Major League Baseball teams have proposed a 76-game regular season with up to 16 playoff clubs in a coronavirus-delayed year. People familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press about the plan Monday on condition of anonymity because details were not announced. MLB’s latest offer would guarantee 50% of players’ prorated salaries over the regular season and about 75 percent if the postseason is completed. The proposal would eliminate all free-agent compensation for the first time since the free-agent era started in 1976.
The Chicago Cubs are creating a diversity committee to help improve the organization’s standards and practices.
President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein says team owner Tom Ricketts and President of Business Operations Crane Kenney are leading the plans.
On a conference call ahead of baseball’s amateur draft, Epstein said the team stands “in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the protesters who are doing their best to make this a real inflection point in our history.”
The NFL and the players’ union have sent a planner to the 32 teams outlining procedures for the full reopening of their practice facilities.
A memo written by Commissioner Roger Goodell and approved by the NFL Players Association describes protocols focusing on screening, testing, and infection prevention and treatment for COVID-19, including response for new infections.
Also included are instructions on proper facility access, cleaning and disinfecting; physical distancing; hygiene, health education and medical services. There are instructions on food preparation; supplies; and team travel.
No timetable has been set for the return of most players to team complexes. Only players rehabilitating injuries have been allowed to enter the buildings.
The U.S. promoter of Tyson Fury is hoping to stage a third heavyweight fight between the British boxer and Deontay Wilder by the end of the year and potentially in the Chinese enclave of Macau. Bob Arum tells The Associated Press that Fury “owes” Wilder a third fight after claiming the WBC belt off the American with a seventh-round stoppage in February. Only then would Fury turn his attention to an all-British fight with WBA, IBF and WBO titleholder Anthony Joshua in early 2021. Joshua is also set to fight this year against mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev.
College football is scheduled to kick off in less than three months. There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that games will be played Labor Day weekend. Universities across the country are taking the first cautious, detailed steps toward playing football in a pandemic. They are trying to build virus-free bubbles around their teams as players begin voluntary workouts. Thousands of athletes will be tested for COVID-19, though not all. Some players are back at it this week. Others will wait a few more weeks.
Iowa football players returned to campus to prepare for voluntary workouts amid an uproar. Former players over the past several days alleged systemic racism and other mistreatment in the program. The team’s strength coach, Chris Doyle, has been placed on administrative leave and coach Kirk Ferentz’s leadership was called into question. About two dozen current players took to social media to voice messages of unity. None complained directly about his treatment.