Most of LSU’s football players have contracted and recovered from COVID-19, coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday, leaving the coaching staff hopeful those players will remain eligible to play the bulk of the season before they have to be tested again. Orgeron made those comments while discussing how he would plan for the possibility of seemingly healthy starters or regulars suddenly being deemed ineligible to suit up for the defending national champions because of a positive COVID-19 test. The coach explained that because players who have recovered from COVID-19 do not have to be tested again for 90 days under Southeastern Conference protocols, he figures he won’t likely have to worry about those who’ve come back from the virus suddenly being ruled out again because of it. “I think, not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it,” Orgeron said during a video conference, adding later that he did not know the percentage of the roster that had tested positive. “I think, hopefully, that once you catch it, you don’t get it again,” Orgeron added ... At a Senate hearing Tuesday, several lawmakers expressed concerns about the federal government playing a role in crafting or enforcing rules around NCAA compensation, highlighting the possibility that colleges and athletes may be forced to navigate a patchwork of state laws. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said compensating college athletes would be a “huge mistake,” and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), said “it’s a terrible, rotten, no good idea to federalize college sports.” “The worst thing would be for the Congress itself to write the rules,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which held the hearing. Five states have already passed legislation that would allow college athletes to soon receive endorsement money. Some two dozen others are considering similar bills. Fearing a mishmash of rules that vary from state to state, the NCAA has asked Congress to help bring some uniformity to the matter. At the same time, the NCAA has instructed its divisions to draft updated rules concerning name, image and likeness issues by Nov. 1. The legislation wouldn’t be adopted until the NCAA’s annual convention in January and would go into effect before the 2021-22 academic year. ... The University of Florida’s athletic department reported 61 new positive cases for COVID-19, including six for the football team a little more than a week before its season opener at Ole Miss. The spike in infections coincided with the return of student to campus and the start of classes. The Gators ceased activities with the school’s lacrosse and baseball programs due to dozens of positive results. Lacrosse reported 31 coronavirus cases, and baseball had 15. The women’s soccer team had three cases, leading to the cancellation of Saturday’s season opener at Missouri ... The University of Georgia will not allow tailgating on campus for football games this season because of the coronavirus pandemic, while Georgia Tech has banned tailgating on campus for Saturday’s home opener against No. 14 Central Florida ... Arkansas State’s home football game against Central Arkansas has been pushed back from Saturday to Oct. 10.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Kamna finally gets stage win
After coming close to a first stage win last week, Lennard Kamna did not miss his second chance. The 24-year-old German rider won the roller-coaster Stage 16 in Villard-de-Lans, France, featuring five categorized climbs after pulling clear of a group of breakaway riders as the race entered the Alps. Kamna was beaten by four seconds for the Stage 13 win by Daniel Martinez. “It was a fight from the beginning on and I knew I had to make it to the finish alone,” said Kamna, who also won a stage last month at the Criterium du Dauphine. There was no significant change in the overall standings ahead of Wednesday’s mammoth summit finish in the high mountains, as yellow jersey holder Primoz Roglic kept his 40-second lead over second-place Tadej Pogacar intact. The Slovenian pair enjoyed a quiet day in the pack of main contenders and crossed the finish line 16 minutes, 48 seconds behind the stage winner, who is not a threat in the overall standings. Rigoberto Uran of Colombia remained in third place overall, 1 minute, 34 seconds off the pace. Pogacar tested Roglic’s legs on the final ascent but could not gain time on his rival. “It was a good warmup for tomorrow, the queen stage of the race,” Pogacar said.
LPGA’s Portland Classic shortened because of wildfires
The LPGA Tour’s Portland Classic set for this weekend has been reduced to 54 holes because of poor air quality caused by wildfires that have been burning across the West. The course and practice facilities at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Ore., remained closed Tuesday, and Wednesday’s Pro-AM has been canceled. The air quality in Portland has been at dangerous levels because of the wildfires in Oregon, Washington and California. On Monday, Canadian Brooke Henderson withdrew from the event because of the smoky conditions. Henderson, ranked No. 6 in the world, has won the Portland event twice ... The Australian PGA tournament has been postponed to February because of uncertainties over coronavirus-enforced restrictions. The PGA of Australia said the European Tour co-sanctioned golf tournament, scheduled for early December at Royal Queensland in Brisbane, is now tentatively scheduled for Feb. 18-21, but the status of the event will be reviewed again in December.
