Thursday Morning Sports Update


In high school sports, the Indiana High School Athletic Association has announced that activities for high school student athletes such as practices, conditioning, and camps may resume on July 1. The association says that, provided there are no adjustments to Governor Eric Holcomb’s plans to re-open the state of Indiana, school sponsored summer activities can resume on July 1.


The NFL is still planning on having a normal season and will release its 2020 regular-season schedule tomorrow night. But it’s also discussing contingencies for changes to the schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. In case games must be canceled or held without fans, Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a memo to the 32 teams about a ticket refund plan. A copy of the memo obtained by The Associated Press outlines a uniform baseline for full refunds on any tickets purchased directly from the clubs. The league has received pledges from Ticketmaster and SeatGeek to make full refunds available for all ticket sales within no more than 30 days of cancellation. StubHub will do so only where required by state law.


It is less than four months before the scheduled kickoff of the college football season. Not one of the 14 schools in the Big Ten Conference can say for sure they will have students back on campus this fall. That is a crucial step for sports. The most resolute about having students back has been Purdue President Mitch Daniels. He says he expects students will be back on campus “in typical numbers.” No other school has gone even that far.


Eight of the 14 football-playing members of the Atlantic Coast Conference are making plans for reopening campuses this fall following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Four others have publicly said they’re exploring scenarios for a return. Reopening campuses for in-person instruction would be a crucial step toward restarting college sports. That’s particularly true for football with its late-summer preseason practices. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia and Virginia Tech have all publicly stated the goal of having campuses open for fall classes, assuming that health officials advise it is safe.


All but one of the 14 schools in the Southeastern Conference have indicated they plan to reopen their campuses for the fall semester, a step widely believed to be needed to resume football and other sports. South Carolina and Tennessee became the latest schools in the nation’s top football conference to announce their plans, joining Alabama, LSU and others. Vanderbilt hasn’t announced its plans for the fall.


The NBA says some players can voluntarily return to their team practice facilities starting on Friday, with specific conditions and only in places where local governments have signed off. It is unclear how many — if any — players will be back on the floor Friday when the league ban gets lifted. Perhaps mindful of challenges other leagues have faced in their efforts to resume play amid a coronavirus pandemic that has shut down the sports world, the NBA seems to be moving with extreme caution.


Germany’s Bundesliga soccer league has been given the go-ahead to resume this month. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a loosening of a range of containment measures Wednesday after meeting with the country’s 16 state governors. Pressure to relax the rules had been growing as the rate of daily infections in the country has dropped. Soccer in the country’s top two divisions will be able to resume without spectators and with a range of other conditions designed to prevent another outbreak. Players will be tested and teams will also have to spend time in quarantine before games can restart. The earliest the league can resume is May 16.


Belgium’s prime minister says all sporting competitions in the country will remain suspended until July 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Belgian soccer league says it will respect the decision by the national security council. The league recommended last month ending its season with the current standings declared final.


The Turkish soccer league plans to resume on June 12, a month and a half after it was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak. The president of the Turkish soccer federation says he hopes to finish the season by the end of July and host the Champions League final in Istanbul in August. The games will be played without spectators and the Turkish health ministry and its scientific advisory council will determine the conditions and guidelines under which the games will go ahead.