Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Monday, March 23, 2020

Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 UTC)

This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^From baking to online Zumba classes: How Olympic hopefuls are dealing with uncertainty and training interruptions during the coronavirus pandemic<

^OLY-HOPEFULS-CORONAVIRUS-SPORTSPLUS:TB—<As the calls grow for the Summer Games to be postponed because of the coronavirus and the International Olympic Committee gives itself until mid-April to make a decision, local Olympic hopefuls have been forced to find creative ways to train and keep their minds off a potentially devastating blow to long-held dreams. It's a task undertaken amid great uncertainty, as the athletes no longer can access their training facilities, practice with their teams or compete in qualifying competitions.

"Everything I've done with my life over the past four years has been with the Olympics in mind," said Rau, a Chicago native and the United States' top Greco-Roman wrestler in the 87-kg weight class. "And all of a sudden, I have no idea what's going to happen. I can't practice. I can't work out like I normally do. What am I supposed to do with all this free time?"

2350 by Stacy St. Clair and Brian Cassella. MOVED


^IOC's Dick Pound gives conflicting statements on postponement of Tokyo Olympics<

^OLY-IOC-OLYMPICS-POSTPONEMENT:LA—<A longtime International Olympic Committee member gave differing statements Monday on the potential for postponement of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

Dick Pound of Canada, an influential and outspoken figure with the IOC for decades, told the CBC he believes the Games will be moved to a later date.

"We're all reading the tea leaves and so on, but the Japanese themselves are talking about postponing," he was quoted as saying. "A lot of national Olympic committees and countries are calling for a postponement."

That comment seemed to fall short of another interview Pound gave with USA Today, in which he stated that "postponement has been decided."

250 by David Wharton. MOVED


^Source: Kyle Allen traded to Washington after starting 12 games for Panthers in 2019<

^FBN-PANTHERS-ALLEN-REDSKINS:CH—<The Panthers added one quarterback and are officially moving on from another.

Kyle Allen has been traded to Washington, per a source with direct knowledge of the transaction. The Panthers will get a 2020 fifth-round pick in return. The move comes just hours after the team agreed to a deal with XFL quarterback P.J. Walker.

Carolina had signed Allen to a one-year extension earlier this offseason as he was set to become an exclusive rights free agent.

250 by Alaina Getzenberg. MOVED



^Teddy Greenstein: Here's what it's like to do 4 hours of sports talk radio with no live games — and a statewide lockdown looming<

GREENSTEIN-COLUMN:TB — I packed up my laptop bag midday Friday and headed downtown.

It was stuffed with snacks, caffeinated drinks, germ-removing wet wipes and two U.S. Department of Homeland Security form letters stating that I'd be "providing emergency communications sustainment" in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not sure that a Mitch Trubisky-Nick Foles debate qualifies. But OK.

950 by Teddy Greenstein in Chicago. MOVED


^NCAA: Structure, routine key to helping athletes cope with coronavirus uncertainty<

^NCAA-CORONAVIRUS:OS—<Thousands of elite performers have suddenly been left without any clarity about their future or any goals they can work toward.

"For many student-athletes, the structure around athletics is their life and that structure can be very protective," said Dr. Brian Hainline, the NCAA's chief medical officer. " When they no longer have that structure and all of a sudden they're home for long periods of time, sometimes the homes aren't as nice for them as the campuses. It's really challenging."

900 by Matt Murschel. MOVED


^Greg Cote: Olympics postponing due to coronavirus; NBA and NHL seasons should not resume, either<

^COTE-COLUMN:MI—<Sports, collectively, has difficult choices ahead. They are about more than safety. They are moral decisions, too.

Monday came reports the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo would be postponed, likely until 2021. That's smart. Canada and Australia already had withdrawn. There would have been mounting and justified pressure on the U.S. to do the same had the Games started this July 24 as scheduled.

Sports and leagues around the world debate when to return to play, but sports, collectively, don't matter right now — not when we are in the middle of a global pandemic, at war with coronavirus/COVID-19. The plague already has killed more than 15,000. It is not nearly contained. Some projections estimate it could result in two million or more deaths in the United States this year alone.

This is a war we quite literally cannot afford to lose.

900 by Greg Cote. MOVED


^David Murphy: Writing about sports in the time of COVID-19<

^MURPHY-COLUMN:PH—<Does it feel strange to be writing about sports right now? Yes, it does. I'm sure it feels strange to be doing a lot of the things that people get paid to do. Selling software, photoshopping graphics, filing expense reports — is there anything that feels normal to do in the midst of a pandemic?

The biggest challenge of our time is not maintaining social distance. It is maintaining psychological fortitude. Existential malaise is a virus, a droplet of doubt that infiltrates a host and commandeers its problem-solving systems until the organism is engaged in a life-or-death battle against itself. The rational faculties that evolved to propel us forward are now ping-pong paddles passing impossible if-thens back and forth in interminable loops.

