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Sports Log

NCAA basketball season to start Nov. 25

Activity on college basketball courts is expected to start in November.
Activity on college basketball courts is expected to start in November.Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball season will begin Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving. The Division I Council voted Wednesday to push the start date back from the originally scheduled Nov. 10 as one of several precautions against the spread of coronavirus. The later start date coincides with the decision most schools made to send students home from Thanksgiving until January out of concern about a potential late-fall and early-winter flareup of COVID-19. Closed campuses could serve as a quasi bubble for players and provide a window for nonconference games. “The fact our campuses will be clearing out, it will be possible to just further control the exposures, and the 25th gives us that opportunity,” said Division I Council chair Grace Calhoun, the athletic director at Penn … UConn swingman Tyrese Martin, who transferred from Rhode Island in April, was granted a waiver that will allow him to play for the Huskies this season. The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.8 points and 7.1 rebounds and started every game last season for URI, where he was recruited by current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

Pac-12 rethinks football season

Any plans for the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten in returning to football are on hold due to health policies in two states within the conference. The Pac-12 decided last month to postpone all fall sports until January due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The league is now reconsidering starting its football season this fall, but does not have approval from state and local health officials in California and Oregon to conduct contact practices. The Pac-12 CEO Group is scheduled to meet Friday to discuss the conference’s options … Eleven people in the football program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., tested positive for the coronavirus, but the Owls are still hoping to play their season opener Saturday against Georgia Southern, said coach Willie Taggart. Taggart declined to specify how many of the positive tests involved players, coaches or staff. Contact tracing and retesting of the team were being done.

Tennis

Djokovic in command in first match after default

Novak Djokovic reacts during his match against Italy's Salvatore Caruso at the Italian Open Wednesday.
Novak Djokovic reacts during his match against Italy's Salvatore Caruso at the Italian Open Wednesday.Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse/Associated Press

Novak Djokovic behaved better Wednesday in his first match since being defaulted from the US Open 10 days ago for unintentionally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball. The top-ranked Serb was mostly courteous with the chair umpire and had no interaction with the line judges during a 6-3, 6-2 win over local wild-card entry Salvatore Caruso in his opening match at the Italian Open in Rome. Nine-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal made a solid return to competition after a seven-month absence by beating US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreño Busta, 6-1, 6-1. In the women’s tournament, top-seeded Simona Halep defeated Italian wild-card entry Jasmine Paolini, 6-3, 6-4, and defending champion Karolina Pliskova eliminated fellow Czech player Barbora Strycova, 6-3, 6-3.

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Tour de France

Lopez takes 17th stage; Roglic keeps lead

Miguel Angel Lopez crosses the finish line to win stage 17 of the Tour de France on Wednesday.
Miguel Angel Lopez crosses the finish line to win stage 17 of the Tour de France on Wednesday.BENOIT TESSIER/Associated Press

Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez won the toughest mountain stage of this year’s Tour de France in Meribel, while race leader Primož Roglic added a few crucial seconds to his advantage over rival Tadej Pogacar. The much-vaunted 17th stage saw Roglic finishing 15 seconds behind Lopez in second place, while Pogacar trudged over the line 30 seconds behind Lopez in third. Roglic is 57 seconds ahead of Pogacar with four stages remaining.

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WNBA

Moore married man she helped free

Maya Moore, the WNBA star and UConn standout who took time away from her basketball career to work on criminal justice issues, has married Jonathan Irons, a man she worked to free from a Missouri prison, she told “Good Morning America.” Irons, 40, was in prison for more than 20 years after he was convicted on charges of burglarizing a home in a St. Louis suburb and assaulting the homeowner with a gun. Irons pleaded not guilty and has insisted that he was not at the scene of the crime and had been misidentified. He was 16 at the time. Moore, 31, said she and Irons met through a prison ministry program when she was 18. In March, Irons’s convictions were tossed out by a judge who cited problems that included a fingerprint report that had not been made available to Irons’s defense team. An appeal by the Missouri attorney general’s office was unsuccessful, and the St. Charles County prosecutor’s office decided not to retry the case.

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Soccer

Messi lifts Barcelona with 2 goals

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, vies for the ball during the preseason friendly between Barcelona and Girona on Wednesday.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, vies for the ball during the preseason friendly between Barcelona and Girona on Wednesday.Joan Monfort/Associated Press

Lionel Messi scored his first two goals of host Barcelona’s preseason as coach Ronald Koeman left Luis Suárez and Arturo Vidal off his team for a second friendly match. Barcelona beat second-tier Girona, 3-1. The goals were Messi’s first since his failed attempt to leave the club this offseason. Barcelona is trying to find new homes for Suárez and Vidal, two players who at 33 years old do not fit into Koeman’s plans to rejuvenate the team … Long-time rivals Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb both lost in the third round of Champions League qualifying in Geneva. Red Star’s loss in a penalty shootout (4-2) to Omonia after a 1-1 draw in Cyprus ended the Serbian champion’s bid to advance through all four qualifying rounds into the group stage for a third straight year. Dinamo, which also played in the group stage last season, was eliminated, 2-1, by Ferencváros in Budapest … A Swiss bank linked to corruption by former international soccer officials at FIFA is in talks with United States authorities about paying a settlement of at least $10 million. Julius Baer has cooperated with the US Department of Justice since 2015, when a sprawling investigation was unsealed.

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Miscellany

IndyCar coming back to Nashville

IndyCar plans to return to Nashville next year on an urban street course that will be a three-day festival of sound and speed that organizers hope rivals the storied Long Beach Grand Prix. The Music City Grand Prix is scheduled for Aug. 6-8 on a temporary circuit. The 2.17-mile course will race across the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge into downtown Nashville and back … Former track federation president Lamine Diack was sentenced in Paris to two years in prison for corruption during his nearly 16-year tenure at the IAAF, including a scheme that allowed Russian athletes who paid millions in hush money to keep competing when they should have been suspended for doping … Lake Placid will not host any major international sliding events this winter, after the International Luge Federation decided not to hold a World Cup competition there because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.