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  • The Latest: Kentucky’s athletics budget proposal dips

    first_imgMichigan State also said no athletic department staff members tested positive. One Michigan State athlete did not report to campus after testing positive at home last week.Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said if sports are played this fall, it would not be a normal season with capacity crowds at Michigan Stadium.“Will it be 50% or 30% or 20% or 10, or zero? I’m not sure,” Manuel said. “That’ll be a combination of listening to our public health officials, knowing what our stadium capacity can handle, given the direction that is put out by the governor’s office or the university.”Manuel also stood by comments he made previously that he couldn’t envision sports at Michigan without students being on campus.“If it’s declared that … our students can’t come back to campus for class, why would I ask a student-athlete to come back and participate in sports?” Manuel said. “It’s against how I think about our student-athletes. They are students first.” The NCAA on Wednesday approved plans for an extended preseason to give teams more time to hold walk-throughs. With the coronavirus pandemic wiping out spring practice for most teams, along with the usual required summer activities for players such as weight training and film study, schools want to make up for lost preparation time.___Club rugby in Europe is set to resume on Aug. 22 after a five-month suspension because of the coronavirus outbreak with matches in the PRO14 league that contains teams Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.A truncated regular season will be concluded by two rounds of matches where teams from the same nation play each other home and away to avoid cross-border travel.Semifinal matches will take place on Sept. 5 and the final on Sept. 12. June 18, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Kentucky’s proposed athletics budget includes a 17% reduction in adjusted operating expenses to account for projected decreases in ticket revenue. All 10 FBS conferences have now announced that their media days will be altered because of the pandemic, with most going virtual. The Big Ten has not made a final decision on its media days.___Norwich midfielder Marco Stiepermann has returned to training after self-isolating at home following a positive test for COVID-19.The English club was informed of the positive test on Friday. That was the same day Norwich played Tottenham in a friendly ahead of the resumption of the Premier League.Norwich says Stiepermann has remained asymptomatic and has since taken two further tests that returned negative results. Hoiberg is entering his second season at Nebraska. His parents are Nebraska graduates and his grandfather, Jerry Bush, was the Huskers’ men’s basketball coach from 1954-63. ___The University of Texas announced that 13 football players tested positive for COVID-19 or are presumed positive, and contact tracing has 10 more in isolation.Texas started bringing football players back to campus for workouts on June 8. The school has also identified four other players who tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody.Kansas State officials reported Wednesday night that eight Wildcats athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 out of 130 tested. The Latest: Kentucky’s athletics budget proposal dips The virus outbreak prompted the NBA to halt play on March 11. The WNBA has yet to begin the 2020 season. ___A limited number of spectators will be allowed at Iowa Speedway each night for IndyCar races July 17-18.About 5,000-6,000 tickets will be available each night at the facility, which has more than 25,000 permanent seats. Groups of fans will be separated by at least 6 feet in order to align with state guidelines for COVID-19 at the oval track, which is just under a mile long.All tickets previously purchased for the Iowa races will be honored, including season tickets. But seating will be reassigned for all existent ticketholders in order to follow safe social distancing guidelines. A limited number of tickets are still available for purchase. Associated Press center_img Norwich is in last place in the league and hosts Southampton on Friday in their first Premier League game back after the three-month suspension.One person has tested positive for the coronavirus in the latest round of checks. The Premier League announced that 1,541 tests had been conducted on players and club staff on June 15 and 16.___The Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel wants to cancel its 50th anniversary edition in October because of the coronavirus pandemic.Organizers say they told tour officials they would “prefer to cancel this year’s edition of the tournament in light of the current situation.” ___Nebraska football coach Scott Frost and men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg will donate a portion of their salaries to the athletic department’s general operating fund to help offset revenue shortfalls because of the coronavirus pandemic.The athletic department said in a statement Thursday the amount of the donations would be determined when the 2021 budget is closer to being finalized.Frost’s salary is $5 million this year. Hoiberg is set to earn $3 million.Frost is in his third year as head coach. He grew up in Wood River and was Cornhuskers quarterback in 1996-97. His father played football for the Huskers, and his mother was a standout on the track team and is in the school’s athletic hall of fame. More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports PRO14 tournament director David Jordan says “we are very fortunate to be in a position where everyone involved is confident that we can conclude the season on the field of play.”The league has two conferences. Leinster and Ulster are the current top two in Conference A while Edinburgh and Munster are the top two in Conference B.___The Atlantic Coast Conference is moving its football media days online because of concerns about COVID-19.The ACC Football Kickoff was originally scheduled to be held at The Westin in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has been rescheduled for July 21-23 with coverage on the ACC Network. Commissioner John Swofford, each of the conference’s 14 head coaches and selected players will be featured. The proposed budget of $148.5 million is down from nearly $156.5 million for 2019-20. That total includes a $7.5 million reduction in the adjusted operating budget to $37.1 million. The program will cut nearly $1.5 million for team travel and anticipates about $4.3 million less in K Fund donations.The department says in a release that the self-sufficient program anticipates hosting events as scheduled. But it’s monitoring COVID-19 and adds that it will work with partners if developments force budget adjustments.___The Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx are cutting pay and staff due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Both teams are owned by Glen Taylor. The organization said it has temporarily reduced salaries for employees earning $70,000 or more annually and laid off an unspecified amount of its full-time workforce. Tournament head Roger Brennwald says playing the event with no fans or with social distancing “have to be ruled out for us in Basel on economic grounds.”The ATP is expected to decide on its end-of-season indoor schedule in mid-July.Brennwald says “it looks like coronavirus is on match point and is set for victory.”Hometown great Roger Federer was already set to miss the tournament where he worked as a ballboy and is the record 10-time champion. He ended his season this month to recover from knee surgery.___ IndyCar didn’t allow fans for its first race of this season June 6 at Texas, and no spectators will be at the next race July 4 on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tickets are already on sale for the two races July 11-12 at Road America in Wisconsin, on the 4-mile, 14-turn road course.___Michigan State’s athletic department says it conducted COVID-19 testing on 124 athletes on Monday, and one tested positive and will be isolated for 10 to 14 days.Michigan also disclosed results from its testing. Sami Rifat, a physician with the athletic department, says the school has had two positive tests on athletes, out of 221 tests.“Both of those individuals were completely asymptomatic at the time of the testing. None of our staff have tested positive,” Rifat said in a video conference Thursday.last_img read more

