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19 minutes ago

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols passes Willie Mays on all-time home run list

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list, hitting No. 661 on Friday night against Texas. The 40-year-old Pujols connected for a solo homer with one out in the fifth inning. He sent Wes Benjamin's fastball on a 1-2 count over the wall in left field. Pujols has hit five homers this season. He tied Mays last Sunday at Colorado. It is only Pujols' second home run since Aug. 4. He now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696). The Angels quickly congratulated Pujols on Twitter. Pujols has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year. Benjamin was the 428th different pitcher Pujols homered against in his career. Only Bonds has homered against more (449). The Associated Press contributed to this report.
19 minutes ago
1 hour ago

Tiger Woods struggles to hit fairways, misses cut at U.S. Open after 7-over 77

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Tiger Woods won't be around for the weekend at the U.S. Open for just the fourth time in his career thanks to a 7-over 77 in the second round at Winged Foot. It's not hard to figure out why he's leaving early. "On this golf course it's imperative that you hit fairways, and I did not do that," Woods said. "The whole goal of entering an event is to win, and when I don't give myself that opportunity over the weekend, it doesn't feel good." Woods hit just five fairways on Friday, one fewer than he did on Thursday. The 11 fairways in two days ranked 69th in the field. On Friday, as Winged Foot played tougher because of firm conditions and swirling winds, Woods made five bogeys and two double bogeys. Two late birdies, long after the cut line was out of reach, made the final number a little better. "It was frustrating that I didn't drive the ball as well as I needed to," he said. "It's frustrating that I'm not going to be here for the weekend and be able to...
1 hour ago
2 hours ago

Pac-12 CEOs to decide on season start Thursday; would be before Jan. 1

The Pac-12 CEO Group did not vote on plan for how to start its football season during a meeting Friday afternoon but instead says it will make a decision on the matter Thursday. While no vote was expected, it had not been completely ruled out prior to the meeting. The group, which includes a president or chancellor from each of the conference's 12 universities, serves as the ultimate decision-maker for the conference. "The Pac-12 CEO Group had an informative and productive meeting earlier today," the group said in a statement. "We plan to reconvene this coming Thursday, September 24, to make a decision regarding possible return to play prior to January 1. The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports will continue to be our number one priority in all of our decision making." In the wake of the Big Ten's decision to start its season in October, the Pac-12 made significant progress over the past three days toward also playing this fall. In...
2 hours ago
3 hours ago

Pac-12 CEOs don't vote in meeting on season start, source says

The Pac-12 CEO Group did not vote on plan for how to start its football season during a meeting Friday afternoon, a source told ESPN. While no vote was expected, it had not been completely ruled out prior to the meeting. The group, which includes a president or chancellor from each of the conference's 12 universities, serves as the ultimate decision-maker for the conference. In the wake of the Big Ten's decision to start its season in October, the Pac-12 made significant progress over the past three days toward also playing this fall. In August, hours after the Big Ten decided to postpone fall sports, the Pac-12 followed suit, delaying all fall sports until at least Jan. 1. On Wednesday, governors of both California and Oregon said there would be no restrictions in place at the state level that would prevent the Pac-12 from having a season. There are still local restrictions, primarily that affect Stanford and California, but there is a strong belief, sources...
3 hours ago
4 hours ago

Colorado football team goes on 100-player hike; ops director ticketed

Colorado director of football operations Bryan McGinnis has been issued a ticket for a 100-player hike on a Colorado mountain trail, Boulder officials told the Boulder Daily Camera on Friday. McGinnis was ticketed for violating a public health order and failure to obtain a large group permit, which was needed to have more than 24 people to gather. Park rangers told the newspaper that 108 people were in the Buffaloes group Thursday and that many were not wearing masks or social distancing from others on the trail. Colorado athletic director Rick George noted in a statement that players involved had tested negative for COVID-19 but also noted the team's error. "We acknowledge the lapse in judgment and apologize for our football team partaking in a group activity like this on public open space amid the current COVID-19 climate," George said. "We share in the community's concern and anxiety about the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, and we do not tolerate actions that are contrary to...
4 hours ago
September 18

Source: Rams' Robert Woods gets 4-year, $65 million contract extension

The Los Angeles Rams and receiver Robert Woods have agreed to terms on a four-year, $65 million extension, including $32 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN. The contract has a $68 million maximum value. On Thursday, a day before Woods and the Rams agreed to terms, Rams coach Sean McVay said an extension would be done "very shortly," while Woods expressed hope it would be completed before a Week 2 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. "Just praying that it gets done on time and really just trying to go out there and execute what I do on the field and let my play do the talking for me," Woods said. "Which it has." Woods outplayed the five-year, $34 million deal he originally signed with the Rams in 2017, and the deal was expanded to $39 million through performance and a conversion of his base salary. Over the past three seasons, Woods ranks among the top 11 NFL receivers in receptions, receiving yards and yards...
September 18
September 18

