Tribune News Service
Sports Budget for Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Updated at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 UTC)
This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^Tania Ganguli: Beyond basketball, life in NBA’s anti-coronavirus ‘bubble’ tests players in many ways<
BKN-GANGULI-COLUMN-SPORTSPLUS:LA — LeBron James had just finished a 30-minute workout and lay on the court wearing sweatpants just a shade darker than the gray in his beard. From a pocket he pulled out a plastic wristband imprinted with a Lakers logo and the outline of Mickey Mouse.
It’s called a MagicBand. For tourists visiting Walt Disney World, it is a way to get around, pay for things and get into one’s hotel room. For the inhabitants of the NBA’s “bubble,” it’s one of the keys to keeping them safe from the coronavirus.
1750 by Tania Ganguli in Orlando, Fla. MOVED
^Augusta National announces no spectators at this year’s Masters<
GLF-MASTERS-SPECTATORS:AT — There will be no Tiger Roar echoing through the pine trees and azaleas at Augusta National this year.
The 2020 Masters Tournament will be held without spectators, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley announced Wednesday. The event, now scheduled for Nov. 9-15, was postponed from its traditional April date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The enthusiasm for Tiger Woods, who won his fifth Masters title last year, and other golfers will be gone. The major tournament will join the quiet of other professional golf events held since June where the chirping of birds and the sometimes audible — and profane — utterance following a wayward shot can be heard on television.
600 by Steve Hummer and Chris Vivlamore in Atlanta. MOVED
^Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly has suspension reduced to five games<
BBN-DODGERS-KELLY:LA — Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly’s eight-game suspension for throwing at Houston Astros batters was reduced to five games Wednesday after his appeal, the team announced Wednesday.
Kelly was suspended after throwing a 3-0 fastball behind Alex Bregman’s head in the first game of a two-game series against the Astros on July 28. He threw a curveball near Carlos Correa’s head later in the inning that Correa believed was intentional.
Correa glared at Kelly and the two exchanged words before benches cleared, adding another episode in the feud between the teams after the Astros’ cheating during their 2017 championship season was discovered over the offseason.
250 by Jorge Castillo in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence had conversation with President Trump about season<
^FBC-CLEMSON-LAWRENCE-TRUMP:CS—<A day after President Donald Trump quote tweeted Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the two spoke on the phone about the upcoming college football season.
Trump told reporters Wednesday afternoon that he spoke with Lawrence on Tuesday. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney confirmed that the conversation took place when speaking with the media Wednesday, but Swinney said he did not know any details of what was talked about.
Trump also said he spoke with LSU coach Ed Orgeron on the phone.
“I spoke to some of the great football players, college players, Trevor and a lot of great players called.”
250 by Matt Connolly. MOVED
^Bill Plaschke: Columnist talks about experiencing COVID-19<
^PLASCHKE-COLUMN:LA—<It hit me in an inspired bit of irony, at the exact moment I filed my column on the NBA restart opening game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.
After marveling about the return of the intensity of a live sports event, I literally curled up with the chills.
After celebrating how the local teams renewed their rivalry with exhausted passion, I was so fatigued I could barely walk from my office chair to my bed.
1300 by Bill Plaschke in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Larry Stone: ‘The doubleheader of cancer’: Ex-Mariners trainer Rick Griffin and wife move forward after both overcame disease<
BBA-STONE-COLUMN:SE — When longtime Mariners trainer Rick Griffin completed his final treatment for prostate cancer in late June, he received a commemorative coin from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center. It has a prominent place of honor on his desk.
“I never got to go to a World Series, but this is like my own World Series ring,” Griffin said.
For 35 years as the Mariners’ head athletic trainer, Griffin was the one tending to the health concerns of Seattle players, from legends to journeymen. There was no distinction to Griffin; all received his tender, loving care. He still maintains a close relationship with scores of retired players.
1600 by Larry Stone in Seattle. MOVED
^Why isn’t Mookie Betts leading off for the Dodgers?<
BBN-DODGERS-BETTS:LA — When the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts in February and signed him to a 12-year contract extension the day before opening day, the assumption was the club would plug Betts into the leadoff spot and enjoy the dividends.
