Monday Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball owners and players have reverted to form — the type displayed over the past half-century during eight work stoppages filled with salary squabbles.
Players proposed to resume the sport in the coronavirus pandemic with a 114-game regular season and full prorated salaries, leaving each player with approximately 70% of what he had been slated to earn.
That proposal was made Sunday, five days after Major League Baseball’s plan for an 82-game season with additional pay cuts that would leave each player taking in 23-47% of his original pay, with the highest earners accepting the biggest cuts.
MLB claims an additional $640,000 would be lost with each extra regular-season game played. The union has said it doesn’t believe those calculations and asked MLB for more economic documents and data.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred discussed the next move with owners on Monday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Nationals changed course and told their minor leaguers on Monday they will receive their full weekly stipends of $400 at least through June after Washington reliever Sean Doolittle tweeted that the team’s major league players would cover a planned cut in those payments.
Doolittle wrote on Twitter that Nationals major leaguers held a video conference call after The Athletic reported Sunday the club would be releasing more than two dozen minor league players and reducing stipends for players in the minors from $400 to $300 per week.
A text message sent by the Nationals to players in the minors and forwarded Monday to The Associated Press reads: “Upon further internal discussion, you will receive your full stipend of $400 per week through the month of June. We will consider future payments on a month to month basis. Thank you!”
Players from several Major League Soccer teams skipped voluntary workouts Monday after the league and the players’ association hit an impasse on an agreement that would clear the way for a tournament this summer in Florida.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said the talks between the two sides were ongoing and a deadline has been pushed to Wednesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were not being made public.
The Major League Soccer Players Association had voted to approve economic concessions for this season, including across-the-board salary cuts. The proposal, made public by the union Sunday night, was sent back to the league for approval by team owners.
The season was suspended March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Teams had played just two games.
—By AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson.
NEW YORK (AP) — The National Women’s Soccer League has set the schedule for the opening round of its tournament starting later this month in Utah, with the Portland Thorns playing the defending champion North Carolina Courage on the opening day.
The NWSL is scheduled to be the first U.S. pro team league returning to play amid the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament will be held in the Salt Lake City area starting June 27 with no fans in attendance.
The Chicago Red Stars and the Orlando Pride will also meet on opening day. One of the games will be broadcast nationally on CBS.
The league’s nine teams will play four preliminary round games, with eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals. The final match on July 26 is also set to be broadcast on CBS.
Ighalo was due to return to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua because his initial deal with United expired on Sunday.
The Nigeria international scored four goals in eight appearances for United before the coronavirus outbreak forced soccer to be suspended.
The Premier League is set to return on June 17. United is still in the FA Cup and Europa League.
NEW YORK (AP) — Tiger Woods is speaking out for the first time since George Floyd’s death, saying his heart goes out to Floyd, his family and everyone who is hurting right now.
The 44-year-old golfer broke his silence with a statement on his Twitter account Monday night.
“I have always had the utmost respect for our law enforcement,” Woods said. “They train so diligently to understand how, when and where to use force. This shocking tragedy clearly crossed that line.”
Woods grew up in Southern California, and he said he learned from the Los Angeles riots in 1992 that “education is the best path forward.” Thousands in the city’s largely minority south side took to the streets after an all-white jury acquitted four white police officers of attacking Rodney King, a black driver, after a traffic stop.
“We can make our points without burning the very neighborhoods we live in,” Woods said. “I hope that through constructive, honest conversations we can build a safer, unified society.”
Former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has offered to pay for George Floyd’s funeral and memorial services, and the family has accepted the offer.
Mayweather personally has been in touch with the family, according to Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions. He will handle costs for the funeral on June 9 in Floyd’s hometown of Houston, as well as other expenses.
Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and saying that he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the country, some of which became violent.
TMZ originally reported Mayweather’s offer, and said he will also pay for services in Minnesota and North Carolina.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, the first black leader of a Power Five conference, is creating a coalition to give the league’s athletes a platform to voice their concerns about racism.
Warren announced Monday the formation of the Big Ten Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition, with athletes, coaches, athletic director and university chancellors and presidents.
Warren said the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while being detained by police motivated him to take action beyond putting out a statement decrying racism.
Warren also said he and his wife, Greta, will be donating $100,000 the National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
NEW YORK (AP) — College coaches in non-revenue sports are worried about the impact legislation allowing compensation for athletes could have on their programs.
