Update on the latest sports
Pandemic fallout: NCAA slashes distribution by $375 million
UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June. That is $375 million less than had been budgeted this year because the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the men’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA says $50 million will come from its reserve fund. A $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will help pay the rest.
March Madness is among the biggest revenue producers for the NCAA and its schools. It was canceled March 19, a week before the first round was scheduled to begin.
The NCAA pulled in more than $1 billion in revenue last year, including $867.5 million from the television and marketing rights for the Division I men’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA had been scheduled to distribute $600 million to more than 300 Division I schools from April to June.
Indy 500 moved to August
UNDATED (AP) — The Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 24 has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It will be the first time since 1946 that the race won’t be run on Memorial Day weekend.
IndyCar initially said it would resume racing May 9 on the road course at Indianapolis. That race will now be run on July 4, a day before NASCAR races at The Brickyard. The Indy 500 will be moved to Aug. 23.
In other outbreak-related developments:
— Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will be in quarantine for two weeks. Castellano tested positive as part of a physical that officials at Gulfstream Park mandated as a prerequisite before being cleared to ride in Saturday’s Florida Derby. Castellano says that he has not had “known contact with anyone that has tested positive.” Castellano last rode on March 15, when he had two mounts at Gulfstream. He returned to New York to see family afterward and was scheduled to ride at Gulfstream this weekend.
— NHL stars Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby think the league should go directly to the playoffs once it resumes play. The two rival Metropolitan Division captains shared their views Thursday. Crosby says he understands the need to try to play as many games as possible. But he says he wouldn’t mind beginning with the playoffs. Ovechkin had the same idea. There is no timetable for when play will resume. It has not been determined whether the league will complete the regular season.
— New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he and his wife, Brittany, are donating $5 million to help Louisiana businesses and communities contend with challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Brees posted his pledge on a social media account and says the money will help several restaurants in which he has an ownership stake as well as a major hospital chain and charities that deliver meals to people in need.
— Denver Broncos general manager John Elway is donating $50,000 to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund. Elway’s personal donation follows a $500,000 donation by the team. The Broncos also donated 100,000 meals to the Food Bank of the Rockies and jointly hosted a personal protective equipment drive at their stadium last weekend. Elway said he wanted to support hospital workers, doctors and nurses who are the front line in the coronavirus pandemic. His son-in-law is a doctor in Sacramento, California.
— The Green Bay Packers have extended the closure of Lambeau Field through at least April 24 to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a “safer at home” order through that date. Packers officials said the closure would continue until that order expires or until a superseding order is issued. Packers officials say Lambeau Field and Titletown will only have essential personnel in place for non-public operations of the facilities.
— The WNBA has announced its draft will be a virtual event this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The draft will be held on April 17 as originally scheduled but will be broadcast without players, fans or media in attendance. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert says the league is still looking at different scenarios for the start of the regular season, but notes it could begin before the NBA resumes play.
— Louisville says the father of junior wide receiver Corey Reed Jr. died Wednesday from coronavirus in an Atlanta hospital. Corey Reed Sr. was 43.
— Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he has fully recovered from the coronavirus, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. Arteta, who turned 38 on Thursday, told the Arsenal website that he is ”completely fine” and that he only felt ill for a few days.
— The International Olympic Committee says it is “not aware of any link” between an Olympic boxing tournament it oversaw in London this month and positive coronavirus tests for people who were there. The Turkish boxing federation says a boxer and a trainer now have the virus after attending the Olympic qualifying tournament, which was stopped on March 16 after three of the scheduled 11 days. The Turkish team says the two men are being treated in a hospital and two others with symptoms are awaiting test results.
— Football Federation Australia wants FIFA and the IOC to increase the age limit for the Olympic men’s tournament in the wake of the Tokyo Games being pushed back to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carroll and FFA chief executive James Johnson plan to “open up discussions” with soccer’s world governing body and the Asian Football Confederation on increasing the age limit from 23 to 24. That would give some older players who qualified for the Olympics this year an opportunity to compete next year.
Bill Bartholomay, who moved Braves to Atlanta, dies at 91
ATLANTA (AP) — Former Braves owner Bill Bartholomay, who moved the franchise from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966 to become Major League Baseball’s first team in the South, has died. He was 91.
Bartholomay died Wednesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to his daughter, Jamie.
Bartholomay headed the group that sold the Braves to Ted Turner in 1976 but retained a partial interest and remained as the team’s chairman until November 2003, when he assumed an emeritus role.
Braves Hall of Famer Hank Aaron said on his Twitter account that Bartholomay “was the greatest owner I ever had the pleasure to play for.”
Bartholomay attended spring training at the Braves’ new facility in North Port, Florida, last month before the coronavirus pandemic caused MLB to suspend spring training and delay the start of the season.
Harlem Globetrotters great Curly Neal dies at 77
UNDATED (AP) — Fred “Curly” Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained millions with the Harlem Globetrotters for parts of three decades, has died. He was 77.
The Globetrotters say Neal died in his home outside of Houston on Thursday morning.
Neal played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the exhibition team known for its combination of comedy and athleticism. He became one of five Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters during a special ceremony at Madison Square Garden in 2008.
Neal was a crowd favorite with his trademark shaved head, infectious smile and ability to dribble circles around would-be defenders. He was a key player during the Globetrotters’ most popular era in the ‘70s and ’80s, appearing on TV shows and specials like “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Love Boat” and “Gilligan’s Island.”
Neal and the Globetrotters also appeared in numerous TV commercials, episodes of “Scooby-Doo” and had their own cartoon series.