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CORONAVIRUS NOTEBOOK

College football: No games until campuses reopen

Mike Pence met with college football officials on Wednesday.SAUL LOEB

The commissioners of the nation’s major college football conferences held a 30-minute conference call Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence and stressed that college sports cannot return from the coronavirus shutdown until campuses have reopened.

The 10 commissioners, along with the athletic director of Notre Dame, comprise the College Football Playoff management committee.

“We were able to talk about the differences between us and professional sports,” American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Pence asked good questions and was “hopeful and optimistic” about the fight against the coronavirus. The pandemic has shut down all major sporting events since mid-March and forced colleges to close campuses and move classes online.

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The White House has said it is important to reopen the United States economy, though the details on how that will happen will be complicated and likely involve local, state and federal guidelines on safety. President Donald Trump has also been engaged with professional sports leagues with the multibillion-dollar sports industry on hold.

Los Angeles mayor says large gatherings may be on hold until 2021

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CNN Wednesday that large gatherings like concerts and sporting events will “probably” not be allowed in the city until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Nothing I’ve heard would indicate that we would be in those large thousands of people gatherings anytime soon and probably not for the rest of this year,” Garcetti said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that events that draw hundreds or thousands of strangers will be off limits for the near future, based on current guidelines.

“The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine,” Newsom said.

World’s top eaters ready to chow down for hunger

Among men, Joey Chestnut is the top-ranked eater in the world.REUTERS

With no new televised sports these days, Major League Eating is moving into the void and launching a bracket-style elimination tournament starting Friday that will air on MLE’s YouTube channel — and raise some money for charity.

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Among the eight contestants are Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo, the top-ranked men’s and women’s eaters in the world. They’ll face off via video from their homes.

In the qualifying round, contestants will need to consume 2 pounds of sliced bologna. The quarterfinals require one family pack of Oreo cookies and a half-gallon of milk, the semifinals involve 10 pounds of baked beans, and the finals will be 10 individual ramen noodle cups.

The winner earns $5,000. MLE and event sponsor BetOnline will donate $10,000 to Feeding America, which has a COVID-19 response fund.

Little League season hanging in the balance

Little League, like most of the sports world, has been benched.

The youth baseball program that boasts more than 2.5 million kids is on hold at least until May 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. And the fate of its signature event, the Little League World Series in August in South Williamsport, Pa., is unclear.

"If we were going to play the world series, traditionally like we have done for many, many years, we need to be playing and picking teams by the middle of June," said Little League President Stephen Keener, who has yet to set a drop-dead date for a tournament decision.

New dates announced for Tour de France

This year’s Tour de France will start on Aug. 29 and finish on Sept. 20 and will be followed by cycling’s two other major races. The International Cycling Union announced the new dates after consulting with race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation. The Tour could not start as scheduled on June 27 because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic … The Chicago Blackhawks canceled their fan convention due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual event was scheduled for July 24-26 … Speedway Motorsports, owner and operator of eight tracks that host NASCAR’s top Cup Series — including New Hampshire Motor Speedway — has laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 as part of a company restructuring during the sports shutdown. The coronavirus pandemic caused NASCAR to suspend the season just four events into a 36-race schedule.

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