Sunday, March 29, 2020 3:30 AM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
Spring Olympics appearing less likely
UNDATED (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled games in the spring of 2021. More and more the signs point toward the summer of 2021.
Organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori suggested there would be no major change from 2020.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach had left open the possibility of spring dates after announcing Tuesday that the Tokyo Games would be postponed.
The postponed games were to have opened on July 24 and closed on Aug. 9. Mori suggested some decisions could be made as early as this week when the organizing committee's executive board meets.
In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:
— A second Colorado Avalanche player has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says it was informed Friday night, and the unidentified player is in self-isolation. A statement from the Avalanche on Saturday says those who came in close contact with the player have been informed and remain isolated. The team says no other Avalanche player or staff member has shown symptoms at this time. There are now four NHL players known to have tested positive — two with Colorado and two with Ottawa.
— The executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Knicks announced James Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night, saying he has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. Dolan is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus.
— A deal worked out between Major League Baseball and the players doesn’t include details of what a reconfigured schedule would look like. The agreement calls for play to resume “as soon as is practicable” with a goal of completing “the fullest 2020 championship season and postseason that is economically feasible.” It also says there must be no legal restrictions on mass gathering and travel. The two sides agreed to consider playing past the usual end of the postseason in late October, even if it involves using neutral sites and domes. Details were divulged to The Associated Press by people familiar with the agreement.
— The postponement of the Tokyo Games has catapulted the sports organizations that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team into crisis. At least one has already started layoffs and others are desperate to stay solvent. Some are expecting a major downturn in membership dues, while others are reeling from event cancellations totaling more than 8,000 across all sports. A database analyzed by The Associated Press shows combined projected losses of more than $121 million in revenue between February and June for 43 of the 50 national governing bodies that responded to a survey from the NGB Council in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
— Naomi Osaka says she is disappointed that the Olympics in her native Japan were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she supports the decision to delay the Summer Games to 2021. In a posting today on social media, the two-time Grand Slam champion wrote: "Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now." She also addressed "the people of Japan," saying, "stay strong, hang in there and let's show the world our beautiful country when the time is right."
— Athletic trainers across the country are changing their routines and joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The National Athletic Trainers Association put together an app aimed at helping trainers assist understaffed hospitals. The app was intended to give health care providers a database to look for help nationwide. More than 950 athletic trainers have signed up over the last week.
— A Canadian hockey goalie equipment manufacturer has begun producing medical supplies for hospitals in and around southwestern Ontario. Brian's Custom Sports in Kingsville initially was approached by public health officials about its surplus of double-sided tape and foam. But when the Ontario government closed nonessential businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the company was asked to change its production.
— USA Curling says additional participants at a tournament this month in Laurel, Maryland, have tested positive for the coronavirus. The United States Curling Association Club National Championships were held March 7-14 at Potomac Curling Club. Fox 5 DC reported that at least 20 people who participated in the event are sick. USA Curling also canceled the 2020 Arena National Championships scheduled for April 27 to May 2 in Gillette, Wyoming. The event will be held there in 2022 instead.
— Athletes and musicians took part in an online global music festival organized by the Spanish soccer league that raised about $690,000 for the fight against the coronavirus. Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and tennis star Rafael Nadal were among those who participated in Saturday’s charity event organized to raise funds for the purchase of medical supplies and to support fans confined to their homes.
— Spain’s Barcelona soccer team has delivered 30,000 masks to the Catalonia government to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The club says the masks were made in China and donated by insurance company Taiping, a regional partner of the club. Barcelona said the “daily use” masks will be distributed to nursing homes.
— Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend have resumed their efforts to raise money for those affected by the new coronavirus. The two had set up a GoFundMe page earlier this week until told by Clemson the site violated NCAA rules against using an athlete's name, image and likeness for crowd funding. But the NCAA later said Lawrence and other athletes could use such sites to raise money in this case.
Vikings re-sign veteran guard Dakota Dozier
UNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed veteran guard Dakota Dozier.
The Furman product played in 16 games last season with a career-high four starts. He originally joined Minnesota as a free agent last April.
Dozier was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He has appeared in 54 career games with 11 starts.
In other NFL news:
— The Giants have reached a one-year contract agreement with tight end Eric Tomlinson, who split last season with New York, New England and Oakland. Raiders. He appeared in eight games and had one catch. The Giants won’t confirm the deal until Tomlinson passes his physical.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TEXAS-SMART STAYS
UT athletic director: Shaka Smart to remain for next season
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Head coach Shaka Smart is getting another season to elevate the Texas men’s basketball program.
Longhorns athletic director Chris Del Conte has confirmed that Smart will be back for a sixth season with the team, telling the Austin American-Statesman, “Shaka's our coach.”
Smart gained national attention by rebuilding VCU’s program, going 163-63 over six years and reaching the NCAA Tournament during his last five seasons at the school. The Rams went to the Final Four in 2011 and never won fewer than 26 games under Smart before he left for Texas in 2015.
But the Longhorns have been a heavier lift, reaching the NCAA Tournament twice in four tries. Texas went 19-12 this past season without any seniors in the lineup. But the team is just 40-50 in the Big 12 under Smart, who is 90-78 overall with the Longhorns.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-ST. JOHN’S-FIGUEROA
Red Storm player leaving early
NEW YORK (AP) — St. John's wing LJ Figueroa has declared for the NBA draft.
School officials say he hasn't hired an agent and still has the option to return to school. Figueroa can return to school for his final season of eligibility if he withdraws from the draft pool by June 3.
Figueroa started 32 games in each of his two seasons with the Red Storm, averaging 14.5 points and 5.4 rebounds.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-WESTERN MICHIGAN
Bates replaces Hawkins at Western Michigan
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Western Michigan has promoted Clayton Bates to men’s basketball head coach, with its athletic director saying the coronavirus crisis impacted the school's search.
Bates was previously an associate head coach for WMU. He replaces Steve Hawkins, whose tenure ended this month after 17 seasons.
Hawkins guided the Broncos to a 291-262 record and seven Mid-American Conference regular-season titles. The school has made just one NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004, its first season under Hawkins.
HORSE RACING-FLORIDA DERBY
Tiz the Law wins Derby prep
MIAMI (AP) — Tiz the Law ran away in the stretch to easily win the Florida Derby.
Tiz the Law wrapped up a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points standings that are used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. The win at Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than what will be needed for a chance to run at Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby goes off as planned in early September.
Shivaree was second after going off at 80-1. Shivaree picked up 50 points to likely clinch a spot in the Derby field.
Fountain of Youth winner Ete Indien was third in a most unusual race at Gulfstream, where fans were banned, and even owners were told to stay away from the track because of the coronavirus pandemic.