Update on the latest in sports:
With Virus outbreak, NBA tells teams to keep distance from fans, strangers
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA has told teams to avoid high-fiving fans and strangers and avoid taking any item for autographs. It’s the league’s latest response in its ongoing monitoring of the coronavirus crisis that has spread to most corners of the planet.
In a memo sent to teams on Sunday and obtained by The Associated Press, the NBA has offered 10 recommendations to players with hopes of decreasing risks of getting the virus. Those recommendations include not taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph-seekers.
The NBA also told teams that it is consulting “with infectious disease experts, including the Centers for Disease Control” and infectious disease researchers at Columbia University in New York.
Doncic back in lineup
CHICAGO (AP) — All-Star guard Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) is back in the Dallas Mavericks’ lineup tonight against the Bulls in Chicago after missing a game because of a sprained left thumb.
The thumb began to bother Doncic during Friday’s loss to Miami, prompting the team to keep him out of last night’s win at Minnesota. The second-year player is averaging team highs of 28.6 points and 8.8 assists per game this season.
The Mavericks held out Kristaps Porzingis (KRIHS’-tahps pohr-ZIHN’-gihs) against the Bulls a day after he tied a season high with 38 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-GEORGIA TECH-PENALTIES
Tech drops appeal of NCAA penalties
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech has withdrawn its appeal of NCAA penalties against its men’s basketball program and will not lay in this month’s ACC Tournament.
The Yellow Jackets received a one-year ban on postseason play as well as scholarship reductions and limits on official visits. By saying Monday it would accept those penalties this year, Georgia Tech is assured of being eligible to compete in the postseason next year and beyond.
Underwood gets extension
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois says it has rewarded basketball coach Brad Underwood for a significant jump this season, giving him a three-year contract extension through 2026.
The move comes with the 23rd-ranked Illini challenging for the Big Ten Conference championship in Underwood’s third season after going 26-39 during his first two years at the helm. They are 20-9 overall and tied for second in conference play with Michigan State and Wisconsin at 12-6, a game behind Maryland.
Kansas is number one
UNDATED (AP) — Kansas is the unanimous No. 1 in a week of upheaval in men’s college basketball.
The Jayhawks received all 64 first-place votes from the media panel in The Associated Press poll. Gonzaga was No. 2, with Dayton, Baylor and San Diego State rounding out the top five.
Sixth-ranked Kentucky is followed by Florida State, Seton Hall, Maryland and Louisville.
The Aztecs, Terrapins and No. 18 Iowa were the only teams to hold their place after a week in which nine Top 25 teams lost to unranked opponents.
Dayton has its highest ranking since reaching No. 2 in 1955-56 after stretching its winning streak to 18 games.
Virginia, Illinois and Wisconsin moved into the poll. West Virginia, Colorado and Texas Tech fell out.
NORTH CAROLINA-AGENTS PROBE
Mistrial declared for ex-football player in NC agent’s case
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — A Superior Court judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a former college football player charged with violating North Carolina’s sports agent law nearly a decade ago.
Christopher Hawkins faced four counts tied to providing cash to three former Tar Heels football players in 2010. But after more than seven hours of deliberations Friday afternoon and Monday, the jury informed the judge that it couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict on any charge.
Knicks hire longtime player agent Leon Rose as president
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks officially have named Leon Rose as their president, hoping the longtime player agent can be just as successful as an executive.
Rose is taking over what has become one of the NBA’s worst franchises, headed toward its seventh straight season out of the playoffs. Teams such as Golden State and the Lakers have found success handing their basketball operations to an agent.
Rose is the former co-head of the basketball division at CAA Sports. He replaces Steve Mills, who was fired early last month.
GMs seem prepared to keep status quo on emergency goalies
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — NHL general managers seem unlikely to suggest changes to the emergency backup goaltender policy, even after 42-year-old Zamboni driver David Ayres became one of the biggest stories of the season by winning a game for Carolina last month.
The issue was among the discussion points during the first three days of GM meetings. The apparent consensus was that emergency goaltenders are called upon so rarely that any reaction now would likely feel like an overreaction.
Pass-rusher Ngakoue no longer wants to re-sign with Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Standout defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (yah-NEEK’ en-GAH’-kway) no longer wants to sign a long-term deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ngakoue announced his desire to play elsewhere via social media. It could force Jacksonville to place the franchise tag on the 24-year-old disgruntled defender and trade him.
Ngakoue has 37 1/2 sacks and 14 forced fumbles in four seasons. The speedy strip-sack specialist made the Pro Bowl in 2017 and had been seeking around $22 million a year to remain in Jacksonville.
Bellinger out of the lineup
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — NL MVP Cody Bellinger was scratched from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting lineup for a spring training game Monday against the Cincinnati Reds.
The outfielder took part in a charity event on Sunday night at a Topgolf facility in Scottsdale, and a video showed him hitting a long drive off a tee. Manager Dave Roberts says golf swings aren’t believed to be the reason for his injury.
Bellinger is 4 for 13 with two doubles.
Dustin Johnson decides against playing in the Olympics
UNDATED (AP) — U.S. golfer Dustin Johnson will not compete in the Tokyo Olympics, according to his manager. Johnson’s name was removed from the Olympic golf ranking Monday afternoon.
At No. 5 in the world ranking, he currently would have been No. 3 among Americans behind Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) and Justin Thomas.
Countries are allowed a maximum of four players in golf provided they are among the top 15 in the world ranking.