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    Six players with FC Dallas have tested positive for COVID-19 and the entire team has been quarantined ahead of the MLS Is Back tournament. The club confirmed in a statement Wednesday that the players tested positive upon arrival in Florida for the month-long tournament starting next week. The team said all players and staff tested negative for coronavirus before leaving for the tournament on Saturday. Upon arrival, two players tested positive. Four more positive tests were uncovered in subsequent testing. “In consultation with MLS medical officials, FC Dallas took proactive steps to isolate the newly affected players as well as all FC Dallas players and staff in Orlando out of an abundance of caution. All members of the club delegation are following MLS health and safety protocols and will remain quarantined in their hotel rooms pending the results of further COVID-19 testing,” the team said in a statement. The names of the players were not released. The league said that no other team has been in contact with the FC Dallas delegation since its arrival. All of the league’s 26 teams are sequestered in hotels in advance of the tournament played without fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World. The tournament opens Wednesday. MLS shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12, after the league's teams had played two games. The league said on Sunday that 18 players and six staff members had tested positive for the virus before teams departed for Orlando. League protocol requires players and staff to be tested every two days upon arrival in Florida. Teams began traveling last week in advance of the tournament. FC Dallas is scheduled to open the tournament with a group stage match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 9.
  • The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ The Oklahoma athletics department has announced $13.7 million in budget cuts it blames on fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, including a 10% salary drop for any employee earning at least $1,000,000 per year. Athletic director Joe Castiglione said the moves were the “first steps” in responding to the financial losses associated with virus outbreak. He warned other steps may be necessary. The football team began voluntary workouts Wednesday. The Sooners said 111 players were tested Monday and there were seven additional positive tests after seven previously. In all, 14 Oklahoma players have tested positive along with two staff members. It said two players have since recovered. Earlier this week, Michigan’s athletic department projected a $26.1 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. Many Wolverines coaches and other senior staff are taking 10% pay cuts, including football coach Jim Harbaugh and men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard ___ Houston's Thabo Sefolosha is opting out of the NBA’s restart in Orlando, a person familiar with the decision has told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity Wednesday because the decision hasn’t been announced. Sefolosha is in his first season with the Rockets. He averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 41 games. The 36-year-old is a 15-year NBA veteran who has also played for Utah, Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Chicago. The Rockets are schedule to resume the season on July 31 against the Dallas Mavericks. — AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken reporting from Houston. ___ Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton says forward Jabari Parker has been cleared to end his self-isolation following a positive test for the coronavirus. Walton also spoke to Parker about handling himself in public after photos surfaced last week of the forward playing tennis without a mask following his positive test. Center Alex Len and guard Buddy Hield also announced they contracted the coronavirus, and Walton says all three are “doing much better” while being tested every other day. No players have told Walton they don’t want to take part as the Kings (28-36) prepare to play their final eight games in Orlando beginning at the end of this month. “This is a grown men’s league,” Walton said on a call Wednesday. “We talk to our guys but you can’t make them do anything. All we can do is encourage them to follow the guidelines that we’ve all been given: Do your best to social distance, wear a face mask when you’re out, wash your hands as often as possible, stay away from shaking hands, those type of things.” One of Walton’s top priorities now is “making sure everyone’s comfortable” — which will mean players bringing their own workout gear and leaving an extra pair of shoes that stay at the practice facility or arena. ___ The Lexington County Blowfish of the summertime Coastal Plain League will open their home season as scheduled Wednesday, but without fans after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said people in the stands would be a violation of his executive order against spectator sports due to COVID-19. The team, a collection of college players, had sold seats for its opening game against the Bomb Island Bombers. After the governor spoke Wednesday, the team posted on Twitter that fans would not be allowed into games until it received a clarification from the governor’s office. The state of South Carolina has seen a spike of cases the past few weeks and on Tuesday had a one-day high of 1,741 new cases. McMaster also warned that residents should wear masks and maintain social distance “so we can enjoy high school and college football in South Carolina this fall.” ___ The Green Bay Packers will have a six-decade NFL training camp tradition end as they won’t be staying at nearby St. Norbert College because of coronavirus concerns. The Packers instead will have their entire training camp operations at Lambeau Field. Housing arrangements are still being finalized. Packers officials said they made the switch due to NFL protocols asking clubs to maximize use of their own facilities to mitigate exposure to the virus. St. Norbert had hosted the Packers for training camp since 1958 The Packers have traditionally eaten dinner at St. Norbert and stayed in a residence hall on campus while commuting to their training-camp workouts at Lambeau Field. ___ The start of the outdoor motocross season is being delayed for a second time due to a spike in coronavirus cases. Supercross was able to complete its season by holding the final 10 races at University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium over a span of three weeks last month. Eli Tomac won his first Supercross title. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in recent weeks, series operator MX Sports Pro Racing opted to postpone the start of the outdoor season until August. The series was scheduled to start July 18 in Indiana after being pushed back in May due to the pandemic. The season-opening Hangtown Classic was canceled in March. ___ Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy is recovering from a severe case of COVID-19 that had him quarantined for 30 days. The 38-year-old Hottovy broke down Wednesday as he detailed a harrowing ordeal during a conference call. The Cubs resume workouts Friday for the first time since Major League Baseball shut down camps on March 12. Hottovy is in his second season as the Cubs’ pitching coach. The former major leaguer said he experienced fevers, breathing trouble and an increased heart rate. The symptoms worsened at night, making it difficult to sleep. Because he didn’t want his wife and young children to catch the virus, Hottovy isolated himself in a spare bedroom at home. He struggled during one Zoom meeting with pitchers, and manager David Ross took over for him. Things got so bad that Hottovy spent eight hours at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on the 12th day he was sick. He finally tested negative about two weeks ago. Hottovy said he’s still weakened from the illness. He considered opting out of the season while he was sick but decided against that. ___ Six FC Dallas players have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving in Florida for the resumption of MLS play, after every member of the team’s traveling party was negative in league-mandated testing before departing Dallas last Saturday. The team said Wednesday that two players tested positive after arriving in Orlando and were immediately isolated from teammates and FC Dallas coaches and staff, and other MLS clubs and staffs. After more league testing, four more FC Dallas players tested positive. After consultation with MLS medical officials, FC Dallas took proactive steps to isolate the newly affected players as well as all FC Dallas players and staff that are in Florida. All members of the club’s delegation will remain quarantined in their hotel rooms pending the results of further COVID-19 testing. The league says no other team has been in contact with the FC Dallas delegation since its arrival. All of the league’s 26 teams are sequestered in hotels in advance of the tournament played without fans at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World. The tournament opens next week. ___ The Kansas City Royals have launched what they are calling a “Fanbassador” program in which up to 500 fans may purchase a plastic cutout of their likeness for $40 apiece that will be displayed in a seat at Kauffman Stadium during the abbreviated 2020 season. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Royals Respond Fund, an effort to support Kansas City-area nonprofits that are focused on food insecurity amid the coronavirus pandemic. The idea of putting fan likenesses inside stadiums began in Germany when soccer resumed, and other baseball franchises like the Oakland A’s have proposed the same idea. Season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase their likenesses. ___ UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma is asking for help from Congress to get foreign students, including athletes, back to campus. The Huskies have three foreign players on their roster this year: Anna Makurat, a sophomore from Poland; Nika Muhl, a freshman from Croatia, and Aaliyah Edwards, a freshman from Ontario, Canada. The Hall of Fame coach says all three are experiencing issues getting into the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic and he doesn’t know if any of them will be back with the rest of the team on July 26. Auriemma questions why professional athletes have been allowed back from overseas, but not college athletes. “We started asking questions like, ‘Why is that?’” Auriemma said. “We’ve got some really good people in Washington, D.C., looking into how to do that for international students, not just athletes but kids that have enrolled here, gone to school. What is the issue here? Why can’t we get that resolved?” Auriemma said he’s planning as if there will be a college basketball season but is not sure that will happen. “How are certain teams going to come here and play if they come from a state that’s been severely impacted? I don’t know,” he said. ___ The Russian soccer league says another game involving FC Orenburg has been called off following an outbreak of coronavirus at the club. The league says the regional public health body did not sign off on Orenburg hosting Ural Yekaterinburg. Orenburg already forfeited a game on Saturday against FC Krasnodar. The league says 10 people at Orenburg have been confirmed to have the virus. The club said last week that six players and two staff members had tested positive. There was no mention of any plan to reschedule the game. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Baseball's bubble-free environment is an anomaly as the sports world tries to come back amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of bringing a group of teams to Disney World (like the NBA and MLS) or concentrating on a few hub cities (like the current NHL plan), Major League Baseball has 30 teams spread all over the United States and potentially Canada, with players, coaches and team personnel trying to stay healthy while cases are still spreading. Needless to say, it won't be easy. Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen said he'll be constantly reminding everyone in his organization about the delicacy of the current situation. It's especially important in Phoenix, where COVID-19 cases have increased substantially over the past few weeks. “High-risk behavior is going to impact you and the person standing next to you and the person standing next to them,” Hazen said. 'We’re going to be extremely mindful of it. The protocols are going to answer some of those things for us, but away from the field, I believe we are going to have to make sure everyone understands exactly what we mean by high-risk behavior. “Things are going to have to change temporarily in our lives to be able to do this.” That means altering the way baseball players behave on and off the field. The on-field portion is largely addressed in a hefty manual that covers everything from hotels to showers to spitting. It will be awkward and sometimes not particularly practical, but teams are vowing to do their best. “You’re putting a lot of people in a small, confined space, which is the one thing the medical experts are telling us not to do,” Oakland A's GM David Forst said. “So we’ll have to limit clubhouse time as much as possible, guys will have to wear masks as much as possible.” Then there's the considerable amount of time players will spend away from the field. Texas coach Chris Woodward said health issues will be critical throughout the season and the usual carefree life of a ballplayer will be a bit more tame. While health is obviously the most important issue, there's also the on-field realization that losing players for several days to COVID-19 might also be the difference between wins and losses. “The younger guys that are single that, you know, tend to be a little bit more social,” Woodward said. “Those are going to be the challenging ones because they’re not going to want to sit in your hotel room on road trips. But I think it’s their responsibility that they have to the ballclub and the organization and their teammates, honestly.” Added Minnesota Twins closer Taylor Rogers: “A lot of it’s going to be on you, on the honor system. Don’t be the one person that’s going to mess it up for everybody else. When you want to go do something, or something like that, you need to remember it’s about your team, not just yourself.' The first step toward a successful season is getting all the players to their home cities. Most shouldn't have much of a problem but there are plenty of logistics involved with domestic and international travel. Some players might face significant hurdles: For instance, Arizona pitcher Bo Takahashi is coming back to the U.S. from Brazil, which is another coronavirus hotspot. Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn said his team's travel department has a busy week ahead, but that they've been planning on this scenario for quite a while. The challenges are real but so is the payoff. For MLB, a strange 60-game season is a better alternative than no season at all. 'It’s a little bit of a challenge,' Hahn said. “It’s not impossible.” ___ AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley, Stephen Hawkins, Dave Skretta, Dave Campbell and Andrew Seligman contributed to this story. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ The Vancouver Canucks say the city is out of the running to act as a hub for the NHL playoffs. Canucks Sports and Entertainment thanked British Columbia health officials for their support during the bid to host the NHL’s summer Stanley Cup tournament. The team says it will now look forward to welcoming its players back for training camp. Premier John Horgan expressed his disappointment at the decision, but said the province will not bend public health guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. ___ The Minnesota Twins have had “a few” players in their organization recently test positive for COVID-19. President of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Thursday that each player was “doing well” in self-isolation at home. None of the positive tests came from players currently in Minnesota or in Fort Myers, Florida, where the team’s spring training headquarters are. Falvey declined to specify the exact number or whether the players were major leaguers or minor leaguers. Prior to the recent positive tests, Falvey said, the Twins had no known cases among players or staff. Major league camps are set to reopen next week, mostly at home stadiums. ___ The Seattle Sounders had one player test positive for COVID-19, but the player has recovered and returned to full team training. Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said Thursday the player tested positive in the early stages of when the team returned to individual training last month. The player was quarantined and was later cleared to rejoin team activities. The Sounders will travel to Orlando, Florida on July 3 to begin preparations for the MLS Is Back tournament. Seattle’s first game in the tournament is July 10 against San Jose. ___ The IndyCar Series plans to welcome fans back to the track July 9-12 at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. IndyCar officials said all guests will be screened in their vehicles with contactless temperature checks before they enter the parking areas. Only people described as essential racing personnel will have access to the paddock. Face masks and hand sanitizer will be given to spectators as they arrive at the track. Fans are encouraged to practice social distancing and to wear a cloth face covering where social distancing is hard to maintain. IndyCar officials also are encouraging spectators to print their tickets at home for easier entry. ___ Michigan State says two athletes tested positive during a second round of COVID-19 testing, and East Carolina says it had one positive test result this week. Michigan State says 114 athletes were tested Monday, and the two who tested positive will be isolated for 10-14 days. Also, one athlete will have to quarantine for 14 days after contact tracing revealed close contact with someone who tested positive. No athletic department staff members tested positive. Michigan State previously announced that one athlete tested positive in testing done June 15. Athletes who have tested negative twice are now permitted to participate in voluntary workouts. East Carolina says it tested 68 athletes, coaches and staff on Tuesday in its return-to-campus plan. The school in Greenville, North Carolina, didn’t specify who had the positive result. The school said it has tested 133 athletes and 59 staff members so far. All other tests have been negative. University guidelines require any individual who tests positive to self-isolate for up to 14 days with daily monitoring from athletics medical staff. ___ Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, is using almost $900 million of its cash reserves to help member federations get through the coronavirus pandemic. All of FIFA’s 211 national members will get a $1 million payment and $500,000 more to spend specifically on women’s soccer. Each of the six continental governing bodies gets $2 million from FIFA’s reserve fund, which held $2.7 billion after the 2018 World Cup in Russia. FIFA says a further $565 million is available for interest-free loans to federations of between $500,000 and $5 million, depending on their audited annual revenue. Continental confederations can access $4 million. Many soccer federations get much of their income from the men’s national teams, which have been unable to play since November. FIFA says the money can go to help “clubs, players, leagues, or others that have been affected” by the pandemic. Oversight of the money and repayment plans will be led by FIFA governance panel member Olli Rehn, who is governor of the Bank of Finland. ___ East Carolina says it had one positive test result for COVID-19 this week. The school announced Thursday that it had performed 68 tests with athletes, coaches and staff Tuesday in its return-to-campus plan. The school didn’t specify who had the positive result from that group. So far, the school said it has tested 133 athletes and 59 staff members. All other test results have been negative. University guidelines require any individual who tests positive to self-isolate for up to 14 days with daily monitoring from athletics medical staff. ___ The University of Memphis says three student-athletes and one staff member in the athletic department have tested positive for COVID-19. All four have been isolated, and medical staff are tracing their contacts. Memphis is neither releasing the names nor identifying the sport or sports involved, citing privacy concerns. The university shared video Wednesday on Twitter of members of the men’s basketball team returning to campus. Their first stop was the Penny Hardaway Hall of Fame for virus testing. ___ Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott says he is feeling “normal” after testing positive for the coronavirus earlier this month. “I would say I maybe had one or two days where I felt symptoms, and even then it wasn’t too bad,” Elliott said during a Twitch chat with Scooter Magruder this week. “I had a cough and a little bit of shortness of breath. But now I would say I feel good, I feel normal.” Elliott said he hasn’t resumed working out yet. He said he could have been re-tested this week, but decided that it wouldn’t hurt to wait and get more rest first. It was revealed June 15 that Elliott had tested positive for the coronavirus. That was about a week after he had been tested. Elliott’s mother said last week on Twitter that the running back had been around someone who had no symptoms, but then tested positive for the coronavirus three days later. Elliott’s mother and sister were with him during that encounter. Both tested negative. ___ Manchester City has been given permission to host Liverpool in the Premier League on July 2 at Etihad Stadium. The Man City-Liverpool match had been one of five games the police asked to be held at a neutral venue to keep away fans because of safety concerns. But Manchester City Council’s safety advisory group says there are “no objections” to the match at City’s home stadium. The safety advisory group included representatives from the city council, Greater Manchester Police, fire and rescue services, and supporters’ groups. ___ The rugby final of the postponed European Champions Cup has been set for Oct. 17 and the final of the second-tier Challenge Cup will be the day before. The matches were called off in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The quarterfinals for both tournaments have been rescheduled for the weekend of Sept. 18-20. The semifinals will be Sept. 25-27. Leinster will host Saracens in the quarterfinals in a repeat of the 2019 final, Toulouse plays at home against Ulster, Clermont Auvergne faces fellow French side Racing 92, and Exeter will welcome Northampton in an all-English clash. European Professional Club Rugby says it remains committed to staging the finals in Marseille, France. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Major League Soccer will open its World Cup-style return tournament in Florida on July 8 with a double header. Orlando City will play expansion Inter Miami in the first match, followed by a game between the Chicago Fire and Nashville SC. The games will be the first time the league has been in action since play was shut down on March 12 because of the coronavirus. The all-Florida opener is a nod to the tournament’s host state. All games will be played without fans in attendance at the sports complex at Walt Disney World. The league released the schedule Wednesday, the first day teams could arrive at the complex near Orlando for the tournament. The San Jose Earthquakes, who were limited in practice by local restrictions, were the first team to travel to Florida. Earthquakes players will be tested upon arrival and then quarantined for 24 hours while awaiting the results. MLS will be the second pro team league in the United States to return to the field. The National Women’s Soccer League will play a tournament in Utah starting Saturday. The 26 MLS teams will be divided into six groups for the opening round of the tournament, which will be played over 16 consecutive days. Group matches will count toward the regular-season standings. Among the highlights of the group stage is a match between the LA Galaxy and LAFC on July 18, and a Canadian rivalry match between the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC on July 15. The defending champion Seattle Sounders open play against the Earthquakes on July 10. Sixteen teams will advance to the knockout round, with the winner of the title game on Aug. 11 earning a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. The teams and select staff members will be sequestered during the tournament at two Disney resorts for the duration of the tournament.
