24-Jun-2020 / Ap
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has issued a 60-game schedule that will start July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks as the sport tries to push ahead amid the coronavirus following months of acrimony. This will be MLB’s shortest season since 1878. Each team will play 10 games against each of its four division rivals and four games against each of the five clubs in the corresponding division in the other league, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. The sides expanded the designated hitter to games involving National League teams and will start extra innings with a runner on second base.
TORONTO (AP) — The Canadian government is open to Major League Baseball playing in Toronto this summer, but the league has not submitted the required plan to Canadian authorities. A senior federal government official says if MLB were to submit an acceptable restart plan to the government, an exemption letter similar to the one provided to the NHL could be provided. Ontario’s chief medical officer also says Major League Baseball hasn’t submitted a plan to local health authorities that is needed for the Blue Jays to play in Toronto amid the pandemic.
St. PETERSBURH, FL. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have reached terms with first-round draft pick Nick Bitsko, giving the Pennsylvania high school pitcher a $3 million signing bonus. The 18-year-old right-hander was the 24th overall selection after going 4-2 with a 1.27 ERA and 68 strikeouts in two seasons at Central Bucks East High. Several months after announcing plans to graduate a year early, Bitsko’s final prep season was canceled this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
UNDATED (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request by American women’s soccer players to allow an immediate appeal of his decision to throw out their claim of unequal pay against the U.S. Soccer Federation. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles has scheduled a trial for Sept. 15 on the players’ remaining claim of discriminatory work conditions. Lawyers for the women had asked him to enter a final judgment on his decision to dismiss the pay claim, which would have allowed them to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
UNDATED (AP) — The rope found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway was not a hate crime. Federal authorities say the rope had been hanging at the Alabama track since at least October. Video evidence showed it had been hanging from the garage door but was the only one fashioned as a noose. Wallace coincidentally was assigned that garage. NASCAR stood by its decision to investigate the discovery found in the stall of its only Black driver. Wallace successfully called for a ban of the Confederate flag and has become an activist for the sport during a push for racial equality.
23-Jun-2020 / Ap
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. edged Ryan Blaney to win the second stage of a rain-delayed race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The day began with a show of support for driver Bubba Wallace. Fellow drivers lined up and pushed his car to the front of pit road in a show of solidarity after which Wallace climbed out, sat on the window ledge and sobbed. The move came one day after a crew member found a noose in his garage stall. Wallace is the only fulltime Black driver in the top NASCAR series. Two weeks ago, he successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its facilities.
MIAMI (AP) — The Toronto Raptors arrived in southwest Florida today, set to begin their preparations for next month’s restart of the NBA season. If the Raptors return to the NBA Finals, they could be in Florida for nearly four full months. The reigning NBA champions will start training for the season restart later this week at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, making that school their home base until they head north to the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida, around July 7. They landed in Fort Myers on Monday afternoon, then boarded buses for the team hotel.
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have signed first-round draft pick Ed Howard to a minor league contract that includes a $3,745,500 bonus. The 18-year-old shortstop was a prep star at Mount Carmel High School on Chicago’s South Side. He also started for the 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team that advanced to the finals of the Little League World Series. Howard had committed to the University of Oklahoma. He received a signing bonus equal to his assigned slot value.
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative and possibly unhappy return to the field amid the coronavirus pandemic. Six days after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark negotiated to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16, widen use of the designated hitter to National League games and introduce an experiment to start extra innings with a runner on second base, the deal was rejected by the union.
