The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Auburn senior linebacker Chandler Wooten has decided to take a redshirt season amid fears about COVID-19.
Wooten announced his decision on Twitter Thursday, citing the pending birth of a son in November and “recent events regarding social injustice.”
Wooten had 27 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss last season.
“As a soon-to-be father, my number one priority is the safety and well-being of my family,” Wooten said. “Unfortunately, playing this season was ultimately not arisk I was willing to take.”
The New Orleans Saints have placed two players on their COVID-19 reserve list.
Second-year linebacker Kaden Ellis and veteran long snapper Zach Wood are the first two Saints players to receive the designation since players began reporting to team headquarters early last week.
The designation does not necessarily mean the players have had a positive COVID-19 test. They also could have been asked to isolate because of potential exposure. NFL clubs do not have to specify which is the case.
Ellis was a seventh-round pick out of Idaho in 2019. He played in three games as a rookie before a season-ending knee injury.
Wood has played in every game for the Saints the past three seasons.
The Green Bay Packers say they won’t have any fans for at least their first two home games this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The game are against Detroit on Sept. 20 game and the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 5, a Monday night game.
Green Bay’s third home game is Nov. 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. Packers officials say any decision on whether to admit fans would depend on the status of the pandemic.
The announcement comes two weeks after Packers CEO Mark Murphy had said that any Packers home games this year would include no more than 10,000-12,000 spectators, if any fans were allowed at all.
Clemson starting defensive end Xavier Thomas has been medically shutdown since March because of several illnesses, including COVID-19.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Thomas, who is a junior this year, lost weight and was mentally not ready to go as the team opened summer camp practices on Thursday. The coach said Thomas will regain his health and try and play the maximum four games so he can redshirt and return to the team next season.
Thomas started eight games last season, finishing with two sacks and 31 tackles. Swinney said Thomas attended practice to support his teammates.
Louisville has dismissed three men’s soccer players and suspended three others as discipline for their roles in an off-campus party last weekend that resulted in 29 positive tests for COVID-19 and four sports being paused.
A release on Thursday did not mention the players disciplined but stated that the three dismissed were primarily responsible for organizing the party. All three had prior team violations, the release added. Men’s soccer coach John Michael Hayden that “They have demonstrated with their actions now and previously that they do not echo the culture of this program.”
Louisville on Wednesday paused workouts for men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and volleyball following the positive tests among members of those programs. Others that may have been exposed are quarantined due to contact tracing.
Athletic director Vince Tyra had warned that dismissal was an option and said he supported Hayden’s decision. He added, “Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous.”
All-American receiver Rondale Moore of Purdue says he will opt out of this college football season and will prepare to enter next year’s NFL draft.
Moore made the announcement with a farewell note posted on Twitter.
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound junior became one of the most electrifying players in the country two years ago when he caught 114 passes for 1,254 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had 21 carries for 213 yards and two more scores and helped the Boilermakers pull off a stunning upset of then top-ranked Ohio State. His reward — first team All-American honors as an all-purpose player.
Moore entered last season billed as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. But after being hobbled early that season with a hamstring injury, he hurt it again in the Boilermakers fourth game and missed the rest of the season. It turned out to be his final appearance in a Purdue uniform.
Moore wrote that is on course to graduate in December.
Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau, who was second in the nation with 15.5 sacks last season, has opted out of this college football season.
Hurricanes coach Manny Diaz said during a conference call that Rousseau would not play. He would have been a third-year sophomore and is eligible to enter the NFL draft next year.
Rousseau is the fourth prominent player, joining Penn State linebacker Micah Parson earlier in the day, who has decided not to play in a season filled with uncertainty because of the pandemic. Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley and Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman, both expected to be high draft picks, have previously announced they are opting out.
Rousseau played two games in 2018 as a freshman before breaking his ankle and taking a redshirt. He had a breakout season in 2019, finishing strong with 10.5 sacks in the second half.
The 6-foot-6, 260-pounder is projected as a possible first-round draft pick.
Middle Tennessee is making up for losing three games by scheduling a very rare for football home-and-home with Troy.
Athletic director Chris Massaro announced the agreement Thursday.
Under the deal, Troy will visit Middle Tennessee either Sept. 5 or Sept. 19, when the Blue Raiders would have either opened visiting Duke or hosting Virginia Tech, games that were canceled when the Atlantic Coast Conference decided to go to a league-only schedule this season. Middle Tennessee will visit Troy on Nov. 21. That’s the date the Blue Raiders would have visited UConn, which became the first FBS program to cancel its season Wednesday.
Massaro says they anticipated this scenario. Contracts have not been signed yet, and Massaro says this agreement works for both of the former Sun Belt Conference rivals with no guarantees involved and bus trips for both teams. Middle Tennessee also will keep future schedules intact.
Penn State says it is not expecting to have fans at home football games this season, a decision forced by the pandemic that will cost the schools millions in revenue.
Athletic director Sandy Barbour said during a conference call she has taken a 15% pay cut on her salary.
Penn State has one of the largest stadiums in the country, holding more than 107,000 fans for big games. Students typically camp out in “Nittanyville” around the stadium leading into football Saturdays.
Statewide policies are limiting gatherings in Pennsylvania to fewer than 500 people. Barbour said if the policies change, plans for fans might as well.
In a letter to season ticket holders, Penn State provided options for this season, including refunds or making payments a donation to the school.
BYU will play at Navy on Labor Day night in a matchup of teams that had openers against traditional rivals canceled as Power Five leagues rearranged their schedules.
The Cougars were originally slated to open their season on Sept. 3 at Utah, but the Pac-12 has gone to a conference-only schedule to deal with potential disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic.
Navy’s opener against longtime rival Notre Dame was at first scheduled to be played in Dublin, Ireland, on Aug. 29. The pandemic halted those plans and the game was rescheduled for the weekend of Sept. 5 at Annapolis, Maryland. Then Notre Dame joined the Atlantic Coast Conference for this season and the conference prohibited its teams from playing non-conference games outside their home state.
The Notre Dame-Navy game was canceled. The teams had played every season since 1927.
BYU, which lost a total of six games against Power Five teams, will play Navy for just the third time and first since 1989. The game will be televised by ESPN.
NASCAR driver Spencer Davis says he has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Friday night’s Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Davis said he tested positive Thursday and his team’s entry has pulled out of the Michigan race.
“I support the protocols in place by the CDC and NASCAR and plan on taking the correct steps to come back to the track,” Davis said.
Davis is 18th in the Truck Series standings after nine races. His best finish this season was 12th at Las Vegas in February.
Davis is the second full-time NASCAR driver in the sport’s top-three national divisions to receive a positive coronavirus test. Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson tested positive in July and missed one race, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
NASCAR does not test for COVID-19. Davis got the test on his own.
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