressed that all options remain on the table.
Bettman said the league is hoping to have a clearer picture of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the next few weeks, and that “nothing has been ruled in and nothing ruled out.”
Bettman said the ideal scenario would be to complete the season to determine playoff seedings in fairness to teams involved in tightly contested races in both conferences. However, he adds: “We understand that may not be possible.”
The live interview broadcast Tuesday marked the first time Bettman has mentioned the possibility of the league not being able to complete the regular season. There were 189 games remaining when play was postponed on March 12.
In other developments related to the coronavirus:
— The Canadian Football League is the latest sports league to postpone play because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFL, which was scheduled to kick off the regular season on June 11, announced Tuesday that the season won’t start before the beginning of July.
— The Canadian Grand Prix has become the latest Formula One race to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montreal race was scheduled to take place June 12-14. It is the ninth F1 race to be postponed so far, with the French GP on June 26 now the set to be the opening event of the season.
— Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki’s farewell to tennis — an exhibition match against good friend Serena Williams — is being postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The last tournament of the 29-year-old Wozniacki’s professional career came in January at the Australian Open. The Dane won her Grand Slam title there in 2018. She was supposed to face off against 23-time major champion Williams in Copenhagen on May 18 in a match dubbed “The Final One.”
— Two of the biggest meetings in the British horse racing calendar have been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite previous hopes that the sport could return by the start of May. The Jockey Club says the Guineas Festival at Newmarket on May 2-3 and the English Derby Festival at Epsom on June 5-6 will not be staged on those dates.
— The Italian and Catalan MotoGP races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The motorcycling series has yet to start its season. Eight MotoGP races have now been called off because of the virus.
— South Korea’s professional baseball league says it hopes to start practice games between teams on April 21 before possibly opening the season in early May. The Korea Baseball Organization says the plans are contingent on the country’s coronavirus caseload continuing to slow. The KBO will advise players to wear face masks in locker rooms and require them to download smartphone apps to report their daily health status to league officials.
— Former ice hockey player Roger Chappot of Switzerland has died due to COVID-19. He was 79. Chappot played more than 100 games for Switzerland’s national team, including at the 1964 Winter Olympics. The International Ice Hockey Federation says Chappot was first treated at a hospital two weeks ago. He returned home before his condition became worse and he was admitted to an intensive care unit.
Athletes already qualified for Tokyo Games get to keep spots
UNDATED (AP) — About 6,500 athletes who already have earned their spots in the Tokyo Olympics are in for 2021. The International Olympic Committee made it official under redrawn qualifying regulations released Tuesday.
The IOC postponed the games by a year due to the new coronavirus. They'll now be held July 23 through Aug. 8 next year. The new deadline for qualifying is June 29, 2021.
Individual international sports federations will still be in charge of their qualifying procedures. But they have agreed to let athletes keep spots they already have earned.
Sale: No regrets about surgery
BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale says he has no regrets about the timing of his recent Tommy John surgery and is confident he can return as a stronger pitcher following his rehab.
Sale had the procedure on his left elbow last month. The Red Sox said the surgery was a success.
Sale is expected to miss 14 to 15 months, which would put him on track to return in the middle of the 2021 season.
Newton feels like ‘fish out of water’
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton says he feels like a “fish out of water” being a free agent for the first time in his nine-year NFL career.
Newton says being released by the Carolina Panthers left him with a chip on his shoulder that has “turned into family-size real quick." He made the comments during a conversation with Thunder guard Chris Paul on Instagram Live.
Newton didn’t give any indication where he might be interested in signing.
The 2015 league MVP played in only two games last season and is coming off foot surgery. He hasn't been able to meet with NFL teams due to the coronavirus travel restrictions.
In other NFL news:
—The Las Vegas Raiders have signed defensive back Damarious Randall to a one-year contract in their latest move to try to upgrade a porous defense. The Raiders announced the signing after agreeing to the deal last week. The Raiders signed Randall to a $3.25 million contract after another deal with cornerback Eli Apple fell through. The 27-year-old Randall was a first-round pick by Green Bay in 2015 with experience playing outside cornerback, in the slot and at both safety positions.
—Timmy Brown, a running back and kick returner who won an NFL championship with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1960, has died. He was 82. The Eagles announced Tuesday that Brown died on Saturday. Brown was the first NFL player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game, doing it in a 24-23 win over Dallas on November 6, 1966. Brown was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1996. He is sixth on the franchise’s all-time list for touchdowns with 62.
—The Redskins are weighing drafting Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick against the possibility of trading down. New coach Ron Rivera says he has a good idea in the back of his mind what Washington will do with the No. 2 pick. Young to the Redskins has looked like a slam dunk assuming the Cincinnati Bengals select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow first.
Oilers forward Cave in coma after brain bleed
UNDATED (AP) — Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave has been placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a brain bleed.
The Oilers said on their Twitter account that the brain bleed happened overnight and that Cave was in the critical care unit at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.
A 25-year-old from Saskatchewan, Cave scored once in 11 appearances with Edmonton this season
Dayton's Obi Toppin wins Wooden Award as top hoops player
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Obi Toppin of Dayton won the John R. Wooden Award as the nation’s outstanding college basketball player.
Toppin, along with Saddiq Bey of Villanova, Luka Garza of Iowa, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Peyton Pritchard of Oregon, also won positional awards from the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The winners were announced Tuesday on ESPN's “SportsCenter" broadcast. They are usually honored at the College Basketball Awards in Los Angeles, which was scheduled for Friday, but got canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Toppin is the first player from Dayton to win the Wooden Award and the first Atlantic-10 Conference player to do so since Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph's in 2004. Toppin averaged 20 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot 60% from the field. He led the nation in dunks with a school-record 107 and his 190 career slams also set a school mark.
Wooden Award voting took place from March 16-23.
Toppin also received the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year.
In other college basketball news:
—Maryland forward Jalen Smith intends to enter the 2020 NBA Draft and forgo his remaining two years of eligibility. Smith averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds as a sophomore, helping the Terrapins to a 24-7 finish and a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. The 6-foot-10 star ranked first in the conference and third nationally with 21 double-doubles.
Meanwhile, Arizona point guard Nico Mannion has joined fellow freshman teammate Zeke Nnaji in declaring for the NBA draft
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR
U. of Michigan reaching out to ex-athletes about late doctor
CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan is sending a letter to thousands of former student-athletes, asking them to speak with investigators from a law firm it hired to lead a probe into a deceased doctor accused of molesting people.
The Ann Arbor school says Tuesday the letter is going out to most of the 6,800 former student-athletes who were on campus between the mid-1960s and the early 2000s.
Many men say they were molested by Dr. Robert E. Anderson while seeking treatment for various injuries.
Anderson died in 2008. He worked at the university for decades until his retirement in 2003.
NASCAR HALL OF FAME
Burton, Earnhardt, Edwards headline Hall of Fame nominees
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards are among the new nominees for NASCAR’s next Hall of Fame class.
Janet Guthrie returns as a nominee in the Landmark category after a one-year absence.
The voting structure was changed for this year. There are three ballots: one for Modern candidates, one for Pioneer candidates and one for Landmark candidates.
Two entries from the 10 Modern candidates will be elected, along with one entry apiece from the five-candidate Pioneer and Landmark categories.