- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

OLYMPICS

DENVER (AP) - Nearly seven in 10 U.S. Olympic hopefuls say they don’t think the Tokyo Games will be fair if they are held in July, prompting leaders of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to conclude “it’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising.”

The USOPC sent a survey over the weekend to more than 4,000 athletes for details on how the coronavirus pandemic has influenced their training and their feelings about the upcoming games; they received responses from 1,780.

Sixty-nine percent said they would feel comfortable competing in July if the World Health Organization - one of the groups consulting with the IOC - deemed it safe. But virtually that same number - 68% - said they didn’t think the Olympics would be fair under those circumstances.

The best explanation for that has been the massive disruption in training schedules, as athletes prepare for qualifying events this spring and summer.



With city and state governments closing gyms and asking people to stay in their homes, fewer than one in 10 of the athletes said they can continue to train without any impact. And 65% said that continuing to train and prepare will put their health at risk.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (AP) - Add USA Gymnastics to the growing chorus of high-profile organizations asking for the 2020 Olympics to be delayed.

President Li Li Leung said Monday that a majority of senior national team members indicated in an anonymous survey that they would prefer the games be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. USA Gymnastics sent out the survey to about 70 athletes in various disciplines. Leung said 80% of the athletes responded by Monday’s deadline and that the majority were in favor of a postponement.

NFL

DALLAS (AP) - Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick is retiring from the NFL at 29, the 2016 All-Pro saying he “could no longer perform at my highest level” after returning from a neurological disorder that sidelined him for a season.

Frederick made the announcement on Twitter on Monday, a surprising development for a team that invested heavily in its offensive line through the draft and now finds itself trying to replace one of the most important pieces.

A first-round pick seven years ago, Frederick missed all of 2018 after getting diagnosed with Guillian-Barre syndrome during training camp.

According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Guillain-Barre causes the body to attack a network of nerves around the brain and spinal cord. Most people recover from even the most severe cases of the auto-immune disease, but some will continue to have some degree of weakness, according to the institute.

Frederick returned in 2019 and said after the season he was pleased with the way he played. But even though he made his fifth Pro Bowl, Frederick was clear in his retirement announcement he didn’t think he was the same player from before the illness.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a one-year contract with defensive end Kerry Hyder.

A person familiar with the deal says the sides came to the agreement on Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the signing hasn’t been announced.

NFL Network first reported the deal and also reported that San Francisco reached a one-year deal linebacker Joe Walker.

Hyder entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets in 2014. He was with Detroit from 2015-18, where he spent three seasons under Niners defensive line coach Kris Kocurek.

Hyder’s most productive season came in 2016 when he had eight sacks for the Lions. He had one sack in 16 games for Dallas last season.

Walker had 65 tackles in 16 games for Arizona last season. He is a key contributor on special teams and will fill the void created when San Francisco didn’t tender reserve linebacker Elijah Lee a contract last week.

-By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - The Seattle Seahawks landed some needed depth in the secondary by acquiring cornerback Quinton Dunbar from the Washington Redskins for a fifth-round pick Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the move.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. ESPN first reported the trade.

The move could end up being another trade steal for John Schneider and the Seahawks as they attempt to upgrade the secondary. Seattle had a need for cornerback depth and Dunbar should instantly jump into the competition as a potential starter. At 6-foot-2 with long arms, Dunbar fits the mold of the cornerbacks Seattle wants to have in its defensive system.

Dunbar had a career-best four interceptions last season for the Redskins. He has started 17 of the past 18 games he’s played for Washington. He missed five games last season with a hamstring injury and made it clear he wanted to play somewhere other than Washington for the upcoming season.

-By AP Sports Writer Tim Booth.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington Redskins on Monday acquired Kyle Allen from the Carolina Panthers for a fifth-round pick and traded cornerback Quinton Dunbar to the Seattle Seahawks for a fifth-round pick, according to a person with knowledge of the moves. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deals had not been announced.

The 24-year-old Allen becomes some semblance of competition for 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins.

Allen has thrown for 3,588 yards, 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 15 NFL games in 2018 and 2019, all with the Panthers. He became their starter last season when Newton got hurt, finished with 23 turnovers and was benched for rookie Will Grier the final two weeks after Carolina fell out of the playoff hunt.