There wasn’t a reason to think differently. Betts became one of the best players in the world leading off for the Boston Red Sox. He made four All-Star teams, won an MVP Award, and led the team to a championship as an everyday leadoff hitter. In spring training, Betts said he wanted to continue in that role because it’s where he felt most comfortable and where he thought his skill set shined most. The Dodgers, following suit, had Betts bat first in spring training and again during training camp.
700 by Jorge Castillo in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Will Giants fans forgive Kamala Harris at the polls in November?<
^BBN-GIANTS-HARRIS:SJ—<As her sports fandom practices suggest, Kamala Harris knows a thing or two about uniting even the presumptive worst of foes. That ability just might serve Joe Biden’s Democratic vice presidential choice well on the campaign trail over the next three months.
But, as some Giants fans might tell you, it still wouldn’t absolve Harris, herself a self-proclaimed Giants fan, from doing the unthinkable and wearing a Dodgers hat last year in public.
The U.S. senator from California caused quite a stir when she was seen preparing for last year’s Democratic presidential candidates debate while wearing a Dodgers cap. There was enough of a fervor that Harris, an Oakland-born and East Bay-raised woman, was asked by reporters if she had changed her baseball allegiance.
350 by Jon Becker. MOVED
^Luis Robert knocks in 3 while Tim Anderson collects 4 hits as the White Sox beat the Tigers 7-5<
BBA-WHITESOX-TIGERS:TB — Luis Robert cleared the bases with a two-out, three-run double in the fifth inning Wednesday as the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-5 at Comerica Park.
The Sox let an early lead slip away but rallied with four runs in the fifth to take two of three in the series.
Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez led off the game with back-to-back home runs.
350 by Lamond Pope in Detroit. MOVED
^Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon homer again, but Angels fall to A’s<
BBA-ATHLETICS-ANGELS:LA — The Oakland Athletics turned the first four innings of Wednesday’s game into a long-drive contest, teeing off on Angels right-hander Griffin Canning with three tape-measure blasts to power their way to an 8-4 victory in Angel Stadium.
Matt Olson hit a 454-foot solo homer into a tunnel in the right-center field bleachers in the first inning, Robbie Grossman hit a 421-foot two-run shot to right-center in the second, and Stephen Piscotty hit a 428-foot solo shot to left in the fourth to help the A’s avoid a three-game sweep.
350 by Mike DiGiovanna in Anaheim, Calif. MOVED
^Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs complete a 2-game sweep of the Indians with a 7-2 win<
BBO-CUBS-INDIANS:TB — Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood were allowed to remain in Chicago to prepare for their starts Thursday and Friday against the National League Central rival Milwaukee Brewers.
In the meantime, Kyle Hendricks performed the latest mastery by a Chicago Cubs rotation that continues to pitch with precision and take pressure off the rest of the team.
Hendricks, pitching at Progressive Field for the first time since Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, limited the Cleveland Indians to one run in six innings with a plethora of changeups and sharp curves Wednesday night as the Cubs won 7-2 to complete a two-game sweep.
650 by Mark Gonzales in Cleveland. MOVED
^Patrick Reusse: Bob Uecker remains a Milwaukee treasure in his 50th year in the broadcast booth<
BBO-REUSSE-COLUMN:MS — Bob Uecker was born on Jan. 26, 1934, in Milwaukee. Bud Selig was born on July 30, 1934, also in Milwaukee. Henry Aaron was born on Feb. 5, 1934, in Mobile, Ala.
They are 86, still among us, and they are the Baseball Trinity of Milwaukee, this durable old burg, this gathering place by the water.
Aaron is the star of stars, the true Home Run King, and the most vivid reminder of those glorious years when the Braves arrived, fans flocked to County Stadium and a World Series was won over the Yankees in 1957.
850 by Patrick Reusse in Milwaukee. MOVED
^Byron Buxton, Twins crush Brewers, 12-2, to end road trip<
BBO-TWINS-BREWERS:MS — Once the Twins started scoring on Wednesday, they did not stop.