850 by David Murphy. MOVED


^Mac Engel: Thanks to coronavirus, sports bettors have shifted to camel racing and the weather<

^ENGEL-COLUMN:FT—<Proving that no hole is deep enough, there is Russian table tennis, soccer in Belarus and rugby in Australia if you have the itch to bet.

Or, if you are really sick, you can always bet the over/under on the number of page views in the United States for a specific adult website in the month of March. Or you can bet if the high in Jacksonville, Florida, will reach 81 degrees.

This is what gambling has come to.

700 by Mac Engel. MOVED



^Peter Schmuck: No one knows exactly what 2020 baseball season will look like, but we'll take as much of one as we can get<

^BBO-SCHMUCK-COLUMN:BZ—<In an alternate biological universe, Orioles fans would be eagerly counting down to Opening Day, which was originally scheduled for later this week.

Instead, the start of the 2020 baseball season has been delayed at least until mid-May and there is no way of knowing when the coronavirus pandemic will recede enough for any of us to return to the normal rhythms of life.

The only thing certain is that when, or if, Major League Baseball is played this summer, the schedule will be packed into a much smaller time frame and the number of games will likely be significantly reduced.

750 by Peter Schmuck. MOVED


^Cubs send minor-league catcher Jhonny Pereda to the Red Sox to complete a January trade<

^BBN-CUBS-PEREDA-REDSOX:TB—<The Cubs' catching depth took a minor hit Monday when the Red Sox acquired Jhonny Pereda to complete the Jan. 21 trade for pitcher Travis Lakins.

Pereda earned a minor-league Gold Glove Award from Rawlings. The 23-year-old native of Venezuela threw out 44 of 88 potential base stealers and had a .996 fielding percentage in 85 games at Double-A Tennessee last season. Pereda has a .248 batting average in seven minor-league seasons.

200 by Mark Gonzales. MOVED



^Bob Ford: In the time of virus, is the NFL a harsher world, too?<

^FBN-FORD-COLUMN:PH—<The opening of the NFL's calendar year last week — also known as The Only Sports Story in the Entire World — brought a remarkable flood of trades, free agent signings, releases, and general upheaval to what is usually a pretty staid sport even in its busiest times.

When a week ends with Jarrett Stidham as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, you have to admit it's been quite a show.

The question is whether the sheer amount of action that took place would have been the same under ordinary circumstances in our country, or whether everyone's itching desire to do something in this time of doing nothing led players, agents, and general managers to be less inhibited about making major changes.

800 by Bob Ford. MOVED


^Instead of pondering coronavirus' potential NFL impact, Cowboys' Travis Frederick is more concerned about helping Dallas youth<

^FBN-COWBOYS-FREDERICK:DA—<Travis Frederick does not know, amid the spread of the novel coronavirus, how the NFL season will be impacted this fall. He does not know whether there will be a full 2020 season or, if one, how the league will manage a reduction in offseason training that disproportionately impacts certain clubs.

Today, the Cowboys center is less concerned about that.

All local schools are shut down indefinitely. That means it's more difficult for some children who already were food insecure, relying on government-assisted meal programs on campuses, to receive nourishment.

"There's a huge need right now," he said.

1300 by Michael Gehlken. MOVED


^Panthers sign XFL QB P.J. Walker, Raiders LB Tahir Whitehead, both former Temple players<

^FBN-PANTHERS-WALKER-WHITEHEAD:CH—<The Panthers began the second week of free agency Monday by making two significant signings.

Carolina signed XFL quarterback P.J Walker and former Raiders linebacker Tahir Whitehead, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Both players spent their college careers at Temple and worked under new Panthers coach Matt Rhule. Whitehead was at the school from 2008-11 when Rhule was quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator (2008-10) before becoming offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2011. Walker played under Rhule from 2013-16, the entire duration of Rhule's tenure as head coach at Temple.

450 by Alaina Getzenberg. MOVED


^Miami Dolphins offering relief to season-ticket holders impacted by coronavirus<

^FBN-DOLPHINS-TICKETHOLDERS:MI—< As the U.S. economic collapse brought on by the coronavirus continues, the Miami Dolphins are offering season-ticket holders some relief:

The option of deferring payments or rolling over their deposits for ticket packages to 2021 if needed, a team spokesman told the Miami Herald.

The team's season ticket payment structure differs from other organizations in that it allows fans to pay on a monthly basis. As part of this program, the club offers year-round benefits and programs to their customers.

300 by Adam H. Beasley in Miami. MOVED


^Mike Preston: Time for former Ravens QB Joe Flacco to call a new play and move on<

^FBN-PRESTON-COLUMN:BZ—<Joe should just say no.

There is speculation that former Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco wants to continue his 12-year career in the NFL as a backup, but he should retire.

He should say no to the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Jets or any other team that wants to offer him that position. And he should say goodbye to those nasty beatings his body has absorbed on Sunday afternoons that led to several injuries.

He has nothing else to prove.

750 by Mike Preston. MOVED


^Jets, LB Jordan Jenkins closing in on deal: source<

^FBN-JETS-JENKINS:NY—<The Jets are closing in on a deal to bring back outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, the Daily News has learned. Jenkins, the team leader in sacks last season (eight), weighed a few options, but he was always interested in playing for Gregg Williams again.

