The Latest: Division II league in Calif suspends fall sports

National Sports Headlines

FILE – In this March 26, 2020, file photo, Jason Hackedorn looks into Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, in Cleveland. With the distinct possibility of pro sports resuming in empty venues, a recent poll suggests a majority of U.S. fans wouldn’t feel safe attending games anyway without a coronavirus vaccine.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The California Collegiate Athletic Association has suspended all fall sports for the upcoming year, the league announced on Tuesday.

The NCAA Division II conference currently has 13 members but will lose one with UC San Diego moving to Division I. The remaining 12 members are all part of the California State University system. Chancellor Timothy White announced Tuesday the 23 schools in the CSU system would use online learning for the majority of classes during the fall semester.

The league sponsors men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball during the fall.

“The CCAA member institutions will continue to advocate strongly to maintain NCAA championship opportunities for all of our student-athletes, including our fall sports, during the 2020-21 academic year and recommend competition resume when it is safe and appropriate to do so for all of its members,” the league said in its announcement.

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The Seattle Mariners have informed its personnel working under uniform employee contracts that certain employees will have a five-month reduction in pay, but there will be no furloughs or layoffs through Oct. 31.

The pay reductions of at least 20% are for staff making $60,000 or more. The UEC covers employees on the major league coaching staff, coaches and coordinators in the minor league system, scouts and performance coaches. Those with larger salaries are expected to take a cut more significant than 20%. UEC employees will receive full benefits through October.

Approximately half of its employees working under a UEC will not have any reduction in pay. The team had previously told employees working under the UEC that they would receive full pay through May 31.

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance thinks it’s important for the NBA to crown a champion in this pandemic-altered season.

Speaking on a Zoom conference call, Nance said he’s cautiously optimistic about the league resuming after pausing play for two months.

Although the Cavs won’t be competing for a title, Nance empathizes with players who may not get to finish what they started if the league winds up scrapping the season.

“We’re not in position to win a championship this year but if I was, if I was Giannis (Antetokounmpo), if I was LeBron (James), if I was Kawhi (Leonard), if I was on one of those championship caliber teams I’d be pretty upset about it, because it’s very rare in this league that a chance like this comes along and that’s taken a valuable year off someone’s career.”

Nance was recently able to work out on a court for the first time since March as the Cavs reopened their training facility for players last week. Nance said he felt confident in returning to the floor because of the “well regimented” health and safety measures implemented by the team.

A huge soccer fan, Nance said he has been closely monitoring the return of other leagues worldwide as potential test cases for the NBA to follow.

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Belmont Park’s main track re-opened for training Tuesday, with preparations underway for a resumption of live racing and the start of the spring-summer meet, which has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Wearing face masks and gloves, outriders and gate crew led horses to the main track for exercise. The dirt training track has remained open throughout the suspension of live racing.

Assistant trainer Blair Golen says the horses are able to relax more on the main track and not be passed by anybody because of the space.

Only essential personnel are allowed at the track and they undergo daily temperature checks. They also must abide by requirements for masks, gloves and social distancing.

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The NCAA has canceled both sessions of the NCAA Basketball Academy in July because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sessions were scheduled for July 20-26 at Utah, Winthrop, Wichita State and Connecticut.

Up to 1,600 players from the high school graduating classes between 2021 and 2023 were to be selected to the academy, with up to 400 assigned to each region during the two sessions.

The NCAA created the basketball academy in 2019 in a revamping of the recruiting process following a pay-for-play scandal uncovered by a federal investigation in 2017. The new recruiting calendar includes fewer live periods with AAU teams, evaluation periods with high school teams and the basketball academy.

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USA Gymnastics will not hold any top-tier events the rest of this year.

The organization announced Tuesday it is scrapping the U.S. Classic and the national championships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization had initially hoped to reschedule the events for later in 2020 after Tokyo Olympics were pushed back to the summer of 2021.

USA Gymnastics president Li Li Leung called the decision “in the best interest” of the gymnastics community after receiving guidance from health experts and consulting with coaches and athletes.

The 2021 U.S. Classic will be held in Hartford, Conn., on May 21. The 2021 national championships will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, from June 3-6. A new date for the Olympic trials, initially scheduled for June in St. Louis, has not yet been set.

The organization’s national congress and trade show, which typically runs simultaneously with the national championships, will be held virtually this year. USA Gymnastics said tickets already purchased for the 2020 events will be valid for the new dates, though it will offer refunds for a limited time.

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Browns coach Kevin Stefanski can finally call Cleveland home.

After delaying his family’s move from Minnesota because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stefanski, his wife and his young kids made the trip to Ohio over the weekend.

“We did an 11-hour drive on Friday and powered through that,” he told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt late Monday night. “I was proud of myself. It was interesting. The license plate game is hard right now because there’s not a lot of cars on the road. But the kids were pretty good. Thank God for the iPads, and now happy to be in Cleveland.”

Stefanski spent 14 seasons as an assistant with the Vikings before he was hired by the Browns in January.

During his introductory news conference, Stefanski said he knew about Cleveland’s east side-west side divide and wasn’t sure where to live. He wound up settling in a western suburb.

Stefanski and his staff have been holding daily Zoom calls during the team’s offseason program, which has been forced to be virtual because of the virus. On Monday, Cleveland’s rookies joined the meetings.

