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Big 12 intends to play college football in the fall

Oklahoma is among the powerhouses in the Big 12.
Oklahoma is among the powerhouses in the Big 12.Ron Jenkins/Photographer: Ron Jenkins/Getty

The Big 12 on Wednesday may have salvaged the remnants of the college football season. It also may have merely delayed its collapse in the face of the nation’s coronavirus crisis. One day after the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences postponed football until at least the spring semester, the Big 12, which includes titans such as Oklahoma and Texas, said it intended to hold league games beginning Sept. 26. Each team is expected to play one nonconference game, a part of its 10-game season, before that date. The decision left three of the sport’s most influential leagues planning to pursue a football season, shriveled as it might be, and offered a measure of cover for the ACC and SEC conferences. Before the Big 12′s announcement, some college sports executives said they believed ambitions for a season would erode if the Big 12 declined to play and relegated the ACC and the SEC to the minority among the so-called Power 5 leagues.

NFL

Washington will play without fans

There won't be any fans at FedEx Field this season.
There won't be any fans at FedEx Field this season.Mark Tenally/Associated Press

NFL games at FedEx Field this season will be played without fans in the stands, the Washington Football Team announced. Throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic, the team had been hoping to have some fans at its home games this fall, but after working with Maryland and Prince George’s County officials to come up with a health and safety plan for the team’s games at the stadium, a decision was made to play in an empty stadium “out of an abundance of caution,” the team said in a statement. Several other teams, including the Giants, Jets and Raiders, already have said they will play without fans at home games this year … The Buffalo Bills signed coach Sean McDermott to a multiyear contract extension. A person with direct knowledge told the Associated Press the contract is a four-year extension that runs through the 2025 season.

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Auto racing

Roush Fenway signs deal to fund Ryan Newman’s car

Roush Fenway Racing announced a 12-race sponsorship deal Wednesday with Guaranteed Rate to fund Ryan Newman's car throughout the remainder of this season.
Roush Fenway Racing announced a 12-race sponsorship deal Wednesday with Guaranteed Rate to fund Ryan Newman's car throughout the remainder of this season. Terry Renna/Associated Press

Roush Fenway Racing announced a 12-race sponsorship deal with Guaranteed Rate to fund Ryan Newman’s car throughout the remainder of this NASCAR season. The deal is a large one in the current economic climate — teams are piecing together funding in small batches as corporations have shied away from multiple-race sponsorship. … Scott Dixon, already off to a tremendous start to the IndyCar season, quickly set the pace on the first day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. The five-time IndyCar champion was fastest in the first session in preparation for the Aug. 23 race. Dixon turned a lap of 224.047 m.p.h. around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the two-hour session for veterans.

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Sports betting

DraftKings opens in New Hampshire

The first sports betting retail location is opening in New Hampshire, a little over a year after Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill legalizing betting on professional and college sports in the state. DraftKings Sportsbook at The Brook was opening Wednesday in Seabrook. Sports fans will now be able to place legal bets on all major professional and collegiate US sports at the location. Seabrook was one of a number of towns where residents voted to allow the operation of sports betting retail locations. New Hampshire became the second New England state to offer sports betting, after Rhode Island.

Horse racing

Less than 23,000 to attend Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs officials expect less than 23,000 fans will be able to attend next month’s rescheduled Kentucky Derby under an updated health and safety plan. The plan eliminates general admission and standing room only areas, with total capacity limited to less than 14 percent of the 2015 attendance record of 170,513. The 146th runnings of the Derby and Oaks for fillies were postponed from May 1-2 to Sept. 4-5 because of coronavirus concerns … An aggrieved harness-racing bettor received $20,000 in the settlement of a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in which he claimed he was cheated out of his winnings when a doped horse won a race in New Jersey in 2016. The settlement, reached in July and made public Wednesday, resulted from extensive negotiations on behalf of the bettor, Jeffrey Tretter, and the lawsuit’s two defendants — trainer Robert Bresnahan Jr., and the horse’s owner, J.L. Sadowsky. Under the settlement, the defendants agreed to pay Tretter $20,000, and Tretter agreed to donate $7,500 of that sum to a racehorse adoption program.

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Miscellany

Paris Marathon canceled

The Paris Marathon has been canceled because of the coronavirus after repeated attempts to find a new date, organizers said. The race was originally due to take place in April but was then moved to October. Organizers said they’d recently tried to rearrange the race for November but continuing travel restrictions made that unrealistic … Cycling’s road world championships in Switzerland next month were canceled after a government ruling on mass gatherings during the pandemic was extended until October. However, cycling’s governing body said it still hoped to find a new host for the event on the same dates of Sept. 20-27.