A limited number of NFL teams are reopening their training facilities, while many are prohibited by government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Roger Goodell gave the 32 clubs the go-ahead for limited re-openings on Tuesday, as long as state and local municipalities allow them.
Coaching staffs and all players, except those undergoing injury rehab, are barred from the facilities in the first phase of the league's plan. With such states as California, New York, New Jersey, Washington and Virginia still under heavy restrictions, that immediately leaves nine franchises unable to use their facilities. The Las Vegas Raiders still have their training complex in Alameda, California.
In other virus-related sports news:
The Washington Nationals will unveil their World Series championship rings during a "virtual" ceremony shown on television and online Sunday -- an unprecedented approach brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. With the start of the Major League Baseball season on hold because of COVID-19, Nationals owner Mark Lerner said he hopes the plan to show off the team's hardware would provide "a moment of joy in these uncertain times." Teams typically unveil their title rings at a home stadium packed with fans.
The Los Angeles Angels will implement furloughs across their organization starting June 1. Furloughs will impact employees across the front office, scouting department and minor league system. The Angels had already pledged to pay their employees through May. Furloughed employees will keep their medical benefits for the rest of the year or until Oct. 31, depending on their contracts.
The NHL is still more than a week away from determining a return-to-play format. That word comes from a person familiar with discussions. And what that plan resembles could be complicated further should the U.S. and Canada extend border restrictions to non-essential travel into July. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced border restrictions will stay in effect through June 21. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly tells The Associated Press he's hopeful the decision to close the border to non-essential travel for another month won't "have a material impact" on the league's discussions to restart its season.
Major League Soccer's All-Star Game has been canceled for the first time in its quarter-century history because of the coronavirus pandemic. MLS All-Stars had been scheduled to play counterparts from Mexico's Liga MX on July 29 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. MLS says the 2021 game will take place at Banc of California Stadium, most likely against All-Stars from Liga MX. Meantime, the English Premier League's first wave of mass coronavirus testing of players and staff found six people infected at three of the 20 soccer teams.
The Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 on Long Island in front of no fans as the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. This is the first year the Belmont will take place before the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The Derby was moved to Sept. 5 and the Preakness to Oct. 3. The rescheduled Belmont will be contested at distance of a mile and an eighth instead of the race's trademark mile and a half that has been in place since 1926.
Former World Wrestling Entertainment pro Shad Gaspard was still missing Tuesday after he was swept out to sea in Southern California last weekend while swimming with his young son. Gaspard's 10-year-old son, Aryeh, was rescued and several other swimmers made it out of the water safely after they were caught in a rip current Sunday afternoon at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. A police statement says a lifeguard saw a wave crash over Gaspard and he was swept out to sea. Gaspard gained prominence in the WWE as one half of the tag-team group Cryme Time, along with his partner, JTG. After retiring from the WWE in 2010, Gaspard has had small roles on TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy "Get Hard."
Tom Brady isn't letting the coronavirus pandemic —or NFL rules against players working out at team facilities — keep him from preparing for a new season with his new Tampa Bay team. Brady gathered some of his new Buccaneers teammates on a high school field for a throwing session early Tuesday. Brady wore a Buccaneers helmet and an orange jersey over his shoulder pads. The informal, players-only workout lasted two hours, according to The Tampa Bay Times. Because of the pandemic, any gathering of players is notable — especially one involving Brady. The six-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Bucs in March.
Changes designed to enhance opportunities for minorities to get executive, head coaching and coordinator positions were passed by NFL owners. They include addendums to the Rooney Rule, which has fallen short in its goal of increasing diversity in the league. All clubs will now be required to interview at least two minority candidates from outside the organization for head coach vacancies.
The Utah Jazz have announced that forward Bojan Bogdanović underwent surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his right wrist. The procedure was performed Tuesday in New York City. There's no timetable for Bogdanović's return. The team said in a release that he'll begin rehabilitation "at the appropriate time." The NBA season remains on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bogdanović was averaging 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his first season with the Jazz. He also was playing a career-best 33.1 minutes per game. The 31-year-old Bogdanović signed a four-year, $73 million contract with Utah last summer.
WNBA teams will have to get their rosters down to 12 by May 26 so players can get paid starting June 1. The league and the players' union are still working out many details of how often players will get paid and how much. Those negotiations largely depend on the length and start date of the season. Players who are waived over the next week won't get paid, but they will receive benefits through June 30. The WNBA offered rookies health benefits starting May 1. Veteran players receive year-round benefits.
Ken Burmeister, a college basketball coach for 21 seasons who took Texas-San Antonio to the NCAA Tournament and later guided Loyola of Chicago, died Tuesday. He was 72. Loyola said Burmeister died following a bout with cancer. Burmeister posted 72 wins at Texas-San Antonio from 1986-90. He led the Roadrunners to their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Illinois in 1988. Burmeister took over at Loyola in 1994 after working as an assistant at nearby DePaul and went 40-71 over four seasons. Following his time at Loyola, he went on to coach for a season at Trinity University in San Antonio and at Incarnate Word for 12 years.
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