Hall of Fame college football coach Bobby Bowden announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition. “I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come,” Bowden said in a statement released to news outlets, including The Associated Press. “My wife, Ann, and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.” The 91-year-old Bowden was hospitalized last October after he tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test came a few days after returning to his Tallahassee home from a lengthy hospital stay for an infection in his leg. He did not disclose his condition in his statement. During his 34 years coaching Florida State, Bowden amassed a 315-98-4 record and built the Seminoles into a national power, winning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and national titles in 1993 and 1999. He won 357 games during his 40 years in college coaching and was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Bowden retired following the 2009 season with a Gator Bowl win over West Virginia in Florida State’s 28th straight postseason appearance. Bowden had wanted to coach another season to continue this pursuit of 400 wins, but Florida State officials did not renew his contract. He was replaced by then-offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.
ACC commissioner wants Notre Dame as full member
New Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Jim Phillips made it clear he wants Notre Dame to join the conference as a full-time football member after what he described as a “beautiful and beneficial relationship” during an unusual 2020 season. Speaking at his first public forum at the ACC Kickoff media days, Phillips addressed the Notre Dame independence issue while Notre Dame’s logo was shown alongside the ACC’s 14 member schools on the backdrop behind the podium. “They know the ACC’s interest,” Phillips said. “It’s been less than bashful. It’s been less than bashful since I’ve been here. But I also respect where they’re at. Our concentration right now is on our 14 schools. Who knows where the future’s going to go?” Last season, Notre Dame played as a temporary member of the ACC due to COVID-19 rules and went undefeated during the regular season before losing to Clemson 34-10 in the ACC championship game . . . Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey said this week six of the league’s 14 football teams have at least 80 percent of their roster vaccinated — a number that ”needs to grow and grow rapidly,” Sankey said. The six teams included Alabama, whose head coach, Nick Saban, has strongly advocated vaccinations among the public and indicated “pretty close to 90 percent” of his players are fully vaccinated, nearly triple the rate for the state’s overall population.
NBA approves installment on T-Wolves $1.5 billion sale
The first increment of the $1.5 billion sale of the Minnesota Timberwolves to e-commerce mogul Marc Lore and retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez has been formally approved by the NBA. The Timberwolves issued a statement confirming the transaction and welcoming Lore and Rodriguez to the organization. The deal, which also includes the WNBA franchise Minnesota Lynx, was first reached between current owner Glen Taylor and Lore and Rodriguez this spring and was structured to begin with an initial transfer of a 20 percent stake in the club this year. Lore and Rodriguez will then have the right to purchase additional 20 percent shares in 2022 and 2023, when they would become controlling owners of the two basketball teams. The 80-year-old Taylor purchased the Timberwolves in 1994 for $88 million to keep them from moving to New Orleans. He told reporters when the negotiations with Lore and Rodriguez began that the franchise remaining in Minnesota was a condition of the sale.
Federer, Osaka, Serena among US Open entrants
Roger Federer, who withdrew from the Olympics because a knee injury, and Naomi Osaka, who skipped Wimbledon and withdrew from the French Open because of mental issues, are both in the singles fields for the US Open Aug. 30-Sept. 12 in New York. Federer lost in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Osaka has not played a match withdrawing after the first round in Paris. Also in the field at Flushing Meadows: six-time champion Serena Williams, who had to retire from her first-round match at Wimbledon after she slipped on the Centre Court grass, injuring her right leg. The entry lists include players who make the field automatically. Players still can withdraw from the tournament. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon, will be seeking to become the third man to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year. Don Budge in 1938 and Rod Laver in 1969 are the others. Djokovic is also playing at the Tokyo Olympics and could become the first man to complete a “Golden Slam.” Steffi Graf did it in 1988. Wimbledon champion and No. 1-ranked Ash Barty headlines the women’s field. Osaka, the defending US Open champion, is ranked second ahead of Aryna Sabalenka, a Wimbledon semifinalist, and Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion.
Taylor leaving ESPN after contract impasse
Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN after the two sides were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension. Taylor had been with ESPN since 2014 but her contract expired Tuesday. Her last assignment for the network was Tuesday night at the NBA Finals, where she was the pregame and postgame host for the network’s “NBA Countdown” show. Taylor had hosted “NBA Countdown” since 2019 as well as being a reporter for “College GameDay” and ABC “Saturday Night Football” since 2017 . . . Six unnamed members from Argentina’s Boca Juniors spent the night in a bus outside a police station in Belo Horizonte before being allowed to leave Wednesday following a brawl with security after their Copa Libertadores penalty shootout loss to local Atletico Mineiro. Police questioned the six members of the Argentine delegation, two of whom were fined $575 each for damages. The other four were charged with bodily injury and contempt and are supposed to appear in court at a later date . . . Boaz Kisang Cheboiywo, 42, a former NCAA champion runner from Kenya, was sentenced to at least 40 months in prison for a drunken driving crash in April that killed a woman in Ypsilanti, Mich. Cheboiywo, who had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26 at the time of the accident, pleaded no contest in June to causing a death while operating a vehicle while drunk.