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Morning roundup: Hamlin scores 2nd win of season at rain-shortened Darlington

AUTO RACING

Hamlin scores 2nd win of season at rain-shortened Darlington

Denny Hamlin won NASCAR's first Wednesday race since 1984 when rain stopped the event with 20 laps remaining at Darlington Raceway.

The Daytona 500 winner was out front but out of fresh tires and trying to hang on when he got unintended help from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. The reigning Cup champion caused Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution.

A furious Elliott waited for Busch on the apron of the track and flipped Busch the middle finger as he passed. As NASCAR cleaned the track, it started to rain and the cars were called to pit road under red-flag.

As the drivers sat in their cars waiting for NASCAR to pull the plug, a handful of Elliott's crew members sat on the pit wall staring down Busch.

One of Busch's crew members sat between them on the wall and NASCAR eventually ordered everyone back over the wall. Eight minutes later, the race was called.

Briscoe's heartbreaking week ends with Xfinity victory

Chase Briscoe capped a heartbreaking week by winning the Xfinity Series’ return to action at Darlington Raceway on Thursday.

Briscoe was in the Darlington infield Tuesday awaiting the race’s original start when he digitally joined wife, Marissa, for a 12-week exam for their expected baby. The couple heard the tragic news: There was no fetal heartbeat. “The worst news I could’ve heard,” Briscoe posted on Instagram on Wednesday.

Still, Briscoe was in the lineup for the series' first action since March 7 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and used two strong restarts and a quick pit stop to finish on top. He got the lead out of the pits during the final caution, then pulled away from Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier on the subsequent restart with seven laps to go for his fourth career win and second this season.

MLB

Baseball players respond to MLB on virus protocols

The baseball players' association gave management a wide-ranging response Thursday to a 67-page proposed set of protocols for a season to be played during the coronavirus pandemic.

The union said 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 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. Players also objected to a ban on the use of showers and hydrotherapy.

The union wants more frequent testing than management's proposed “multiple times per week.”

NFL

NFL looks at adding "booth umpire" and tech adviser for refs

The NFL is considering adding a “booth umpire” and a senior technology adviser to the referee to assist the officiating crew.

The league also is looking at other rules changes, including an alternative to the onside kick.

NFL clubs received a list of potential rules changes on Thursday. Owners will vote on the proposals at the upcoming league meeting to be held by video conference on May 28.

COLLEGES

Legendary Auburn coach Dye tests positive for COVID-19, is hospitalized

Longtime Auburn football coach Pat Dye recently tested positive for COVID-19 and has since been hospitalized due to ongoing kidney problems, according to an email sent to members of the Toccoa United Methodist Church in Toccoa, Georgia.

"Please join us in praying for and lifting up Jayne Snell's brother, Pat Dye," the email read. "Jayne says he is very weak, and is experiencing loss of appetite and confusion."

Dye, 80, is considered to be one of the greatest coaches in Auburn football history, if not the greatest. The Blythe, Georgia, native came to Auburn in 1981 after playing for the Bulldogs in college and starting his coaching career on Bear Bryant's Alabama staff. He served as the Tigers' head coach through 1992.

Dye was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. The field at Jordan-Hare Stadium was named in his honor that same year.

FLORIDA STATE: Former Seminoles offensive lineman Jauan Williams, who is planning to transfer, is facing misdemeanor battery charges that he struck his then-girlfriend two years ago, allegations he vehemently denies. Williams, 23, was arrested Wednesday in Tallahassee on two charges that he struck Lauren Noel during fights in the spring of 2018 in which the police were called, court documents show. He was released early Thursday on $500 bail.

GRAND CANYON: Former men's basketball coach Dan Majerle filed a lawsuit for breach of contract after being fired by Grand Canyon earlier this year.

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN: The Lumberjacks received postseason bans for baseball, football and men's basketball for having low scores on the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate and agreed to several sanctions including probation, scholarship reductions and the forfeiture of wins for the improper certification of 82 student-athletes.

VANDERBILT: The Commodores have removed the interim title, making Candice Storey Lee the first black woman to become an athletic director in the Southeastern Conference.

Wire reports

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