Although the finer points of the deal are still being hammered out, Jenkins makes most sense to return on a one-year deal before hitting the open market again next season.

200 by Manish Mehta. MOVED

^Quinnen Williams' court appearance stemming from gun arrest postponed due to New York's coronavirus restrictions<

^FBN-JETS-WILLIAMS:NY—<Quinnen Williams will have to continue to wait before formal charges are made against him stemming from his March 5 arrest for attempting to board a flight with an unregistered fire arm.

The Jets defensive lineman's desk/court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, at Queens County criminal court has been delayed, the player's attorney Alex Spiro told the Daily News on Monday.

250 by Manish Mehta. MOVED


^Heat's Kelly Olynyk at another Olympics crossroads; no '20 Games for Adebayo, Butler<

BKN-HEAT-OLYMPICS:FL — For the second consecutive year, it will be Olympic dream deferred for Miami Heat center Kelly Olynyk.

And this time, the waiting game also extends on the Heat roster to Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, a result of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being postponed due to the new coronavirus pandemic, a move International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound cited Monday.

For Olynyk, it is a particularly difficult blow.

600 by Ira Winderman in Miami. MOVED



^The road to 29-2: How the Dayton Flyers made history.<

BKC-DAYTON-SEASON:DY — The Dayton Flyers gathered one last time as a team March 12 at the Cronin Center after flying home from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hours earlier, the Atlantic 10 Conference had canceled its tournament at the Barclays Center. The NCAA followed with its decision to call off the big dance. Student manager Alex Reilly was getting a TV ready in the hotel for the players to watch Virginia Commonwealth and Massachusetts in the second round when the A-10 tournament was cancelled. Later that afternoon, he was standing on the tarmac unloading bags to be transferred to the charter flight when he heard the news of the demise of March Madness.

"Just how quickly everything happened was so surreal," Reilly said. "It didn't feel real in any way, shape or form."

2050 by David Jablonski in Dayton, Ohio. MOVED


^Kansas State was supposed to travel to Europe this summer. Now, trip is a 'long shot.'<

^BKC-KSU-EUROPE:KC—<MANHATTAN, Kan.—When Bruce Weber originally arranged for the Kansas State men's basketball team to take a trip to Europe for a string of exhibition games this summer, the timing felt perfect.

The Wildcats are bringing in a large recruiting class of at least five freshmen and one transfer. Weber wanted to introduce them to K-State's returning players and then have them spend valuable time together on a foreign excursion that teams are permitted to take once every four years. It sounded like an ideal way to get a head start on the 2020-21 college basketball season.

As good as that all sounds, the trip will likely be postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

450 by Kellis Robinett. MOVED


^Why NABC isn't giving its crystal national championship trophy to KU (or anyone else)<

^BKC-KANSAS-TROPHY:KC—<Kansas men's basketball will not be taking home a national trophy following the shortened 2019-20 season.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches — a membership of nearly 5,000 coaches with its office stationed in Kansas City, Missouri — announced Monday that it would not be presenting its Waterford Crystal basketball trophy to any team this season.

450 by Jesse Newell. MOVED



^Olympians in North Texas awaiting final word on IOC postponing Tokyo Games<

^OLY-TEXAS:FT—<The U.S. Olympic Committee has not told its athletes anything official about the 2020 Tokyo Games being postponed, although that seems like a foregone conclusion in the coming days.

USA Today reported on Monday afternoon that a veteran International Olympic Committee member, Canadian Dick Pound, said the Games would be postponed. The Games would likely be pushed back 12 months to 2021, although those details have not been finalized.

But the IOC has not made anything official as of yet, saying on Sunday that it would make a determination within the next four weeks.

800 by Drew Davison. MOVED


^Vahe Gregorian: Best way for 2020 Olympics to help heal world is by postponement if not cancellation<

^OLY-GREGORIAN-COLUMN:KC—<Because the sports world now is illuminating that the very idea of "foreseeable" is further out on an already vague horizon than any of us have wanted to believe with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics becoming an increasing uncertainty to begin as scheduled on July 24 if at all.

Because the sports world is reminding us that this is not a sprint but a marathon, featuring the cruel twist of a volatile finish line, a hard truth to absorb but also something we are all better off trying to see realistically.

1050 by Vahe Gregorian. MOVED



^Here's what the sports networks are doing without live games and what viewers can expect<

^JACKSON-COLUMN:MI—<How do sports networks fill air time without live programming, a scenario none of them ever anticipated confronting?

With the sports world (aside from NFL free agency) shut down by the coronavirus, that's the challenge facing ESPN, Fox's cable networks and the Sinclair-owned regional sports networks, which are all suddenly left with endless hours to fill but no live competition.

The solution, so far, has been a mix of studio shows, classic games, quirky sports and in the case of the regional networks, replays of their home team's games.

900 by Barry Jackson. MOVED



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