49ers TE George Kittle ruled out vs. Jets with sprained knee

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers will be without tight end George Kittle on Sunday against the New York Jets, coach Kyle Shanahan announced Friday. Earlier in the week, Shanahan indicated a decision could be made closer to game time because of Kittle's propensity for playing through injury. But, after Kittle sat out practice all week and with a cross-country flight set for Friday, the 49ers decided not to risk it and declared Kittle out on Friday's injury report with a sprained left knee. Kittle will stay in the Bay Area this weekend to rehab and will rejoin the team at The Greenbrier Resort in Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, next week as it prepares for the Week 3 meeting against the New York Giants. "I think if it was just the normal person, we would have ruled him out earlier in the week, but we never do that with George because of what he's shown us here over these three years with him," Shanahan said. "We would have held out two...
September 18
September 18

Lions' Matthew Stafford recounts seeing racism against Black teammates firsthand

In an essay on The Players' Tribune on Friday, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford detailed racism against teammates that he saw firsthand in the spring while working out in Georgia. Stafford wrote in the essay that he went to work out with receiver  Danny Amendola one week at a field -- something he had prearranged -- and had no issues. The next week, Stafford showed up to the same field with the same permissions, this time with four Black teammates, and was told to leave. "We were just starting to dump all the footballs out on the field and some of the guys were still stretching when a gentleman came out and told us that we were trespassing -- and to leave immediately. We didn't even have our cleats on yet. I remember I was standing there in my socks, just kind of stunned and confused, like, What?" Stafford wrote. "But he didn't even want to listen. We were still gathering up the footballs and trying to figure out another spot where...
September 18
September 18

Bryson DeChambeau shoots lowest round of morning in U.S. Open second round

Bryson DeChambeau's power was on full display on his final hole at Winged Foot Golf Club early Friday afternoon. Playing the 557-yard, par-5 ninth, DeChambeau unleashed a 380-yard drive that went into the right fairway. From there, he hit a pitching wedge from 178 yards to 6 feet and made the eagle putt. That gave DeChambeau a 2-under-par 68 -- the lowest round of the morning wave -- and gave him the clubhouse lead at the 120th U.S. Open at 137, 3 under par. First-round leader Justin Thomas began the second round at 5 under par. "I felt a lot of things were working well for me,'' said DeChambeau, who along with Bubba Watson were the only players to shoot under par among the 72 players who teed off in the morning. "I was driving it well. My iron play was impeccable. When I got into trouble, I wasn't able to get out of it as well today as yesterday, but when I was in the fairway I was able to attack and take advantage and finished really well today. "A great drive...
September 18
September 18

Bryson DeChambeau shoots lowest round of morning at U.S. Open second round

Bryson DeChambeau's power was on full display on his final hole at Winged Foot Golf Club early Friday afternoon. Playing the 557-yard, par-5 ninth, DeChambeau unleased a 380-yard drive that went into the rough. From there, he hit a pitching wedge from 178 yards to 6 feet and made the eagle putt. That gave DeChambeau a 2-under-par 68 - the lowest round of the morning wave - and gave him the clubhouse lead at the 120th U.S. Open at 137, 3 under par. First-round leader Justin Thomas began the second round at 5 under par. "I felt a lot of things were working well for me,'' said DeChambeau, who along with Bubba Watson were the only players to shoot under par among the 72 players who teed off in the morning. "I was driving it well. My iron play was impeccable. When I got into trouble, wasn't able to get out of it as well today as yesterday, but when I was in the fairway I was able to attack and take advantage and finished really well today. "A great drive on 9 that...
September 18
September 18

Lions' Matthew Stafford recounts seeing racism firsthand against Black teammates

In an essay on The Players' Tribune on Friday, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford detailed racism he saw firsthand with teammates in the spring while working out in Georgia. Stafford wrote in the essay that he went to work out with receiver  Danny Amendola one week at a field -- something he had prearranged -- and had no issues. The next week, Stafford showed up to the same field with the same permissions, this time with four Black teammates, and was told to leave. "We were just starting to dump all the footballs out on the field and some of the guys were still stretching when a gentleman came out and told us that we were trespassing -- and to leave immediately. We didn't even have our cleats on yet. I remember I was standing there in my socks, just kind of stunned and confused, like, What?" Stafford wrote. "But he didn't even want to listen. We were still gathering up the footballs and trying to figure out another spot where we might...
September 18
September 18

