Monday Sports in Brief

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday to making a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans, a plan that envisioned expanding the designated hitter to the National League for 2020.

Spring training could start in early to mid-June, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the plan were not announced.

MLB officials are slated to make a presentation to the union on Tuesday. An agreement with the players’ association is needed, and talks are expected to be difficult — especially over a proposal for a revenue split that would be unprecedented for baseball. Players withstood a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95 to fight off such a plan.

COURTS

The marketing agent who has sued NBA rookie Zion Williamson wants the former Duke star to answer questions about whether he received improper benefits before playing his lone season with the Blue Devils.

Prime Sports Marketing and company president Gina Ford filed a lawsuit last summer in a Florida court, accusing Williamson and the agency now representing him of breach of contract. That came after Williamson had filed his own lawsuit a week earlier in North Carolina to terminate a five-year contract with Prime Sports after moving to Creative Artists Agency LLC.

In a court filing last week in the Florida lawsuit, Ford’s attorneys submitted a list of questions that include asking whether Williamson or anyone on his behalf had sought or accepted “money, benefits, favors or other things of value” to sign with Duke.

NFL

MIAMI (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa signed a $30.275 million, four-year guaranteed contract with the Miami Dolphins, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday.

The contract includes a $19.6 million signing bonus, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins hadn’t announced the deal.

Last month the Dolphins selected Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in the draft. They are optimistic he’ll recover fully from a hip injury that ended his Alabama career in mid-November and hoping he’ll become a franchise quarterback.

Tagovailoa says doctors have indicated he’s on schedule for a return in 2020. His No. 1 jersey is among the best-selling in the NFL since it was assigned to him last week.

—By AP Sports Writer Steven Wine.

GOLF

PALM BEACH GARDEN, Fla. (AP) — Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker has asked two-time U.S. captain Davis Love III and Zach Johnson to be his assistants for the upcoming matches at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Stricker previously appointed the last captain, Jim Furyk, to be one of his assistants.

The Ryder Cup is still on schedule to be played Sept. 25-27 — one week after the rescheduled U.S. Open.

HOCKEY

The American Hockey League canceled the rest of its season Monday because of the coronavirus pandemic, shifting its focus toward an uncertain future.

While the Calder Cup will not be handed out for the first time since 1936, the 31-team AHL hopes to return next season. That remains uncertain; one possibility is that no fans would be allowed in arenas.

Incoming president and CEO Scott Howson, who will take over for David Andrews this summer, said the AHL is still planning for a full 2020-21 regular season running from Oct. 9-April 18. But it also is working on schedules that start in November, December or January.

SOCCER

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Abandoning the English Premier League season prematurely was discussed by clubs as a potential option on Monday even as the government cleared a path to resuming the competition in June if there is no new spike in coronavirus infections.

While spectators will not be allowed into stadiums for some time, the British government embraced the return of professional sports in contrast to rulings by French and Dutch authorities who have banned any events until September.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that restoring some sports “could provide a much-needed boost to national morale” after being shut down as Britain went into lockdown in March.

But the fate of the Premier League is in doubt partly because clubs cannot all agree on the plan, advanced by police, to play only in neutral stadiums. The opposition is led by relegation-threatened clubs who discovered on Monday that their final placings could be determined without playing another game.

INTERNATIONAL BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — The World Baseball Classic will be postponed from 2021 to 2023 because of the new coronavirus, a person familiar with the planning tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because no announcement had been made. The decision, first reported by ESPN Deportes, must be approved by the WBC board of directors, which is expected. The board includes representatives of Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, the World Baseball Softball Confederation, Nippon Professional Baseball and the Korea Baseball Organization.

The fifth edition of the tournament was scheduled for next March 9-23 in Taiwan, Tokyo, Phoenix and Miami.

—By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum.

HORSE RACING

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A 13th horse has died at Santa Anita since late December.

Tailback, a 4-year-old gelding, broke down after a workout Sunday. Trained by Mike Puype, Tailback had no wins in two career starts and earnings of $4,340, according to Equibase.

He completed a four-furlong workout on the main dirt track in 49.20 seconds, 28th fastest of 69 workouts at the distance. Tailback wasn’t raced until this year. He finished third in his first start on Feb. 15 at Santa Anita. He was eighth in his second start on March 20.

Tailback is the sixth horse to die on the main track since Dec. 26. A required necropsy is pending. Four others died on the turf course and three on the training track.

PARIS (AP) — French horse racing resumed on Monday after a break of nearly two months because of the coronavirus pandemic, while the sport in Britain was made to wait until June 1 at the earliest for a restart.

Jockeys wore masks or face coverings and there was limited personnel on the famed Longchamp Racecourse in western Paris as authorities gave the go-ahead for France Galop to stage racing without spectators.

Strict social distancing and hygiene measures were also in place.

SPORTS TELEVISION

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn has agreed to a multi-year television deal that will put most of its home football games on CBS Sports Network, the school announced Monday.

The university did not disclose the financial details of the deal between CBS and Learfield IMG College, which holds UConn’s athletics multimedia rights, but said it is worth seven figures over four years.

Under the contract, the network plans to televise four UConn home games in 2020 (Indiana, Liberty, Middle Tennessee and Army) and all home games from 2021-2023.

This will be the Huskies’ first season as a football independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference.

OBITUARY

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — John Teerlinck loved teaching the art of pass rushing. His top students considered him the best instructor in league history.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announced Sunday on Twitter that Teerlinck, who spent nearly a quarter-century creating mayhem for NFL quarterbacks, had died. The Colts confirmed it was from Irsay’s account. Teerlinck was 69.

His prized pupils routinely showed everyone what they learned.

The late Chris Doleman, John Randle and Kevin Greene went on to have Hall of Fame careers. Four more players — Al “Bubba” Baker, Neil Smith, Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney — all finished their careers with at least 100 sacks. Thirty-one players made the Pro Bowl and at his final stop, Indianapolis, Teerlinck put together one of the most dynamic pass-rushing combinations in recent memory with Mathis and Freeney.

And yet, Teerlinck never served as a defensive coordinator or head coach in the league.