Stefanski believes the sessions have worked well.

“Players, young people, are a resilient bunch, and I think they learn under these unique circumstances,” he said.

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On the day they were supposed to hold a parade to mark their 2019 WNBA championship, the Washington Mystics have revealed plans for what the team is billing as a “virtual celebration.”

The Mystics originally planned to take to the streets of the nation’s capital on Tuesday, but that was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also set aside was a banner-raising ceremony scheduled for the home opener against the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday.

It’s not known when the season will begin.

So Saturday will feature online festivities.

Those will include messages from Mayor Muriel Bowser, Mystics owner Ted Leonsis and coach Mike Thibault, an appearance by player Natasha Cloud, and the first episode of a documentary about the championship run.

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Swedish soccer players will not be required to take a test for COVID-19 before practice sessions or matches.

Players will instead have to fill in a self-assessment form each morning before arriving at training or a match. The club doctor will then assess whether the player is healthy enough to take part. Players must stay at home if they have any symptoms.

The Swedish league says the principle in the country is that only people who are feeling so ill that they must visit the hospital get a ”full-scale corona test.”

The return-to-play protocols have been presented to Sweden’s public health authority. A decision is expected this week on whether the Swedish league can start next month.

Swedish society hasn’t completely shut down during the coronavirus outbreak because the government and medical authorities have chosen not to impose as many restrictions as other countries.

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The club that hosts the Wimbledon tennis tournament says it has made donations worth about $1.5 million to emergency services and charities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The All England Club says it has also made contributions to a relief program to support players whose income is particularly affected by the virus outbreak.

All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt says “Wimbledon has the responsibility and the capacity to act as a force for good.”

This year’s grass-court Grand Slam event was canceled on April 1. It is the first time Wimbledon has been shelved since World War II.

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The Austrian soccer league is set to resume next month in empty stadiums following clearance from the government.

Soccer federation president Leo Windtner met with vice chancellor Werner Kogler and says the path is clear to restart. Training could resume this week.

The league is expected to set a date for games at a meeting of clubs Wednesday.

No Austrian league games have been played since early March. LASK Linz leads Salzburg by three points at the top of the standings.

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The Diamond League circuit of track meets has a new, shorter schedule from mid-August through mid-October because of the coronavirus pandemic.

World Athletics says the adapted program can “give athletes time to prepare mentally, stay motivated and adjust training for competition.”

The series is now set to start in Monaco on Aug. 14 with two more European meets scheduled for later that month. Four more European meets in September will be followed by Shanghai on Sept. 19.

The Prefontaine meet in Eugene, Oregon, is set for Oct. 4. The season-ending meet is Oct. 17 in China at a city to be decided.

World Athletics says Zurich will now have the finals in 2021 and 2022 and Eugene has agreed to push back its finals back by one year to 2023.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he believes it is too early for the Premier League to be planning a resumption of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham and West Ham all play in the capital.

The mayor’s office says the league should resume only “when it is safe to do so.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that sports events in the country could resume in June if there is not a new spike in COVID-19 infections.

Liverpool led the league by 25 points with nine games remaining when the league was suspended in March.

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FIFA has rescheduled two women’s events for next year and will hold its 2020 annual meeting online.

FIFA says the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and Panama will start on Jan. 20 and the Under-17 Women’s World Cup will be in India from Feb. 17.

Both 2020 tournaments were postponed in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

FIFA says both tournaments will retain their eligibility rules. The same players can be selected even if they have a birthday early in 2021.

The FIFA Congress was due to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sept. 18 but will now be an online event.

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German soccer clubs will decide whether to adopt a rule change to increase the number of substitutions when they meet by video conference on Thursday.

The International Football Association Board agreed last week to let teams use two extra substitutes per match in 2020. That should help leagues clear a backlog of games created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Leagues can choose whether or not to adopt the rule change.

The German league is scheduled to restart on Saturday.

The German league also says it will stop publishing centralized statistics for its coronavirus testing program and will leave that up to the clubs.

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The Danish soccer league will resume on May 28 with games in empty stadiums.

The league has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The first game will be between AGF and Randers to complete the 24th round. The 25th round will start on May 29.

All games in the 26th and final round will be held on June 7. The playoffs will follow with the season scheduled to end on July 29.

The league says games will take place at various times during the daytime and evening “so that as many matches as possible are made available to football fans” while stadiums are closed.

FC Midtjylland leads FC Copenhagen by 12 points at the top of the standings.

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The Diamond League event in London is the latest track meet to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The meet had been scheduled for July 4-5 at the Olympic Stadium.

British Athletics says “the decision has been made in light of the ongoing global pandemic.”

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World Cup winner Giuseppe Bergomi says he had COVID-19.

The former Italy defender says that for 20-25 days beginning in early March his back was in so much pain that he couldn’t sit down.

He adds in an Instagram chat that he felt constantly weak.

The 56-year-old Bergomi says he has recovered.

Bergomi played for Inter Milan and is now an analyst for soccer matches on Italy’s Sky TV. He helped Italy to the 1982 World Cup title.

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The qualifying tournament for the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bangladesh, Ireland, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United States, the West Indies and Zimbabwe were to play in the tournament in Sri Lanka from July 3-19 and three were to qualify.

The International Cricket Council has not set new dates.

The Women’s World Cup is in New Zealand in February and March.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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