Titans' A.J. Brown out against Jaguars with bone bruise on knee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel on Friday ruled out wide receiver A.J. Brown for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brown didn't practice all week because of a bone bruise on his knee. The second-year receiver wasn't listed on last week's injury report. Brown missed consecutive days during training camp and wore a band on his left knee when he returned. Brown is expected to be a big part of the Titans' passing game this season. He posted 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie last year. Brown was targeted eight times in the season opener against the Denver Broncos and finished with five receptions for 39 yards. Corey Davis led the Titans with seven receptions for 101 yards. Davis was limited in practice this week. If Davis is unable to play, the Titans will be without their top two receivers. Davis was listed as questionable before last week's game because of a hamstring...
September 18
September 18

Houston-Baylor football game postponed because of COVID-19

The Houston- Baylor football game, set for Saturday in Waco, Texas, has been postponed after Baylor did not meet the Big 12 Conference COVID-19 thresholds for playing. One of Baylor's position groups did not meet the thresholds for competition, according to a source. The schools have agreed to honor their home-and-home agreement and monitor dates for future scheduling opportunities. "The loss of this game is a devastating blow, but in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, we believe we made the necessary decision," Baylor athletic director Mack B. Rhoades said in a statement. "We are incredibly disappointed with the continued delay to the start of our season and empathize with our student-athletes, fans, coaches and administrative staff. We are grateful for the support and understanding of the University of Houston, athletic director Chris Pezman and Chancellor [Renu] Khator. We look forward to a future home and home matchup." The...
September 18
September 18

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo wins second straight NBA MVP award

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has won his second consecutive NBA MVP award, the league announced Friday. Antetokounmpo joins Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as back-to-back MVPs. Antetokounmpo received 85 of 101 first-place votes and earned 962 total points from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters as well as the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award fan vote. James received the other 16 first-place votes and finished in second place with 753 points. Houston Rockets guard James Harden (367 points) finished third, followed by Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (200 points) and LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (168 points). Antetokounmpo joins Jordan (1987-88 season) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94 season) as the only players to win...
September 18
September 18

Buccaneers' Chris Godwin doubtful for Panthers game, according to coach Bruce Arians

TAMPA, Fla. --  Chris Godwin returned to practice Friday for the first time since entering the concussion protocol on Wednesday, but Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said the Pro Bowl wide receiver is doubtful for Sunday's home opener against the Carolina Panthers. "He's still going through the protocol," Arians said Friday. "That was part of the protocol. We'll still do some more stuff tomorrow. He's still doubtful. But he did get through this part." During the 20-minute portion of practice that was open to the media, Godwin went through some light stretching and pass-catching on the sideline with the training staff. Light exercise, football-specific exercise and even noncontact drills are all permissible within the NFL's five-step concussion protocol. Godwin led the Bucs with 79 receiving yards against New Orleans last Sunday, but he took a fourth-quarter hit to the helmet by D.J. Swearinger that drew an unnecessary roughness penalty. In...
September 18
September 18

Sources: Brad Stevens held late-night meeting with Celtics leaders

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens held a late-night hotel meeting with the team's leaders on Thursday to talk through the frustration and emotions that spilled into the locker room after a Game 2 loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals, sources told ESPN. Stevens met with Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart starting around 1 a.m. ET, and he let those players talk through the issues that had led to significant yelling and outbursts in the postgame locker room, sources said. In the locker room and meeting, sources said, Smart's focus had been on heightening the urgency of a Celtics team that had blown a 20-point lead in the second half -- and turned the ball over 20 times for the game. Part of the discussion in the late-night meeting had been about making sure the Celtics integrated forward Gordon Hayward as smoothly as possible back into the lineup, sources said....
September 18
September 18

2020 Maui Invitational moving to Asheville, North Carolina, because of coronavirus pandemic

The 2020 Maui Invitational is moving to North Carolina, the tournament announced Friday. It will be held at the Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina, with sources telling ESPN's Jeff Borzello the event will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. The field is still expected to include Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV. An official announcement is expected soon. The Maui Invitational is normally held in Hawaii the Monday through Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was relocated this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled due to the NCAA deciding to start the season on Nov. 25. The tournament will be hosted at the Cherokee Center's ExploreAsheville.com Arena, where the Southern Conference tournament was played in March. "We're a tourism-based community, we fit that vibe of what an early-season tournament would look like," Harrah's Cherokee...
September 18
September 18

Buccaneers' Chris Godwin doubtful for Panthers game according to coach Bruce Arians

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl wide receiver Chris Godwin returned to practice Friday for the first time since entering the concussion protocol Wednesday, but coach Bruce Arians said he's doubtful for Sunday's home opener against the Carolina Panthers. "He's still going through the protocol," Arians said Friday. "That was part of the protocol. We'll still do some more stuff tomorrow. He's still doubtful. But he did get through this part." During the 20-minute portion of practice that was open to the media, Godwin went through some light stretching and pass catching on the sideline with the training staff. Light exercise, football-specific exercise and even non-contact drills are all permissible within the NFL's five-step concussion protocol. Godwin led the Bucs with 79 receiving yards against New Orleans Sunday, but took a fourth-quarter hit to the helmet by D.J. Swearinger that drew an unnecessary roughness penalty. In his breakout...
September 18
September 18

