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NCAA moving faster toward compensating athletes

NCAA president Mark Emmert listens during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on athletes' name, image, and likeness rights June 9.
NCAA president Mark Emmert listens during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on athletes' name, image, and likeness rights June 9.Anna Moneymaker/Getty

NCAA president Mark Emmert told the organization’s more than 1,100 member schools Friday that he will seek temporary rules as early as July to ensure all athletes can be compensated for their celebrity with a host of state laws looming and congressional efforts seemingly stalled. In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, Emmert urged members to pass legislation that would make it permissible for the first time for college athletes to earn money off their names, images, and likenesses (NIL). All three divisions of NCAA athletics have been working toward reforming NIL rules and lifting restrictions on athletes since 2019. “Since that time, many states have enacted NIL legislation and 10 state laws can take effect this July. It is therefore essential we now enact rules before the end of the month,” Emmert wrote in an e-mail sent to presidents and chancellors, athletic directors, senior compliance administrators, conference commissioners, and others. Six states have NIL laws set to go into effect July 1 that will permit college athletes to be paid for endorsements, personal appearances, and social media posts, setting up the possibility of patchwork rules from coast to coast for thousands of athletes. Emmert wrote that if NCAA rules changes are not in place by July, he will take action. The NCAA’s plan is to allow athletes to be paid by third parties. The schools would not be involved in the transactions. The NCAA does want to place some limitations around NIL rights and to be able to monitor athletes’ deals to prevent payments from being used as recruiting inducements. “By July, all our athletes should be provided NIL opportunities regardless of the state they happen to live in,” Emmert wrote in the memo. The NCAA Division 1 Council meets Tuesday and Wednesday and could act on an NIL proposal that was expected to be voted on back in January. Instead, Emmert encouraged membership at that time to put the vote on hold after an the Justice Department notified the NCAA that its proposed rule changes could violate antitrust law.

CFP’s 12-team expansion taking shape

College Football Playoff expansion took another step forward as the full group of commissioners who manage the postseason system wrapped up two days, digging into a plan for a 12-team format that would revamp the national championship. The first debate about what the final version of a new playoff will look like has emerged: The Pac-12 is pushing for each Power Five conference to receive an automatic berth. “This is the beginning of a long, ongoing process,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “It’s going to be months before we come to any closure on any of this.” There is no announced timeline and the earliest expansion would be possible is 2023, if there are no big snags.

Twelve-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte (right, with Chase Kalisz) won't be making another US team on the eve of his 37th birthday.
Twelve-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte (right, with Chase Kalisz) won't be making another US team on the eve of his 37th birthday.Maddie Meyer/Getty

Ryan Murphy has Team USA’s back

Ryan Murphy will get a chance to defend America’s backstroke streak in Tokyo. Murphy wind-milled to victory in the 200-meter backstroke at the US Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., adding to his triumph in the 100 back. Murphy set himself up to go for another backstroke-double in Japan, leading the entire race to post a winning time of 1 minute, 54.20 seconds. The 25-year-old Floridian swept both races at the Rio Games. The American men haven’t lost a backstroke race at the Olympics since 1992 in Barcelona. Lilly King also booked a second event in Tokyo, though she didn’t tough the wall first. The outspoken American settled for the runner-up spot in the 200 breaststroke, touching the wall nearly three-quarters of a second behind Annie Lazor. King had previously won the 100 breast. Meanwhile, Ryan Lochte’s Olympic career is apparently over. Looking to make it back to the Summer Games for a fifth time, the 36-year-old Lochte didn’t come close. He struggled to a seventh-place finish in the 200-meter individual medley. Michael Andrew — 14 years younger than Lochte — romped to victory by setting a blistering pace over the first three laps and holding on at the end to win in 1:55.44.



Ryan Crouser breaks 31-year-old shot put world record

Ryan Crouser broke the 31-year-old world record in the shot put with a toss 76 feet 8¼ inches while competing at the US Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore. The 28-year-old Crouser, who will defend his Olympic title next month, broke the record set by American Randy Barnes on May 20, 1990. “To have that world record for so long, it felt like a weight was lifted to finally get it,” Crouser said in an interview on NBC . . . Woody Kincaid sprinted the final stretch to hold off Grant Fisher and win the 10,000 meters in 27:53.62 and earn a spot to the Tokyo Games . . . Olympic long jump silver medalist Luvo Manyonga was banned for four years over missed doping tests and will miss the next two Summer Games. Track and field’s Athletics Integrity Unit said Manyonga had three violations of so-called whereabouts rules in a one-year period. The South African missed one doping test in 2019 and had two failures in 2020 to file details where he could be found to give samples. The 2017 world champion’s four-year ban runs into December 2024, including the Tokyo Olympics next month and the 2024 Paris Olympics. The usual two-year ban for whereabouts violations was doubled because it was the 30-year-old Manyonga’s second doping case. He tested positive for methamphetamine and was banned in 2012 for 18 months.



FIFA punishes Mexico for use of slurs by fans

Soccer’s international governing body punished Mexico for the use of homophobic slurs by its fans on multiple occasions this year, ordering the program to stage two official home matches without spectators. FIFA did not specify which teams or games would be affected, but the next official home games are the 2022 World Cup qualifiers for the men’s national team against Jamaica Sept. 2 and Canada on Oct. 7. That would mean Mexico would not have the usual thunderous support at 87,000-seat Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. FIFA’s disciplinary committee fined the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) about $65,000 for the behavior of fans at two matches at the Olympic men’s qualifying tournament for under-23 squads in Guadalajara in March. “We must stop this now,” FMF president Yon de Luisa said at a news conference. “The effect can be devastating for Mexican soccer. Let it be the first and last sanction that FIFA gives us.”


