The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Miami women’s basketball coach Katie Meier revealed Monday that she was on a recruiting trip to Spain when the coronavirus scare began seriously gripping the globe last month, and immediately returned to South Florida for a two-week period of self-quarantine.
Miami has an incoming freshman for next season from Spain, Paula Fraile Ruiz. And Europe has been a major part of Meier’s recruiting strategies for many years, so she went to Spain shortly after the Hurricanes were ousted from the ACC Tournament.
Most of her meetings and visits were canceled. She left about a day after arriving, and one player she was in contact with was getting alerts on her phone about the severity of the pandemic during her meeting with Meier.
“And I said, ‘OK, I need to go,’” Meier said. “I had two more visits planned, but I didn’t make them and got back.”
Meier was planning to be in New York this weekend to support Miami’s Beatrice Mompremier at the WNBA draft, though that trip was canceled because of the pandemic, as well. The draft will be done remotely as planned.
The Premier Lacrosse League has postponed the start of its 2020 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The season was scheduled to begin play on May 29 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The PLL plans to announce an update in May on a new start date for the season.
“The health of our players, coaches, fans and colleagues are of paramount importance to us as we go through this unprecedented time,” Mike Rabil, who founded the league with his brother Paul, said in a statement. “As a league, we will continue to adhere to guidelines administered by the CDC, respective state governments, and our hosting venues. This was a difficult decision for our league but a necessary measure to ensure the safety of all parties.”
The league debuted last year with six teams traveling to different cities to play weekend games. One team was added for this season, which has 12 weekends of regular season action planned, including an all-star game, before its playoffs.
The National Lacrosse League last week canceled the last three weekends of its regular season. The league says returning for its playoffs will be determined “based on the COVID-19 circumstances.”
The Cleveland Browns will donate net proceeds from sales of their new jerseys to a fund aiding health care professionals, first responders and others who have selflessly served during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team launched the Hats Off to Our Heroes Fund on Monday, two days before it will reveal the new uniforms. The Browns said the team will commit 100 percent of the proceeds “for a significant period of time” to the fund.
“When finalizing our uniform announcement, we realized we had an incredible opportunity to further our support of heroes battling COVID-19 on the front lines for our entire community,” executive vice president JW Johnson said. “We hope the excitement surrounding the new uniforms can help make a significant impact through the Hats Off to Our Heroes Fund, and we greatly appreciate the support from our fans, retail partners and team to make this special way to give back to those leaders possible.”
This is the second time in four years the Browns have changed uniforms. The new ones are expected to embrace concepts from previous versions. The team is not expected to make any major changes to its iconic orange logo-less helmet.
Premier League club Tottenham has reversed a decision to use government money to fund some staff salaries during the coronavirus pandemic.
The north London club faced two weeks of criticism for deciding to use the government’s job retention scheme.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy says “the criticism the club has received over the last week has been felt all the more keenly because of our track record of good works and our huge sense of responsibility to care for those that rely on us.”
Staff put on furlough during the pandemic receive 80% of their salaries up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds ($3,000) per month from the government. And Tottenham had said non-playing staff not being furloughed would have their pay cut 20%.
But Levy now says “in the context of revised budgets and cost cutting” all non-playing staff will remain on full pay in April and May with only the board having salaries reduced.
The Premier League season has been suspended for more than a month with no date set for its resumption.
Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are among 12 players confirmed to play in the virtual Madrid Open tennis tournament this month.
David Goffin, John Isner, Karen Khachanov, Eugenie Bouchard, Kristina Mladenovic and Kiki Bertens will also participate from their homes in the April 27-30 online competition that is expected to be broadcast live on TV and social media channels.
Khachanov says “this initiative is interesting and it will bring back some competition in our sport. I’m looking forward to challenge my fellow players and show my skills to the tennis fans around the world.”
There will be 150,000 euros ($164,000) distributed in prize money for each of the men’s and women’s events. The winners then decide how much they want to donate to tennis players who are having a hard time financially without any tournaments to play.
Another 50,000 euros ($55,000) will be donated to reduce the social impact of the pandemic.
Each draw is expected to have 16 players competing.
The Madrid Open was one of more than 30 professional tournaments canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It had been scheduled for May 1-10.
Spanish soccer club Real Sociedad is going back on its plan to resume practicing at the team’s training center during the coronavirus pandemic.
The club says it made the decision after discussions with the Spanish government. It says it is “fully aware of its responsibility during the current pandemic” and “players will continue to train at home.”
Real Sociedad had said it would give its players the option to start training individually at the team’s training center beginning on Tuesday. It would be the first Spanish club to return to practice during the pandemic.
Spain is starting to loosen some of its lockdown measures this week by allowing non-essential workers to return to their activities while observing social-distancing guidelines. But group activities will remain prohibited and sports facilities won’t be allowed to reopen.
Real Sociedad says players have been training at home for the last month. The club prepared individual training routines for players and sent them stationary bicycles and treadmills.
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