The team, which is under pressure to change its name during the ongoing national reckoning over racism, said Saturday that Mitchell’s No. 49 will become only the second jersey in the franchise’s 88-year history to be retired. The other is the No. 33 of Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh.Mitchell, Washington’s first African American player, died in April. The Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate the roster.Significantly, dropping Marshall’s name from the lower bowl of the stadium follows by one day the removal of his statue at RFK Stadium, the team’s former home. Marshall moved the team from Boston to Washington and resisted integrating the roster with Black players until “forced to do so” in 1962.The team’s announcement of the change did not mention Marshall, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963 and died in 1969. Yankees, Mets to train in New York if MLB resumesUNDATED (AP) — The Yankees and Mets would train in New York if Major League Baseball and its players try to start the coronavirus-delayed season. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Saturday, and the teams confirmed the decisions.The Yankees originally had intended to base at their spring training complex in Tampa, Florida. The Mets had said they were undecided between Citi Field and their training camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida. But positive cases for COVID-19 in Florida have increased markedly in recent days, while the percentage of positive tests in New York City has dropped sharply.All 30 MLB teams have closed their spring camps in Florida and Arizona this weekend over virus concerns.MLB had hoped to start the season during the first week of July, but teams and the players’ association are engaged in a bitter fight over how to apportion revenue losses caused by the pandemic. Both sides agree that players need three weeks of training before the increasingly slight season could start. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditHORSE RACING-BELMONTBelmont kicking off Triple Crown series(Eds: Post time is 5:42 p.m. EDT) — The NBA has firmed up the schedule for what will be a hectic time for teams this fall. The league has set Oct. 16 as the date for this year’s draft and says clubs can begin talking to free agents two days later. The annual moratorium will begin at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Oct. 19 and continue through noon on Oct. 23. The league told teams of the plans Saturday in a memo obtained by The Associated Press.— Kansas State has paused all voluntary workouts for football student-athletes for two weeks following the most recent COVID-19 test results. As of Friday, 14 student-athletes had tested positive for active COVID-19 following testing of more than 130 student-athletes. The school says those who tested positive are being medically managed according to current health guidelines. That includes self-isolation for 10 days and until a patient is without fever for 72 hours without medication, whichever takes longer. Athletics director Gene Taylor says the university feels that temporarily pausing all football workouts and access to facilities is the best decision for everyone. — As universities begin the process of playing sports through a pandemic, some are requiring student athletes to sign waivers acknowledging the risks for COVID-19. Ohio State and Missouri have pledges they are requiring athletes or their parents to sign before the players can take part in voluntary workouts. How much legal protection any of these forms provide schools is up for debate, along with the ethics of requiring unpaid students to sign them. Athletes have already tested positive at more than a dozen schools from Boise State to Clemson, though some schools are not releasing details.— NASCAR heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend with new rules and more fans. The Alabama track will admit up to 5,000 fans on Sunday, just 48 hours after Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed two of its employees tested positive for the new coronavirus. The new rules are in response to Ryan Newman’s crash in the Daytona 500, but there is no practice or qualifying scheduled, so drivers won’t have a feel for the adjustments until the race begins. NASCAR also will be on the lookout for the newly banned Confederate flag.— The NASCAR Cup race at Texas will have thousands of spectators in the stands. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has approved a comprehensive action plan submitted by the track to allow fans for the July 19 race. While the state allows 50% capacity for outdoor sporting events, track president Eddie Gossage says it’s too early to know how many fans will be able to attend. With social distancing protocols in place, the speedway first must reassign seating for people who had already purchased tickets for the race that was originally scheduled for March 29. The track capacity is about 135,000. Associated Press Update on the latest sports June 20, 2020 In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— Three members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the team’s training facility, and the team has closed affected areas of the building. Management says the affected areas will remain closed until extensive sanitizing is completed. All individuals who may have been exposed have been notified and are following the established protocols, the Bucs said in a statement. That includes a 14-day quarantine period. The team did not identify the people who tested positive. The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning closed their facility earlier this week after three players and two staff members tested positive.— The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t commenting on reports that star player Auston Matthews has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Leafs say a player’s medical information is private. The Toronto Sun and The Toronto Star report that the center tested positive. According to the Sun, the 22-year-old Matthews has self-quarantined in his Arizona home and hopes to be ready to play if the NHL season resumes. The NHL hopes to open training camps next month, and finish off the 2019-20 season later this summer.— Canada’s approval of the NHL’s return-to-play proposal has led the league to consider designating one or more cities north of the border to serve as hubs for its 24-team playoff format. Officials say Canada’s top public health officer as well as the top health officers of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Toronto worked closely with the NHL to approve the plan. It required an exemption because the U.S.-Canada border is currently closed to all non-essential travel until at least July 21 and those who enter Canada must self-isolate for 14 days.