VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTSAP Source: Pac-12 sets Sept. 26 start for football scheduleUNDATED (AP) — The Pac-12 has set Sept. 26 as the start of its 10-game, conference-only football schedule, joining the Southeastern Conference in pushing back its season by nearly a month because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Pac-12 announced three weeks ago it would eliminate nonconference games to give its 12 member schools a better chance to manage complications and disruptions caused by the health crisis. The plan approved by university presidents adds an additional cross-divisional game to each team’s slate and moves the conference championship game back two weeks from Dec. 4 to Dec. 18 or 19. NFL-NEWS ESPN was first to report the conversation.Concerns have been expressed about lax behavior by players on the field — such as spitting or high-fives — and off. The scrambled schedule has also heightened doubts about whether the owners’ desire to play is realistic.MLB-NEWSChapman rejoins YankeesUNDATED (AP) — All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman has been cleared to return to Yankee Stadium following a bout with the coronavirus. He was expected to play catch before New York hosted the Boston Red Sox. Brown has caught 841 passes for 11,236 yards and 75 touchdowns in parts of 10 NFL seasons.In other NFL news:— Lions safety Jayron Kearse has been suspended by the league for the first three games of the 2020 regular season for violating league policy on substance abuse. Kearse is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and can return to the active roster after the team’s Week 3 game at Arizona. Formerly with division rival Minnesota, Kearse signed a one-year, $2 million deal with Detroit as a free agent. — Bills starting right guard Jon Feliciano is out indefinitely after having surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. The team did not reveal when or how Feliciano was hurt in making the announcement on its website.— Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick will be the new announce team for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” according to a person familiar with the decision. The trio has familiarity working together. They called the late game in last season’s Week 1 doubleheader between Denver and Oakland. Antonio Brown suspended 8 games by NFLUNDATED (AP) — The NFL has suspended wide receiver Antonio Brown for the first eight regular-season games of the 2020 season under the league’s personal conduct policy.Brown currently is a free agent. He played one game last season for the Patriots before being released. Brown can be signed by any team and would be eligible to participate in all of his club’s preseason activities. The suspension would take effect when teams make their final cuts on Sept. 5. Brown pleaded no contest on June 12 to charges related to a fight with a moving truck driver outside his South Florida home earlier this year. July 31, 2020 Associated Press Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists to help Milwaukee get within one victory of wrapping up the No. 1 seed.In other Day 2 action of the NBA restart:— The Magic picked up their fourth straight win as Evan Fournier scored 24 points and Nikola Vucevic had 22 in a 128-118 dismantling of the Nets. Orlando led by 30 at one point and moved ahead of Brooklyn for seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are missing Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince after they tested positive for the coronavirus.— CJ McCollum scored 33 points and teamed with Damian Lillard to provide 11 of Portland’s 16 in overtime, leading the Blazers past the Grizzlies, 140-135. Lillard finished with 29 points and nine assists, while Carmelo Anthony added 21. The Blazers are within 2 1/2 games of Memphis as Portland seeks its seventh consecutive playoff appearance.— The Suns cruised to a 125-112 win over the Wizards as Devin Booker scored 27 points and Deandre Ayton added 24 with 12 rebounds. The Suns hit 30 of 32 from the line, with Booker hitting all nine of his attempts. Phoenix 52% from the field in propping up its playoff hopes. — The White Sox have promoted second baseman Nick Madrigal, adding one of their top prospects to the roster. The 23-year-old had been training at the team’s auxiliary site. Madrigal was selected by Chicago with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft after a standout collegiate career at Oregon State. NBA-SCHEDULEBucks outlast CelticsUNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks are on the verge of clinching the top seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference after winning their re-opening game.Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:28 left before the Bucks finished off a 119-112 win over the Celtics. Antetokounmpo was then called for a charging foul, appearing to negate his basket and giving him a sixth foul. The call was changed to a blocking foul on Boston’s Marcus Smart after review. Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed Chapman’s return and said he wasn’t sure when the hard-throwing left-hander would be ready for game action. Chapman had been isolating in his Manhattan apartment since registering a positive test July 11. Also, Yanks right-hander Tommy Kahnle was added to the injured list with forearm tightness. He had an MRI taken Friday.In other MLB news:— The Cubs have signed former Indians closer Cody Allen to a minor league deal and sent him to their team’s training site in South Bend, Indiana. The Cubs’ bullpen struggled in the first week of the season. Closer Craig Kimbrel walked four batters and allowed two runs in his season debut Monday night. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-SCHEDULEYankees top Bosox behind Judge, MontgomeryUNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees were winners in their first game against the rival Red Sox this season. NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus continues to alter the Major League Baseball schedule.Friday’s game between Milwaukee and visiting St. Louis had to be postponed after two Cardinals players tested positive for COVID-19. The teams are now expected to play a doubleheader on Sunday.The Cardinals are quarantined in their Milwaukee hotel. The team says it learned of the positive tests on Thursday night.Eight teams have been affected in the first nine days of the season. The Phillies and Marlins haven’t played since Sunday and are on hiatus until at least Sunday after 17 Marlins tested positive while staying in Philadelphia. Four other teams had their schedules altered due to the virus.Meanwhile, Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport’s coronavirus protocols. A person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press that the two discussed what is needed to be done to complete the season. Update on the latest sports Fowler closed with birdies on his final two holes for a 67.LPGA-DRIVE ON CHAMPIONSHIPKang leads as LPGA returnsTOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The LPGA has made its return following a hiatus caused by the pandemic. Danielle Kang looked as though she’s been playing every week.Kang was bogey-free at Inverness Club for a 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead in the LPGA Drive On Championship. With no leaderboards or fans at the course, Kang said she had no idea where she stood after closing with a birdie. NHL-HURRICANES-HAMILTONHurricanes’ Dougie Hamilton out for Rangers series openerTORONTO (AP) — All-Star defenseman Dougie Hamilton won’t play for the Carolina Hurricanes in Saturday’s opener against the New York Rangers in the NHL’s Eastern Conference’s expanded playoff qualifying round.Hamilton has missed multiple practices, though the league has prohibited teams from disclosing whether a player is injured or ill amid the coronavirus pandemic. Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour (BRIHN’-dah-mohr) says Hamilton is “getting better for sure,” and the team hopes he will play in the best-of-5 series. Aaron Judge homered for the third straight night as the Yankees dumped the Red Sox, 5-1. Judge took aim at Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch in the third, a half-inning after starting a double play from right. Gio Urshela (ur-SHEH’-luh) and Brett Gardner hit their first home runs of the season to back Jordan Montgomery, who was reached for just one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings versus a hot lineup.Boston entered the day leading the majors in with a .276 batting average and the AL with a .783 OPS.Michael Chavis homered for Boston and Phillips Valdez impressed over 2 2/3 scoreless innings, but the club couldn’t overcome another poor start by Ryan Weber.VIRUS OUTBREAK-BASEBALLCards-Brewers postponed after 2 St. Louis positive tests Hamilton broke his left leg in January and was sidelined until the NHL suspended the season because of the pandemic.PGA-FEDEX INVITATIONALBrendon Todd takes 2-stroke lead with 65 at WGC in MemphisMEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Brendon Todd will carry a two-shot advantage into the third round of the PGA’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational.Todd followed Thursday’s 64 with a 5-under 65 that leaves him two ahead of Rickie Fowler. First-round leader Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) shot a 1-over 71 that drops him into a third-place tie with Chez Reavie and Byeong Hun An at minus-7. Jodi Ewart Shadoff also played bogey-free for a 67. Celine Boutier and Lee-Anne Pace also were at 5 under until both made bogey on the closing hole. TENNIS-US OPENUS Tennis Association says it’s still preparing for US OpenUNDATED (AP) — As coronavirus cases spike in other parts of the country a month before the U.S. Open is supposed to start in New York, the U.S. Tennis Association said Friday it “continues its plans” to hold its marquee event and another tournament beforehand.The U.S. Open usually is the year’s last Grand Slam tournament and its slated to run Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. It’s now the second major championship because of the pandemic.