BOSTON (AP) - The Patriots said goodbye Monday to another longtime staple of their two-decade run of championships, releasing kicker and franchise leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski.

The three-time Super Bowl champion has spent his entire 14-year career in New England.

Drafted in 2006, Gostkowski has long passed Adam Vinatieri as the Patriots’ leading scorer with 1,775 points. Only Tom Brady (41), Vinatieri (32) and Jerry Rice (29) have played in more playoff games. His 205 postseason points are second to the 238 points by Vinatieri.

The 36-year-old Gostkowski started the first four games of 2019 but struggled, missing a career-high four extra points after not missing more than three in any of his previous 13 NFL seasons. He was placed on injured reserve in October and underwent season-ending hip surgery.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers are making more changes at quarterback.

A person familiar with the situation says the Panthers have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with former XFL quarterback P.J. Walker of the Houston Roughnecks.

The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the moves have not been announced by the team since the players have yet to pass physicals.

The decision to add Walker prompted the Panthers to trade Kyle Allen to the Redskins, according to a person with knowledge of the move. The person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because that deal had not been announced. Allen started 12 games last season for the Panthers and went 5-7 as a starter with 23 turnovers and 17 touchdown passes.

The Panthers also announced Monday the signings of three unrestricted free agents as previously reported - linebacker Tahir Whitehead from the Raiders, defensive end Stephen Weatherly from the Vikings and offensive lineman John Miller from the Bengals.

-By AP Sports Writer Steve Reed.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New York Giants have reached agreements on one-year contracts with running back Dion Lewis and wide receiver Corey Coleman.

Lewis spent the past two seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He was released earlier this month in a salary-cap move. Playing behind Derrick Henry, he carried 54 times for 209 yards.

Previously, Lewis played three seasons in New England and his first two with Philadelphia.

Lewis has rushed for 2,310 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 172 passes for 1,281 yards and seven scores in his seven seasons. He has also played in nine postseason games, including two Super Bowls.

Coleman missed all of 2019 with a knee injury sustained in training camp.

NEW YORK (AP) - A person with direct knowledge of the contract says the New York Jets and outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins have agreed to terms on a one-year deal.

Jenkins led the Jets in sacks with eight last season and keeps New York’s top pass rusher in place.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because teams can’t announce deals until contracts are officially signed.

Terms weren’t immediately available, but NFL Network reported the deal is worth $5 million.

The news on Jenkins came a few hours after the Jets also brought back inside linebacker James Burgess on a one-year contract, agent Drew Rosenhaus told The Associated Press.

-By Pro Football Writer Dennis Waszak Jr.

ATLANTA (AP) - A person familiar with the deals says the Atlanta Falcons have reached agreements with wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, a former first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, and guard Justin McCray.

The person told the Associated Press about the agreements on Monday on condition of anonymity because the deals will not be official until Treadwell and McCray pass physicals.

It is not known when the physicals can be scheduled. The league isn’t allowing players to report to new teams immediately for those physicals during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Falcons also have re-signed cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson to a one-year deal.

-By AP Sports Writer Charles Odum.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Cornerback Jimmy Smith has signed a one-year contract with the Ravens, who kept their secondary intact by extending his stay in Baltimore to a full decade.

Smith was an unrestricted free agent after a season in which he hurt his knee in the opener and missed the next six games. But Smith has been a starter since his rookie season with the Ravens in 2011 and played a key role in Baltimore’s victory over San Francisco in the 2012 Super Bowl.

The 31-year-old Smith has 324 career tackles and 14 interceptions. He returns to a strong secondary that features 2019 Pro Bowl standouts Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Earl Thomas.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to sign two journeymen defenders in free agency: linebacker/pass-rusher Cassius Marsh and defensive tackle Al Woods.

Marsh, who notched 36 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks in 16 games with Arizona last season, agreed to terms on a one-year contract Monday.

Woods’ agency, SportsTrust Advisors, announced his signing on Twitter. Woods spent last year in Seattle, where he had 32 tackles and a sack in 14 games.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Rams have unveiled a brand-new logo and some familiar new colors ahead of a milestone season.

The Rams’ primary colors are royal blue and yellow again after the franchise’s rebranding announcement, which was made Monday with rather less fanfare than the team originally hoped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rams’ new primary logo features an “LA” with a ram’s horn curved around the letters, while a new secondary logo is a modern update of the classic ram’s head logo occasionally used by the team in previous decades.