  • Finding strength in numbers

    first_imgThe Wisconsin softball team returns 10 starters for its 2012 campaign, with seven position players in addition to the whole pitching staff. In 2010, then-first year head coach Yvett Healy turned the softball program in the right direction, leading the Badgers to their first 30-win season since 2005 and their best conference finish (9-11) since that same year.[/media-credit]After her inaugural year at the helm for the Badgers, Wisconsin softball head coach Yvette Healy had plenty to smile about.The then-first year coach led Wisconsin to its best conference finish since 2005, going 9-11 in the Big Ten on its way to a 30-win season. The 30 wins in Healy’s first year marked only the sixth time in school history a Badger team won 30 or more games, as Healy’s squad became the first since 2005 to accomplish the feat.The number of wins was not the only historic aspect of Healy’s Badgers. The team won 10 more games in 2011 than they did in 2010 – the second-largest improvement in program history.Last year the Badgers were the 11th youngest team in the country. Now, with a core of returning players that features 10 starters, with seven position players and the entire pitching staff, the Badgers have the roster continuity, chemistry and familiarity under Healy to make the outlook on 2012 a bright one.Swinging for the fencesJust a year ago, the Badgers benefited from the long ball potential in their lineup, as they hit the fifth most home runs in the conference with 29. Leading the Badgers’ offensive power is the returning duo of 2011 First Team all-Big Ten selection senior Karla Powell and junior Shannel Blackshear. The duo combined for 18 of the Badgers’ 29 homers, often batting next to each other in the lineup.However, Healy and Powell both believe there is room for growth in the Badgers’ long ball game.“We have definitely done a lot of homework and nerdy statistics this offseason trying to see what makes the best teams the best,” Healy said. “One of the big things was home run production, and I think a lot of the best teams that made it furthest in the NCAA have the ability to hit more home runs per game. So we kind of studied it, analyzed it and then put a whole program in place with strength and conditioning, med balls and rotation and bat speed to try to amp that up.”“I’d like to break the home run record here in my last season,” Powell said. “I’d like to make all-Big Ten again and All-American this year. Coach [Randy] Schneider talked to me about what I need to do to stand out and be a leader this year as well, because I’m the only senior.”There’s truth to those beliefs. The best softball teams in the country have been traditionally teams who can belt the ball out of the park. Last year, for example, Michigan recorded 56 homers – a number good for the best in conference. Michigan also recorded the conference’s best record last season at 18-2 in conference play.Similarly, the two teams that made the NCAA championship game last season were both in the top 10 for home runs in the country.Former offensive MVP returnsBesides all the familiar faces from last year, the Badgers are happy to welcome back offensive dynamo junior Molly Spence to the team. After missing her entire sophomore season just a year ago due to injury, the Badgers will only benefit from adding the mighty bat of Spence. In her freshman year in 2010 with the Badgers, Spence was named the offensive MVP and the team MVP for her .347 batting average, eight home runs and 41 RBIs (a single season school record).Although Healy has never had Spence on her roster, the coach has some background with her junior from her days recruiting before she took the job at Wisconsin.“Luckily Molly’s from Chicago and so am I,” Healy said. “So I was fortunate to recruit her when she was a high school student athlete, so I know how good she is. I really even followed her career her freshman year. She was close to playing for me when I was at a former school, so we were one of her options. She takes the game to another level–she’s that elite of an offensive kid.”With Spence being one of five newcomers to Healy’s squad, the Badgers have the continuity and talent on their roster to be a challenger for one of the top places in the conference this year. Although many of the players are the same, the expectations for Healy’s second year are not.“Well we have more experience this year and we’re settled in with coach,” sophomore Stephanie Peace said. “We’re looking to perform well on all cylinders, offensively and defensively. We’re pretty proud of all the work we put in this offseason.”“I think this year will be harder than last year,” Healy said. “I think your first year [coaching] there’s a bit of a honeymoon and everyone’s excited and wants change, but the second year to sustain that kind of momentum is a bigger challenge than creating it, in my opinion. I think we could surprise people this year, but I think it’s going to be a bigger challenge than last year was.”last_img read more

