In a season unlike any other in major college football, Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente continues to navigate circumstances bearing little resemblance to anything approaching normalcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Instead of full attention on how to beat Duke, the Hokies' next opponent, Fuente spent a portion of his weekly news conference addressing the status of his coaching staff, most notably first-year defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton, who sat out the season opening 45-24 win against North Carolina State at Lane Stadium. It’s unclear if Hamilton was absent due to a positive test or contact tracing. Fuente also did not confirm if Hamilton, who is taking over for the legendary Bud Foster, would be available for this weekend’s game against Duke (0-3) in Durham, N.C. . . .Human error was blamed for the postponement of Georgia State’s game at Charlotte on Saturday. The game was called off as the Panthers were about to depart Friday afternoon after four players tested positive, with quarantine deemed necessary for 17 others (including one coach). But on Sunday, the school’s athletic department announced that “human error” led to an incorrect reading of the test results. It’s unclear whether the Georgia State-Charlotte game will be made up, as the teams do not share an open weekend until December . . . West Virginia will allow the general public to attend football games at a reduced capacity next month, the school announced. WVU athletic director Shane Lyons said attendance will be limited to about 15,000 fans, or 25 percent capacity, starting with the Oct. 17 home game against Kansas. Currently, only the families of players and coaches as well as essential game operations staff are allowed to attend games.
Liverpool wins third straight
Diogo Jota marked his first game for Liverpool in the English Premier League with the last goal as the champions beat Arsenal 3-1 for a third straight victory to open their title defense. Signed this month from Wolverhampton to add depth to Liverpool’s forward options, Jota looked dangerous after coming on as a second-half substitute for Sadio Mane, and got his goal in the 88th minute with a shot from the edge of the area following a poor headed clearance from David Luiz. Before that, Andrew Robertson atoned for an error that led to the opening goal for Arsenal by Alexandre Lacazette by scoring himself to put Liverpool in front in the 34th, capping a chaotic nine-minute period when three goals went in . . . Ten people tested positive for the coronavirus in the latest round of checks in the English Premier League. A total of 1,595 players and club staff were tested last week, the league said. It did not disclose details of the players who were positive, but West Ham confirmed last week that three people — including manager David Moyes — had COVID-19 . . . Sixteen months later, Manchester City finally found a replacement for long-time captain Vincent Kompany. Portugal international Rúben Dias was on the verge of joining Manchester City from Benfica as a replacement for long-time City captain Vincent Kompany, with the Portuguese team saying the center back was moving for a fee of $78 million. In return, Benfica received Nicolás Otamendi from City for $17.2 million . . . The Vancouver Whitecaps moved to solve their goalkeeper woes, acquiring veteran netminder Evan Bush from the Montreal Impact, who will receive Vancouver’s third-round pick in the 2021 MLS draft. The 34-year-old Bush has been with the Impact since 2011, appearing in 176 regular-season games and posting 40 shutouts. He has not played for Montreal this year.
Authentic installed as 9-5 favorite at Preakness
Kentucky Derby winner Authentic was installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite and drew the No. 9 post position for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, the Triple Crown finale in this topsy-turvy year. There will be no fans at Pimlico Race Course on race day. Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law, who was a runner-up to Authentic in the Derby, is skipping the Preakness to prepare for the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 7. Art Collector, who was scratched from the Derby, appears to be the biggest threat to Authentic and is the 5-2 second choice out of post No. 3.
IOC rebukes Italian interference
Italy’s Olympic team risks the humiliation of being placed on probation for the Tokyo Games if the country’s sports minister does not back down amid a two-year-long dispute that amounts to government interference, IOC president Thomas Bach said. In an extraordinary step designed to put pressure on Vincenzo Spadafora, Italy’s sports minister, Bach also suggested that the alleged interference could — under extreme circumstances — result in the country being stripped of hosting rights for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Bach has taken issue with the Italian government’s creation of a new organization, Sport e Salute, that was created at the start of last year to run the country’s sports finances, which were previously controlled by an arm of the Italian Olympic Committee.