22-Jun-2020 / Ap
LOS ANGELES (AP) — This was a different version of The ESPYS. No red carpet, no nattily dressed athletes, no house band or monologue poking fun at the past year’s top athletes and moments. The focus was on honors, the pandemic and racial justice. Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage for sparking a national conversation about mental health. Nelson Cruz of the Minnesota Twins was honored as the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year for helping his hometown in the Dominican Republic acquire public service needs. Sunday night's show was hosted remotely by NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird of the WNBA.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — NASCAR says it's investigating the discovery of a noose in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace on Sunday at the NASCAR race in Talladega, Alabama. Wallace is the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR’s elite Cup Series. Two weeks ago, he successfully pushed for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its tracks and properties.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — The NASCAR Cup Series races today at Talladega Superspeedway after thunderstorms washed out the race on Sunday. The race is now scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT today. It's the first amid the coronavirus pandemic in which NASCAR opened the gates for up to 5,000 fans.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Players will consider their next move today in the drawn-out talks to start the pandemic-delayed baseball season. The executive committee of the players’ association was set to vote and reject Major League Baseball’s latest offer for a 60-game season on Sunday. Players want 70 games and $275 million more than teams are offering.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Max Tuerk, an All-America offensive lineman at Southern California who was drafted by the Chargers, has died. He was 26. Tuerk’s family says he died while hiking with his parents on a favorite trail in Cleveland National Forest north of San Diego. Tuerk played for the Trojans from 2012-15. He was a freshman All-American and an All-Pac-12 first-team selection in 2014. As a three-year starter, he played under three head coaches — Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton. He was taken by the Chargers in the 2016 NFL draft, and played one game for the Arizona Cardinals before being cut in 2018.
18-Jun-2020 / Husker Athletics
Nebraska junior outfielder Aaron Palensky became the latest Husker to join professional baseball, as he signed with the New York Yankees organization, it was announced on Thursday.
“A childhood dream came true today and I’m thrilled for what the future holds with the New York Yankees,” Palensky said. “I am forever grateful for what Nebraska has done for me, playing under Coach Bolt and Coach Erstad during the last couple years. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and believe joining the Yankees organization gives me the best chance to the make it to the big leagues.”
“Aaron has been a model ambassador for Husker baseball and an absolute joy to coach,” Nebraska Head Coach Will Bolt said. “His talent, work ethic and demeanor will allow him to excel at the professional level. It will be fun to see him climb the ranks and pursue his dream.”
Palensky, who started every game for the Huskers in each of the last two seasons, led Nebraska’s offense in most categories during that span. In 2020, Palensky recorded at least one hit in 11 of his 15 games, including four multi-hit efforts, before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He batted .302 (16-for-53) and led the team in runs scored (15), doubles (5), walks (15) and RBIs (19), while sharing the team high in home runs (4) during the season.
During his first year at Nebraska in 2019, Palensky received second-team All-Big Ten honors after batting .320, which ranked eighth in the conference and led the Huskers. He also led the team in hits (71), runs scored (43), home runs (7) and total bases (107), while sharing the team high in doubles (11) and triples (2). In addition, Palensky compiled 35 RBIs and went 6-for-6 stealing bases.
A native of Papillion, Neb., Palensky spent his first season of college baseball at Southeast Community College before transferring to Nebraska. He batted .417 with 18 home runs, 77 RBIs, 72 runs scored, 24 stolen bases and 43 extra-base hits, while posting an .850 slugging percentage and .515 on-base percentage. Palensky graduated from Papillion La Vista South in 2017 after receiving second-team Super-State accolades as a senior.
The MLB Draft, which was held from June 10-11, was shortened to five rounds in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after previously consisting of 40 rounds. With the draft concluded, teams are permitted to sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents to fill out their systems.
18-Jun-2020 / Husker Athletics
Nebraska Head Football Coach Scott Frost and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Fred Hoiberg will each donate a portion of their salaries for the upcoming fiscal year back to the Husker Athletic Department’s general operating fund. The amount donated to the department will be determined as the Athletic Department finalizes its budget in the near future.
A native of Wood River, Neb., Frost is in his third year as the Huskers’ head football coach. He was a two-year letterwinner at quarterback for Nebraska in 1996 and 1997, leading the Huskers to the 1997 national championship. His parents are both University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduates and his mother, Carol, is a member of the Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame.
“These are difficult times across our country and in college athletics, and Nebraska Athletics is not immune to the financial crunch,” Frost said. “This athletic department has been so important to my family for several decades. Before I ever played or coached here, I was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan first. I wanted to do my small part to help ensure our athletic department and all of our teams have the necessary resources to compete for championships moving forward.”
Hoiberg is entering his second season leading the Nebraska men’s basketball program and has deep family roots to the University of Nebraska. Both of his parents are Nebraska graduates and his grandfather, Jerry Bush, was the Huskers’ men’s basketball coach from 1954 to 1963.
