Update on the latest sports
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS
Big Ten, Pac-12 won’t play football this fall
UNDATED (AP) —
The Big Ten and Pac-12 won’t play football this fall because of concerns about COVID-19, taking two of college football’s five power conferences out of a crumbling season amid the pandemic.
Less than an hour after the Big Ten’s announcement, the Pac-12 called a news conference to discuss a meeting with its universities’ presidents.
Two people involved in the Pac-12′s decision told The Associated Press the season would be postponed until the spring, along with all fall sports. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the conference was still planning an official announcement.
The Big Ten’s announcement comes six days after the conference that includes historic programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State had released a revised conference-only football schedule that it hoped would help it navigate a fall season with potential COVID-19 disruptions.
Instead, all fall sports in the Big Ten have been called off and a spring season will be explored. The decision was monumental but not a surprise. Speculation has run rampant for several days that the Big Ten was moving toward this decision. On Monday, coaches throughout the conference tried to push back the tide, publicly pleading for more time and threatening to look elsewhere for games this fall.
Massachusetts cancels fall season
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts is among the latest schools from the Football Bowl Subdivision, college football’s highest level, to cancel its fall season.
UMass is an independent in football and its decision affects only that sport. Most of UMass’ athletic teams compete in the Atlantic 10.
Athletic director Ryan Bamford says the school will try to conduct a football spring season if possible.
Astros coach faces 20-game suspension
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Houston Astros hitting coach Álex Cintrón faces a 20-game suspension and a fine for his role in a benches-clearing brawl at Oakland. That word comes from a person with direct knowledge of the punishment.
In addition, the person said Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano will receive a six-game suspension and a fine.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Major League Baseball hadn’t made a formal announcement and was still finalizing the details.
Laureano was hit by a pitch from Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 7-2 victory Sunday. He began exchanging words with a gesturing Cintrón then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward Cintrón.
Indians place two pitchers on restricted list
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians placed starters Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac on the restricted list after the pitchers broke team rules by leaving their hotel in Chicago and risking exposure to the coronavirus.
Clevinger and Plesac went out Saturday night with a group of people following the Indians’ win over the White Sox. The team immediately sent Plesac home in a car service after learning he had violated the team’s code of conduct. The Indians were not aware Clevinger had been with him until after he flew back to Cleveland with the team and staff.
Tigers put Cron on injured list
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers put first baseman C.J. Cron on the 10-day injured list with a left knee sprain.
Cron exited Monday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox in the fourth inning. He was hurt on a freak play in which a hard-hit ball by Danny Mendick bounced off him and was recovered by pitcher Daniel Norris, who retired Mendick with a diving tag. Cron stayed on the ground in apparent pain during the play and afterward.
Detroit recalled infielder Willi Castro.
Blue Jays roam, where Buffalo’s home
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Baseball’s nomads, the Toronto Blue Jays, finally move into their new home at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, when they play the Miami Marlins. It’ll be the first time this year the Blue Jays are the actual host team.
Canada’s government wouldn’t let them hold games at Rogers Centre in Toronto, fearful of opponents traveling into the city amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pittsburgh offered to let the Blue Jays play at PNC Park when the Pirates were on the road, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf wouldn’t sign off on it.
That left the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, which last hosted a regular-season Major League Baseball game in 1915 when the Buffalo Blues finished sixth in the eight-team Federalist League.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Nationals ace Max Scherzer is set to make his scheduled start against the Mets at Citi Field after leaving his previous outing early because of a hamstring issue. The three-time Cy Young Award winner lasted only one inning last Wednesday against New York due to a hamstring problem that first cropped up July 29 versus Toronto. But he felt good while throwing a bullpen Sunday and will try to keep Washington rolling in the wake of a 16-4 blowout over the Mets in the opener of a four-game series Monday.
Nets beat Magic in preparation for playoffs
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Jeremiah Martin and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot each scored 24 points, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Orlando Magic 108-96 as both teams looked ahead to the playoffs.
Dzanan Musa added 17 points and Tyler Johnson had 14 for the Nets, who improved to 5-2 in the restart with their third straight victory.
With the Nets locked into the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Magic eighth, the teams went with limited rosters while getting players extra rest. Brooklyn suited up only nine players and Orlando used 10. The Magic have dropped five in a row after a 2-0 start at Walt Disney World.
Ruling keeps NCAA from limiting some athlete compensation
WASHINGTON (AP) — A court decision the NCAA says will hurt college sports by allowing certain student-athletes to be paid “vast sums” of money as “educational expenses” will go into effect after the Supreme Court declined Tuesday to intervene at this point.
Justice Elena Kagan denied the NCAA’s request to put a lower court ruling on hold at least temporarily while the NCAA asks the Supreme Court to take up the case. It plans to do so by mid-October.
Kagan declined to put on hold a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In May it upheld a lower-court ruling prohibiting the NCAA from limiting compensation for education-related expenses for student-athletes. The ruling applies to athletes in Division I football and basketball programs.
The NCAA said the ruling “effectively created a pay-for-play system for all student-athletes, allowing them to be paid both ‘unlimited’ amounts for participating in ‘internships’” and an additional $5,600 or more each year they remain eligible to play their sport.
Knicks lure Payne from Kentucky
NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Thibodeau has made the first addition to his New York Knicks coaching staff. He hired Kenny Payne as an assistant.
Payne has spent the last 10 years at Kentucky, where he has been John Calipari’s associate head coach since 2014. He was part of the staff that won the 2012 national championship and won its first 38 games in 2014-15. The Wildcats reached four Final Fours and won 295 games with Payne working under Calipari. The 53-year-old Payne also spent five seasons as an assistant with Oregon.
He will be reunited with former Wildcats Julius Randle and Kevin Knox in New York.
Serena Williams rallies for win over unseeded rival
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Serena Williams won the hard way in her comeback following a six-month layoff, rallying to beat unseeded American Bernarda Pera 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 at the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion labored to avoid her 14th loss to an opponent ranked outside the top 50.
The No. 60 Pera broke the No. 9 Williams at love in the fifth game on the way to a first-set victory. Pera was on the verge of a break at 4-4 in the second set before Williams rallied to win and break to force a third set and bear down from there.
Halep advances in Prague
PRAGUE, (AP) — Top-seeded Simona Halep had to fight hard to advance to the second round of the Prague Open in a three-set win over unseeded Polona Hercog.
It was the first competitive match for Halep since she won the Dubai Championships in February for her 20th career WTA title. Before the Wimbledon champion recovered from a foot injury she sustained in Dubai, the coronavirus pandemic forced a five-month break.
No. 2-seeded Petra Martic and No. 3 Elise Mertens also advanced.