The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt has canceled practice for the Volunteers after what he called “a few more positive tests.”
The Volunteers were scheduled to practice Friday. Pruitt had adjusted the schedule for Saturday to allow his players to take part in an on-campus march against racism. Pruitt says he decided to cancel Friday’s practice with everyone tested again to see where the team is at and that their top priority is protecting everyone with the program.
Pruitt noted Tennessee had been at either zero or 1 with the exception of the July Fourth holiday when he gave players eight days off. The Vols might not practice Saturday either if they don’t track down the source of the latest positive test results.
The Tennessee coach says they want to make sure COVID-19 is not spreading inside their building because the Vols have had zero spread in the tracing from inside the football building.
Athletic department employees at Indiana University will face furloughs, and reduced hours in response to the cancellation of fall sports seasons.
All staff members will be required to take a two-week, unpaid furlough between Oct. 1 and June 30. Some furloughed workers will see their work hours cut in half while others will be 100% furloughed.
In addition, the department’s three highest-paid employees — new athletic director Scott Dolson, men’s basketball coach Archie Miller and football coach Tom Allen — already had agreed to 10% pay cuts.
The announcement comes three days after in-state rival Purdue made a similar announcement.
Dolson also says the school already had instituted a department-wide 10% budget cut that will save approximately $11.8 million this fiscal year; freezes on discretionary bonuses, training trips and non-essential facility maintenance and construction; a hiring freeze that excludes countable coaches; a travel ban and a reduction in overtime; the university’s cell phone stipend elimination; reduction in outside contracts with vendors and other targeted cuts.
And, Dolson says, the school also continues to consider additional financial cuts.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IU Athletics has not participated in an intercollegiate athletic event in 5 1/2 months, which necessitated tough decisions regarding our staff,” said Dolson. “Throughout this process, we have prioritized our staff, and the decision to ask everyone to share the burden was made to minimize the number of employees who would be impacted to a much more significant degree. With that said, this remains a very difficult day for our entire IU Athletics family, who devote their time, efforts and energies to supporting our students and representing our department and Indiana University in a first-class way.”
North Carolina State has allowed 12 programs to resume workouts after the school paused all athletics activities earlier this week, but football remains on hold for now.
In a statement Friday, athletics director Boo Corrigan said the school plans for another round of testing for the football program and will make a decision on next steps with “additional information available to us.”
The school has had to postpone its Sept. 12 game against Virginia Tech for two weeks because of a cluster of cases among Wolfpack athletes.
Corrigan said the decision to resume activities for some sports came after the school tested every team since Monday’s pause.
Athletics spokesman Fred Demarest said the programs cleared to continue activities were: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, wrestling and rifle.
In addition to football, the programs still on hold are: men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s swimming and diving; men’s and women’s tennis; and men’s and women’s track and field.
A person with knowledge of the situation says Auburn’s football team has canceled its last two practices because of issues related to COVID-19 after positive tests this week.
It wasn’t clear how many players, coaches or others tested positive. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn remains scheduled to speak to reporters Saturday. Auburn spokesman Kirk Sampson would only confirm that the Tigers hadn’t practiced Wednesday or Thursday as scheduled.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss details.
Malzahn had previously said the Tigers had gone two straight weeks without a positive. He said Auburn still had four players going through protocols when the team began practice on Aug. 17.
The Tigers are scheduled to open the season Sept. 26 against Kentucky.
North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham says the school will begin football and other fall sports without fans at home because of the pandemic.
In an open letter to fans Friday, Cunningham says the restriction will last through September for football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball and cross country. In addition, tailgating won’t be allowed on campus.
“This decision … was the only way we could move forward with competition,” Cunningham says. “Our student-athletes want to play, and we must do so as safely as possible.
Cunningham says the hope is to potentially allow some fans in October, though that would potentially come only after school officials and medical experts evaluate safety conditions. He also says school officials “remain hopeful that we will be able to safely cheer together in large groups again this season.”
The school has canceled all in-person undergraduate classes in favor of online-only instruction after multiple coronavirus clusters on campus since students returned for the fall semester.
Roma has canceled its opening preseason training session as a precautionary measure after a third player tested positive for the coronavirus.
Right back Bruno Peres says on Instagram he has tested positive. He adds that he’s well and has no symptoms.
Roma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante and winger Carles Pérez previously tested positive.
Two Roma youth team players also have COVID-19.
The club says it will perform another round of virus tests on Saturday before deciding whether or not to go forward with training.
Serie A is scheduled to start Sept. 19.
Union Berlin plans to celebrate its stadium’s 100th birthday by playing in front of supporters for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic broke.
The Bundesliga club says it will host Nuremberg in a pre-season friendly on Sept. 5 and that up to 5,000 people can attend. Hygiene measures will apply.
Tickets are only available to club members older than 12 and will be issued after a draw. Tickets will be personalized “in order to ensure legally-required tracking of visitors.”
Those attending will need to wear a mask until reaching their allocated seat and they will need to put it on again when leaving.
The game will take place 100 years after then-German champion Nuremberg played Union in the first match at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in Köpenick on Aug. 7, 1920.
An upcoming Formula One race in Italy could be open to 3,000 fans.
Tuscany region president Enrico Rossi says local health authorities have approved limited spectators for the Tuscan Grand Prix on Sept. 13.
Rossi tells the Gazzetta dello Sport “the circuit contains three big tribunes that are well spaced apart so the limit of 1,000 people per the national rules on public events can reasonably be considered as the capacity limit for each tribune.”
Official government approval is expected by Saturday.
Fans will have their temperature taken upon arrival and be asked to observe social distancing procedures and wear masks if it is approved.
The only spectators at the Italian GP in Monza a week earlier will be 250 specially invited health workers.
A player has tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of a women’s tennis tournament in Prague.
Tournament director David Trunda says the unidentified player was isolating in her hotel room and will be re-tested. Trunda says the player didn’t meet any other participants in the tournament.
All 150 players are tested on arrival and have to wait in their hotel rooms for the results.
The event is for players who would have been at the U.S. Open qualifying tournament. It opens on Saturday.
U.S. Open qualifying was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Judo Federation says it is restarting events which should feed into qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
International judo events started to be affected by the coronavirus in February when Chinese teams withdrew from competing in Europe. Cancellations began in March.
The governing body says World Judo Tour events will be organized in Budapest, Hungary, in late-October and Tokyo in December.
The IJF says the events “aim to offer qualification points for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.”
Some continental-level competitions are also planned later in 2020.
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