That’s a nice change of pace for an offense that has had a strong tendency to drive in runs early in games and then ease up on opponents. Or so it has appeared to.
There were a couple crooked number innings on Wednesday as the Twins routed the Brewers, 12-2, in the rubber game of the three-game series. Byron Buxton hit two home runs, all nine starters had a hit by the fourth inning and right-hander Kenta Maeda breezed to his 50th career win.
600 by La Velle E. Neal III in Milwaukee. MOVED
^Perez has big night as Royals hold off a furious Reds rally, salvage series split<
^BBA-ROYALS-REDS:KC—<Kansas City Royals right-hander Brad Keller pitched six scoreless innings and thoroughly stifled the Cincinnati Reds’ offense. But the Reds immediately made noise when Keller exited the game and it became a nail-biter.
The Reds had men on base in both the eighth and the ninth innings, but the Royals held on for a 5-4 win at Great American Ball Park Wednesday night to earn a split of the two-game series heading into a day off Thursday.
The Royals have now won five of their last six.
200 by Lynn Worthy. MOVED
^Chance Sisco, Rio Ruiz lift Orioles over Phillies, 5-4, for fourth straight victory<
^BBO-ORIOLES-PHILLIES:BZ—<Chance Sisco and Rio Ruiz spent baseball’s shutdown this spring living together with their families at Sisco’s Florida home.
Their work together paid off in a big way Wednesday for the Orioles in a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, the team’s fourth straight win and another brick in the impressive season they’re putting together.
Sisco and Ruiz each had solo home runs to build and pad the Orioles’ late lead, with Sisco adding a two-run single early and Ruiz making a wondrous play at third base to end the eighth inning and keep that lead intact.
400 by Jon Meoli. MOVED
^Ready to prove his worth, Frazier has productive 2020 debut in Yanks’ win<
BBO-BRAVES-YANKEES:HK This could be just another cameo for Clint Frazier.
Or he could make it tough on the Yankees, using a limited window to make a grand statement.
“I feel like I’m the best player right now than I’ve ever been,” Frazier said Wednesday before his first game of the year. “I’ve worked on a lot of things and I’m ready to show it off.”
On cue, Frazier homered in his first at-bat of a 6-3 win against the Atlanta Braves at empty Yankee Stadium.
700 by Pete Caldera in New York. MOVED
^Giants fall to Astros, finish long road trip in forgettable fashion<
^BBO-GIANTS-ASTROS:SJ—<Throughout a 10-game road trip that presented the Giants with relentless challenges and a slim margin for error, Gabe Kapler’s club consistently gave too much away.
The Giants blew late leads on getaway days in Colorado and Los Angeles, squandering chances to split a series with the first-place Rockies and steal a series from the favorites in the National League West, the Dodgers.
So when the Giants roared back from a four-run deficit to even their three-game set in Houston with a 7-6, 10-inning win on Tuesday against the Astros, it set the stage for an inexperienced team to prove it could take a step forward and grow from prior mistakes.
In a 5-1 loss to the Astros on Wednesday, the Giants managed to go backward.
700 by Kerry Crowley. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
Miami at Toronto, 6:37 p.m.
Washington at NY Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Seattle at Texas, 9:05 p.m.
San Diego at LA Dodgers, 9:40 p.m.
^Cowboys create COVID-19 bubble by moving players into hotel for training camp<
^FBN-COWBOYS-BUBBLE:FT—<The majority of the Dallas Cowboys players have checked into the Omni Hotel adjacent to the team’s headquarters at The Star in Frisco, Texas, Wednesday morning in an attempt to form a bubble so they could shield themselves and their families from COVID-19 during training camp, a source said.
Rookies and free agents were already staying there and that option has been opened to the rest of the team.
The veterans got together and decided it would be best if they all checked into the Omni as well. The Cowboys have been in camp for a little more than a week but will ramp up with padded practices in the coming days.