Sources: Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo wins second straight NBA MVP award

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has won his second consecutive NBA MVP award, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Antetokounmpo joins Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as back-to-back MVPs. The official announcement is set for 2 p.m. ET. Antetokounmpo joins Jordan (1987-88 season) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94 season) as the only players to win the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season. Standing in front of thousands of adoring fans at a downtown rally in Milwaukee last July, the Bucks superstar politely asked them for a favor. "Please, after this day don't call me MVP until I win it again next year," he asked. Although Milwaukee fell short of a title, he returned to average 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists this season. Antetokounmpo has a decision to...
September 18
September 18

New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder ruled out with hamstring injury

New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder, coming off his first 100-yard receiving game with the team, won't play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers because of a hamstring injury, the team announced. This means the Jets have lost their top two skill players in the span of a few days: Crowder and running back Le'Veon Bell (hamstring), who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Coach Adam Gase, who called Crowder "probably our best player on offense the last two years," is cautiously optimistic that it's not a long-term injury. For now, the Jets have no plans to place him on IR. They will re-evaluate him on Wednesday. Crowder, who had seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown in the opener, "pulled up" in practice Wednesday and wasn't able to practice the remainder of the week. "It would be hard for me to put him out there on Sunday without him practicing Thursday and Friday, even if he did feel better on Saturday," Gase said. "The last thing we want...
September 18
September 18

Cincinnati Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah tears Achilles, out for season

Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon during Thursday's loss to the Cleveland Browns, coach Zac Taylor told reporters Friday. Uzomah was carted off the field with the injury after catching a pass with a little more than eight minutes left in the 35-30 loss. Uzomah quickly shed his helmet as the cart made its way to him on the field. Before the injury, Uzomah was one of quarterback Joe Burrow's most effective receivers. The tight end had four catches on six targets for 42 yards and one touchdown -- Burrow's first passing touchdown in the NFL. Uzomah and second-year player Drew Sample entered the season as the team's top tight ends after Tyler Eifert left in free agency and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. ESPN's Ben Baby contributed to this report.
September 18
September 18

Sources: 2020 Maui Invitational moving to Asheville, North Carolina, because of coronavirus pandemic

The 2020 Maui Invitational is moving to North Carolina, sources told ESPN. The college basketball tournament will be held at the Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville, North Carolina, from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, sources told ESPN. The field is still expected to include Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV. An official announcement is expected soon. The Maui Invitational is normally held in Hawaii the Monday through Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was relocated this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled due to the NCAA deciding to start the season on Nov. 25. The tournament will be hosted at the Cherokee Center's ExploreAsheville.com Arena, where the Southern Conference tournament was played in March. "We're a tourism-based community, we fit that vibe of what an early-season tournament would look like," Harrah's Cherokee Center general manager Chris Corl told...
September 18
September 18

Sources: 2020 Maui Invitational moving to Asheville, North Carolina because of coronavirus pandemic

The 2020 Maui Invitational is moving to North Carolina, sources told ESPN. It will be held at the Harrah's Cherokee Center in Asheville, N.C. from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, sources told ESPN. The field is still expected to include Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford , Texas and UNLVs. An official announcement is expected soon. The Maui Invitational is normally held in Hawaii the Monday through Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was relocated this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled due to the NCAA deciding to start the season on Nov. 25. The tournament will be hosted at the ExploreAsheville.com Arena, where the Southern Conference tournament was played last March. "We're a tourism-based community, we fit that vibe of what an early-season tournament would look like," Harrah's Cherokee Center general manager Chris Corl told ESPN last week. "Our goal is to bring business to town. As...
September 18
September 18

Boston Celtics downplay locker room frustrations following loss to Miami Heat

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After the Boston Celtics blew a second straight second-half lead and lost 106-101 to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, Celtics guard Marcus Smart was yelling at his teammates in the locker room before leaving the room swearing, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews. Smart left the locker room yelling, "Y'all on some bulls---," according to Andrews, and there were several loud clanks -- like someone throwing things -- coming from inside it, while several players, beyond just Smart, were yelling. Though Smart left without speaking to reporters after being requested following Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals, those who did speak -- Celtics coach Brad Stevens, guards Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, and forward Jayson Tatum -- all tried to downplay the situation. Stevens had a late-night meeting with Walker, Tatum, Brown and Smart to work through the postgame emotions, sources told ESPN's...
September 18
September 18