  • Football hits the road for matchup with Cal

    first_imgKatie Chin | Daily TrojanThe No. 5 Trojans are off to a 3-0 start, but so far each game has been contested in the comfort of the Coliseum. Now, the Trojans embark on the road for the first time this season in a matchup against a burgeoning program in Cal. “There is a mentality that I think you have to take [into road games] to not let the outside distractions come in,” head coach Clay Helton said. “Whether that is a different stadium, different locker room, crowd noise, getting on an airplane and traveling —sometimes it’s the first time for some kids getting on a plane.”As they head into Saturday’s matchup, USC has not lost to Cal since 2003 back when Aaron Rodgers was the Bears’ quarterback. The Trojans’ current winning streak is the longest in a century’s worth of games between the two California programs. While USC has dominated Cal for over a decade, the Bears now possess one aspect of the game they have not had in a long time: a solid defense under new head coach and former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.“He’s an unbelievable, brilliant coach,” Helton said. “And an aggressive coach. We figure that he will continue that aggressiveness versus us. He’s done it in the last three games.” Cal entered this football season with one of the toughest schedules in the nation (the 13th hardest according to Bleacher Report). Combine that with an inexperienced offensive line, the loss of prolific quarterback Davis Webb to the NFL, and the hardships of breaking in a new head coach, and it looked like the Bears would be on a fast track toward the very bottom of the Pac-12. Yet in Week 4, Cal stands at 3-0, with strong victories over North Carolina and Ole Miss primarily because of an aggressive, revamped defense. Finding statistics to illustrate just how bad Cal was on that side of the ball last year is not a difficult task. The Bears’ unit was the worst in the conference, as they gave up the most points (42.6) and second most rushing yards (272) per game. However, this year, Cal seems to be infused with new energy. Against Ole Miss, it forced three interceptions and sacked budding gunslinger Shea Patterson five times. Experienced Cal defenders like senior linebackers Devante Downs (leads the team in tackles, sacks and interceptions) and Raymond Davison III (23 tackles and two sacks) look like they are finally playing in a system that suits their talents and strengths. One storyline to watch will be how much Wilcox is able to decode USC’s offense given his time on the coaching staff just two years ago.“Justin [Wilcox] and I were together for two years,” Helton said. “So obviously he knows my personality and I know his.”Combine Cal’s defensive turnaround with its still-potent offensive attack (they were first in Pac-12 yards per game in 2016) led by running back Patrick Laird, and the Bears could be a dangerous threat to USC, which is still working out kinks on both sides of the ball. After running backs junior Ronald Jones and freshman Stephen Carr looked dominant against Western Michigan and Stanford, they were stifled in last week’s Texas game. The two combined for just 75 yards, as USC struggled to stay ahead of the chains. The Trojans were 6-of-18 on third down and came up short on all three fourth down attempts, partially due to a litany of drops from the receiving corps. Without effective running, the offense turned to redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold relying on his arm to make plays late in the game. “You’ve got to have that balance between run and pass,” Helton said. “If you commit to stopping the run, you have to be able to throw the ball … and then convert on 3rd-and-short with that run. Thank goodness the passing game came through that last game.”On the defensive side, USC will be challenged due to a slew of recent injuries. Junior outside linebacker Porter Gustin will be out indefinitely with a lingering big toe injury and a torn bicep. He finished with two sacks alone in the first half against Texas. While junior nickelback Ajene Harris returned to practice on Thursday, Helton was unsure if he’d be able to play a full game against Cal. Meanwhile, both senior outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and junior defensive tackle Rasheem Green have been dealing with nagging knee injuries.last_img read more

  • Lawyer fees in former governor lawsuit surpass $2.4 million

    first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state panel has approved the latest bill for former Gov. Terry Branstad’s continued fight against a jury verdict that found he discriminated against a former state executive.The Iowa Executive Council approved payment Monday of a bill for over $488,000 to a Des Moines law firm. That raises the taxpayer costs of defending Branstad to $2.4 million.Jurors unanimously found in July that Branstad, now U.S. ambassador to China, and his former legal counsel Brenna Findley discriminated against former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey in 2011 because he’s gay.State taxpayers also may end up paying Godfrey’s legal costs of $3.5 million if they’re approved by a judge as well as the $1.5 million in damages the jury awarded Godfrey.Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of State Paul Pate and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, the Republicans on the council, supported paying the bills. Democratic Auditor Rob Sand also voted to pay the bill but says he won’t support paying appeal costs. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, a Democrat, opposed paying the latest bill.last_img read more