The Brooklyn Nets have enough players to fly to Los Angeles and play their Christmas showdown against the Lakers, although Kevin Durant may not be among them.
Coach Steve Nash said Thursday that James Harden has approved of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but added that the Nets do not expect any of their players to come out on time for games still in protocol. It will feature Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer.
Brooklyn’s plans to play Saturday are a clear positive sign, as Chicago coach Billy Donovan announced after practice on Thursday that the Bulls no longer had a player on the protocol list. The Bulls had more than 10 on that list last week after the league postponed two of its games.
Rutgers will replace Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest after the NCAA committee decided Thursday to follow the current policy for qualifying teams with a 5-7 record bowl.
The NCAA Football Oversight Committee also announced that any bowls could be moved until January 10 if the schools involved needed extra time to prepare for the game.
The Gator Bowl will hold its scheduled date and kickoff at 11 a.m. EST on New Year’s Eve, meaning Rutgers will have less than a week to prepare to play one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation.
Rutgers would make its first bowl appearance since 2014, its first season as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
HONOLULU ( Associated Press) — The Hawaii Bowl was canceled Thursday on the eve of the game as Hawaii withdrew due to COVID-19, end-of-season injuries and transfers.
The game was scheduled for Friday at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
Hawaii Athletic Department spokesman Derek Inouchi said about 30 players and staff recently tested positive for COVID-19. Cases have been increasing in Honolulu for the past two weeks. Oahu’s seven-day average of new cases was 11 times higher on Thursday than on December 8
JOHNSON CITY, Tennessee ( Associated Press) — East Tennessee State has appointed Furman’s offensive coordinator George Quarles as head coach of the Buccaneers.
Athletic director Scott Carter introduced Quarles as the 19th coach in ETSU history on Thursday, describing him as a coach who draws victories from his high school days in East Tennessee.
Quarles was with Furman for the last five seasons as associate head coach, the final four as offensive coordinator and quarterback as coach. He also played at Furman, helping the Paladins win the 1988 FCS national title. During his time on the coaching staff, Furman reached the FCS playoffs in 2017 and 2019 and shared the regular-season Southern Conference championship in 2018.
The Southeast and Big East conferences have updated their policies for postponing, canceling and rescheduling basketball games to provide more leniency for teams who are unable to play due to COVID-19 cases.
The policies of both conferences stipulate that if seven scholarship athletes and one countable coaching staff member are available, the men’s and women’s teams must play. The SEC gives teams the option to play with fewer players or coaches if they choose to.
If neither team can play, both leagues say the game will be rescheduled or no competition will be declared. The policies announced on Thursday are a revision of previous procedures, which had called for a game to be forfeited and a defeat awarded to any team unable to play.
The Mid-American Conference and Conference USA announced similar policies on Thursday.
MELBOURNE, Australia ( Associated Press) – Five-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray received a wild-card entry into the tournament’s main draw on Thursday.
Murray last played at Melbourne Park in 2019, when he announced a tearful retirement before undergoing a second hip surgery to extend his career.
Former top-order Murray also accepted a wild-card entry last year but did not go after testing positive for COVID-19 shortly before boarding a charter flight to Melbourne.
SAO PAULO ( Associated Press) – Brazilian football legend Pele was released from a hospital in Sao Paulo on Thursday, but will continue to be treated for a stomach tumour.
“Edson Arantes do Nascimento was discharged from Israeli Albert Einstein on Thursday,” the hospital said in a statement. “The patient remains stable and will continue treatment on the colon tumor identified in September.”
Pele, 81, was admitted to the hospital in early December for a chemotherapy session.
LONDON ( Associated Press) – Two Premier League matches scheduled for Sunday due to the coronavirus outbreak in Leeds and Watford have been postponed due to the latest disruption to the competition due to rising cases in the squad.
Leeds was to travel to Liverpool and Watford was set to play at Wolverhampton as part of the Boxing Day programme, with seven games still to go.
The Premier League has now called off 12 matches in two weeks due to coronavirus issues, with players having to isolate after testing positive or if they are unvaccinated and close contacts of a COVID-19 case. Huh.
State College, P. ( Associated Press) — Russ Rose retired Thursday as Penn State’s women’s volleyball coach, ending a 43-year run that included seven NCAA titles, 109 straight wins from 2007-10 and a Division I career win record .
Rose, 68, will continue to serve as an advisor to the athletic department. Katie Schumacher-Kavali will serve as interim head coach.
Rose finished with a record 1,330–229, the most wins in Division I history. He led Penn State to national titles in 1999, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014, and 25 conference championships — 17 in the Big Ten and eight in the Atlantic 10.
TOKYO ( Associated Press) – Japan announced Friday that it will not send a delegation of ministers to represent the government at the Beijing Games, but three Olympic officials will participate, calling for a boycott of the Games to protest China’s human rights The US-led move terms the mixed reaction.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a regular news conference that “we have no plans to send a government delegation.”
He said Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita and Japan Paralympic Committee President Kazuyuki Mori would participate.
Matsuno said three officials are participating at the invitation of the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees to represent the JOC and IPC.
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