  • The Toronto Raptors arrived in southwest Florida on Monday, set to begin their preparations for next month’s restart of the NBA season. If the Raptors return to the NBA Finals, they could be in Florida for nearly four full months. The reigning NBA champions will start training for the season restart later this week at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, making that school their home base until they head north to the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida, around July 7. They landed in Fort Myers on Monday afternoon, then boarded buses for the team hotel. Toronto's arrival comes as Florida is dealing with a significant spike in positive coronavirus test results over the past week. The Disney complex, about a 2 1/2-hour drive from the Fort Myers area, is set to play host to both the NBA and MLS next month. And the Orlando Pride withdrew from the upcoming National Women’s Soccer League tournament on Monday after six players and four staff members tested positive for COVID-19. What awaits the Raptors is a different setup than what will be the case for the other 21 NBA teams that will be participating in the restart at Disney. Other teams will be working out at their home facilities, but as the NBA’s lone team from outside the U.S., the Raptors would have had some logistical difficulties in having players gather in Toronto to prepare for the trip to Disney. Under Canadian rules, Raptors players who have been in the U.S. would have had to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Toronto, so the team decided to hold its pre-camp workouts in the U.S. It’ll all take place with very strict rules to keep players safe, with access to workouts strictly limited to essential team personnel. “In keeping with NBA and team safety protocols, there will be no group workouts during this phase of return to play, and strict protocols have been designed to ensure this initial level of access will take place in a safe, controlled, and healthy way,” the Raptors said in a team statement. All group workouts and the official start of training camp for the resumed season will occur at Disney. Individual voluntary workouts are resuming this week, and Tuesday is the start of NBA-mandated coronavirus testing for players and essential staff of all 22 of the Disney-bound teams. The Raptors were 46-18 when the season was halted on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. When play resumes July 30, they will hold a three-game lead over Boston in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. If the Raptors were to make the NBA Finals and if that series went the full seven games, they would be playing in Florida as late as Oct. 13 according to the league’s current proposed plan for the restarted season. The league and the National Basketball Players Association are working this week to finalize remaining details. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ Caleb Paine, the only American sailor to win a medal in the last two Olympics, says he’s ending his campaign for the postponed Tokyo Games to focus on the America’s Cup. Paine, of San Diego, rallied to win bronze in the Finn class at the 2016 Rio Games. It came after the Americans were shut out of the medals at London four years earlier. He says he’s been talking with family members and mentors since the Tokyo Games were postponed a year due to COVID-19 and calls it a “very difficult decision.” After medaling at Rio, Paine was named US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, the highest honor awarded to American sailors each year. He's also a five-time World Cup medalist and recently won gold at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. Paine is a crewman with American Magic, the New York Yacht Club’s entry in the 36th America’s Cup. Competition is currently scheduled to begin with a preliminary regatta in mid-December in Auckland, New Zealand. Two preliminary regattas in Europe were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. ___ Five more Baylor athletes have tested positive for COVID-19, making it eight positives from among 109 tests conducted in the process of returning to campus for voluntary workouts and conditioning. There was no breakdown by sport, but the school said of the eight athletes who tested positive, four were showing symptoms and the other four were asymptomatic. Some of the 109 athletes tested so far weren’t yet at the Texas school. After reporting three positive results among 59 tests last week, Baylor’s updated numbers Monday included five new positives among 50 tests. Under Baylor’s prevention and response protocols, including current CDC guidelines, the athletes who tested positive went into self-isolation. Other athletes identified by contact tracing as having potential direct exposure are being instructed to self-quarantine. ___ Chicago State is dropping its baseball program to save an estimated $500,000 a year and will replace it with men’s soccer. The Cougars, who have never had a winning season in baseball since elevating to Division I in 1989, are the second Division I school to eliminate baseball since the coronavirus pandemic began causing financial stress for universities and their athletic departments. Furman dropped baseball last month. Chicago State owns several NCAA records for futility. The Cougars lost 53 games in 2007 and had three other seasons with 50 or more losses. They never won more than nine games in a season between 2002-11 and in 1999 allowed a record 50 runs in a loss to Nebraska. The Cougars also faced high travel costs associated with playing in the Western Athletic Conference. Their closest league opponent was Northern Colorado, 975 miles away, and trips to the West Coast were common. Their conference record since joining the WAC in 2014 was 35-105-1. ___ Atlanta United president Darren Eales says the team remains on pace to begin full team training on Tuesday, assuming there are no more positive tests for COVID-19. Eales said Monday the two players who have tested positive are in isolation but are expected to be with the team for the MLS Is Back Tournament in July at Walt Disney World. Eales says the tests of asymptomatic players are evidence the protocols set up by MLS “are working.” The players who tested positive last week have not been identified. Eales says the team “can’t control the environment outside of training” in Atlanta. He says he expects “a slightly different scenario” in Orlando “because it’s a more contained environment.” ___ Ravens coach John Harbaugh is confident his team’s training camp will begin as scheduled next month despite the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking on a video conference on Monday, Harbaugh said he expected the NFL would have a plan in place that would enable teams to start practicing in late July. “We’ll just have to be very adaptable, and flexible and smart about what we’re going to do,” Harbaugh said, adding that testing was the main thing. The Ravens have replaced 13 scheduled on-field practice sessions with virtual classes so far this offseason. ___ Iowa’s athletic department says nine athletes, coaches or staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week. That accounts for nearly one-quarter of the 40 tests conducted in that time frame. Since the beginning of the return-to-campus protocol