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SPORTS BRIEFING

Breaking the color barrier

“It was, after all, one thing for white major league organizations like the Brooklyn Dodgers to take a hard line in challenging racial laws and customs on behalf of an outstanding prospect like (Jackie) Robinson, and quite another for a Negro League club like the Cleveland Buckeyes to do the same in support of an unproven player like Eddie Klep.” — Larry Gerlach, former president of the Society for American Baseball Research.

In a reverse integration role, Eddie Klep became the first white to play in a Negro League game played in Grand Rapids, Mich., on May 29, 1946. Klep pitched seven innings for the Cleveland Buckeyes in an 8-6 win over the American Giants.

John Deere Classic canceled

SILVIS, Ill. (AP) — Two weeks before the PGA Tour is set to resume its schedule, John Deere Classic officials decided Thursday to cancel what would have been the fifth tournament back.

Tournament director Clair Peterson said there were too many obstacles to overcome involving too many risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it made financial sense in the long run to not hold the tournament.

The John Deere would have been July 9-12, the fifth PGA Tour stop under the revised schedule. The tour is not allowing spectators for at least a month, meaning the Deere could have been the first tournament that allowed fans.

However, Peterson noted an Illinois mandate that restricts gatherings to 50 people through the summer, and other issues at TPC Deere Run such as the size of the clubhouse and getting people from parking lots through the gates.

“Any version — an event with fans, without fans, something in between — we’re going to lose money,” he said. “Or do we want to take the long view of this and ensure long-term security.”

Leetonia seeks golf coach

LEETONIA — Leetonia is seeking a boys golf coach for the fall season 2020. Interested candidates should contact Ed Ridgeway at eridgeway@leetonia.k12.oh.us.

Raiders need girls soccer coach

GREENFORD — South Range is seeking an assistant girls soccer coach. If interested, contact head coach Kelsey Malenic@ k.malenic@mahoning esc.org.

Madden goes through 2026

NEW YORK (AP) – The Madden franchise will continue to be a part of the gaming universe for at least the next six years.

NFL owners on Thursday approved an extension of their deal with Electronic Arts, continuing a relationship that has existed for 30 years. It was also recently approved by the NFL Players Association.

The current contract was set to expire after the 2021 season. The extension means that EA Sports will continue to be the league’s exclusive publisher of football simulation games through 2026.

Kentucky and Notre Dame

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky and Notre Dame play this fall to begin a three-year series between two of college basketball’s winningest programs.

Kentucky hosts Notre Dame on Dec. 12 in the first regular-season meeting between the schools since Notre Dame’s 64-50 victory at home on Nov. 29, 2012. The Wildcats visit the Fighting Irish on Dec. 10, 2022, and the teams play at a neutral site to be determined on Dec. 11, 2021.

Kentucky is 43-19 against Notre Dame.

Race to graduate

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) – Darlington Raceway is switching gears for its next event.

Two weeks after hosting NASCAR’s return to racing, the track will hold graduation ceremonies for the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics. There will be 120 graduating seniors at Saturday’s event from the school in Hartsville, a few miles from NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway.

Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp said the track was honored to help the high school seniors be recognized in a proper way.

Traditional high school graduation ceremonies have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ceremony will take place at a parking lot on track property. Afterward, the graduates and their parents will have the chance to drive their vehicles for a lap around the 1.366-mile track and get their pictures taken on the start-finish line.

PAC working on return

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. — The Presidents’ Council of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), during its May 19 virtual meeting, reaffirmed its commitment to planning for a “Return to Sport” framework for varsity intercollegiate athletics during the 2020-21 academic year.

“Student-athletes and their competition are a vital part of our undergraduate experience,” said Dr. David Finegold, president at Chatham University and current chair of the PAC Presidents’ Council. “We are looking at all aspects of what will be necessary to resume sports competition next academic year while doing all we can to protect the health of our student-athletes in light of the global pandemic.”

Federal, state and local guidelines will be primary considerations for the conference’s 10 full members and two affiliate football members as the summer leads into preseason practice and then into competition. All 12 PAC institutions are represented on the working group rosters.

The PAC anticipates making final decisions regarding the structure and timeline for varsity athletics in the fall 2020 semester sometime in late June or early July.

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