300 by Clarence E. Hill Jr.. MOVED
^George Kittle casts doubt on report that 49ers extension is coming this week<
^FBN-49ERS-KITTLE:SJ—<Tight end George Kittle’s well-earned, much-anticipated contract extension is coming, reportedly as early as Friday, though he’s not confirming so.
The 49ers will announce a six-year, $94.8 million pact Friday with the All-Pro tight end, Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn reported Wednesday, adding that half of that money would be guaranteed.
Kittle’s reaction on Twitter: “Y’all believe everything you read on the internet huh”
300 by Cam Inman. MOVED
^Tom Cowlishaw: Jerry Jones’ pursuit of a graceful landing on player protests shows how his national anthem stance has evolved<
^FBN-COWLISHAW-COLUMN:DA—<I admit, I was not expecting a sermon on grace coming out of the Cowboys’ annual state-of-the-team news conference Wednesday, but when Jerry Jones is in front of a microphone, one should always tread lightly when it comes to expectations.
And while some critics will accuse him of fence-sitting and others simply grew entangled in his six-minute word salad of an answer to two questions on social justice and the national anthem, I believe Jones did everyone a favor. If you listened closely (admittedly, I had to re-listen a time or two), the Cowboys owner provided some notion of how he might respond a month from now when the NFL is playing football games, contests that will undoubtedly begin with displays of protest during the Star-Spangled Banner.
750 by Tim Cowlishaw. MOVED
^Adam Gase says he did ‘bad job’ using Le’Veon Bell at beginning of last season<
FBN-JETS-GASE-BELL:NY — Adam Gase side-stepped whether perennial Pro Bowler Le’Veon Bell would be a workhorse or just another cog in the league’s worst-ranked offense from last year.
Will Bell, one of the NFL’s best dual threat running backs in the past decade before his forgettable 2019 campaign with the Jets, be the centerpiece or part of a running back by committee this season?
“Every game is so different,” Gase said Wednesday after the team’s first non-padded practice. “You’re always trying to figure with the personnel you have, what’s the best way to (do it).”
750 by Manish Mehta in New York. MOVED
^With 32 days until the Bears’ 1st game, Matt Nagy isn’t sure what a best-case scenario would be for a Mitch Trubisky-Nick Foles decision<
^FBN-BEARS-QUARTERBACKS:TB—<Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles threw routes to wide receivers on air — meaning no defenders to work around — for the first time Wednesday in the Chicago Bears quarterback competition. The battle won’t heat up until Monday, when the team holds its first practice in full pads.
Coach Matt Nagy praised the two passers as the clock ticks for a decision with the season set to open in 32 days against the Lions on Sept. 13 in Detroit. With only eight or nine practices in full pads — the same hurdle all teams face — it creates a time-sensitive dilemma for the coaching staff, not to mention the quarterbacks themselves.
650 by Brad Biggs. MOVED
^Doug Pederson returns from coronavirus isolation in time for Eagles’ first full practice of training camp<
^FBN-EAGLES-PEDERSON:PH—<Eagles coach Doug Pederson has tested negative for the coronavirus after 10 days away from the team, and has completed the league’s requirements to return, a source close to the situation told The Inquirer on Wednesday.
The team is to take the field for its first full, non-walkthrough practice Wednesday.
Pederson, 52, tested positive twice and had to step away on Aug. 2., with assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley running day-to-day operations. But Pederson, who said he was asymptomatic, was still allowed to perform most of his duties remotely.
200 by Les Bowen. MOVED
^Jaguars’ Jay Gruden says his offense is still in diapers but likes what he sees from players<
^FBN-JAGUARS-GRUDEN:JK—<Jay Gruden had on his mask Wednesday on the practice field, and every time quarterback Gardner Minshew took a snap or receiver DJ Chark participated in a drill, he watched intensely.
A few times, Gruden stood in place of a cornerback, so the running backs could still run their routes against some type of coverage.
But make no mistake, Gruden is in charge of the Jaguars’ offense.
He’s the new play-caller, the Washington Redskins former head coach who was hired in January by coach Doug Marrone to be his offensive coordinator.