Sun roll to advance in WNBA playoffs
Alyssa Thomas had 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, DeWanna Bonner added 23 points and 12 boards, and the seventh-seeded Connecticut Sun beat the No. 6 seed Chicago Sky 94-81 night in the opening game of the WNBA playoffs in Bradenton, Fla. Connecticut will play third-seeded Los Angeles on Thursday in another single-elimination round ... Shey Peddy made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Phoenix Mercury an 85-84 come-from-behind victory over the defending champion Washington Mystics in the first round of the playoffs. Fifth-seeded Phoenix moves on to play No. 4 seed Minnesota on Thursday in the second round ... A’ja Wilson, who led the Las Vegas Aces to the top seed, was named Associated Press WNBA player of the year.
Bundesliga games to have fans
More Bundesliga clubs will be able to start the season in front of fans this weekend after a deal was struck at a meeting of German politicians. Borussia Dortmund said it would now plan to have 10,000 season-ticket holders in the stadium for its first league game of the season Saturday against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Cologne said it’s aiming for 9,200 fans against Hoffenheim the same day. There was no immediate announcement from champion Bayern Munich about the opening game of the new Bundesliga season Friday against Schalke. Bayern has been trialing plans to welcome back spectators at reduced capacity with social distancing, though the city of Munich has a comparatively high rate of new coronavirus cases ... Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman is in isolation at home after he had contact with a person infected with the coronavirus, the Champions League-winning club said. Bayern didn’t say how long the France winger would need to spend in quarantine, or whether he’s available to play Friday ... Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is hoping to secure a return to Premier League club Tottenham to revitalize his career. Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, confirmed to The Associated Press that he is in talks with Tottenham about the 31-year-old forward rejoining the club he left seven years ago ... Bournemouth beat Crystal Palace 11-10 in an unusually long penalty shootout to advance to the third round of the English League Cup after the game ended at 0-0 after 90 minutes ... Keeneland Race Course will hold next month’s 12-day fall meet without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic but will allow a limited number of participants and essential personnel. The Lexington, Ky, track had a similar policy for a special five-day summer meet after canceling its spring card. Keeneland will conduct the season-ending Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 6-7 without spectators. Keeneland president/CEO Bill Thomason said in a release the decision was made after consulting local and state government officials and public health experts, and monitoring worldwide sporting events during the pandemic ... This season’s bobsled and skeleton world championships were awarded to Altenberg, Germany, and moved out of Lake Placid, N.Y., because of concerns across many winter sports about the coronavirus pandemic and potential travel complications for those coming to North America. The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation said it made the move “to protect the health of athletes and spectators across the globe.” Lake Placid will be awarded the 2025 world championships instead ... Novak Djokovic’s first match since being defaulted from the US Open will come against local wild-card entry Salvatore Caruso on Wednesday in the second round of the Italian Open in Rome. The 87th-ranked Caruso defeated American qualifier Tennys Sandgren 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the opening round at the empty Foro Italico, where fans are being kept away because of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, local teenager Lorenzo Musetti stunned Stan Wawrinka 6-0, 7-6 (2) in the first round of the Italian Open on Tuesday for a memorable first win on tour. Out-hitting Wawrinka’s famed backhand with a one-handed version of his own, the 18-year-old qualifier moved the three-time Grand Slam champion from corner to corner and displayed an all-court game that belied his years ... Sebastien Bourdais will return to IndyCar with A.J. Foyt Racing in a full-time job for 2021 that begins with the final three races of this season. Bourdais, a four-time champion, had been scheduled to split the No. 14 at Foyt this season with both Tony Kanaan and rookie Dalton Kellett. The schedule was decimated by the pandemic so Bourdais, who was supposed to drive the first three races of the season, has yet to turn a lap in competition.