The Latest: Detroit Pistons set to reopen practice facility

Sports

FILE – In this July 16, 2014, file photo, a student walks through empty seats inside Kenan Stadium at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., where preparations continue for the upcoming college football season. The crippling grip the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sports world has forced universities, leagues and franchises to evaluate how they might someday welcome back fans. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

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

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The Detroit Pistons are set to reopen their practice facility, starting Thursday.

The Pistons announced that the team’s performance center will enter its first phase of reopening, for voluntary, individual workouts. Players and essential staff have guidelines from public health officials, the CDC and the NBA. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted the state’s stay-at-home order Monday.

The Pistons (20-46) had the 26th-best record in the league when the season was halted because of the coronavirus, meaning they would not be in playoff contention if the NBA adopts a 22-team plan for resuming play.

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Two more Oklahoma State football players have tested positive for COVID-19 since returning to campus for voluntary workouts, bringing the total to three.

Senior associate athletic director Kevin Klintworth wrote on his Twitter account that of the 150 staff, administrators and athletes tested, three had asymptomatic positives. All three were athletes.

Linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga announced Tuesday he tested positive after he attended a protest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The other two players were not identified.

“Positives were expected and the plan for that scenario has been activated,” Klintworth wrote. “We will be as forthcoming as possible on the covid issues.”

OSU spokesman Gavin Lang said there would be no additional comment.

Marshall University in West Virginia announced Monday that two of its football players and one staff member tested positive. Iowa State said Wednesday that a student worker in its athletic department tested positive and that four athletes were showing symptoms and awaiting test results.

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Road America has announced it will host the Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints with fans from June 12-14 at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

More than 400 cars in multiple classes are expected to compete in the first leg of amateur racing’s triple crown.

Promoters are encouraging attendees to follow guidelines such as social distancing, frequent hand washing and use of new hand sanitizer stations. They also are asking fans to wear cloth face coverings in places where social distancing is difficult.

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Wright State is dropping its softball and men’s and women’s tennis programs as part of a plan to cut $2 million from its athletic department budget.

The Dayton, Ohio, school is reducing expenditures across the board because of decreases in enrollment and state funding because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move affects 39 athletes and six coaches. Wright State will have 11 sports and must be granted a waiver from the NCAA to remain in compliance with Division I requirements. Division I schools are required to sponsor 14 sports.

The university will honor scholarships of athletes who want to remain at Wright State. They would be immediately eligible at another school.

Associated Press research shows 10 Division I schools have dropped a total of 22 sports because of budget reductions caused by the pandemic. Of those 22, 16 are men’s sports. A total of 99 sports have been cut in all divisions of four-year schools.

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott says he is pledging $1 million “to improve our police training and address systematic racism through education and advocacy in our country.”

Prescott made the pledge at the end of a lengthy statement on Instagram in his first public comments over widespread unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd. The handcuffed black man died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving.

Prescott wrote that he had respect for law enforcement officers but implored them to “hold your own accountable.” He said he viewed the “protests and riots in our streets as a form of strength” in the effort to raise awareness of racial injustice.

The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year said he was having a difficult time without football during the pandemic. Prescott also publicly acknowledged the recent death of his older brother, Jace Prescott, for the first time. The 31-year-old former offensive lineman at Northwestern State in Louisiana died in April.

Prescott isn’t participating in the Cowboys’ virtual offseason program because he hasn’t signed the $31 million one-year contract that goes with the franchise tag. The sides have until July 15 to reach a deal on a long-term contract. The two-time Pro Bowler just finished a four-year rookie contract that paid Prescott $2 million in the final season.

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Players from all levels of college baseball are set to compete in the three-day, four-team Collegiate Summer Baseball Invitational in Bryan, Texas. ESPN2 will televise two games Thursday night. Games on Friday and Saturday are pay-per-view.

The players, coaches, umpires and other event staff arrived in Bryan on Monday and were tested for COVID-19. They are being quarantined at a hotel through Saturday and allowed outside only to go to and from the ballpark.

The players were split into four teams and are mostly from Division I schools, but junior colleges and NAIA schools also are represented. Among the coaches are former major leaguers LaTroy Hawkins and Drew Sutton.

“Baseball has united us throughout the history of this country and we’re truly blessed to be able to come back to share some much-needed relief during these difficult times,” CSBI organizer Uri Geva said. “We’re continuing to work closely with local health officials to ensure the safety of all involved during this event.”

Geva is donating 5 percent of pay-per-view subscriptions to No Kid Hungry, an organization fighting child hunger in the United States.

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Sara Hall, Tyler Andrews and other elite distance runners will try to break treadmill world records this weekend as part of a virtual road race to raise money for a coronavirus relief program.

Called the “Chaski Challenge,” the event features 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) and 50-kilometer (31.1) distances as well as a team relay. Runners have 24 hours starting Friday to post a time on their treadmill or outside if permitted. There will also be a live broadcast for the “Festival of Records” event Saturday in which elite athletes chase after seven world records.

