NCAA President Mark Emmert said the association is working on interim rules that will permit college athletes to earn money off their fame and celebrity by July and act as a bridge until there is a permanent solution.
In a memo sent to member schools and obtained by The Associated Press, Emmert acknowledged the current uncertainty across college sports as it moves toward allowing name, image and likeness compensation for athletes. The memo was first reported by The Athletic.
Six states — Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and New Mexico — have laws set to go into effect July 1 that would undercut existing NCAA rules and give athletes the opportunity to be paid by third parties for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances. Several other state laws could also go into effect in July.
NFL players must decide by July 2 if they plan to opt out of playing this season due to COVID-19 concerns, though voluntary opt-outs will not be paid any stipend this year.
In a memo sent to clubs and obtained by The Associated Press, the league and the NFL Players Association agreed that only high-risk players will receive a stipend of $350,000. Voluntary opt-outs got a $150,000 stipend in 2020.
To qualify as a high-risk, a player must have opted out last season and have an effective contract executed before Oct. 1, 2020, or have been newly diagnosed with a CDC-defined higher-risk condition. Rookies wouldn’t be eligible unless they were diagnosed with a high-risk condition after signing a contract.
The contract for any player who opts out will toll at the end of the year and all provisions of the 2021 contract will become applicable to 2022. For players under contract beyond 2021, all subsequent years will be extended.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jeff Gordon will leave the Fox Sports booth to take a daily role at Hendrick Motorsports as vice chairman and the second-ranking team official to majority owner Rick Hendrick.
The announcement positions the four-time champion and Hall of Famer to one day succeed the 71-year-old Hendrick at the top of NASCAR’s winningest organization. Gordon will formally begin the executive management role at the start of 2022.
Gordon joined Hendrick Motorsports for the final Cup race of the 1992 season and launched one of the greatest careers in NASCAR history. He won 93 races — third on the all-time list — and four Cup titles before retiring in 2015. He joined the Fox Sports booth the next year but maintained an active role with the team as Hendrick’s only partner in the 13-time championship organization.
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics hired Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka to be their new coach, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
The hiring was first reported by ESPN.
Udoka, 43, played a total of 316 games over seven seasons with five NBA teams before retiring in 2012 and joining Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio as an assistant coach. He was with the Spurs for seven seasons, including in 2013-14, when they won the NBA title. Udoka joined the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and was with the Nets last year.
TRACK AND FIELD
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Transgender runner CeCe Telfer will not be allowed to compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at U.S. Olympic trials because Telfer has not met the conditions World Athletics established in its eligibility regulations for certain women’s events.
Telfer competed for the men’s team at Division II Franklin Pierce, but took time off, then came back to compete for the women’s team. In 2019, Telfer won the NCAA title.
Telfer was entered in this week’s trials, but World Athletics put out new guidelines in 2019 that closed off international women’s events of between 400 meters and a mile to athletes whose testosterone levels were at 5 nonomoles per liter (nmol/L) or more. Telfer had been on the list of qualified athletes for Friday’s opening heats. A start list was published Wednesday night that was missing Telfer’s name.
USA Basketball has a full 12-man roster for the Tokyo Games after Chicago’s Zach LaVine and Detroit’s Jerami Grant accepted invitations to join the team that will try to win the program’s fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.
LaVine’s decision was confirmed by his agent, Nima Namakian. Grant’s decision was confirmed by a person familiar with the situation, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because USA Basketball has yet to formally reveal the full roster.
The Olympic team that will be coached by Gregg Popovich in Tokyo includes: Washington’s Bradley Beal, Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Milwaukee teammates Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Golden State’s Draymond Green, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, LaVine and Grant.
Carli Lloyd is headed to her fourth Olympics.
The 38-year-old Lloyd had vowed after the 2019 World Cup that she would push to make the Olympic team before stepping away from the sport. But then the Tokyo Games were pushed back a year because of the pandemic, and Lloyd needed surgery on her knee. That meant making the 18-player roster was by no means a slam dunk for Lloyd, who scored three goals in the opening 16 minutes of the 2015 World Cup final in Canada.
Coach Vlatko Andonovski included her on the roster he announced Wednesday. Tobin Heath joins Lloyd in heading to her fourth Olympics.
Lloyd, who will turn 39 before the Tokyo Games, is the oldest national team Olympian, besting Christie Rampone, who was 37 when she played at the 2012 London Games.