May 29, there have been 12 positives among 386 tests. The athletic department said contact tracing has begun. Individuals who test positive are being isolated, and a quarantine is in place for individuals who might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. “While we have experienced an increase in positive tests, almost all are related to individuals who had been in quarantine due to our contact tracing and developed symptoms,” stated Dr. Andrew Peterson, head team physician. “Our overall process, including testing and daily health screening, is working as expected.” ___ Players of Brazilian soccer giant Corinthians visited the club on Monday to pick up personal protection equipment against COVID-19 after tests showed 21 out of its 27 players had contracted the disease. The São Paulo-based club said Sunday that 13 players are fully recovered, but eight will not be allowed to start training on July 1 because of the disease. Corinthians tested 190 people, including players, staffers and their families. The club did not name the players who tested positive. Brazil is Latin America’s hardest hit country by the new coronavirus, with more than 50,000 deaths and 1 million confirmed cases. ___ The National Hockey League has begun winnowing its possible locations to resume the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Blue Jackets were informed Monday that Columbus will not be one of the NHL’s hub cities. Columbus was one of 10 finalists, including seven in the U.S. Las Vegas is now considered the U.S. favorite to host NHL playoff games, unless two Canadian cities are selected. Canada’s federal government last week said it would allow the league to quarantine internally, making Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton realistic possibilities — if not the front-runners. The NHL has said it will select two hub cities — one for the Eastern Conference playoffs and one for the Western Conference. The Stanley Cup Final or “final four” would likely be in one of the two cities. ___ Wisconsin officials say that two Badgers’ athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating. Those positive results came from the 117 athletes who participated in the school’s initial campus screening. The Wisconsin athletic department’s infection response team is monitoring the recovery of the athletes but didn’t specify which teams the two play for. Wisconsin plans to release the aggregate number of positive tests at regular intervals during the initial phase of athletes’ return to campus. ___ Boston College says its football players began returning to the school Monday as part of its COVID-19 operational plan to bring all its student-athletes back to campus. The school says its new protocols include limiting personnel at facilities, mandating face coverings be worn in common areas, as well as daily temperature checks for staff and athletes. Increased cleaning measures will also be in effect at all facilities. The protocols are being done in accordance with all federal, state, medical and university guidelines to begin voluntary workouts. Regardless of home state, all athletes will be required to self-quarantine upon arriving on campus for a maximum of 14 days. Quarantine time may vary based on additional guidance from the state and the phase of reopening in Massachusetts. All athletes will be tested for COVID-19 on or about Day 8 of quarantine. Protocols are also in place for the quarantine and treatment of positive COVID-19 cases should they occur. ___ Two Rutgers football players have tested positive for the new coronavirus. Coach Greg Schiano discussed the test results Monday during a conference call. It was his first media availability since the team was allowed to return to campus last week for voluntary workouts. Schiano said players and coaches were tested before the team returned on June 15, either with mail-in tests or after being tested locally. One of the positive tests came from those samples and the player was not allowed to return to campus and is being isolated at home. The second positive test came from a sample taken when the players reported. That player was isolated and three players who had contact with him were placed in quarantine. The university has a protocol for allowing players who test positive to eventually return, which includes a non-positive test, Schiano said. Schiano said players and coaches underwent a third screening on Monday. Incoming freshmen players also were allowed on campus on Monday and they were tested and put in a separate dormitory. They will not be integrated with the rest of the team until they pass a second COVID-19 test. The workouts are voluntary and Schiano said some players have elected to skip them. ___ The ATP men’s tennis tour says it is continuing to “plan and adjust” its precautions and protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic with an eye to its planned Aug. 14 resumption of competition. The tour issued a statement Monday following word that two top-35 players tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in unsanctioned exhibition matches organized by No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Serbia and Croatia. There were no social distancing measures observed at the Adria Tour exhibitions. Three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov, who is currently No. 19, and his opponent in Croatia on Saturday, No. 33 Borna Coric, both said they have COVID-19. The ATP said it “continues to urge strict adherence to responsible social distancing and health and safety guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.” Exhibition events have been staged in various places around the world while the ATP and WTA tours have been suspended since March because of the pandemic. The tours announced last week they plan to return in August. ___ Louisville football’s season opener against North Carolina State has been moved up a day to Wednesday, Sept. 2 to avoid conflicting with the rescheduled Kentucky Derby weekend at neighboring Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Oaks and Derby were postponed from May 1-2 to Sept. 4-5 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The preceding and highly attended Thursday race card known as “Thurby” was set for the same day as the Cardinals’ Atlantic Coast Conference matchup against the Wolfpack, but the schools announced Monday that they had agreed to the switch to avert logistical conflicts with parking and traffic. “We appreciate the NCAA, ACC and N.C. State honoring our request for a date change for the opening game,” Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said in a news release. “We are trying to be thoughtful about the shared city resources needed to host a football game and Thurby at the same time.” ___ Serbian soccer club Red Star Belgrade says five players have tested positive for the coronavirus. The club says the players are feeling fine and remain in isolation. Four of the players have displayed symptoms of COVID-19 while one has shown no symptoms at all. The club says the five players did not attend the match against Proleter on Saturday when the Serbian league champions completed their season. About 20,000 fans attended a Serbian Cup semifinal match against Partizan Belgrade this month as the country lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions. The match against Proleter was also attend by about 20,000 fans. Both gatherings have drawn criticism from the public as Serbia records dozens of new coronavirus cases each day. ___ Croatian tennis player Borna Coric says he has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition event. The 33rd-ranked Coric posted the news on Twitter. He says “I want to inform you that I am positive for Covid-19. Please everyone who has been in contact with me for the last few days gets tested!” He says he is feeling well and has no symptoms. Coric was among about 1,000 people who were tested for the virus after Grigor Dimitrov announced that he tested positive. That led to the cancellation of an exhibition event in Croatia where top-ranked Novak Djokovic was scheduled to play in the final. Coric played a match against Dimitrov in Zadar on Saturday in the second leg of the exhibition series. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ The medical director of the NFL players’ union has recommended that all players stop private workouts together. Dr. Thom Mayer told members of the NFLPA in a message Saturday that the risk of being stricken by the new coronavirus is too great to be staging those workouts. Mayer said staff was working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season and advised “against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences.” In recent days, members of the Buccaneers, Cowboys, 49ers and Texans organizations tested positive for COVID-19. The NFL has allowed team facilities to reopen on a limited basis, with no players except those rehabilitating injuries allowed on the premises. Training camps are scheduled to open in late July, with the first preseason contest the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 6 between Dallas and Pittsburgh. The league has said it plans to play its season as scheduled, with the first game set for Sept. 10 at Kansas City. ___ Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella has suspended all professional soccer matches in the city only three days after play restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic. Crivella issued a decree on Saturday arguing that time is needed to adapt safety protocols for all teams. The suspension is valid for five days. On Thursday night, Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 at Maracanã Stadium in the first professional soccer match in South America in nearly three months. The game marked the return of Brazil’s state leagues, but at a field hospital near a stadium gate doctors said two COVID-19 patients had died. So far, Rio state has counted more than 8,500 fatalities from the disease. Brazil officially topped 1 million cases of COVID-19 on Friday. ___ Kansas State has paused all voluntary workouts for football players for two weeks following the most recent COVID-19 test results. As of Friday, 14 athletes had tested positive for active COVID-19 following testing of more than 130 athletes. The school said those who have tested positive are being medically managed according to current guidelines. That includes self-isolation for 10 days and until the patient is without fever for 72 hours without medication, whichever takes longer. Athletics director Gene Taylor said the university felt that temporarily pausing all football workouts and access to facilities was the best decision for everyone. ___ Atlanta United confirmed a second positive result for a player following mandatory club testing on Friday. No additional positive results for players or staff were received Friday. The club announced its first positive result for a player on Thursday. The second player was asymptomatic and has been in isolation since Wednesday, adhering with MLS health and safety protocols that require at least two positive tests to ensure the first result was not a false positive. The team conducted non-contact, individual training sessions on Friday and Saturday and will continue non-contact training on Monday. Mandatory COVID-19 testing will take place again Monday. If negative test results for all players and staff are received, the team will resume full team training on Tuesday. Since Atlanta United began individual player workouts on May 6, the club has followed MLS health and safety guidelines, including physical distancing and sanitizing during individual workouts, small group training sessions and full group training sessions. The club works in consultation with the CDC, local health authorities and MLS regarding testing and training guidelines. ___ Three members of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers have tested positive for the- novel coronavirus at the team’s training facility, and the Bucs have closed affected areas of the building. The team said those areas will remain closed until extensive sanitizing is completed. All individuals who may have been exposed have been notified, the Bucs said in a statement, “and are following the established protocols, which include a 14-day quarantine period.” The team did not identify three people who tested positive. Team headquarters is remaining open under the first phase of the NFL’s reopening plan. Earlier this week, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning closed their facility after three players and two staff members tested positive. ___ The Toronto Maple Leafs will not comment on reports that star player Auston Matthews has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Toronto Sun and The Toronto Star report that the center tested positive. The Leafs say a player’s medical information is private. Toronto is deferring to the NHL’s policy on handling test results, with the league providing updates on testing totals and positive tests without disclosing the identities of affected clubs or players. Judd Moldaver, Matthews’s agent, did not respond to requests for comment. According to the Sun, the 22-year-old Matthews has self-quarantined in his Arizona home and hopes to be ready to play if the NHL season resumes. The NHL hopes to open training camps next month, and finish off the 2019-20 season later this summer. Matthews had 47 goals and 33 assists in 70 games before the suspension of the season on March 12. Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen stayed with Matthews in Arizona for the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to the Toronto Sun he tested negative for the novel coronavirus and is no longer in Arizona. Arizona has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,246 new positive cases of COVID-19, exceeding Thursday’s single-day high of 2,519 cases. The league said Friday that it has tested more than 200 players at club facilities during voluntary training since June 8, with 11 testing positive. ___ French soccer authorities are allowing fans back into stadiums from July 10, with an initial limit of 5,000. Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation, says it is possible more spectators will be allowed into the French Cup final at the end of July and for the resumption of top-tier Ligue 1 play at the end of August. The federation’s executive committee will discuss the new measures and the specifics of the new calendar on Monday. The French government called off the country's 2019-20 soccer season on April 28 as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Extra innings that start with runners on second base, games ending in ties and re-entry are among the possibilities for a radically altered 2020 Major League Baseball season, one limited to a maximum 60 games by teams that claim they can't afford more due to the coronavirus pandemic. MLB included the controversial extra-inning runner rule in its proposal Wednesday for a 60-game season, down from an initial 82, and also wants it for 2021. The players' association accepted the rule Thursday for 2020 only in its counter-proposal for 70 games, down from an initial 114. The union also said it wants to discuss allowing games to end in ties “after a certain number of innings” and “the relaxation of substitution rules in extra innings.' Copies of both proposals were obtained by The Associated Press. Some aspects were first reported by USA Today. The runner on second rule has been used in the minor leagues for the last two seasons. One big on-field change already has been agreed to by both sides if there is a deal: expansion of the designated hitter to games involving National League teams. But a deal is far from certain. MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem told union chief negotiator Bruce Meyer on Friday that teams will not make another proposal. Commissioner Rob Manfred has threatened an an even shorter schedule of perhaps 50 games or fewer. The union's executive board is likely to meet Saturday. Complicating any possible resumption, MLB shut all 30 training camps in Arizona and Florida for COVID-19 testing after Philadelphia said five players and three others tested positive. Toronto and San Francisco also reported either positive tests or symptoms that could indicate the disease. While the NBA,NHL and MLS have found ways to restart their sports, baseball has been unable to cope with the economic dislocation caused by the new coronavirus and the prospect of playing in empty ballparks, reverting to the fractious labor strife that led to eight work stoppages from 1972-95. With time slipping away, the sport will have at best its shortest schedule since the dawn of professional baseball in the 1870s. Players and MLB are increasingly dismayed with each other and appear headed to a spring training lockout in 2022. Manfred flew to Arizona and met with union head Tony Clark for five hours on Tuesday in an effort to end the fighting and strike a deal. Manfred said the next day the sides had reached a framework for a 60-game regular season schedule and the full prorated pay that players had demanded, and the postseason would expand from 10 teams to 16 this year and either 14 or 16 in 2021. Like the extra-innings experiment, the larger postseason would occur only in the event of an agreement. MLB wants the right to institute a “bubble” environment if needed for health reasons, but the union is insisting it should have to give consent, “which shall not unreasonably be withheld.” But Clark refused to call it a framework and said his eight-player executive subcommittee rejected it. The union countered with a 70-game schedule as part of a proposal that left the sides about $275 million apart. “MLB has informed the association that it will not respond to our last proposal and will not play more than 60 games,' the union said in a statement on Friday night. 'Our executive board will convene in the near future to determine next steps. Importantly, players remain committed to getting back to work as soon as possible.” Absent an agreement, Manfred has the right to announce a schedule of any length MLB chooses, but the union has threatened a grievance claiming it would not meet the sides' agreement that requires “the fullest 2020 championship season and postseason that is economically feasible” and consistent with additional provisions. The union also thinks teams understate revenue and would ask arbitrator Mark Irvings to order a broad financial disclosure of broadcast, stadium, real estate and other agreements involving MLB, its clubs and affiliates and the entities and individuals that own them and do business with them. But the union, with only a one-word comment “reject,” did not embrace MLB's offer to jointly retain an independent consultant to review MLB's financial reporting procedures and issue a report with recommendations by March 1. Both sides envision opening day on July 19 or 20, and a need first for three days of testing and three weeks of training. That leaves only a few days for a deal that would allow pitchers and catchers to report on June 26, followed by position players two days later. A schedule is to be issued by June 25. Players originally were set to earn about $4 billion in salaries this year, the fifth straight year of relatively flat payrolls. That total would be cut to $1.73 billion for a 70-game schedule, $1.48 billion for 60 games and $1.23 billion for 50 games — roughly matching the total in MLB's initial proposal for an 82-game schedule with a sliding salary scale. In addition, MLB has offered a $25 million postseason players' pool. even if there is a lack of fans. The union has proposed $50 million. Normally, the pool is funded from postseason ticket sales. The union also wants all players released during the resumption of spring training to receive a full season of termination pay rather than the 60 days proposed by clubs. While MLB has proposed that high-risk players with medical conditions be able to opt out of the season and still receive salary and service time, the union wants the group expanded to players who co-habitate with high-risk individuals, including pregnant spouses. The union also wants a stipulation that no players will be required to sign a waiver or acknowledgment of risk. Both sides agree they would suspend the luxury tax for 2020 only, a move that would benefit mostly the Yankees but to a lesser degree the Astros, Dodgers and Cubs. The sides reached an agreement on March 26 that included prorated salaries, $170 million in salary advances and a guarantee of service time if no games are played. That deal says the season shall not start without Manfred's consent unless there are no relevant travel restrictions in the U.S. and Canada, no restrictions on mass gatherings that prevent games in all 30 regular season ballparks and it is safe to play before fans in all 30 stadiums. The deal called for “good faith” discussions on the economic feasibility of playing in empty ballparks or neutral sites. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

News