750 by John Reid. MOVED
^Safety Derwin James says Chargers’ defense will be secondary to none<
^FBN-CHARGERS-DEFENSE:LA—<Derwin James mentioned playmaking, versatility and experience when addressing the potential of the Los Angeles Chargers’ secondary Wednesday.
Then, in trying to as simply as possible suggest what each defensive back will do in 2020, James added this:
“I feel like Des is gonna be Des and Casey’s gonna be Casey and Chris gonna be Chris. And Derwin gonna be Derwin. If I left anybody out, they gonna be themselves.”
750 by Jeff Miller in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Orange County declares 8/24 Kobe Bryant Day<
BKN-BRYANT-HONOR:LA — Orange County supervisors picked an easy-to-remember date to designate as Kobe Bryant Day.
It’s Aug. 24, chosen for the two jersey numbers, 8 and 24, the late Lakers legend wore during his 20-year career.
That date is also a day after Bryant’s birthday. He would have been 42 this year.
The supervisors voted to observe Kobe Bryant Day at the request of board Chairwoman Michelle Steel, a lifelong Lakers fan. She said Bryant, who lived with his family in Newport Beach, was a “treasured member of our community” who “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up.”
350 by Chuck Schilken in Los Angeles. MOVED
^John Calipari explains the ways Knicks assistant Kenny Payne will be an asset to Tom Thibodeau<
BKN-KNICKS-PAYNE-CALIPARI:NY — Until they finally step on the court and establish a real basketball identity, the new-look Knicks are tied to a sports agency and the University of Kentucky. They’re the CAA Knicks or the Lexington Knicks.
Their biggest hires thus far — Leon Rose, William Wesley, Tom Thibodeau, Kenny Payne — are connected to one or both of those entities. John Calipari, the king of Kentucky basketball and CAA client, is now an acknowledged Knicks fan, but his strongest allegiance is to Payne and he made that clear in an interview Wednesday.
850 by Stefan Bondy in New York. MOVED
^Sixers fall to Raptors, brace for first-round date with Celtics<
BKN-RAPTORS-76ERS:PH — Bring on the Boston Celtics.
The 76ers learned their fate for the opening round of the playoffs minutes before Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. The Indiana Pacers had just beaten the Houston Rockets to clinch at least the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. That locked the Sixers into the sixth spot and a first-round showdown with the third-seeded Celtics.
With that, the Sixers’ 125-121 loss to the Raptors at Walt Disney’s HP Field House was meaningless from a win/loss standpoint. It will be the same thing for Friday’s seeding-game finale against the Houston Rockets at The Arena.
650 by Keith Pompey in Orlando, Fla. MOVED
^With playoff place locked in, Heat rest starters, lose Crowder in 116-115 loss to Thunder<
^BKN-HEAT-THUNDER:FL—<The Miami Heat came out with a purpose Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Apparently it was to put together a solid first half and emerge unscathed.
On that count, even after pushing to an early 18-point lead, Erik Spoelstra’s team came up short.
With forward Jae Crowder lost for the night after bumping knees with the Thunder’s Lu Dort in the first quarter, Spoelstra took no chances over the final 24 minutes in what turned into a 116-115 Heat loss at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex.
850 by Ira Winderman. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
LA Clippers at Denver, 9 p.m.
^Joe Starkey: Jim Rutherford needs to look in the mirror<
^HKN-STARKEY-COLUMN:PG—<In meeting with reporters Tuesday, Jim Rutherford described the horror of watching his team wilt in Game 4 on Friday — the day the Penguins’ bubble burst.
“It was so disappointing,” Rutherford said. “You’re waiting for that desperation. And waiting. It didn’t come in the first period. It didn’t come in the second period. In the third period, it was even worse.”
Desperation is a euphemism for effort, for heart. So this marked the second straight year Rutherford accused his team of lacking heart. Only this year, he also ripped the club’s leadership, aside from Sidney Crosby, and the coaching, at least as it pertained to the chronically underachieving power play. He even criticized one player (Justin Schultz) by name.
