Update on the latest in sports:
ESPN asks personalities to take pay cuts
UNDATED (AP) – ESPN is asking some of its on-air personalities to take a 15% pay cut over the next three months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The request applies to about 100 ESPN commentators. The voluntary pay cuts would apply to ESPN’s highest-paid broadcasters. They are designed to help deter further immediate furloughs that would affect network employees who might be more financially vulnerable.
In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:
-The Senior British Open has been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak, but organizers are still hoping the last senior major of the year can be played in 2020. The event, due to take place at Sunningdale from July 23-26, is the fourth of the five senior majors to lose its scheduled place on the calendar because of the pandemic.
– The Tour de France won’t begin as planned because French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL’ mah-KROHN’) has canceled all public events with large crowds through mid-July in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Tour organizers say it is now impossible for the three-week race to start on June 27.
– The NHL will remain on pause through at least the end of the month. The league on Tuesday announced it was extending its self-quarantine recommendation for players, coaches and staff through April 30. The announcement marks the third time the NHL has pushed back its timetable.
– Major League Soccer says its hopes of returning in mid-May are “extremely unlikely.” In a statement Tuesday, the league said guidance from federal and local public health officials is making it unlikely the league will be able to restart in about a month.
– Major League Baseball is moving its annual celebration of Jackie Robinson online because of the delay in the season caused by the new coronavirus. The Jackie Robinson Foundation is launching a virtual learning hub to coincide with Wednesday’s 73rd anniversary of Robinson breaking the major league color barrier.
-The Chicago Cubs are putting Wrigley Field to use as a food distribution hub to help support COVID-19 relief efforts. The Cubs said they will use the famed ballpark’s concourse as a food-packing and distribution center starting this week while working with Lakeview Pantry.
– There will be no Golden Spikes Award this year, ending a streak of 42 consecutive seasons. USA Baseball made the announcement Tuesday. It followed the NCAA’s decision to cancel spring sports seasons due to the new coronavirus.
– The University of Cincinnati has eliminated its men’s soccer program as other colleges weigh cutbacks because of budget problems resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. College are grappling with revenue losses from spring sports cancellations.
Hank Steinbrenner dead at 63
UNDATED (AP) – New York Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner has died. The oldest son of George Steinbrenner was 63. The team said he died at home in Clearwater, Florida, due to a long-standing health issue.
Hank Steinbrenner was one of the four siblings who own the team’s controlling shares. He had hoped to succeed as father as the team’s controlling owner. Between the 2007 and 2008 seasons, he became the public voice of the Yankees ownership. He didn’t appear to have much involvement in the team’s operations in recent years and devoted more time to racing interests.
In other baseball news:
-The San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks are two of the Major League Baseball teams participating in a study of the coronavirus that will test hundreds of people – including players – from the various clubs for antibodies. The Oakland Athletics also are taking part.
– Former big league manager Jim Frey has died at age 88. Frey managed the Kansas City Royals to the 1980 AL pennant and the Chicago Cubs within one win of the 1984 World Series. His 1980 Royals swept the Yankees in the ALCS, then lost to Philadelphia in a six-game World Series. His Cubs wasted a 2-0 lead against San Diego in the 1984 NLCS.
-Former World Series MVP Steve Pearce is retiring, saying he’s done playing after an injury-plagued season for the Boston Red Sox. Pearce made the announcement Monday night on Boston radio station WEEI while it aired a replay of the 2018 World Series opener between the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The career journeyman homered and hit a three-run double in Game 4 of that matchup, then homered twice the next day as the Red Sox took title and he won the MVP.
Larson fired over slur
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Kyle Larson has been fired by Chip Ganassi Racing, a day after nearly every one of his sponsors dropped the star driver for using a racial slur during a live stream of a virtual race.
Larson was in his seventh Cup season with Ganassi and had been prepping to test free agency for the first time. Just weeks ago, the 27-year-old was considered the top free agent in NASCAR. Now he is out of a job in what could ultimately be an eight-figure blunder.
He was suspended without pay by Ganassi early Monday, then suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and Larson, who is half Japanese, was ordered to complete a sensitivity training. But his entire program fell apart as primary sponsors McDonalds and Credit One Bank pulled their funding from Larson. Chevrolet suspended its relationship with him, and all but one commercial partner denounced Larson’s comment and indicated they were ending their relationship.
Kentucky’s Richards is fourth player to enter NBA draft
UNDATED (AP) – Kentucky forward Nick Richards will enter the NBA draft and forego his final season of collegiate eligibility by signing with an agency.
He’s coming off a breakout season in which he was named a first team All-Southeastern Conference selection by The Associated Press and league coaches. His per-game scoring average increased 10 points this season to 14.0 while starting 30 of 31 contests to help the Wildcats earn the SEC regular season title. Richards also ranked fourth nationally in shooting at 64% and made the SEC all-defensive squad with averages of 7.8 rebounds and 2.13 blocks per game.
In other college basketball news:
– Florida will have its top scorer back next season. Forward Keyontae Johnson announced on social media Tuesday that he plans to return for his junior year with the Gators, a huge boost for coach Mike White’s program. Johnson averaged 14.0 points a game to lead the team in scoring and was second in rebounding. He also led the team in steals with 38, was second in 3-point shooting at 38% and ranked third in assists with 49.
Chargers sign former XFL tight end Donald Parham Jr.
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) – Donald Parham Jr., who led XFL tight ends in yards and receptions, has signed a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Parham had 24 receptions for 307 yards and four touchdowns for the Dallas Renegades before the XFL season ended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Parham was also the only tight end in the league to have a 100-yard receiving game.
Parham spent time with the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins during the offseason last year.
In other NFL moves:
– Offensive tackle Storm Norton has signed a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. Norton played for the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL before the league ended midway through its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. He played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2018 and had previous stints with the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals.