03-Jun-2020 / Ap
WASHINGTON (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld has died at age 74. Unseld is one of two players in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in the same season. He died Tuesday after a series of health issues, most recently pneumonia, according to a statement from his family released by the Washington Wizards. Unseld was a powerful 6-foot-7, 245-pound center who dominated as a rebounder and led Washington’s team — then known as the Bullets — to the 1978 NBA championship, earning Finals MVP honors. He was a five-time All-Star who played all 13 of his NBA seasons with the franchise that drafted him in 1968.
UNDATED (AP) — All 32 NFL teams have been told by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hold training camps at their home facilities this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most NFL teams stay at their training complexes year-round, but Dallas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Buffalo are among those that stage training camp elsewhere. Dallas usually trains in Oxnard, California, and Pittsburgh in nearby Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
BOSTON (AP) — Celtics coach Brad Stevens says he supports the decisions of several of his players, including Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter, who have taken part in recent protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Stevens says he wrote a letter to his players letting them know he was with them and that he hopes the recent demonstrations around the country can help lead to healing and create sustainable change.
BOSTON (AP) — A former technology executive has pleaded guilty to paying $300,000 to bribe his son’s way into Georgetown University as a tennis recruit — even though the son didn’t play tennis. Federal prosecutors say Peter Dameris pleaded guilty Tuesday in Boston to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. The government will recommend sentence of time served, 21 months of home confinement, a fine of $95,000 and restitution when Dameris is sentenced on Oct. 5.
03-Jun-2020 / Husker Athletics
Nebraska’s Leighton Banjoff earned a spot on Collegiate Baseball’s Freshman All-America Team, announced by the publication on Tuesday.
Banjoff, who was one of six designated hitters on the team, played in all 15 games for the Huskers in 2020, making 13 starts, before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He led Nebraska’s offense in batting average (.341), stolen bases (3), slugging percentage (.636) and on-base percentage (.517). Banjoff also racked up four doubles, three home runs, 13 RBIs and 12 runs scored during the shortened 2020 campaign.
After going 0-for-6 in his first three games, he went 3-for-3 in his next game on Feb. 21 at San Diego. On March 1, Banjoff blasted two home runs and drove in six runs as part of a 4-for-6 performance at Arizona State, which included a double and a stolen base. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on March 2 following the series against the Sun Devils.
Banjoff becomes the 20th different Husker to claim Freshman All-America accolades, earning the 33rd certificate in program history. Last season, Colby Gomes was named a Freshman All-American by the NCBWA as a relief pitcher.
02-Jun-2020 / Ap
UNDATED (AP) — Former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has offered to pay for George Floyd’s funeral and memorial services, and the family has accepted the offer. Mayweather personally has been in touch with the family, according to Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions. He will handle costs for the funeral on June 9 in Floyd’s hometown of Houston, as well as other expenses. TMZ originally reported Mayweather’s offer, and said he will also pay for services in Minnesota and North Carolina.
UNDATED (AP) — FIFA has urged soccer competition organizers to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players over in-game expressions of solidarity with George Floyd. The recognition of the “depth of sentiment” over Floyd’s death came in a rare statement telling the global game to show flexibility and not enforce laws of soccer which FIFA helps to set. Players used weekend games in Germany to reveal messages demanding justice for Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.
NEW YORK (AP) — A legal swing and a miss for Lenny Dykstra. The former Met’s defamation lawsuit against former New York Mets teammate Ron Darling has been dismissed. Dykstra’s suit followed the publication of Darling’s book, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game.” Darling accused Dykstra of directing racist comments toward Boston starter Oil Can Boyd during the 1986 World Series. The court ruled that Dykstra’s reputation “for unsportsmanlike conduct and bigotry is already so tarnished that it cannot be further injured by the reference."
UNDATED (AP) — The Mountain West is eliminating postseason tournaments in baseball, men's and women’s tennis and women’s soccer and shortening other postseason events. At the end of the conference's virtual spring meetings on Monday, the Mountain West announced several cost-cutting measures, including an 18% reduction in the conference operating budget. The conference will also reduce baseball and softball series from three days to two, playing a double header on one day. The conference will also use virtual meetings and virtual football and basketball media days.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have signed tight end Dylan Cantrell to a one-year deal. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Cantrell is switching positions to tight end after being selected as a receiver by the Los Angeles Chargers in the sixth round of the 2018 draft. He played in college at Texas Tech under current Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Cardinals also said on Monday that they released cornerback Sojourn Shelton.
28-May-2020 / Ap
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway has been rained out and rescheduled for Thursday night. The starting order for the second Cup race at Charlotte this week was set based on the finishing order of the Coca-Cola 600 but with an inversion. Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman will start from the pole, while Coca-Cola 600 winner Brad Keselowski will start 20th.
UNDATED (AP) — Baseball players will take at least a few days and possibly until next week to respond to Major League Baseball’s proposed sliding scale of salary slashing. But people familiar with their deliberations tell The Associated Press that players appeared likely to propose increasing the number of regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries. One of the people said many players were angered by the proposal teams made Tuesday.
UNDATED (AP) — Basketball Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN that the enshrinement ceremony for Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and five others will be delayed until the spring of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ceremony was to have taken place in Springfield on Aug. 29. Bryant, Garnett and Duncan all got into the Hall in their first year as finalists, as did WNBA great Tamika Catchings.
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman (EYE'-zur-muhn) is keeping coach Jeff Blashill (BLA’-shihl) despite missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Yzerman told reporters his previously announced plans to keep Blashill behind the bench have not changed. The Red Wings won an NHL-low 17 games this season and are 153-194-52 under Blashill.
UNDATED (AP) — The final deadline to nominate horses to the rescheduled Triple Crown series is June 3. Owners and trainers can make 3-year-old thoroughbreds eligible for the three-race series at a cost of $3,000. That’s half the original price as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which is forcing the series to be run out of order for the first time since 1931. The late nominations were originally due March 30 but were postponed until the Triple Crown races were rescheduled.
26-May-2020 / Nebraska Schools Activities Association
Beginning June 1st NSAA member schools are permitted to conduct voluntary strength and conditioning sessions.
While permitting school-sponsored summertime conditioning programs, prioritizing the health and safety of all students and staff must remain the focus of each NSAA member school.
These requirements must be followed:
Maintain social distance by being 6 feet apart at all times.
Groups of a maximum 25 persons (students) or less must be pre-determined
50% of rated occupancy does not apply to high school weight rooms per the express directive of the Governor’s office.
Member schools located in Hall, Hamilton, Merrick and Dakota counties are limited to groups of 10 students per local directed health measures (DHMs).
Once groups are determined, students may not switch from one group to another.
Interaction between groups shall be avoided.
Sessions can only include weightlifting, running, and exercises designed to promote physical fitness.
Sport-specific drills are not permitted, and sport-specific equipment may not be used as part of school-sponsored summer conditioning.
Implement diligent and effective cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces following the guidance of the CDC.
Additionally, NSAA member school-sponsored camps and clinics are prohibited in any sport at this time.
Pursuant to the Governor’s DHM, the following activities are prohibited: basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer, and wrestling (“Prohibited Sports”).
NSAA member schools may have open gyms where sport-specific drills are permitted, and sport-specific equipment may be used by individuals except in the Prohibited Sports.
It is the responsibility of each NSAA member school to comply with:
The above requirements; and,
The NSAA Summer Activities Bylaws.
Should the Governor issue further DHMs that would modify the foregoing provisions or other conditions warrant, these requirements will be adjusted.
Any further official updates will be posted on the NSAA website and the NSAA social media platforms.
26-May-2020 / Ap
TORONTO (AP) — There’s no date set for it to begin, but the National Hockey League is hoping to move to Phase 2 of its return-to-play protocol early next month. That includes opening practice facilities and allowing small group workouts. Six players will be allowed in team facilities at one time for the voluntary workouts. No on-ice coaching or instruction is permitted. The NHL season was paused March 12 because of the pandemic.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Georgetown basketball coach Patrick Ewing is thanking his doctors and nurses and his fans as he battles COVID-19. Ewing, who played for Hoyas and the New York Knicks for 15 seasons has been released from a Washington hospital and is recovering at home. Patrick Ewing Jr. tweeted this his dad is getting better and appreciates the thoughts and prayers given.
SYDNEY (AP) — The Australian Medical Association has urged the National Rugby League to slow down on its plans to have spectators in stadiums by July 1, describing the move as “absurd and dangerous.” The AMA made the call two days before the NRL is set to restart of the 16-team competition in empty stadiums. Just two rounds of matches were played in March before the season was halted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
UNDATED (AP) — The National Women’s Soccer League says players may start training in small groups, provided it is done under league protocols and meets the requirements of local authorities. Teams will be able to progress to full team training on May 30 once they complete five days of small group training. The small groups cannot exceed eight players during Phase 2 of the nine-team league’s return to play protocol. Players must complete a pre-training assessment and undergo daily symptom and temperature screenings as well as other tests.
ATLANTA (AP) — Americans have proved they are starved for TV sports, even golf. Turner Sports said the Sunday telecast of “The Match: Champions for Charity" attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers across four of its networks. Turner says it was the most-watched golf telecast in cable TV history. Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning scored a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Medalist Golf Club. It raised $20 million for COVID-19 relief funds.
22-May-2020 / Ap
NEW YORK (AP) — The Major League Baseball Players Association has given management a wide-ranging response to a 67-page proposed set of protocols for a season to be played during the coronavirus pandemic. The union says it addressed protections for high-risk players, access to pre- and postgame therapies, testing frequency, protocols for positive tests, in-stadium medical personnel and sanitization procedures. Players viewed many of the concepts in the original draft submitted last week as over-the-top, such as arriving in uniform at the ballparks, a prohibition on them leaving without team permission and a ban on guests other than immediate family members.
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are making tough financial decisions concerning their front office staff with the major league season still on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. A person with direct knowledge of the situation says the Cubs are instituting pay cuts based on compensation, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. The Pirates announced Thursday that they are instituting furloughs for several employees in business operations beginning June 1.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — IndyCar has altered its schedule again amid the coronavirus pandemic, cancelling the June 27 race at Richmond and the July 12 street course event in Toronto. The open-wheel series is slated to finally begin June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, but its next event won’t be held until July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race scheduled for June 21 at Road America in Wisconsin has been changed to a doubleheader on July 11-12.
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson receiver Justyn Ross will have shoulder surgery next month to alleviate an issue that cropped up during the team's spring workouts in March. Ross led the Tigers with 66 catches last season that went for 865 yards and eight touchdowns. He had 1,000 yards receiving as a freshman, highlighting his season with a 74-yard TD in the national championship win over Alabama.
UNDATED (AP) — Some Louisville football and basketball players will return to campus Wednesday in a phased approach and begin voluntary workouts on June 8. The first phase of 30 football players and 15 men’s and women’s basketball players will arrive next week after being advised of safety protocols. Indiana University hopes to have some student-athletes back by mid-June.
21-May-2020 / Ap
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Rain wiped out the final 20 laps of last night’s NASCAR Cup race at Darlington, allowing Denny Hamlin to come away with the victory. Hamlin was out of fresh tires when the race was stopped, but he received help when Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch caused a hard-charging Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution. Busch finished second in NASCAR’s first Wednesday race in 36 years. Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones completed the top five.
UNDATED (AP) — As the NBA continues to work through multiple return-to-play scenarios, two people with knowledge of the situation say Orlando, Las Vegas and Houston remain under consideration as cities that could host regular-season and playoff games. Wednesday marked the end of the 10th week since the NBA shut down on March 11. The pandemic halted the regular season with 259 games remaining, but none of those contests have yet to be officially canceled.
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same protection as a surgical mask. Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay says the issue came up about a month ago during a conference call with the league’s competition committee. Many players already wear visors to protect their eyes. McKay says the new mask would cover even more of the face. The medical director of the NFL Players Association tells ESPN's Adam Schefter that league engineers and sports equipment company Oakley are already testing prototypes of the modified mask.
UNDATED (AP) — The LPGA Tour will not have its qualifying events at the end of the year and will keep the same roster of players it has on all of its tours. The LPGA already has canceled seven events, plus the UL International Crown team event, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut the tour down since Inbee Park won the Women's Australian Open on Feb. 16. It hopes to resume on July 23-26 with the Marathon Classic in Ohio.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres are suing to obtain a green card for their British-born strength and conditioning coach. The Sabres say federal immigration officials wrongly denied a petition by the team to secure the card for Ed Gannon. The team maintains U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services misstated facts and arbitrarily failed to follow its own rules in denying permanent residency status to Gannon, who has worked for the team since 2015.
20-May-2020 / Ap
CLEVELAND (AP) — The new NFL Players Association president says he doesn’t know when players will be allowed to return to team training facilities. And Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter isn't willing to guess what the NFL might look like when it’s back on the field. The league has told all 32 teams that they may proceed with limited openings based on state restrictions meant to combat the virus outbreak.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels will implement furloughs across their organization starting June 1. They're the latest team to take steps against the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Angels’ furloughs will impact employees across the front office, scouting department and minor league system. They had already pledged to pay their employees through May. The $1 million employee assistance fund is separate from the $1.2 million already put up by the team to pay Angel Stadium’s roughly 1,800 workers.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers would prefer to stay home in their new ballpark whenever it is time to get back to spring training. They still haven’t played a game, or even had an organized workout, in their $1.2 billion stadium with a retractable roof. General manager Jon Daniels says there would be a lot of advantages to workouts in Texas instead of returning to their camp in Arizona. Spring training has been on hold for more than two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
NEW YORK (AP) — WNBA teams will have to get their rosters down to 12 by May 26 so that players can get paid starting June 1. That's according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press. The league and the players' union are still working out details of how often players will get paid and how much. The person said players who are waived over the next week won't get paid, but they will receive benefits through June 30.