New York Yankees hit 5 homers in inning for first time in franchise history

NEW YORK -- The Yankees hit five home runs in an inning for the first time in franchise history. With the score tied at 2-2,  Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning from the  Toronto Blue Jays'  Chase Anderson on Thursday night. Voit's home run was his major league-leading 20th. Aaron Hicks struck out, and Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with home runs that gave the Yankees a 9-2 lead and chased Anderson.  The five homers in the fourth tied a major league record, and the Yankees hit six overall in a 10-7 win that extended their winning streak to eight. "That was a lot of fun," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "Obviously a tie game going into that inning, and then everyone just started unloading with real good at-bats."  The Yankees are the seventh team in MLB history to hit five home runs in an inning. According to ESPN Stats & Information...
September 18
September 18

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James has nothing but respect for resilient Denver Nuggets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Up to this point, the crowning achievement of LeBron James' storied career was leading the Cleveland Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. So it should come as no surprise that the Denver Nuggets, coming off back-to-back 3-1 comebacks this postseason, have James' undivided attention -- and respect -- heading into Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Friday. "Very resilient, very confident, very driven, very well-coached team," James said after practice Thursday when asked about Denver. "It takes a lot of energy, effort, a lot of desperation to be able to come back from a 3-1 deficit. They did it twice. So the respect level is out of this world for what we have for this ballclub. That's how we're going into this series: understanding what they're capable of, where they stand." Only 13 times in league history has a team come back from 3-1, and the No....
September 18
September 18

Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open

Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who won the US Open on Saturday, announced Thursday night that she will not play in this month's French Open. Osaka, ranked third in the world, cited a lingering left hamstring injury and a lack of preparation time on the clay surface as the reasons for her not playing. "Unfortunately I won't be able to play the French Open this year," she wrote on social media. "My hamstring is still sore so I won't have enough time to prepare for the clay -- these 2 tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organizers and players all the best." The French Open is scheduled to begin in Paris on Sept. 27, after being rescheduled from its traditional spring dates amid the coronavirus pandemic. Osaka has never advanced past the third round of the event. She did not say when she will play next, but did sign off in the post by assuring her fans they would see her "sooner than later." The 22-year-old Osaka earned her third major title in...
September 18
September 18

As Big Ten returns, 42 Wisconsin players and staff have tested positive for COVID

Local officials warned against gathering for the university's football games.
September 18
An outside view of Bascom Hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin on in Madison, Wis.
September 17

Los Angeles health department: No added USC, UCLA restrictions

The Pac-12 cleared another hurdle toward returning to play Thursday, as the Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed it will continue not to have any restrictions beyond what's mandated by the state of California as relates to the USC and UCLA football teams. "We have not placed other local restrictions or requirements so that means as long as the institution is implementing its athletic program in compliance with all the guidelines within the state document (which also includes a requirement to adhere to all NCAA directives), it is permitted in Los Angeles County," the health department said in a statement. The official confirmation comes after athletic directors from both USC and UCLA met with county health officials via video conference Wednesday to discuss the protocols, as first reported by Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group. That meeting came hours after California Gov. Gavin Newsom said there are no restrictions at the state level that would...
September 17
September 17

Shaun Wade says he's returning to play for Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade announced on SportsCenter that he's returning to play for the Buckeyes this season after declaring for the NFL draft on Sept. 14. Wade originally announced his decision to leave the team as uncertainty loomed over the Big Ten season. Once the Big Ten on Wednesday decided to play a fall season beginning in October, Wade rethought his decision and is now coming back. "Really, back in January, I didn't go to the draft and my goal was to come back, be a captain, get my degree," Wade said Thursday on SportsCenter. "And they didn't cancel football. Now it's back. So since it's back, we've got a chance to win a national championship. That's been my goal since day one. "So that's what we're striving for. That's what we're gonna strive for when we get back in October." Wade on Wednesday told ESPN's Outside The Lines that he hired an agent when he opted out after graduating in July, but he never signed any paperwork...
September 17
September 17

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley to use Tiki Barber's criticism as 'challenge'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Saquon Barkley ducked Tiki Barber's criticism almost as effectively as he does would-be tacklers, killing the former New York Giants player he called a "legend" with kindness in response to a claim that Barkley didn't want to hit anybody. Barkley said he was going to use Barber's doubts as a "challenge," before later adding he truly doesn't care about other people's opinions. The all-pro clickers, as he explained, weren't his top priority. The people in his own locker room are. Barber, a former three-time Pro Bowl running back who holds the Giants' career record for rushing yards, went in hard on Barkley after his poor performance in Monday night's 26-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Barkley finished with 6 yards rushing on 15 carries, dropped a pass and struggled in pass protection. It's that final point that stuck out to Barber. "Saquon Barkley might not be an every-down back," Barber said on the "Tiki and Tierney Show" on CBS...
September 17
September 17