“When I took this job, one of the things that stood out to me most about Nebraska was its complete commitment to the student-athlete, not just in football or men’s basketball, but in all sports,” Hoiberg said. “After a little more than a year here, I am even more impressed with the resources available to our young men and women. It is important to me to contribute to keeping Nebraska a leader in student-athlete support and services.”
18-Jun-2020 / UNK Athletics
Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney women's soccer team's adjusted 2020 schedule has the Lopers opening the fall at home against the Washburn Ichabods.
To help alleviate costs brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, all NCAA Division II women's soccer programs are playing a maximum of 14 games this fall. The revised schedule hasn't changed too much from the original but UNK does lose four non-conference games as well as a non-league contest vs. Emporia State.
At this time the Lopers will host WU on Sunday, September 13, to kick off the year with Emporia State (Sept. 25), Newman (Oct. 2), Central Oklahoma (Oct. 4), Northwest Missouri State (Oct. 9), Missouri Western State (Oct. 11) and Fort Hays State (Nov. 1) also coming to Ron & Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field. Schools can change three dates if they both agree to the switch; those dates would be Sept. 13 to Sept. 11, Sept. 20 to Sept. 18 and Nov. 1 to Oct. 30. The move would push up a Sunday game to a Friday afternoon or evening. UNK is at Hays on Sept. 20.
It'll be "Flex Weekend" on Sunday, November 8, as the top eight teams in the league standings will face each other. The eighth seed will travel to the first place team, number two hosts seven etc. The four winners advance to the MIAA Tournament at the highest remaining seed on November 13 and 15. The schools that are in places nine through 12 will play on November 8 as well with the match ups based on geographic proximity.
Finally UNK currently has home scrimmages vs. Nebraska Wesleyan (Aug. 22) and Central C.C.-Columbus (Aug. 29). The team, currently going through voluntary workouts that began June 1, will report to fall camp in mid-August.
18-Jun-2020 / UNK Athletics
Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team's adjusted 2020 schedule has the Lopers playing 20 MIAA matches this fall.
To help alleviate costs brought on by the Covid-19 crisis, all NCAA Division II women's volleyball programs are playing a maximum of 20 dates this fall. Teams can play multiple matches on a date and thus UNK and many other schools are aiming to combine a weekend schedule onto a single day. This will open up dates to allow for non-conference action.
If some switches are made the Lopers begin the year as scheduled at the Colorado School of Mines Tournament (September 4-5) with opponents to be determined. UNK is hopeful its annual home tournament can take place the following weekend (September 11-12) but that is TBD as well.
There are currently four MIAA weeks where things might change to one site. They are September 25-26 (opponents are Newman and Central Oklahoma), October 6 & 9 (Central Missouri and Fort Hays State), October 23-24 (NU and UCO), and November 3 & 7 (UCM and Hays). More switches could take place as long as all parties agree; UNK's travel partner is Hays.
Currently the Lopers have 10 home and 10 away matches. The first scheduled home match comes September 18 vs. Emporia State. The MIAA Tournament, which was moved to Kansas City last fall, returns to campus this season. That event will come the week of November 16-21.
UNK, currently going through voluntary workouts that began June 1, reports to fall camp in mid-August.
17-Jun-2020 / UNK Athletics
Kearney, Neb. – Nebraska-Kearney head men's basketball coach Kevin Lofton announced today that Australian Patrick Fraser has signed on with the Lopers.
A 6-5, 190 pound wing with four years of eligibility remaining, Fraser is UNK's fourth recruit to date. The previously announced members of the class are junior guard Myles Arnold (Fontana, Calif.), freshman forward Thomas "TJ" Fritz (Wamego, Kan.) and junior forward Darrian Nebeker (West Jordan, Utah). Kearney graduated guard Chase Winchester and forwards AJ Jackson, Kyle Juhl and Morgan Soucie off last year's squad.
Fraser prepped at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School (commonly known as the "Shore School"), located on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales. This past season he came in at 18.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.7 steals and 0.9 blocks per game while shooting 77% at the line and almost 40% from behind the arc.
