Thursday's Sports in Brief
The Indianapolis 500 was postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won't run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.
The race will instead be held Aug. 23, three months later than its May 24 scheduled date.
The Indianapolis 500 began in 1911 but did not run in 1917, 1918 and from 1941-45 because of World Wars I and II. Tony Hulman bought the neglected speedway after the second war and the Indy 500 returned on Memorial Day weekend in 1946.
It has been scheduled for that weekend every year since, a familiar fixture for untold millions of fans over the years. Although inclement weather has occasionally disrupted the prestigious race, it had never been outright rescheduled until now.
NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL teams the draft will go on as originally scheduled for next month.
The draft will still take place April 23-25. It was originally scheduled for a big outdoor production in Las Vegas, but those plans were scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, Goodell said that “public health conditions are highly uncertain” and there was no guarantee of significant improvement by moving it to a later date as reasons for not moving the date of the draft.
The draft, which has become a huge extravaganza since leaving New York in 2015, will be scaled down and “televised in a way that reflects current conditions.”
Prospects and their families will not be at the draft. It is possible the draft will more resemble a studio TV show.
The NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June, a whopping $375 million less than had been budgeted after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the big-money men's basketball tournament.
Ohio State President Michael Drake, chairman of the NCAA board of governors, said the association will undertake cost-cutting measures to be determined in the upcoming weeks.
The NCAA had been scheduled to distribute $600 million to more than 300 Division I schools from April to June. Instead, it will hand out far less.
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. But March Madness was canceled March 19, a week before the first round was scheduled to begin.
NEW YORK (AP) — Players agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball that would preserve service time in the event this season is canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but left open details of what a configured schedule would look like.
As part of the agreement approved by the union, players will not challenge the loss of their salaries if no games are played.
Management will advance $170 million in salary payments over two stages, and that money does not have to be returned if the season is canceled. Player salaries this year are expected to total roughly $4 billion.
Management was given the right to cut the amateur draft in both 2020 and 2021, and to freeze the values of signing bonus money at 2019 levels.
Details were divulged to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
NEW YORK (AP) — Top NBA executives are having their base salaries reduced by 20% for the foreseeable future, a person with knowledge of the details said.
The reductions affect the roughly 100 highest-earning executives, as the NBA joins the NHL and NASCAR in cutting salaries while competitions are on hold because of the coronavirus.
The cuts are effective immediately and affect NBA employees both inside the league headquarters in New York, and in global offices, the person told The Associated Press. The person was granted anonymity because the reductions were not announced publicly.
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 said Neal died in his home outside of Houston.
“We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known,” Globetrotters general manager Jeff Munn said in a statement on Twitter. “Curly’s basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide.”
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.