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Soccer’s All-Star Game has been canceled for the first time in its quarter-century history because of the coronavirus pandemic. MLS All-Stars had been scheduled to play counterparts from Mexico’s Liga MX on July 29 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. MLS says the 2021 game will take place at Banc of California Stadium, most likely against All-Stars from Liga MX.
TAMPA BAY, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic —or NFL rules against players working out at team facilities — keep him from preparing for a new season with his new Tampa Bay team. Brady gathered some of his new Buccaneers teammates on a high school field for a throwing session. Brady wore a Buccaneers helmet and an orange jersey over his shoulder pads. The informal, players-only workout lasted two hours, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
UNDATED (AP) — Changes designed to enhance opportunities for minorities to get executive, head coaching and coordinator positions were passed by NFL owners. The changes include addendums to the Rooney Rule, which has fallen short in its goal of increasing diversity. All clubs will now be required to interview at least two minority candidates from outside the organization for head coach vacancies; at least one minority candidate for any of the three coordinator vacancies; and at least one external minority candidate for senior football operations or general manager positions.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Jazz have announced that forward Bojan Bogdanović underwent surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his right wrist. The procedure was by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michelle Carlson in New York City. There's no timetable for Bogdanović's return. The NBA season remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bogdanović was averaging 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his first season with the Jazz. He also was playing a career-best 33.1 minutes per game.
19-May-2020 / MCC Athletics
A former Mid-Plains Community College student and North Platte native has been named the next men's basketball coach at McCook Community College.
Jacob Brandl, who wore the black and gold of North Platte Community College in 2007-08, has been hired to fill the head men's basketball vacancy left when former coach Kyle Drennan left after one season to become Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Brandl, who has been at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. since 2012, will also serve as MCC's career coach. He served as Wesleyan's Associate Head Coach for the past year.
"I'm very excited and honored to be a part of the McCook family and want to thank Kelly Rippen, Jon Olsen, and the rest of the search committee," Brandl said. "As a North Platte native and former Mid-Plains student athlete, having an opportunity to come back to Nebraska and be close to home is very exciting for me."
MCC Athletic Director Jon Olsen said Brandl emerged from a talented list of candidates as the coach who checked all the boxes for what MCC was looking for.
"This was the most impressive pool of candidates I've seen for a position in 20 years of being on search committees at different junior colleges," Olsen said. "For him to come out on top of that, takes something."
"Coach Brandl brings a wealth of knowledge, energy, and passion not only for basketball, but for higher education as well," said Kelly Rippen, Vice President of MCC and Student Affairs. "It was evident in his application materials and his interviews that he would be as dedicated to the career coaching side of his role, as he would be to basketball."
Brandl attended North Platte Community College from 2006-2008 and received his Associate of Arts Degree in 2008. From North Platte he went to Dana College in Blair and later attended Midland University in Fremont where he received a bachelor's degree in history and secondary education as well as a field endorsement in social science and coaching. He went on to Dakota Wesleyan from 2012-2014 where he received his master's degree in Education Policy and Administration.
At Dakota Wesleyan he was responsible for all players' eligibility with the NAIA clearinghouse, responsible for all recruit correspondence and databases and recruited players from all areas including 77 student athletes over the past six years. He also served as lead scout for all opponents and game planning, and player development for a team that has made the NAIA national tournament the past six seasons.
"On the basketball side of things Jacob has been on a coaching staff that has taken their team to the national championship game and to the national tournament multiple times during his time at Dakota Wesleyan." Olsen said. "His role as an assistant has continued to grow there and he understands what it takes to run a successful college program."
As a college player at North Platte and Dana, he scored 966 career points, including 221 career 3-point field goals. He started 30 straight games for the Knights and then 59 straight for Dana College.
"Being from North Platte and playing at North Platte Community College, he has a great understanding of Mid-Plains, the area, how our region works, and what it is going to take to win in our region," Olsen said. "I know he is ready to get to work and I am really looking forward to having him on our staff and working with him."
Brandl said the family atmosphere at MCC really stood out as a place that he -- and wife Ashley -- want to be.
"Being a part of a campus that truly backs each other and the student athletes in more ways than one, solidified my decision on wanting to be here," Brandl said.
The coach looks to play a tough and disciplined brand of basketball, on and off the court.
"Offensively our main objective is to value the ball and defensively giving max effort on every possession," he said.
Rippen said MCC is lucky to have Coach Brandl join the MCC family. "He is impressi