Christian Eriksen able to leave hospital

Christian Eriksen was discharged from the hospital and immediately went to visit his Denmark teammates nearly a week after suffering cardiac arrest during a European Championship match. The Danish soccer federation wrote on Twitter that Eriksen was released from the Rigshospitalet in central Copenhagen after a successful operation. The federation previously said Eriksen would be fitted with an ICD, an implantable device that can function as both a pacemaker and defibrillator. “The operation went well, and I am doing well under the circumstances,” Eriksen was quoted as saying in the tweet. The 29-year-old Eriksen has been in the hospital since collapsing on the field during his team’s opening Euro 2020 match against Finland on Saturday. His heart stopped and he had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator . . . UEFA is in talks with the British government about allowing foreign soccer fans to fly into London for games in the latter stages of the European Championship to avoid moving them from Wembley Stadium. The competition’s organizers have a contingency plan which involves taking the semifinals and final to Budapest if an agreement cannot be reached with authorities in London about exempting fans and dignitaries from quarantine. The Euro 2020 semifinals and final are scheduled to be played at Wembley Stadium from July 6-11. Because of a rise in coronavirus cases, plans to lift more coronavirus restrictions in England this month were paused until July 19. “We’ll do what we have to do to keep the country safe from COVID,” British prime minister Boris Johnson said. “That’s obviously going to be our priority, and we’ll be talking to UEFA about what they want and see if we can make some sensible accommodations. But the priority obviously has to be public health.” . . . CONMEBOL suspended Bolivia striker Marcelo Martins for one match and fined him $20,000 for criticizing the Copa America being played in Brazil. CONMEBOL’s disciplinary commission also warned Martins that he could face a one-year suspension if he offends again . . . Brazil’s government said 82 people connected with the Copa America soccer tournament had contracted COVID-19, an increase of 16 infections from the previous day. Brazil’s health ministry said in a statement that 6,926 tests were conducted, with 37 players and staffers of the 10 tournament teams infected plus 45 workers. Brazil stepped in as an emergency host despite the country having the second-highest number of recorded deaths from the coronavirus in the world, nearing 500,000.


Harry Kane, England unable to solve Scotland

Harry Kane, the Premier League’s top scorer, never came close to scoring for England in a 0-0 draw with Scotland at the European Championship at Wembley Stadium . . . Czech Republic forward Patrik Schick scored from the penalty spot for his tournament-leading third goal in a 1-1 draw against Croatia in Glasgow. Schick was awarded the penalty after being elbowed in the face by Croatia defender Dejan Lovren while both challenged for the ball in the air. The referee awarded the spot kick after a video review and gave a yellow card to Lovren . . . Emil Forsberg converted a 77th-minute penalty to give Sweden a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in St. Petersburg, Russia.


Cole Beasley puts his helmet on as he warms up before Buffalo's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 9, 2021.
Cole Beasley puts his helmet on as he warms up before Buffalo's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 9, 2021.Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

Bills’ Cole Beasley outspoken in his stance against vaccinations

Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley does not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and insists he will not follow rules jointly adopted by the NFL and NFLPA requiring unvaccinated players to stay clear of people. Tweeting in response to criticism over the last 24 hours of his stance on social media, Beasley confirmed he is not vaccinated and will “live my one life like I want to regardless.” Beasley said a lot of players agree with him and but many are not established veterans. The 32-year-old who is entering his 10th season wants to represent those players, he tweeted . . . The Jacksonville Jaguars signed receiver Laquon Treadwell, adding the 2016 first-round draft pick following a minicamp tryout. Treadwell was the 23rd overall pick that year by Minnesota, but the former Mississippi standout did little in four years with the Vikings.


Kevin Kopps wins first Howser for relievers

Arkansas’s Kevin Kopps won the Dick Howser Trophy as the top player in college baseball, making him the first relief pitcher to receive the award. Kopps, who had Tommy John surgery in 2018, was the star pitcher for a Razorbacks team ranked No. 1 much of the season and the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The SEC pitcher of the year had a hand in 23 of the Hogs’ 50 wins with a 12-1 record and 11 saves. Kopps appeared in 33 games, allowed nine runs in 89⅔ innings and struck out 131. The senior from Sugar Land, Texas, led the nation with his 0.90 ERA, and opponents batted .162 against him. Kopps is the second Arkansas player to receive the Howser Trophy in its 34-year history. The first was current Kansas City Royal outfielder Andrew Benintendi in 2015 . . . Jarren Duran’s two-run home run powered host Worcester over Lehigh Valley in Triple A action, 5-1, the team’s ninth win in 10 games . . . Tate Matheny, Joey Meneses, and Hudson Potts homered to carry visiting Portland to a 4-1 win over the Rumble Ponies in Double A play in Binghamton, N.Y.


LPGA rookie in lead once again

Leona Maguire shot a 8-under-par 64 to take a three-stroke lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Mich., the second straight week the Irish rookie has topped a leaderboard. The 26-year-old former Duke player is trying to become the first Irish winner in LPGA Tour history. Maguire had a 15-under 129 total at Blythefield Country Club. After rain and thunderstorms delayed the start two hours, Maguire birdied five her first nine holes. Su Oh of Australia was second after a bogey-free 65. Linda Duncan was 11 under after a 65 . . . Ski mountaineering has been proposed by the IOC executive board as the eighth sport on the 2026 program in Milan-Cortina, the Olympic body said. The sport involves skiing and hiking up and down mountain terrain. The plan is for five medal events in sprint and individual races for men and women, and a mixed-gender relay.