— Five-time PGA Tour winner Nick Watney tested positive Friday for the coronavirus, the first player with a confirmed infection since golf resumed its schedule last week. Watney withdrew immediately from the RBC Heritage and must self-isolate for at least 10 days under the PGA Tour’s protocols. The tour began its phase of contact tracing and identified 11 people who were tested Friday evening. All results came back negative. Secondary tests were given, and those results were not expected before Saturday night. ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) — Tiz the Law is the star of a 10-horse field for the Belmont Stakes, perhaps the biggest event in U.S. sports since the coronavirus pandemic shut down competition in mid-March. The 3-year-old colt is the early 6-5 favorite for Saturday’s race.No fans or owners will be at the New York track for the $1 million race that is being run at a shorter distance this year. This Belmont — rescheduled from June 6 — will be run at 1 1/8 miles, the first time since 1925 it won’t be its usual grueling 1 1/2 miles. The top four finishers earn Kentucky Derby qualifying points, including 150 to the winner.Tiz the Law is the only horse in the race with Grade 1 stakes victories. He’ll try to buck history as the first New York-bred in 138 years to win the $1 million race. His 82-year-old trainer, Barclay Tagg, is chasing a win that eluded him in 2003 after Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to lose his Triple Crown bid in the Belmont.The Belmont is kicking off the Triple Crown series for the first time, instead of completing the series of three races run over five weeks. The Kentucky Derby follows on Sept. 5, with the Preakness finishing up on Oct. 3.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS — The Chinese basketball league has restarted after an almost five-month shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic but is going ahead in empty stadiums and with fewer foreign players. The CBA was suspended on Jan. 24 after the virus outbreak in Wuhan. The semifinals stage has started with 20 teams divided into two divisions and limited venues to reduce travel. All stadiums are closed to fans. League chairman and former NBA star Yao Ming praised the work of the clubs and health authorities for helping get the season restarted. He says as the first national large-scale sports event to be restarted in China the CBA is of “strategic significance.”— French soccer authorities will allow fans back into stadiums starting July 10, with an initial limit of 5,000. The president of the French Football Federation says it is possible more spectators will be allowed into the French Cup final at the end of July and for the resumption of top-tier Ligue 1 play at the end of August. The French government called off the country’s 2019-20 soccer season on April 28 as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.NFL-REDSKINS-HONORING MITCHELLRedskins retire Mitchell’s jersey, rename stadium levelUNDATED (AP) — The Washington Redskins will retire the jersey of Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell. They will also rename the lower level of FedEx Field for him, replacing the section named for former owner George Preston Marshall.
Big opportunities don’t come around too often.Three weeks ago, the men’s basketball team, fresh off its first appearance in the AP Top 25 since 2008, headed to Oregon for weekend road contests against the Ducks and Beavers with a chance to solidify or even improve upon a robust No. 21 ranking.Instead, the Trojans fell flat, losing to both teams and dropping out of the rankings as quickly as they entered them.“We worked so hard to be a really good basketball team and to get the recognition that we deserve,” redshirt junior guard Katin Reinhardt said to the Los Angeles Daily News last month. “We saw that ranking and then we lost it.”Now, after sweeping a three-game homestand with strong wins over Washington State, Washington and UCLA, the Men of Troy find themselves back in the rankings and in a similar position as they were in mid-January.Ranked 23rd in the nation in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll, the Trojans once again will hit the road for a couple of games over the weekend, this time against Arizona State and No. 17 Arizona.Adding to the parallelism, the quality of the opponents is alike.Arizona State is a lot like Oregon State — a team that, on paper, the Trojans should beat. Arizona is comparable to Oregon as the more established ranked team against whom a road loss would be understandable, but the Trojans should be able to hang with.USC has already beaten both the Sun Devils and Wildcats at home on Jan. 7 and 9, a weekend capped off by the classic four-overtime win over then seventh-ranked Arizona that turned a lot of heads around college basketball.All they’re looking for this weekend is a repeat formula, except on the road. Here lies another massive opportunity not only for head coach Andy Enfield and the Men of Troy in their quest to become not just relevant but also to remain in the conversation as legitimate Pac-12 contenders.Because let’s be honest: nobody expected the Trojans to even sniff the rankings this season, much less be points behind perennial powerhouse Kentucky this deep into the campaign. The Trojans are even one spot ahead of Texas, which was one Buddy Hield spectacular buzzer-beater away from upsetting No. 3 Oklahoma on Monday. If USC were to play the Sooners today, the result would probably not be very pretty.But the thing about an up-and-coming team is that nobody — not even themselves — knows their true potential, and that should be very scary for any of the NCAA’s top dogs should the Trojans make it to March Madness.Speaking of which, the Trojans are picked to enter the NCAA Tournament as high as a No. 4 seed in the Midwest bracket in USA Today’s latest bracketology predictions updated on Thursday, while Duke and Arizona are both projected to be sixth seeds — a development that would not have even been plausible prior to the season.First, though, the Men of Troy must take care of business in their remaining eight conference games. Enfield has continuously stressed that his team should stay in the moment.“Now we’re ranked again, and we’re on the road again, so we will see if we have learned anything from last time,” Enfield said, according to The Register Guard. “You can easily lose on the road in this conference whether you’re ranked or not, whether you’re overconfident or not because the road is so hard in this league.”Multiple appearances in the rankings are yet another indication that the Trojans are moving rapidly in the right direction. This weekend presents a chance for the Men of Troy to take it a step further and stay in the Top 25 for consecutive weeks, stay ahead of Arizona and move closer to overtaking Oregon atop the Pac-12 and keep building their reputation as an up-and-coming program everybody wants to see come March.Opportunity is knocking for the Trojans, and they better grasp it before it’s in their rear view mirror.Eric He is a freshman majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs Fridays.