Los Angeles Chargers center Mike Pouncey having season-ending surgery

Four-time Pro Bowl center  Mike Pouncey has been placed on injured reserve and will soon undergo hip surgery that will keep him out for the remainder of the 2020 season, the Los Angeles Chargers announced Thursday, a tough blow for a team that was looking forward to a healthier offensive line this season. Pouncey, 31, also spent time on IR with a hip injury while with the Miami Dolphins in 2016. He then started every game over the next two years, including his first season with the Chargers in 2018, but missed the final 11 weeks last year after undergoing neck surgery. The veteran, in his 10th season, has started all 114 games he has played in during his career. He is in the final year of his contract with the Chargers. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said Pouncey's surgery will take place before the end of September. "On top of being a Pro Bowl talent, he's the ultimate captain, teammate and competitor," Telesco said in a statement. "Quite simply,...
September 17
September 17

Kansas City Chiefs seek improved goal-line running from Clyde Edwards-Helaire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs found much to like in running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire's NFL debut last week. He rushed for 138 yards and leads the league through the first week of the season. But Edwards-Helaire has one area to improve: his running near the opposing goal line. He gained negative-2 yards in six carries in goal-to-go situations, and a couple of his coaches put the blame on him for that. "The bottom line is, if you follow all the keys we're coached up to do in our room, he scores,'' running backs coach Deland McCullough said. "Some of the things we're talking about right now would be a moot point. But again, as he continues to grow -- he took big growth after the last game and he'll take another big step in this game -- regardless of what the plan is, when we are down there, the running back's job is to score. And when we do everything we're coached to do, we'll score a touchdown.'' McCullough suggested Edwards-Helaire would remain as...
September 17
September 17

Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson named WNBA MVP

Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson was announced as the WNBA's MVP on Thursday, while the Minnesota Lynx's Crystal Dangerfield and Cheryl Reeve were named rookie and coach of the year, respectively. Wilson was picked first on 43 of 47 ballots of a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, who selected their top five for the award. Wilson was second on the other four ballots. The Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart got three first-place votes, and 34 for second place. The Chicago Sky's Courtney Vandersloot got the other first-place vote. Wilson, who was the league's top rookie as the No. 1 pick in 2018 out of South Carolina, said knowing her name was now on the list with the WNBA's all-time greatest was "something that a kid dreams of." Wilson was informed of the honor by WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert on Thursday in the league's bubble at IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, Florida. "I was overwhelmed with emotion," Wilson said. "I was probably crying before Cathy finished...
September 17
September 17

San Diego Padres-Seattle Mariners moved due to air-quality concerns

The Padres' three-game series against the Mariners, originally scheduled to begin Friday in Seattle, has been moved to San Diego's Petco Park because of air-quality issues in Washington state.  The Mariners will be the home team for all three games, meaning the Padres could be in position to clinch their first playoff berth since 2006 while playing as visitors in their home ballpark. The West Coast wildfires have caused air-quality problems in the Seattle area this week. A two-game Giants-Mariners series scheduled for earlier this week in Seattle was postponed and moved to San Francisco, with the teams finishing it Thursday. That decision came after some players complained about smoky conditions Monday after the Mariners split a doubleheader with the Oakland Athletics. With the move, the Mariners have three home game remaining on their schedule beginning next Monday against Houston. According to AirNow.gov, the air-quality rating...
September 17
September 17

Dana White, Conor McGregor hint at UFC comeback in 2021

Despite Conor McGregor and the UFC's insistence that the former two-division champion is retired from the fight game, both parties hinted at a potential comeback Thursday. "We're actually working on some fun stuff for Conor at the beginning of next year," UFC president Dana White told SportsCenter on Thursday. "He should be back next year. I'm not saying he's coming back to fight, guaranteed, but we're talking right now about some stuff." McGregor's agent Audie Attar also confirmed there have been talks with the UFC to ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Thursday. "We had some very interesting talks with the UFC recently," Attar said. "We are excited about the future and working on some fun things. Exciting things to come in the near future." McGregor (22-4) announced his retirement from MMA in June, telling ESPN then that "the game just does not excite me, and that's that." The announcement was met with skepticism, as McGregor had previously announced his retirement from MMA...
September 17
September 17

Tiger Woods ends erratic 1st round at U.S. Open with double bogey

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Even though he had five birdies on his card, Tiger Woods could not find much that was positive about his start to the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. That's probably because he was annoyed by six bogeys and a double bogey on the final hole during an up-and-down 3-over 73 that left him eight shots behind early leader and playing partner Justin Thomas. "No," Woods said when asked if there was anything good he could take from his first round of the year's second major championship. "I needed to finish off the round better -- and I didn't." The inconsistency has been a staple for Woods in the events in which he has competed since golf returned from a three-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. He has had just four rounds in the 60s among the 17 he has played over five events and has not finished higher than his tie for 37th at last month's PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Thursday's opening round at Winged Foot...
September 17
September 17