More than a dozen national associations in various sports – hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, swimming and gymnastics, among them – have signed a memo outlining “significant concerns” about effects of allowing athletes to profit for use of their names, images and likenesses (NIL). The concerns include reduced resources for lower-profile programs, the risk of “crowdfunded recruiting” for boosters to “buy talent” for a competitive advantage, increased influence by agents and whether schools can effectively monitor for compliance.
The memo, prepared by North Carolina athletics director Bubba Cunningham and associate athletics director Paul Pogge, was sent last week to a law committee examining whether to craft a standardized athlete-compensation law for states to adopt. The memo focuses on non-revenue sports, many of which are included in Olympic competition.
BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Noah Gragson squeezed past Justin Allgaier with four laps remaining, a move that caused his JR Motorsports teammate to crash, and Gragson held on at Bristol Motor Speedway for his second win of the season.
Gragson also won the season-opening race at Daytona to begin his second year with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s race team.
His victory Monday night was set up by a caution with 13 laps remaining that wiped away Allgaier’s lead.
Chase Briscoe, who beat Kyle Busch to win at Darlington two weeks ago, finished second in a Ford.
Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton were third and fourth in a pair of Toyota’s. The top four are eligible to race for a $100,000 bonus Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Myatt Snyder rounded out the top-five.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson receiver Justyn Ross, considered a first-round NFL draft pick next spring, will miss the upcoming college season due to a spinal condition uncovered after he was hurt at practice in March.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Ross will have surgery on Friday because of a congenital fusion of vertebrae he has had since birth. Ross also has a bulging disc.
The condition was found after Ross apparently hurt his shoulder during a spring practice session before workouts were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ross is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound sophomore from Phenix City, Alabama, who led the Tigers with 66 catches a year ago. He first gained national attention as a freshman in Clemson’s 44-16 national championship win over Alabama in January 2019 when he had six catches for 153 yards including a 74-yard TD.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson leading scorer Aamir Simms is returning for a final season after withdrawing his name from the NBA draft.
Simms had until June 3 to pull out of the draft. He had announced in March his intentions to go pro. He did not hire an agent, making him eligible to return for his senior year.
Simms is a 6-foot-8 forward from Palmyra, Virginia who was a third-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick this past season after averaging a team-best, 13 points a game. He also averaged 7.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Former Auburn coach Pat Dye, who took over a downtrodden football program in 1981 and turned it into a Southeastern Conference power, died Monday. He was 80.
Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Dye died at a hospice care facility in Auburn from complications of kidney and liver failure. Harris said Dye tested positive for Covid 19 after being admitted to the hospital for renal problems, but was asymptomatic.
When Dye came to Auburn, he inherited a program that was deeply divided after only three winning seasons in the previous six years. In 12 years, he had a 99-39-4 record, Auburn won or shared four conference titles and the Tigers were ranked in The Associated Press’ Top 10 five times.
Dye’s overall coaching record was 153-62-5 in 17 years at Auburn, Wyoming and East Carolina.
His coaching career ended in November 1992 when he was forced to resign after a pay-for-play scandal rocked the Auburn program, which was placed on two years’ probation.
Dye served as athletic director as well as coach for most of his career with Auburn.
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Janez Kocijančič, Slovenia’s leading sports official for decades, died on Monday. He was 78.
The European Olympic Committees, of which Kocijančič was the ruling president, said he died after “a sudden and severe disease” in Ljubljana without elaborating.
He was the first president of Slovenia’s Olympic Committee upon independence in 1991 for 23 years, and a council member of the International Ski Federation since 1981.
Kocijančič was also active in politics; a government minister in the former, Communist-run Yugoslavia, and a member of parliament after Slovenia’s independence, the official STA news agency said.
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has dismissed Lenny Dykstra’s defamation lawsuit against former New York Mets teammate Ron Darling, ruling the outfielder’s reputation already was so tarnished it could not be damaged more.
Dykstra claimed he was defamed when Darling alleged he had made racist remarks toward Boston pitcher Oil Can Boyd during the 1986 World Series. Justice Robert D. Kalish in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan did not evaluate whether the remarks occurred.
Dykstra filed the suit in April 2019 against Darling, St, Martin’s Press and Macmillan Publishing Group, then added Daniel Paisner as a defendant last September. Dykstra’s suit followed the publication of Darling’s book, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game” by St. Martin’s Press, which is part of Macmillan. Dykstra alleged defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.