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National Sports

Harvick wins at Darlington as NASCAR returns to racing

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — This was a 400-mile drive unlike any other in modern day NASCAR. The grandstands were completely empty. There wasn't a single tailgate inside the track. Everyone wore face coverings — some with the team logos, others opting for plain disposable medical masks. It was ...

Former manager and player Art Howe released from hospital

HOUSTON (AP) — Former major league manager and infielder Art Howe was released from a Houston hospital Sunday after a stay in intensive care because of the coronavirus. "Relief, back in my own bedroom. It's just sweet," the 73-year-old Howe said. "It was a long five days or so. I'm finally ...

Virus has NFL prospects pondering threat of a lost season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Joe Burrow was a competent if unspectacular quarterback as a backup at Ohio State and during his first post-transfer season at LSU. In 2019, he transformed into Super Joe. Imagine if a pandemic had shortened or wiped out that last, golden season for Burrow, who won the ...

NASCAR putting its safety plan to test as racing restarts

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Crew chief Chad Knaus won't get a look at the car Hendrick Motorsports built for Darlington Raceway until he gets to the track Sunday morning, a few hours before the race. Kurt Busch? He's already sat in his Chip Ganassi Racing car and met with his crew chief. The ...

Rodgers says Packers’ decision to draft Love surprised him

Packers star Aaron Rodgers acknowledges Green Bay drafting a quarterback in the first round surprised him and complicated his hopes of playing his entire career with the same team. The Packers traded up four spots in the first round last month to take Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with ...

Tirico hosting live golf from 1,000 miles away

Mike Tirico returns to his role as host Sunday on NBC when live golf is shown on television for the first time in more than two months, and he can't wait. "Someone gets over a ball and we don't know the outcome," Tirico said Friday. This is hardly a return to normal. The charity Skins game ...

WNBA commissioner: League focusing on scenarios to play

NEW YORK (AP) — WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is focusing on about a half dozen scenarios for the league to begin play this summer Engelbert did not go into detail about each scenario, but told The Associated Press Friday that the league is looking at playing at one site, a few possibly ...

Lakers’ Dwight Howard healing after death of son’s mother

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The mother of Dwight Howard's 6-year-old son died nearly six weeks ago due to an epileptic seizure, the Los Angeles Lakers center says. Although Howard has spent the NBA's hiatus dealing with the difficult task of explaining Melissa Rios' death to their son, he is also ...

Attorney says he has affidavits clearing Seahawks’ Dunbar

MIAMI (AP) — The attorney for Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar says he has five signed affidavits from witnesses that exonerate his client in an armed robbery. Attorney Michael Grieco told The Associated Press on Friday that the five witnesses attested that Dunbar was not involved ...

Autopsy: Pilot in Kobe Bryant crash had no alcohol, drugs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pilot flying Kobe Bryant and seven others to a youth basketball tournament did not have alcohol or drugs in his system, and all nine sustained immediately fatal injuries when their helicopter slammed into a hillside outside Los Angeles in January, according to autopsies ...

Vikes’ Zimmer sequestering at ranch with assistant coach son

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Zimmer has managed to conduct some extra strategy sessions during this sequestered NFL offseason, despite being disconnected from all of his players and almost all of his staff. That's because the Minnesota Vikings head coach has his newly appointed co-defensive ...

Extra innings: Baseball head pitches Olympics to MLB, again

ROME (AP) — Baseball. In Japan. At the Olympics. For World Baseball Softball Confederation president Riccardo Fraccari, it seems like such a sure home run that he can't even imagine why anyone wouldn't want to be involved. No wonder the refusal of Major League Baseball and its players' ...

NFL awards 2 new grants in social justice initiative

The NFL has awarded two new grants and renewed seven others through its social justice platform Inspire Change. The new honorees are Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO, Inc.) and Success For All. Both organizations will use the funding for educational advancement. CLEO, Inc., ...

Bat maker says loan resulted in return of furloughed workers

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats says it put 171 furloughed employees back on the payroll after receiving a loan from a government program aimed at helping small businesses. Hillerich & Bradsby Co. resumed production at its wood bat factory in Louisville ...

Like it or not, National League designated hitters limber up

Before all the self-proclaimed purists forecasting the destruction of baseball strategy and the very sanctity of the sport as we know it go berserk bemoaning the inclusion of a designated hitter in the National League this season, remember this: In a most remarkable October full of huge ...

Virus sparks debate on whether more prospects will stay home

Concerns about the new coronavirus are preventing football prospects from visiting campuses this spring and keeping college coaches from traveling to evaluate them. North Carolina coach Mack Brown said he believes this could cause more 2021 recruits to stay closer to home, though that remains ...

Pliskova, Kvitova to lead teams in Czech competition

PRAGUE (AP) — Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and third-ranked Karolina Pliskova will lead two teams in a charity competition during the coronavirus pandemic. Pliskova's team will include her twin-sister Kristyna, 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, Tereza Martincová ...

What Would Have Been: Another PGA major, Triple Crown race

While NASCAR will resume its season with live racing and the world's No. 1-ranked golfer is part of a televised charity skins match, the sports calendar still remains mostly on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press takes a look at some of the live sporting events that ...

If games resume, athletes will ‘need to know when to peak’

Making it safe for America's professional sports teams to start playing games is one thing. Making sure athletes are in game shape is another. The coronavirus pandemic brought sports to a halt, but stay-at-home orders are starting to be eased and a handful of NBA teams are opening practice ...

Rams still hoping for guests at SoFi Stadium opening party

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams finally have a date and an opponent for the long-awaited opening of SoFi Stadium, the multibillion-dollar reason for their return to California over four years ago. The Rams still don't know for sure whether they'll actually be able to have their big ...