Michael Chandler signs with UFC, to back up title fight

Former Bellator MMA lightweight champion Michael Chandler has signed an exclusive contract with UFC and will serve as a potential backup to the company's highly anticipated lightweight title fight in October. UFC president Dana White announced Chandler's signing on SportsCenter. UFC lightweight champion  Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) is scheduled to defend his title against interim champion Justin Gaethje (22-2) at UFC 254 on Oct. 24 on Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. White said Chandler will travel to Abu Dhabi and make weight, in the event that either Nurmagomedov or Gaethje is forced to withdraw. Chandler (21-5) has been considered one of the top fighters competing outside UFC for years. Competing exclusively in Bellator since 2010, Chandler recently fought out his contract in August and tested free agency for the first time in his career. Chandler, 34, confirmed the signing to ESPN via text message. "Eventually, hard work pays off. You just have...
September 17
September 17

Source: Coronavirus tests negative for Week 1 Kansas City Chiefs-Houston Texans game

The NFL passed a significant test in dealing with the coronavirus. Tests on all Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs players, coaches and team employees from Week 1 came back negative this week, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. These were the first tests to come back from the regular season. The Texans and Chiefs kicked off the season Sept. 10 in Kansas City, with the Chiefs winning 34-20. While the NBA, WNBA and NHL are playing in bubbles and regularly getting negative test results, the NFL wasn't sure what its results would be once travel and full contact between teams began. One Tier 3 person, a groundskeeper, did test positive, but he was nowhere near players, the source told Schefter. The NFL had more good news heading into Week 2. All Browns and Bengals players and staff tested negative before Thursday night's game, a source told Schefter. Cleveland played at Baltimore and Cincinnati hosted the Chargers during Week 1.  The Chiefs issued a...
September 17
September 17

Pittsburgh Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey also breaking from team choice for name on helmet

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers captain Maurkice Pouncey on Thursday announced his intention to make his own choice about what name to put on the back of his helmet, becoming the second player to break from the team's decision to wear the name of police shooting victim Antwon Rose Jr. on helmets for the 2020 season. "I was given limited information on the situation regarding Antwon, and I was unaware of the whole story surrounding his death and what transpired during the trial following the tragedy," Pouncey, a vocal advocate for the police communities in Pittsburgh and in his Florida hometown, wrote in an Instagram post. "I should have done more research to fully understand what occurred in its entirety. "... Make no mistake, I am against racism and I believe the best thing I can do is to continue helping repair relationships between the police and their communities." Pouncey was not made available by the team Thursday to further discuss his social media...
September 17
September 17

Charlotte 49ers cancel game vs. North Carolina Tar Heels due to COVID-19

Charlotte was forced to cancel its football game against North Carolina on Saturday because it did not have enough offensive linemen to safely play, the school announced Thursday. Over the past two weeks, the school said, three players have tested positive for the coronavirus, but contact tracing led to several offensive linemen being placed in quarantine. Charlotte did not provide specific numbers on how many linemen had to be quarantined. A total of 3,150 tests have been administered to Charlotte student-athletes, coaches and staff since June 10, with 20 positive cases reported. On Monday, 200 tests were administered with one positive. Charlotte said the decision to cancel does not affect its home opener against Georgia State on Sept. 26. Charlotte lost 35-20 at Appalachian State last Saturday. "We're extremely disappointed to have to cancel our game at North Carolina. While I know our team is heartbroken, due to the number of players in quarantine, we...
September 17
September 17

Bill Belichick calls Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson underrated

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With his New England Patriots team preparing to face the Russell Wilson-led Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night, coach Bill Belichick is openly wondering what everyone might be missing with Wilson. "Honestly, I think he's in a way underrated by the media or the fans, I don't know. But I don't really see anybody better than this player," Belichick said Thursday morning. "This guy is a tremendous player." Belichick often delivers verbal bouquets to opponents leading up to games, but it is more rare for him to do so in the context of media and fan perception. Wilson, a six-time Pro Bowler, has never received a vote for the NFL's Most Valuable Player award. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Wilson leads the NFL with 104 touchdown passes since 2017 ( Tom Brady is next, at 87) and is the only quarterback with at least 30 passing touchdowns in each of the previous three seasons. In the Seahawks' season-opening win over the ...
September 17
September 17

Source: Coronavirus tests negative for Week 1 Kansas City Chiefs-Houston Texans

The NFL passed a significant test in dealing with the coronavirus. Tests on all Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs players, coaches and team employees from Week 1 came back negative this week, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. These were the first tests to come back from the regular season. The Texans and Chiefs kicked off the season Sept. 10 in Kansas City, with the Chiefs winning 34-20. While the NBA, WNBA and NHL are playing in bubbles and regularly getting negative test results, the NFL wasn't sure what its results would be once travel and full contact between teams began. One Tier 3 person, a groundskeeper, did test positive, but he was nowhere near players, the source told Schefter. The NFL had more good news heading into Week 2. All Browns and Bengals players and staff tested negative before Thursday night's game, a source told Schefter. Cleveland played at Baltimore and Cincinnati hosted the Chargers during Week 1.  The Chiefs issued a...
September 17
September 17

