Friday Sports Roundup | local sports
Positive virus tests postpone WVU women’s basketball practices
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia women’s basketball program has pushed back the start of its summer practices by two weeks after six players tested positive for the coronavirus, the league announced Thursday. ‘school.
Players who have tested positive will enter a 14-day quarantine period along with others who have been identified through contact tracing procedures as potentially exposed, the WVU athletic department said in a press release.
Training for athletes who test negative for the virus will now begin on July 20. The Big 12 had previously authorized training to begin on July 6, but the mountaineers have yet to begin their summer preparation.
Earlier this month, the West Virginia men’s basketball team also postponed the start of practice for two weeks after five players and one staff member tested positive for the virus.
The statement said three West Virginia soccer players also recently tested positive for the virus and are self-isolating.
MLB Releases 2021 Schedule; the 30 teams will open on April 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball will open the 2021 season on April 1 and hopes every team will play its first game on the same day for the first time since 1968.
The league released the full schedule on Thursday, two weeks before it plans to start a 2020 season that has been delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic. MLB had intended to start this season on March 26, its earliest opening date excluding international games.
The league also hoped all 30 clubs would play on the same opening day this season, but that was ruined when commissioner Rob Manfred suspended spring training in March.
Instead, a 60-game regular-season schedule is set to begin on July 23, with clubs only to face divisional opponents and regional interleague opponents – AL East v NL East, AL Central v NL Central, AL West v NL West – limit movement.
Clubs will resume full intraleague schedules in 2021, and interleague play will once again align at regional level.
The New York Mets will host the Yankees across town at Citi Field on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the first time the Subway Series has taken place on 9/11. The Yankees will host the Mets over the July 4 weekend.
Atlanta will host the 91st All-Star Game on July 13 at Truist Park. This is Atlanta’s first All-Star Game since hosting in 2000 at Turner Field.
MLB also tried to have each team play its first game on the same day in 2018, but two games were postponed due to bad weather.
The last day of the season will be October 3.
Court filing alleges $400,000 paid to Zion Williamson’s family in 2018
The legal battle over NBA rookie Zion Williamson’s potential endorsement now includes an allegation that his family received $400,000 from a marketing agency before his lone season for Duke.
Prime Sports Marketing and company president Gina Ford filed a lawsuit last summer in Florida state court, accusing Williamson and the agency that now represents him of breach of contract. It came a week after Williamson filed her own lawsuit in North Carolina federal court to end a five-year contract with Prime Sports after moving to Creative Artists Agency LLC.
In documents filed Thursday in North Carolina, Ford lawyers included an affidavit from a California man who said the head of a Canadian company called Maximum Management Group (MMG) told him he had paid Williamson’s family for their commitment to sign with MMG once he left Duke for the NBA.
The documents include a marketing agreement Williamson signed with MMG from May 2019, a December 2019 “representation letter” signed by Williamson and his father-in-law agreeing to pay $500,000 to MMG chairman Slavko Duric for the “loan repayment” from October 2018, and a copy of Williamson’s South Carolina driver’s license – which listed Williamson’s height as “284” and weight as “6’06”.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Williamson’s attorney, Jeffrey S. Klein, said the documents were “fraudulent.”
“The so-called ‘agreements’ and driver’s license attached to these papers are fraudulent – and neither Mr. Williamson nor his family know these people or have had any dealings with them,” Klein said. “We had previously alerted Ms. Ford’s lawyers both to this fact and to the fact that we had previously reported the documents to law enforcement as forgeries, but they still chose to pursue with another frivolous filing.
“This is a desperate and irresponsible attempt to smear Mr. Williamson just when he has the opportunity to live out his dream of playing professional basketball.”
The affidavit is from Donald Kreiss, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur who has worked with athletes and agents in marketing relationships. He had recently contacted Ford and then provided the affidavit last week outlining interactions with MMG and Williamson’s family, according to one of the filings.
Ford’s attorneys sought to focus on Williamson’s eligibility. His lawsuit said Prime Sports violated North Carolina sports agent law, both by failing to include disclaimers regarding loss of eligibility when signing the contract and the fact that neither Prime Sports nor Ford were registered with the state.
WTA revises ranking system and adds 2 events as comeback nears
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The WTA Tour will allow players to count results from March 2019 through December 2020 under a revised ranking system when tennis resumes next month.
Players will count their best 16 singles results and their best 11 doubles during this window to determine their ranking points. The results generally count on 52 weeks. Players cannot use the same event twice if it was played in 2019 and 2020.
The change is similar to the revision made earlier this week by the ATP Tour. The rankings for both tours have been frozen as of March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Both tours will resume in August. The WTA added two events to its tentative schedule on Thursday, with the Prague Open in the Czech Republic and the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., to be played the week of August 10.