- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2020

NFL

While planning to play a full regular-season schedule, the NFL has formulated a ticket refund plan for canceled games or those held without fans.

In a memo sent to the 32 teams by Commissioner Roger Goodell and obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, a uniform baseline for full refunds on any tickets purchased directly from the clubs was prepared.

Goodell wrote that “all clubs will have in place a policy under which, if a game is cancelled, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, anyone purchasing a ticket directly from the club (i.e., season tickets, group sales and/or partial season plans) will have the option of either receiving a full refund or applying the amount paid toward a future ticket purchase directly from the club.”

As for the secondary market, the league received pledges from Ticketmaster and SeatGeek to make full refunds available for all ticket sales within no more than 30 days of cancellation. StubHub, however, will do so only where required by state law.



MIAMI (AP) - Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami Dolphins’ top draft pick, will wear uniform No. 1.

The Dolphins announced number assignments Tuesday. Tagovailoa wore No. 13 at Alabama, but the Dolphins retired that number after it was worn by Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

Tagovailoa will be the first Dolphins QB to wear No. 1, which was most famously worn by kicker Garo Yepremian.

NEW YORK (AP) - Running back Frank Gore has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Jets, agent Drew Rosenhaus announced.

Gore, who turns 37 next Thursday, will join a Jets backfield that also includes Le’Veon Bell and fourth-round draft pick La’Mical Perine. Gore is third on the NFL’s career rushing list with 15,269 yards.

The signing reunites Gore with coach Adam Gase, for whom he played in Miami in 2018. The two were also together in San Francisco in 2008, when Gase was an offensive assistant.

ESPN first reported the agreement between the Jets and Gore, who trails only Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) in yards rushing.

Gore spent last season with Buffalo, where he ran for a career-low 599 yards in 16 games. He had two touchdown runs and also caught 13 passes for 100 yards.

He spent his first 10 NFL seasons with San Francisco after being selected in the third round out of the University of Miami in 2005. Gore then played three seasons with Indianapolis before playing one year each for Miami and Buffalo.

TENNIS

More than $6 million has been raised by the governing bodies of tennis for a relief fund aimed at helping 800 players deal with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The WTA and ATP tours, the International Tennis Federation and the groups that run the four Grand Slam tournaments announced Tuesday that they have formed the “Player Relief Programme.”

The Associated Press reported details of the plan Monday.

The seven groups said the money will be divided evenly among women and men, and will go to singles and doubles players. They also said the WTA and ATP will oversee the distribution of the money, based on eligibility requirements that “will take into account a player’s ranking as well as previous prize money earnings, according to criteria agreed by all stakeholders.”

MADRID (AP) - If given the option, Rafael Nadal said he would scrap this season entirely so tennis could resume normally in 2021.

The second-ranked Spaniard, who is 33 years old and has won 19 Grand Slam titles, said he hoped to resume playing this year but doubted it could happen because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would sign up right now just to being ready for 2021,” Nadal said in interviews with El País and other Spanish newspapers published Tuesday. “I’m more concerned with the Australian Open than with what happens later this year. … I’m hopeful of being able to start next year.”

Nadal said the logistical difficulties of having to move people from country to country for tournaments make it hard for tennis to resume safely amid the pandemic.

SPORTS BUSINESS/TELEVISION

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The ESPYS will shift focus from honoring athletic accomplishments to celebrating acts of heroism and humanitarian aid during the pandemic.

ESPN said Tuesday its annual awards show will air June 21, about a month earlier than its usual July date. Details of the two-hour show are still being worked out, but it will be produced rather than air live, the cable network said. Comedian Tracy Morgan hosted last year’s show in its longtime home of Los Angeles.

The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance will be featured. The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award and the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award, both usually given out at a separate show the night before, will be added to The ESPYS telecast.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Charles Davis is moving from the Fox Sports booth to CBS. The network announced on Tuesday that Davis will be an analyst for its NFL coverage and contributing to football coverage on CBS Sports Network.

Davis will join announcer Ian Eagle and reporter Evan Washburn on CBS’ No. 2 NFL crew. He replaces Dan Fouts, who was not retained by the network. Davis joined Fox in 2006 and had been the analyst on its No. 2 NFL team the past five seasons.

Davis and Eagle are likely to call at least one playoff game this season. CBS will have two games on wild-card weekend as part of the expanded playoffs.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sports Illustrated is branching out into movies and television.

Authentic Brands Group and 101 Studios announced on Tuesday that they will launch Sports Illustrated Studios as part of a joint venture between the two companies.

The studio’s first project will be a docu-series entitled “Covers.” It will explore the stories behind the magazine’s most memorable covers and what went into creating them. The project’s release date as well as five additional projects are expected to be announced over the next four weeks.

Authentic Brands Group - which also holds the licensing and trademark rights to celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley - acquired the licensing and marketing rights to Sports Illustrated last May from the Meredith Corporation. 101 Studios is best known for producing “Yellowstone” on the Paramount Network, which stars Kevin Costner, as well as recent films like “The Current War: Director’s Cut” and “Burden.”

COLLEGES

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) - Dan Butterly is the new Big West Conference commissioner, moving over from the Mountain West after 21 years.

He starts with the Irvine-based league on June 1 to work alongside Dennis Farrell, who will step down on July 1 after 40 years with the Big West, including 28 as commissioner. Butterly will be the league’s fifth commissioner.

Butterly has been senior associate commissioner of the Mountain West, working as the primary sport and championship administrator for men’s basketball. He is currently chairman of the College Football Playoff licensing committee and has served on the NCAA Division I men’s basketball issues committee.

OBITUARY

Roy Lester, who sandwiched a disappointing three-year stint as Maryland’s football coach between a highly successful career at the high school level, has died. He was 96.

Lester’s daughter, Amy Lester Greco, said on a Facebook post that her father died Sunday in Rockville, Maryland, due to complications from the new coronavirus.

Lester made a name for himself in Maryland during a 10-year run at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville during which the Rockets went unbeaten six times and had an 86-10-1 record.

That led to him being hired in 1968 to coach at Maryland, where he inherited a program that won only two of 19 games over the previous two years.

Lester guided the Terrapins to a 3-7 record in his first year and went 2-9 in each of the next two seasons before being fired.

CHICAGO (AP) - Eldred “Salty” Saltwell, who worked in a variety of roles including general manager and vice president over 30 years with the Chicago Cubs, has died, the team said Tuesday. He was 96.

The Cubs said his death Sunday was not related to the novel coronavirus.

Saltwell arrived in Chicago in 1958 and served as concession manager, traveling secretary, assistant secretary, assistant treasurer, secretary, general manager, vice president and consultant. He replaced John Holland as GM following the 1975 season and lasted one year in that role, drawing criticism for trading shortstop Don Kessinger and first baseman Andre Thornton as the Cubs finished fourth in the NL East at 75-87.

Saltwell worked as an usher, trainer, play-by-play announcer, traveling secretary and business manager for Sioux City of the Western League from 1947-54. He moved to the Western League office in 1954 and began work in the Cubs’ organization a year later with stops Des Moines, Los Angeles and Fort Worth before arriving in Chicago.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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