Source - Coronavirus tests negative for Week 1 Kansas City Chiefs-Houston Texans

The NFL passed a significant test in dealing with the coronavirus. Tests on all Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs players, coaches and team employees from Week 1 came back negative this week, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. These were the first tests to come back from the regular season. The Texans and Chiefs kicked off the season Sept. 10 in Kansas City with the Chiefs winning 34-20. While the NBA, WNBA and NHL are playing in bubbles and testing players regularly, it was not clear how testing would go in the NFL once travel and full contact between teams began. One Tier 3 person, a groundskeeper, did test positive, but he was nowhere near players, the source told Schefter.
September 17
September 17

Los Angeles Dodgers heading to playoffs for eighth straight season

The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team in Major League Baseball to clinch a spot in the postseason when they defeated the San Diego Padres 7-5 on Wednesday. The victory in San Diego secured an eighth consecutive trip to the playoffs, marking the third-longest playoff streak in MLB history, trailing only that of the 1991-2005 Atlanta Braves (14) and the 1995-2007 New York Yankees (13). Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wasn't aware that his team clinched until he was asked about it after the game. It was long considered a foregone conclusion for the Dodgers, whose 35-15 record is the best in the majors. Roberts said clinching was "a first step." Dustin May, who threw 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen Wednesday, confirmed that as part of COVID-19 protocols, MLB doesn't want teams having wild clubhouse celebrations after clinching. Asked if the Dodgers had a celebration, he said: "No. We're not allowed to." But clinching a...
September 17
September 16

NCAA Division I athletes granted annual day off to vote, participate in civic activities

The NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday approved a measure that will prohibit Division I student-athletes from practicing and competing on the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 every year to allow them to vote in elections or participate in other civic activities. The Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee proposed the legislation and it will start with the upcoming Election Day on Nov. 3. It was the first time the SAAC proposed legislation since Division I governance was changed in 2014 to give student-athletes voting rights at every level of decision-making, according to the NCAA. Several Division I schools, including Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, Oregon and USC, said they were already canceling athletics activities on Nov. 3 to allow their student-athletes to vote. "The Council unanimously supports this important piece of legislation," M. Grace Calhoun, chairperson of the Division I Council and athletic director at Pennsylvania, said in a statement. "Coming from Division I SAAC, we...
September 16
September 16

NCAA men's and women's college basketball seasons can start Nov. 25

The 2020-21 men's and women's college basketball seasons can start Nov. 25, the NCAA Division I Council said Wednesday. The council, following its vote, said no exhibition games or scrimmages can be held before that date, which is the day before Thanksgiving. "The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season," NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said. "It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships." The past couple of weeks, discussions centered on waiting until Nov. 21-25 to begin the season. Gavitt said last week on a webinar with athletic directors and other college sports officials that Nov. 25 was under consideration because campuses around the country would be ending their fall semesters then. "By Thanksgiving week, the date of Nov. 25, 76% of...
September 16
September 16

Sources: NCAA men's and women's college basketball seasons can start Nov. 25

The 2020-21 men's and women's college basketball seasons can start on Nov. 25, sources told ESPN. The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to delay the start of the season until the day before Thanksgiving. Over the past couple of weeks, discussions had centered around waiting until the Nov. 21-25 range to begin the season. NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said last week on a webinar with athletic directors and other college sports officials that Nov. 25 was under consideration because campuses around the country will be ending their fall semesters. "By Thanksgiving week, the date of Nov. 25, 76% of all Division I schools will have either finished their fall semester completely or released the general student body for in-person instruction," Gavitt said on the webinar. With general students home for the entire month of December and the early part of January, it provides at least a six-week window for the college basketball season to get underway. The season...
September 16
September 16

Sources: NCAA men's and women's college basketball seasons will start Nov. 25

The 2020-21 men's and women's college basketball seasons will begin on Nov. 25, sources told ESPN. The NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to delay the start of the season until the day before Thanksgiving. Over the last couple of weeks, discussions had centered around waiting until the Nov. 21-25 range to begin the season. NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said last week on a webinar with athletic directors and other college sports officials that Nov. 25 was under consideration due to campuses around the country ending their fall semesters. "By Thanksgiving week, the date of Nov. 25, 76% of all Division-I schools will have either finished their fall semester completely or released the general student body for in-person instruction," Gavitt said on the webinar. With general students home for the entire month of December and the early part of January, it provides at least a six-week window for the college basketball season to get underway. The season was...
September 16
September 16

Sources: NCAA college basketball season will start Nov. 25

The 2020-21 college basketball season will start Nov. 25, sources told ESPN's Jeff Borzello. An official announcement from the NCAA is expected at some point Wednesday, according to Borzello.
September 16

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