Update on the latest sports
Supreme Court agrees to hear NCAA athlete compensation case
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court has agreed to review a court decision that the NCAA has said blurred “the line between student-athletes and professionals” by removing caps on education-related money certain football and basketball players can receive.
The case will be argued in 2021 with a decision expected before the end of June.
The NCAA says it’s pleased the Supreme Court will review the case.
The high court’s action comes after a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in May. The panel upheld a lower court ruling barring the NCAA from capping education-related compensation and benefits for student-athletes in Division I football and basketball programs. Division I conferences can still independently set their own rules.
In August, Justice Elena Kagan had denied the NCAA’s request to put lower court rulings in favor of the student-athletes on hold at least temporarily while the NCAA formally petitioned the Supreme Court to take up the case.
The NCAA had said the ruling “effectively created a pay-for-play system for all student-athletes, allowing them to be paid both ‘unlimited’ amounts for participating in ‘internships”‘ and an additional $5,600 or more each year they remain eligible to play their sport.
The NCAA is in the process of changing its rules to permit athletes to be compensated for the use of their names, images and likenesses. That should open opportunities for athletes to be paid for endorsement and sponsorship deals, for appearances and for promoting products or events on social media accounts.
NFL not allowing mandated local bubbles during postseason
UNDATED (AP) – NFL teams won’t be allowed to create local bubbles during the postseason by requiring players to stay at a hotel, except for the night before a game. That’s according to a league memo obtained by The Associated Press.
The concern is a risk of significant spread of the virus when players and staff are gathered for an extended period of time at one hotel.
Teams will be allowed to continue paying for players who want to move into a hotel to avoid the risk of catching COVID-19 from family or roommates throughout the postseason, according to the memo. When teams stay in hotels before games, players and staff now will be required to wear a tracing device until they return to their rooms for the night whether staying at home or on the road.
The NFL and NFL Players Association also agreed to update COVID-19 protocols, adding a new test, clearing people to work game days, extending the time for people testing positive but asymptomatic to return, and extending testing to players’ family and their service providers, according to the memo.
Starting this week, anyone clearing testing on game day will be able to take part on game days. But anyone testing positive first must clear isolation before being able to play. That player can’t travel with the team or stay at the team hotel the night before a game. Someone counted as a high-risk close contact can play if game day is the first day out of the five-day isolation period.
Shoulder lands Bengals DT Geno Atkins on injured reserve
CINCINNATI (AP) – The Cincinnati Bengals have put defensive tackle Geno Atkins on injured reserve with a right shoulder injury.
The 11-year veteran missed the first four games of the season with the injury suffered in training camp and has played sparingly since. Atkins has one tackle in seven games. He was in for just seven snaps in last week’s loss to Dallas.
Atkins has played in 161 career games for Cincinnati and his 75 1/2 sacks are the third most in team history.
Also Wednesday, the Bengals returned defensive end Amani Bledsoe to the active roster from the COVID-19 list.
The 2-10-1 Bengals host the 11-2 Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.
Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett says he’ll return in 2021
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The University of Pittsburgh’s football season is over, but quarterback Kenny Pickett’s college career is not. The senior announced late Tuesday night that he will return in 2021 rather than enter the NFL draft.
Pickett has passed for 7,984 yards with 39 touchdowns and 25 interceptions since taking over as the starter late in the 2017 season. He is fifth on the school’s all-time yards passing list and fourth on the total yardage list, passing Hall of Famer Dan Marino late in the season.
The Panthers were expected to be in the bowl mix after winning three of their final four games but voted to not participate in the postseason.
Ruling on Russian doping case to be announced Thursday
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – The ruling on whether Russia can keep its name and flag for the Olympics will be announced on Thursday.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Wednesday that three of its arbitrators held a four-day hearing last month in the dispute between the World Anti-Doping Agency and its Russian affiliate, known as RUSADA.
WADA’s requested punishments include a ban on Russia’s flag, anthem and team name at next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Games, and other major sporting events like the World Cup.
The case centers on a database from the Moscow testing laboratory that was long sealed by Russian state authorities before it was handed over to WADA investigators last year. WADA found that data had been deleted, altered and added.
That made it much harder to make charges stick against individual athletes believed to have been protected by a Russian doping cover-up scheme.