  • There are new rules in place for the holiday weekend if you plan to rent an Airbnb. The company says guests under 25 years old with fewer than three positive reviews will not be able to book an entire home close to where they live Airbnb didn’t reveal how it defines what is “close.” Airbnb said it wants to weed out any potential problems, specifically unauthorized house parties and feels this is the best way to do so. The company says it’s a nationwide policy, but it is most relevant for a handful of cities. The company says its technologies would block that guest from booking. “No one policy is going to stop all unauthorized parties. We’re also conscious that just because you’re 25 or older doesn’t mean that every single person in that group is booking for the right reasons too,” spokesperson Ben Breit told WSB-TV. Guests under 25 with at least three positive Airbnb reviews and no negative reviews won’t be subject to the restrictions. Airbnb began stepping up efforts to ban “party houses” last November after five people were shot and killed during an unauthorized party at an Airbnb rental in Orinda, California. At the time, Airbnb set up a rapid response team to deal with complaints from neighbors and started screening “high risk” bookings, such as reservations at a large home for one night. In a message to hosts, the company said reducing unauthorized parties is even more of a priority right now as states try to avoid coronavirus outbreaks. “With public health mandates in place throughout the country, we’re taking actions to support safe and responsible travel in the United States,” the company said. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were charged Thursday with felonious assault after pulling a gun out on a Black mother and her children when a confrontation escalated outside a Chipotle in Michigan. Each of them had a loaded firearm and concealed pistol licenses. Deputies seized the two handguns, Sheriff Mike Bouchard said. On Thursday, the couple was arraigned and were given a $50,000 personal bond.  “As part of the bond conditions, they must turn over all firearms, not engage in any assaultive behavior, and may not leave the state,” sheriff’s officials told The Detroit News. The Detroit News first reported on the three-minute video posted online that shows part of the interaction. Takelia Hill, who is Black, told the newspaper that it happened after the white woman bumped into Hill’s teenage daughter as they were entering the fast food restaurant. The video footage [WARNING: Contains graphic language] starts after that, in the parking lot. A woman since identified as Jillian Wuestenberg is heard arguing with Hill and her daughters. Wuestenberg climbs into the vehicle, rolls down the window and says, “White people aren’t racist,” and, “I care about you,” before the vehicle she was in starts to back away. Her husband, who had led his wife to the vehicle, turns to the camera and asks, “Who ... do you think you guys are?,” using an expletive. Then, as someone is standing behind the vehicle, Jillian Wuestenberg jumps out and points a handgun in the direction of a person who’s recording. She screams at people to get away from her and her vehicle. A woman shouts, “She’s got a gun on me!” and urges someone in the parking lot to call the police. Wuestenberg then lowers the gun, climbs into the passenger seat and the vehicle drives off. Cooper, the prosecutor, told The Associated Press that her office viewed the available video and looked at the facts before filing charges. “It is an unfortunate set of circumstances that tempers run high over, basically, not much of an incident,” she said of the initial alleged spark that caused the confrontation. Bouchard said people are “picking sides” and that threatening calls were made to the sheriff’s office dispatch center after the videos were posted online. “We don’t see sides. We see facts,” he said. “There’s a lot of tension in our society, a lot of tension among folks and people with each other. I would just say this, we are asking and expect our police — and rightfully so — to deescalate every situation they possibly can, and we should be doing that. But I would say that needs to happen with us individually in our own lives and situations, that we interact with each other and deescalate those moments.” The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • The United States Geological Survey reported that a 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck this morning near Puerto Rico around 9:55 a.m. EDT. The quake was felt across the U.S. territory and is the latest in a series of tremors that began in late December and have damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Ángel Vázquez, who oversees the emergency management agency in Ponce, said a house collapsed in the town of Lajas. The house was empty and slated for demolition, according to Kiara Hernández, spokeswoman for Puerto Rico’s Department of Public Security. Víctor Huérfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, told The Associated Press that the tremor is an aftershock related to the 6.4-magnitude quake that struck in early January, killing at least one person and causing millions of dollars in damage. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • With The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race postponed this year, the Atlanta Police Department warned people against running or walking the course on the Fourth of July. APD noted in a tweet Friday that the course will not be closed to car traffic on Independence Day. With hashtags including #MyPersonalPeachtree and #APDCares, the police department said in the tweet that people should avoid running or walking the course on Saturday for safety reasons. >>Read MORE on AJC.com. [Summary]
  • The Washington Redskins issued a statement that they will “undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” “This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Majority owner Daniel Snyder said in the the statement. Snyder had previously shown no indication he would change the name since buying the team in 1999, but was quoted in the release. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he supports “this step.” The title sponsor of the Washington Redskins’ stadium, FedEx asked the NFL team to change its name in a statement Thursday. The company paid the team $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Amid the national debate over race, pressure has been mounting on the organization to abandon the name called a “dictionary-defined racial slur” by experts and advocates. Investors this week wrote to FedEx, PepsiCo and other sponsors asking them to request a change. FedEx is believed to be the first to take action. Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store Thursday evening according to The Associated Press. The other 31 NFL teams were listed and a search for “Redskins” came up with no results. The team last week removed the name of racist founder George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame at FedEx Field, and a monument to him was removed from the site of the old RFK Stadium. Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser also said the name was an “obstacle” to the team returning to the District. The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and it is still talking to Washington, Virginia and Maryland about building a new stadium. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Two people are dead after a shooting Friday morning near North Carolina A&T State University. The shooting happened just before 6:30 a.m. near North Dudley and and Salem streets in Greensboro. The victims, 34-year-old Rodney Letroy Stout and 34-year-old Bakeea Abdulla Douglas both died of their injuries, according WGHP. Police said they are now investigating the case as a homicide. The university sent out an Aggie Alert at 7:15 a.m., encouraging students and staff to “stay behind closed and locked doors until further notice.” University officials said the shooting involves a “male suspect wearing a white t-shirt with black pants and a black mask traveling in an unknown direction.” No arrests have been made.