850 by Joe Starkey. MOVED
^Court clears way for Olympic star Mark Pavelich to leave high-security state hospital<
^OLY-HKN-PAVELICH:MS—<“Miracle on Ice” hockey star Mark Pavelich was granted court approval Wednesday for transfer from the state’s high-security mental health hospital to a less restrictive setting for treatment while facing charges that he assaulted and seriously injured a neighbor last year at his North Shore home.
Pavelich, a 1980 Olympic gold medalist and hockey standout in college and high school in Minnesota, appeared via video hookup before Cook County Judge Michael Cuzzo from the St. Peter Security Hospital to answer a series of questions from his attorney and from the bench.
550 by Paul Walsh. MOVED
^Boston Bruins fight past Carolina Hurricanes for 4-3 win in two overtimes of Game 1<
^HKN-BRUINS-HURRICANES:RA—<It took the Carolina Hurricanes more than a week to get back on the ice and play.
The Canes, after a 4-3 loss Wednesday to the Boston Bruins in double overtime, will have one day to try and get over it and move on.
The Canes and Bruins played Game 1 of the first-round Stanley Cup playoff series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, and Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour called it a “stinger” of a loss.
The question now: will the loss linger? Game 2 is Thursday at 8 p.m.
1000 by Chip Alexander. MOVED
^Luke DeCock: From near glory to gory, Hurricanes drop Game 1 of playoff series against Bruins in 2OT<
^HKN-DECOCK-COLUMN:RA—<The game was literally on the toe of Andrei Svechnikov’s stick. Late in the first overtime, the sensational sophomore forward was behind the Boston Bruins net, moving from his left to his right. He flattened his blade and flipped the puck onto it. He was ready and poised to try his third lacrosse goal of the season, lifting the puck and dropping it over Tuukka Rask’s right shoulder.
Matt Carlo didn’t miss the highlights of the first two, and you can be sure the Bruins didn’t omit the clips from their scouting package.
750 by Luke DeCock. MOVED
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
Montreal at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.
Vancouver at St. Louis, 10:30 p.m.
^Paul Zeise: College football in the spring is a fantasy that won’t come true<
^FBC-ZEISE-COLUMN:PG—<The Big Ten, I’m sure, has some of the smartest and most accomplished people in the country to consult with. I’m sure they got a lot of advice from the best and brightest of the medical, science, academic, legal and athletic communities.
I’m sure the people that run the conference came to the conclusion that canceling football (and all sports) for the fall is the right thing to do. I’m sure they did exhaust all options they thought were viable and feel comfortable that they are doing the right thing.
There is just one little issue, and that’s where they should consult me — or really anyone with a brain and common sense — and I’ll even waive the $500,000 consulting fee.
750 by Paul Zeise. MOVED
^EJ Smith: College football players have been exploited for decades. They don’t owe the NCAA or the country anything.<
^FBC-SMITH-COLUMN:PH—<You are not entitled to college football.
You are not owed the excitement of a Saturday morning watching College Football Gameday before a 12-hour binge of the next generation of great football players. Those players, the majority of them Black, do not owe their states or their universities a season that puts them and their families at risk.
The Big Ten’s postponement of the 2020 season has drawn impassioned reaction from players, coaches, fans, and even politicians. While we grapple with the reality of coronavirus costing us these games, let’s not distort reality.
750 by EJ Smith. MOVED
^Michael Cunningham: College football needs to play in a ‘bubble’ but won’t<
FBC-CUNNINGHAM-COLUMN:AT — The Big Ten and Pac-12 canceled football and all fall sports Tuesday and will try again in the spring. The SEC and ACC are, for now, still planning to play starting next month. The actuaries, attorneys and medical professionals are steering the ship now.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said there’s too much uncertainty with medical risks for players during the pandemic. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey says his medical advisors believe the season can safely go forward but will halt should that advice change. Dueling medical opinions aside, there’s one obvious way to make college football more feasible that the sport’s leaders won’t even consider.