The marks range from the men’s and women’s treadmill half marathon records to a 100-kilometer (62.1) treadmill attempt. Among those planning to compete in the events are Hall, ultra-marathoner Michael Wardian, British distance runner Adam Holland and U.S. Olympic marathon trials qualifier Regina Lopez. A Zoom screen will help keep track of the progress along with a live tracker visualization app. There will also be an announcer.

“It gives people something that’s really fun to do as a runner, whether it’s the weekend warrior or the elite runner,” said Andrews, an Olympic marathon trials qualifier who helped organize the event.

Andrews will be chasing after two treadmill records on a machine set up in an office at his parents’ house. He will attempt to break the marathon record while he competes in the 50-kilometer race.

“I’m feeling really fit,” Andrews said. “I’m super excited.”

The donations from the race will go to Feeding America as part of its COVID-19 relief fund.

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Major League Soccer players have approved a new collective bargaining agreement that will allow for the league to return this summer with a tournament in Florida.

The Major League Soccer Players Association announced the ratification of the CBA on Wednesday morning. Players had approved economic concessions for this season, including across-the-board salary cuts last weekend. The league countered the proposal from the players and set a Wednesday deadline for ratification.

“Today’s vote also finalizes a plan to resume the 2020 season and provides players with certainty for the months ahead. It allows our members to move forward and continue to compete in the game they love,” the MLSPA said announcing the agreement.

The new CBA runs through the 2025 season. The sides had agreed to a five-year CBA in February through 2024, but that had not been ratified as the virus spread.

The season was suspended March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Teams had played just two games.

Details of the Florida tournament were still under consideration but the league’s 26 teams and limited staff would be sheltered at hotels with games played without fans at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.

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Indiana football players will start returning to campus on Monday and can resume voluntary workouts on June 15 as part of a phased-in plan announced by the athletic department.

Coach Tom Allen expects about 65 players to travel to Bloomington, Indiana, next week. Another 25 players are slated to come back June 29 with the third and final group set for July 6.

During a Zoom call, Allen told reporters all players will be tested after arriving. They will then be quarantined for two or three days, awaiting test results.

Players also will undergo an orientation program detailing the procedures and policies in place before they will be cleared to start weight lifting and running in groups of 10 or smaller. Each player must complete a daily medical check and agree to abide by a series of CDC guidelines, too.

The plan calls for roommates to work out together and to break up position groups in hopes of containing the spread of COVID-19 — if there is a positive test.

“You can’t say there’s no risk, there’s risk in everything you do,” Allen said. “I’ve had some questions (from parents) that I don’t have answers to yet, like what’s July going to look like or what’s the season going to look like. You just have to communicate with them over and over and make sure they feel good about it.”

Allen says he believes the Hoosiers would need about six weeks of practice time to be ready for the season opener against Wisconsin, currently scheduled for Sept. 4.

The plan also gives men’s and women’s basketball players a resumption date of June 18 for voluntary workouts followed by women’s soccer July 6, volleyball July 8, men’s soccer July 13, field hockey July 15 and cross country Aug. 18.

Fall classes are tentatively scheduled to start Aug. 24.

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English soccer team Tottenham says a person at the club has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Premier League club did not identify the person.

It was the only positive case after the Premier League tested a further 1,197 players and club staff.

The testing is taking place ahead of the planned resumption of the league on June 17. The competition was suspended in March.

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The Premier League says one person was found to have the coronavirus after the fifth round of testing of players and staff at soccer clubs.

The league did not identity the person.

Testing is taking place ahead of the planned resumption of the league on June 17. The competition was suspended in March.

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The PGA Tour has announced a deal with Sanford Health to conduct COVID-19 testing of players, caddies and essential personnel five days before the season resumes. That applies to every stop on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions and the developmental Korn Ferry Tour.

Sanford Health is based in South Dakota and is title sponsor of a PGA Tour Champions event.

The company has three mobile testing units it will deploy across the country. Each one has a driver and three lab technicians. A unit will be at tournaments from Saturday through Thursday before leaving for the next closest event.

The tour says results from the PCR tests are expected back in a manner of hours. Senior vice president of tour administration Andy Levinson says it also allows ample testing without taking away resources from the community where the tournaments are played.

The tour expects about 400 people to require testing at tournaments upon the restart. No spectators are allowed for the first five events on the PGA Tour.

The first event is the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, on the PGA Tour. The smaller Korn Ferry Tour has an event at PGA Tour headquarters in Florida.

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The chief executive of the European Tour says the fate of this year’s Ryder Cup will be decided by the end of the month.

Keith Pelley says in an extensive interview with the McKellar Journal podcast that the European Tour and the PGA will have “conversations” about the Ryder Cup now that the revamped schedules of both tours have been announced.

Pelley says there will be “a direction at the end of the month.”

The Ryder Cup is still on schedule for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin despite massive disruption to the sports schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It could be held without fans but golfers like Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are among those saying they are against that idea.

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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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