Thursday Sports in Brief

NFL

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams are trading receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the teams hadn’t announced the trade. The NFL Network reported the Rams will get a second-round pick while sending a future fourth-rounder to Houston.

Cooks will help the Texans replace DeAndre Hopkins, who was shockingly traded to the Arizona Cardinals last month for running back David Johnson and two draft picks.

—By AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham.

NBA

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls hired Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas to run their basketball operation, a person familiar with the situation said Thursday night.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced.

Longtime executive John Paxson was expected to move into an advisory role. The futures of general manager Gar Forman and coach Jim Boylen were unclear.

The move allows the Bulls to have their new top executive in place if the season resumes from the COVID-19 pandemic suspension.

—By AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman.

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA players will receive their full checks when the next payday for most of them arrives on April 15 despite no games having been played for more than a month at that point.

The league gave teams the directive on Thursday in a memo that was obtained by The Associated Press.

The league and the National Basketball Players Association has been in talks for weeks about the status of salaries during the game’s shutdown. The last NBA games were played March 11, the day that Utah center Rudy Gobert became the first player in the league to test positive for the coronavirus.

The pandemic will lead to the delay of at least 259 regular-season games through April 15, what would have been the end of the regular season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week that no decisions about the rest of the season, including whether play can resume, would occur before May.

MMA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — UFC 249 was canceled Thursday after ESPN and parent company Disney stopped UFC President Dana White’s plan to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After defiantly vowing for weeks to maintain a regular schedule of fights while the rest of the sports world halted, White decided to cease competition.

UFC 249 was scheduled for April 18 on ESPN Plus pay-per-view, and White planned to follow it with regular fight cards from Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino on tribal land in California’s Central Valley.

NHL

TORONTO (AP) — The man at the heart of the Maple Leaf Gardens sexual abuse scandal has died.

Gordon Stuckless died Thursday night at a hospital in Hamilton after a brain hemorrhage Tuesday, lawyer Ari Goldkind said. Stuckless was in his early 70s.

Stuckless was sentenced in 2016 to 6 1/2 years in prison — six after credit for his time on house arrest — for more than 100 offenses related to the sexual abuse of 18 boys over three decades. He was released to a halfway house on day parole in December.

MLB

PHOENIX (AP) — Slugger Mark Reynolds is retiring after hitting 298 homers over 13 seasons with eight teams.

The 36-year-old made the announcement Thursday on SiriusXM Radio.

Reynolds was a prime example of the rise of all-or-nothing masher. His best years came with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He hit .260 in 2009 and set career highs 44 homers and what is still a big league record 223 strikeouts. The previous year he had become the first batter to reach 200, and he has three of the 13 200-strikeout seasons by big league batters.

He hit at least 30 homers four times and led the majors in strikeouts three times. He had a .236 batting average and split most of his time in the field between third base and first base.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Tua Tagovailoa’s agent says the quarterback is healthy and will be ready for training camp.

Tagovailoa held a virtual pro day with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer on Thursday after the former Alabama star’s personal pro day was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Video of Tagovailoa’s workout will be sent to NFL teams.

Tagovailoa injured his hip on Nov. 15 and had season-ending surgery two days later. He is expected to be among the top five picks in the NFL draft later this month.

“His health is just fine,” agent Leigh Steinberg told The Associated Press.

Doctors cleared Tagovailoa to run and begin football activities on March 9 and he has been training with Dilfer, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury says the school met the requirements of its men’s basketball postseason ban as part of punishments from the NCAA even though most of the postseason was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to fans Thursday made available to the public, Stansbury said he was recently informed Georgia Tech completed its mandated ban by removing itself from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on March 2. Georgia Tech made that decision when it withdrew its appeal of the NCAA postseason ban.

In the letter, Stansbury wrote the school “recently received official confirmation from the NCAA Committee on Infractions that we met the conditions of the penalty by not participating in this year’s ACC Tournament.”

By accepting the ban this year, Georgia Tech will be eligible for all postseason tournaments in the 2020-2021 season.

COLLEGES

NEW YORK (AP) — Ivy League schools Harvard, Yale and Princeton will not allow their spring athletes to withdraw and return next year to preserve an extra year of eligibility.

It’s not a league-wide decision, though. Other schools are not encouraging seniors to withdraw, but will still allow them that option if they choose to.

Yale coaches informed their athletes of the decision Thursday afternoon. Princeton and Harvard athletes found out in email messeges from their athletic directors.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said head coaches and senior department staffers will take 10% salary cuts among proposed budget reductions to offset anticipated revenue shortfalls because of event cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tyra said during a conference call on Thursday that his department aims to trim about $15 million from the proposed 2020-21 budget. That includes 10% salary reductions for men’s basketball coach Chris Mack, football coach Scott Satterfield, women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz and baseball coach Dan McDonnell, whose combined salaries for next year total about $10 million, the AD said. Tyra added that cuts were being discussed in other areas but did not provide any details.

The AD also said he will forego his $150,000 bonus the next two years and other compensation. Tyra added that some coaches voluntarily cut their salaries, with contracts amended to reflect the reductions — though he did not say which coaches.

SOCCER

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Southampton became the first Premier League club to announce an agreement with players to defer part of their salaries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Players and coaches at the south-coast team will not be paid their full salaries during April, May or June “to help protect the future of the club, the staff that work within it and the community we serve,” Southampton said Thursday.

Southampton also said it will not be placing non-playing staff on the British government’s job retention scheme, which allows businesses to put workers on furlough and receive 80% of their salaries from the government, up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds ($3,000) per month.

SPORTS BUSINESS

NEW YORK (AP) — Forbes estimates the New York Yankees are baseball’s most valuable franchise at $5 billion, up 9% over last year and 47% more than the No. 2 Los Angeles Dodgers at $3.4 billion.

The Yankees are second among all sports in Forbes’ evaluations to the Dallas Cowboys, listed at $5.5 billion in the last NFL ranking.

The Yankees’ YES Network broadcasts Forbes “SportsMoney” television show.

The Boston Red Sox are third at $3.3 billion, Forbes said Thursday, followed by the Chicago Cubs ($3.2 billion), San Francisco ($3.1 billion), the New York Mets ($2.4 billion), St. Louis ($2.2 billion) and Philadelphia ($2 billion).

Miami was last at $980 million, a drop of $20 million. Also near the bottom were Kansas City ($1.025 billion), Tampa Bay ($1.05 billion), Cincinnati ($1.075 billion) and Oakland ($1.1 billion).

COURTS

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hundreds of emails detailing the New Orleans Saints’ efforts to conduct damage control for the area’s Roman Catholic archdiocese amid its clergy sexual abuse crisis should remain shielded from the public, a court official recommended Thursday.

The recommendation by a court special master came almost three months after The Associated Press urged the release of the confidential emails as a matter of public interest. Those emails emerged as part of a lawsuit against the church and it will ultimately be up to a judge in that case to make the final decision.

Releasing the messages would only “embarrass or bring under public scrutiny” those who tried to help the Archdiocese of New Orleans as it sought to weather the fallout from the clergy abuse crisis, retired Judge Carolyn Gill-Jefferson wrote in a five-page filing.