1100 by Michael Cunningham in Atlanta. MOVED
^Charles McDonald: Spring football is an unreasonable ask of football players<
^FBC-MCDONALD-COLUMN:NY—<The Big Ten, along with the Pac-12, officially announced that they’ll be postponing fall sports, including football, with hopes that they can be rescheduled for the spring.
The conference hopes to wait out the ongoing pandemic with the postponement, but it creates an entirely new issue to grapple with: the feasibility of playing football in the spring before quickly gearing up for a season in the fall.
It’s hypocritical of these schools to say that they’re postponing fall sports due to the health and safety of their athletes, while also asking them to punish their bodies by playing two football seasons in one year.
550 by Charles McDonald. MOVED
^The Big 12 Conference says it will boldly go where the Pac-12 and Big Ten won’t<
^FBC-BIG12-SEASON:LA—<The Big 12 Conference forged ahead on Wednesday, announcing it would play football as scheduled in a break with two of its major conference counterparts that had pulled the plug on a fall season after saying the health risks were just too great.
In a dissenting stance, the Big 12 said its teams could safely move ahead.
“Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the board’s collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being,” Texas Christian Chancellor Victor Boschini, the Big 12 board of directors chairman, said in a statement.
550 by Ben Bolch. MOVED
^7 lingering questions about Big Ten football, including what would a spring season look like? And is Nebraska entering the transfer portal?<
FBC-BIGTEN-QUESTIONS:TB — The big question has been answered: There will be no Big Ten football this year for the first time since 1895.
But that pronouncement leads to a mess of other questions. And make no mistake: This is a mess.
Although Big Ten coaches, athletic directors, presidents and chancellors have been Zooming for five months, their work is just beginning. Here are seven lingering questions.
700 by Teddy Greenstein in Chicago. MOVED
^WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL<
^Mike Anthony: Paige Bueckers brings a message to UConn and, she hopes, the world<
BKW-ANTHONY-COLUMN:HC — My final interaction with Paige Bueckers during a three-day February trip to Minnesota was in the living room of her family’s St. Louis Park home, where for an hour she sent her little brother, Drew, in all directions by throwing a football and yelling, “Catch it, bro!”
I thought the kid was going to crash though a window, but he didn’t.
I thought both of them would eventually run out of steam, but they didn’t.
And finally, I thought, if anything is going to be difficult for this young woman, it’s going to be leaving her brother behind as the next leg of a basketball magic carpet ride was set to take her from the Twin Cities to Storrs.
1100 by Mike Anthony in Hartford, Conn. MOVED
^Report: Big East calling off fall sports in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic<
^CMP-BIGEAST-SPORTS:HC—<In a move that has been expected for weeks, the Big East Conference is set to postpone, or cancel its slate of fall sports in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
College sports blogger Mark Blaudschun reported the decision via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, though a Big East spokesman would not confirm a decision was made. The conference was planning a meeting later Wednesday, from which the decision would likely come.
200 by Dom Amore. MOVED
^UM doctor’s Black accusers seek justice, accountability<
CMP-MICH-DOCTOR-ABUSE:DTN — A Super Bowl champ and an All-America wrestler came forward Wednesday and accused the late Dr. Robert Anderson of sexual misconduct, joining others who allege the longtime University of Michigan physician abused them during treatment and pressing for them and other Black accusers to be recognized and fairly compensated.
Both men, Dwight Hicks and Dr. Airron Richardson, said they traveled a long way to give a voice to all the men who couldn’t do the same, especially their colleagues who are African Americans, like themselves.
1150 by Kim Kozlowski in Novi, Mich. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED
^Mike Bianchi: Orlando City lost championship game but won respect<
^SOC-BIANCHI-COLUMN:OS—<It’s too bad the magical run had to end like this. It’s too bad Orlando City’s Disneyesque fairy tale ended one victory short of the hometown team literally becoming the Lion Kings of the MLS is Back Tournament. But you know what? I’m not going to complain.
In fact, I’m going to commend Orlando City for giving us a month’s worth of excitement and emotion and hustle and hard work and chemistry and camaraderie and poise and passion and hope. But, mainly, hope. More than anything, that’s what City’s success-starved fan base wanted and needed.