What a sad, sad week for sports.Oh sure, there was Separation Saturday, one of the most exciting 24-hour periods of the year in college football. The MLB divisional races are heating up, with the Mets celebrating their first division title in years and the Padres-Dodgers clashing in L.A. And then, of course, there was the start of the NFL season (which kind of speaks for itself there).But every once in a while, you hear about those awful stories where people begin to take their sports too seriously. Some moron flies off the handle for one ridiculous reason or another and goes too far, in one respect or another.This week, quite unfortunately, was one of those even rarer weeks … a week that saw three such occurrences.First, there was the highly publicized case out at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where five Duquesne basketball players — none of whom reportedly were doing anything illegal or out of the ordinary — were shot. Two have been left seriously injured, with one, Sam Ashaolu, fighting for his life in the days after the incident. Thankfully, a report says he is gaining strength at this point, though he remains in critical condition.Apparently, at least two non-students at Duquesne crashed a campus dance party and resorted to putting bullets in half the basketball team after a seemingly harmless altercation. The saddest part is, from what it sounds like, this wasn’t exactly Miami Beach. Students and faculty alike call Duquesne a very safe campus.On the other hand, the great news (besides the improvement of Ashaolu’s condition) is that the perpetrators are being arrested one by one, and justice will be served with Duquesne expecting to have a normal basketball season this winter.However, there’s the lesser-known shooting in Dandridge, Tenn., from Monday evening. While each of the players from the Duquesne travesty is expected to survive, this next story does not have such a satisfying ending.As a youth baseball game ended in Dandridge, a small town 30 miles east of Knoxville, at the baseball diamond locals call the “Field of Dreams,” the scene turned into a field of nightmares as three people were killed with a fourth wounded at the scene.An interesting oddity of the story: the three fatal victims were each over the age of 60. You don’t see that every day, a bunch of old-timers getting violent in a sports situation.But police say the event came simply out of an “ongoing family dispute, and it wasn’t related to anything there at the ballfield.” Well, then what was it related to? My money says that a questionable call happened on the field, the game ended, and competitive spirit got the best of the fans, resulting in three confusing deaths.Folks, this ain’t the Little League World Series. And it ain’t the Pop Warner Super Bowl, either. This isn’t one of the three events I’m referring to, but I’m sure most people have seen or heard of the overzealous parent/coach who left the bench and cold-cocked a 13-year-old kid on the opposing team on Sept. 7.I’m all for protecting your kid and all, but is body slamming another young kid, putting his life in jeopardy, really the solution? Seriously, dude, use your head.So then the third of these incidents … well, it wasn’t really an incident, but the fact that one of the officials of the Oregon-Oklahoma catastrophe has received death threats is an embarrassing example of how we let our sports get the best of us all too often.Here’s my disclaimer, before you shoot off those angry e-mails: Those miscalls were up there with the worst of all time. I’m not going to advocate any conspiracy theories that the Pac-10 refs were favoring their team, but I’m not exactly going to shoot them down, either. It’s a real possibility (and if it’s true, well, that’s a whole other issue).That said, I think the president of the University of Oklahoma, David Boren, may be exaggerating a tad when he proclaims the refs’ mistakes an “outrageous injustice” and calls for the result of the game to be voided, aiding the Sooners in the BCS race.I’ll give you an outrageous injustice: Even though Gordon Reise made a mistake — OK, a really big mistake that never should have happened — the instant replay official of the game should not be receiving death threats over the phone. College football’s a big game, sure, but it’s just a game.There aren’t many times that I feel saddened when it comes to sports (well, the Yankees officially clinched the division yesterday; that brought me down a bit … but I digress), and I hate seeing sports fans unable to handle their competitive sides.It’s gotten to the point where even Sooners head coach Bob Stoops — after consistently beating on the Pac-10 repeatedly since Saturday — has asked the fans to let it go. Reise says that one call was directed at his wife and kids.The fact that these callers are also threatening Reise’s family for a mistake he made? That’s an outrageous injustice, President Boren …One outrageous injustice, among many, many more. For this week, too many.Share your thoughts on Duquesne, OU-Oklahoma or anything else on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org.