Setting a new school record for made threes in a career, Fraser leaves as the program's fourth all-time leading scorer. A two-time first-team all-conference selection he also was a New South Wales Under-18 and Under-20 representative. Finally Fraser joins junior Matt Brien (New Zealand) as UNK’s international players in 2020-21.
The Lopers went 16-13 (10-9 MIAA) in 2019-20, qualifying for the MIAA Tournament, having two four-game winning streaks and recording victories over NCAA Tourney qualifiers Rogers State and Colorado School of Mines.
17-Jun-2020 / Ap
CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame is still evaluating its options and says no decisions have been made about the Aug. 6 game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says it’s “highly unlikely” that crowds of 20,000 or so would be allowed for the game or the induction ceremony two nights later. DeWine says: “If the question was could that event occur today, the answer would be no. It would be extremely dangerous.”
OTTAWA (AP) — The NHL has settled on a format but not the locations where it will resume playoffs, if the coronavirus pandemic allows. The league has said it would like to have the games played in two hub cities and released a list of 10 candidates. Those include three Canadian cities, but the NHL says not if players are subject to the 14-day quarantine currently in effect at the border. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is “open” to hosting games, as long as local health authorities are too.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres did not make the NHL's proposed 24-team expanded playoff, so they’ve decided to move on from their general manager. Jason Botterill is out, despite an apparent vote of confidence from the team’s owners just three weeks ago. Cost-cutting appears to be a priority. Owner Terry Pegula says the teams needs to be effectively, efficiently and economically run. He sums up the situation this way: “We're going to get leaner.”
UNDATED (AP) — Longtime fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join his late father in NASCAR's Hall of Fame next year, the feature attraction in the class of 2021. Junior won 26 races during his Cup career, including two Daytona 500s and the 2001 Pepsi 400 — four months after his father's death at the same track in February. The late Mike Stefanik also was elected along with Red Farmer from the pioneer ballot. Ralph Seagraves was chosen as the Landmark Award winner for outstanding contributions to the sport.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The University of Virginia will change its athletics logos to remove a design element that refers to the school’s history with slavery. A statement from the school's athletics department says fans raised objections to the curves put on the handles of the crossed sabres below the V. The curves were meant to mimic serpentine walls on campus that were designed by Thomas Jefferson to hide the university's slaves from public view. The school's athletics director says she was made aware of the negative connotation.
16-Jun-2020 / Husker Athletics
Lincoln -- A pair of Nebraska football greats are among 78 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision announced as finalists Tuesday for the College Football Hall of Fame.
Outland Trophy winners Zach Wiegert and Larry Jacobson will represent Nebraska on the 2021 ballot. Wiegert is making his sixth appearance on the ballot, while Jacobson is a finalist for the third time.
Wiegert was a 1994 unanimous first-team All-American and is one of eight Huskers to win the Outland Trophy. A native of Fremont, Neb., Wiegert helped lead the Huskers to 1994 National Championship after NU played in the 1993 title game. The Huskers averaged 340 rushing yards per game in 1994, and Wiegert led Nebraska with 113 pancake blocks. He even earned one first-place vote for the Heisman, finishing tied for ninth with 27 points. In addition to winning the Outland, he was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, a consensus All-American, the UPI Lineman of the Year and the Touchdown Club of Columbus Offensive Lineman of the Year. His No. 72 jersey was retired before the 1995 season.
Jacobson was a stalwart on Nebraska's first national title teams in 1970 and 1971. A consensus first-team All-American in 1971, Jacobson won the Outland Trophy as a senior, as he tallied 73 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss, to become the program's first major award winner. He led the Blackshirts to top-five national rankings in rush defense (85.9, second), total defense (202.9, fifth) and scoring defense (8.2, third) en route to a 13-0 record and a second straight national title. During his three seasons at Nebraska, the Sioux Falls, S.D., product led the Huskers to a 33-2-1 mark with two national titles and three conference crowns. His No. 75 jersey was retired in 1994.
The announcement of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT will be made in early 2021.
Eric Crouch will become the 19th Nebraska player in the College Football Hall of Fame when he is inducted later this year. Other recent Husker enshrines include Aaron Taylor (2018), Trev Albers (2015), Tommie Frazier (2013), Will Shields (2011), Grant Wistrom (2009) and Mike Rozier (2006).