850 by Mike Bianchi in Orlando, Fla. MOVED
^Teenage tennis phenom Coco Gauff proving to be a rising star on and off the court<
TEN-TOPSEEDOPEN-GAUFF:LX — The official WTA bio for Coco Gauff includes some of your normal teenage traits.
Gauff, it reads, enjoys hanging out with her family, watching superhero movies and making TikTok videos. “Doesn’t have any pets,” the bio continues, “but has been trying to convince her mom to get a dog.”
Typical 16-year-old stuff, right?
Well, Gauff is far from typical, as the past several months have clearly shown.
Her future looks even brighter.
1150 by Ben Roberts in Lexington, Ky. MOVED
^’Here we go:’ Venus and Serena Williams set for showdown in Top Seed Open<
TEN-TOPSEEDOPEN-NOTES:LX — Two superstars who’ve spent years taking the concept of sibling rivalry to a whole new level are set for a showdown in central Kentucky.
Serena Williams and Venus Williams will face off in the marquee matchup of the second round in the Top Seed Open at Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville on Thursday. It will mark the 31st time since 1998 that the sisters — whose talent and playing styles took tennis by storm at the turn of the century — have squared off as professionals, with Serena owning an 18-12 advantage in the series.
The duo took divergent paths to the round of 16.
1000 by Josh Sullivan in Lexington, Ky. MOVED
^Meet the Illinois athletes on the all-Black adventure racing team that’s featured on a new Amazon series<
^VID-WORLDS-TOUGHEST-RACE:TB—<You can’t miss Illinois native Coree Woltering — or his Speedos — on “World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji.”
“The Speedo became a thing back in (2016) when I was in Florida for a 50-kilometer race, and I forgot my racing shorts, but I had Speedos with me,” Woltering told the Tribune by phone. “I ended up winning that race, and the picture just went like viral on social media, and after that everyone was like, you have to race in a Speedo. That just became my thing.”
The 30-year-old professional trail and ultra runner packed several Speedos for the Eco-Challenge, an 11-day race over 416 miles of mountains, jungles, rivers and ocean. The event, which took place in September 2019, is documented on a 10-episode Amazon Prime Video series scheduled to premiere Friday.
800 by Tracy Swartz in Chicago. (Moved as an entertainment story.)
^YMCA cuts affecting Camp Menogyn and Camp Widjiwagan cause controversy<
OTD-MINN-YMCA-CUTS:MS — Hundreds of donors and volunteers who support camping at YMCA of the North are voicing angst and anger over a COVID-19-related financial decision to fire top managers at half of the Y’s eight camps.
Glen Gunderson, chief executive president of the nonprofit association, has successfully allayed some fears that the YMCA could be losing interest in camping. But his strong reassurances haven’t ended the controversy. At least one prominent camp is publicly revolting and trying to undo the change.
900 by Tony Kennedy in Minneapolis. MOVED
^Reconnecting Perch Lake to the St. Louis River<
^OTD-STLOUISRIVER-RESTORATION:DU—<Perch Lake in western Duluth isn’t much more than a mud pit now, shallow, filled with sediment and so low in oxygen that fish can’t survive for much of the year.
As far as fish go, you’d be lucky to find a perch in there.
But a $7 million project headed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aims to change that — to make the 30-acre impoundment a bastion for fish by reconnecting it to the St. Louis River and restoring it for walleye, sturgeon, muskellunge and ducks.
500 by John Myers. MOVED
^The story of the Amity owls<
OTD-OWL-BIRDER-BOOK:DU — Richard Hoeg remembers growing up in his family’s Woodland neighborhood home in Duluth that was filled with small owl statues that his father collected. So maybe that’s where it all started.
“My dad grew up on a farm in west-central Iowa and I think he was fascinated with owls out on the farm,” Hoeg said as we walked in the woods near his Duluth home, looking for owls. “He had little owl statues all around in the house. We’d go for drives and look for owls “
1800 by John Myers in Duluth, Minn. MOVED
^Best times for anglers<
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