With new uniforms coming up later in the year, the Rams are finally getting their long-awaited new look before the fifth season of the franchise’s return to Los Angeles.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota center Daniel Oturu said Monday he is declaring for the NBA draft after leading the Big Ten in rebounding and blocked shots as a sophomore.

Oturu made the announcement with a letter to fans on Instagram, saying he planned to hire an agent.

The 6-foot-10 Oturu averaged 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game this season. He was second in the conference in scoring and his 56.3% shooting percentage led the Big Ten.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Sabrina Ionescu is The Associated Press women’s basketball player of the year. She is only the second player to be a unanimous choice.

Oregon’s star guard was a unanimous choice Monday as The Associated Press women’s basketball player of the year, receiving all 30 votes from the national media panel that selects the Top 25 each week during the season. Since the award was first given in 1995, the only other player to receive all the votes is former UConn star Breanna Stewart.

Ionescu, who was only the eighth player to earn AP All-American honors three times, shattered the NCAA career triple-double mark and became the first player in college history to have 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.

Dawn Staley helped guide South Carolina to No. 1 and has now earned coach of the year honors from The Associated Press for the first time.

The veteran Gamecocks coach received 20 votes from the national media panel that selects the Top 25 poll each week.

Northwestern coach Joe McKeown was second with five votes in balloting released Monday. Oregon’s Kelly Graves garnered four ballots and North Carolina State’s Wes Moore received one.

South Carolina finished the season 32-1, winning the SEC season and tournament championships. The Gamecocks won their final 26 games and were No 1 in the AP poll for the final 10 weeks of the season.

NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to sign college free-agent forward Dawson DiPietro to a one-year entry-level contract.

DiPietro just completed his senior season at Western Michigan. He had 12 goals and 17 assists to finish second on the the team with 29 points in 35 games. Overall, he had 34 goals and 88 points in 105 games for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference program.

From Ohio, the 24-year-old DiPietro caught the Sabres’ attention when he was invited to the team’s annual development camp in June.

He is Buffalo’s second undrafted college addition, joining Penn State captain Brandon Biro, who signed a two-year contract last week.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Nashville Predators have signed goaltender Connor Ingram to a three-year contract.

Predators general manager David Poile announced the deal Monday.

The 22-year-old Ingram posted a 21-5-5 record for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals in the 2019-20 season. He ranked third among AHL goaltenders in save percentage and goals-against average and he tied for third in wins.

The contract is worth $700,000 at the NHL level in 2020-21 and $750,000 each of the following two seasons.

SOCCER

CHICAGO (AP) - Will Wilson, co-head of the NFL division of a sports marketing agency and the uncle of former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, was hired Monday as chief executive officer of the troubled U.S. Soccer Federation.

He will fill a job that had been open since the retirement on Sept. 16 of Dan Flynn, who took over from Hank Steinbrecher in June 2000. The USSF faces a gender discrimination lawsuit by women on its national team, which led to USSF President Carlos Cordeiro’s resignation on March 12. Cordeiro was replaced by USSF Vice President Cindy Parlow Cone, a World Cup and Olympic champion for the U.S.

A 1979 graduate of Kenyon with a graduate business degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico, the 52-year-old Wilson is fluent in Spanish. His brother-in-law, Oliver Luck, is commissioner of the XFL.

NYON, Switzerland (AP) - UEFA formally postponed the Champions League final on Monday - an inevitable move with European soccer in total shutdown and four Round of 16 games yet to be completed.

The final was scheduled for May 30 in Istanbul before the spreading coronavirus pandemic forced the four remaining second-leg games on March 17-18 to be delayed indefinitely.

UEFA said no decision has yet been made on finding a new date.

The shutdown has no end in sight though UEFA and European soccer leaders said last week they hope to complete the club season by June 30.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Southeast Missouri hired Kansas State assistant Brad Korn as its new basketball coach Monday.

Korn had spent the past five seasons with the Wildcats, the past four as an assistant coach, helping the school to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a share of the Big 12 regular-season two years ago. Most of his work has been with post players, including Dean Wade, who was a back-to-back first-team all-conference selection.

Redhawks athletic director Brady Barke said Korn signed a five-year contract through the 2025 season.

___

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