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SPORTS Archives for 2020-04

Cooperstown cancels 2020 Induction Ceremony

(COOPERSTOWN, NY)-Derek Jeter was a first-ballot Hall of Famer a few months ago, but he will have to wait an extra year to be inducted at Cooperstown. The Hall of Fame has announced that it has canceled the July 26 induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the class will be included with any additional new choices at next year’s induction festivities. Jeter’s class includes outfielder Larry Walker and catcher Ted Simmons, along with former union head Marvin Miller.


UNDATED (AP) — For more than 60 years, NCAA leaders have insisted college athletes had to be amateurs. And to be amateurs they could not be paid for being athletes by anybody. That will no longer be the case. The NCAA is moving forward with a plan to allow college athletes to earn money for endorsements and a host of other activities involving personal appearances and social media content. There are important details to be sorted out. NCAA membership won't vote on legislation before January.


Fighting Illini Football gets 4-star Miami transfer

(Urbana--jc)  Lovie Smith’s University of Illinois Fighting Illini Football team has a new transfer. He is Brian Hightower. Hightower transferred to Illinois from the University of Miami where he was a 4 star recruit. Hightower is from Leimert Park California.


(Undated--jc)  Sunday on WPXN its a vintage Nascar race.

The re broadcast of the race begins at noon on Sunday and runs through 3pm


The Chicago Blackhawks fired team president John McDonough on Monday

The Chicago Blackhawks fired team president John McDonough on Monday, cutting ties with a key figure in the most successful decade in team history and raising questions about the direction of one of the NHL's marquee franchises. 


(Undated--jc)  WPXN Sports will be carrying a one hour University of Illinois Fighting Illini Football Special one week from today. The broadcast, courtesy of the Fighting Illini Network, will air Tuesday May 5 from 7pm to 8pm



(Buckley-jc)  E I Baseball team representatives, commissioners and umpires continue to look at how to offer a season of baseball this summer. The organization continues to look at all options. The league will only operate if a stay at home order is lifted. June baseball could be one possibility. WPXN Sports will keep you informed on E I Baseball 20-20.




(Undated--jc)  Tonight on WPXN its Nascar Live, hear the latest news of Nascar from 6 til7 tonight. 


The Jay and Cale Show EP. 16 "It's Miller Time"

The boys are back! That’s right we took a few weeks off so I could get all my school work calmed down but, it felt good to sit down and record an episode! Jay and Cale talk about Adam Miller signing his NLI, Brady and Gronk, the NFL Draft, and more! Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher Radio, and as always download our app in the Google Play or Apple App stores! 

Adam Miller Signs with The Illini

The wait for Illini fans is over! Adam Miller has officially signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his playing career at the University of Illinois, after verbally committing to Head Coach Brad Underwood before the season kicked off at the Jordan Brand Store in Downtown Chicago. 


Ayo will forever be remembered for helping get the Illini program back where they should be at the top of the Big Ten standings, establishing a winning culture, and more importantly, paving the way for high tier recruits to land in Champaign. Ayo and Miller played together being Morgan Park natives and on the Mac Irvin fire AAU team. 


Miller, who just slightly won the 2020 Illinois Mr. Basketball award is a spot-up shooter, and much like Ayo can get to the rim at will, and finish. The NBA often uses the term “plug and play” players and I think Miller fits that role. He is a player that will fit right into the revamped Underwood offense. There will no doubt be a learning curve adjusting to the talent in the Big Ten but, I see Miller adjusting very quickly. 


In addition to Adam Miller, Andre Curbelo a guard with phenomenal court vision will join him in the backcourt, Coleman Hawkins who as a “three and D” style of player, and the two transfers off their sit out years in Grandison and Hutcherson. 

Rob Gronkowski will be reunited with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA has announced a pace-of-play guideline for instant replay officials to complete video reviews in less than two minutes of a college football game.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski spent nine seasons catching passes from Tom Brady in New England. The two are about to reunite in Tampa Bay. Gronkowski’s agent says the tight end is about to come out of retirement and has accepted a trade to the Buccaneers. The Patriots also would send a seventh-round pick to the Bucs for a fourth-rounder.

The possibility of professional sports resuming without fans is growing

UNDATED (AP) — The possibility of professional sports resuming without fans is growing. And a recent poll suggests a majority of fans wouldn't feel safe attending games anyway without a vaccine for the new coronavirus. One sports business expert says losses of fan-related revenue will be substantial even if clubs begin cashing in on lucrative media rights deals again. Losses could reach $3 billion among the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.


Tonight on WPXN it’s NASCAR Live. Get the latest news in NASCAR from 6-7.


Luke Goode is Illini Coach Brad Underwood's first commit for 2021

The IHSA will meet tomorrow to make a final determination on spring sports. 


The Chicago Bears have released Tight End Trey Burton after 2 seasons. Burton only played 8 games last season before suffering a season ending calf injury. The Bears did sign former Green Bay Packer offensive tackle Jason Spriggs to a one year deal.


Illinois Basketball Coach Brad Underwood has his first commit for the Class of 2021. Luke Goode committed to the Illini on Friday. Goode, a 6 6 shooting guard was a four star recruit, top 100 national player and a top priority for the Illini. He had offers from Butler, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Stanford and Xavier.


The E.I. League has announced they plan to play the 2020 season as scheduled at this time. The E.I. Baseball season gets underway May 17th.


PBL Senior Trey VanWinkle has signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Knox College.


PBL Senior Mackenzie Bruns will continue her basketball career at Rend Lake College.


GCMS Senior Payton Kean signed his letter of intent to play football at North Central College.


Tonight on WPXN it’s Fast Talk. Get the latest news in NASCAR from 6-7.

The NCAA is permitting coaches in all Division I sports virtual meetings and instruction with their players

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have re-signed cornerback and special teams contributor Sherrick McManis to a one-year contract. The team’s longest tenured player, McManis will return for his ninth season in Chicago. He spent two years with Houston after being drafted by the Texans out of Northwestern in the fifth round in 2010. McManis has 45 special teams tackles since 2015 — tied for fourth in the NFL over that period.


The NCAA is permitting coaches in all Division I sports to hold up to eight hours per week of virtual meetings and instruction with their players, beginning Monday and lasting through the end of May. Athletes will be required to have at least one day off per week and required physical activities continue to be prohibited.


Fighting Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu will be heading to the NBA Draft

(Champaign-cf)-- Fighting Illini Sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu took to Instagram last night to let Illini Nation know the next destination. Dosunmu will be heading to the NBA Draft scheduled for June 25. Freshman Big man Kofi Cockburn is also testing the draft waters. 


(Chicago-cf)-- The annual Chicago Blackhawks convention that takes place at the Chicago Hilton scheduled to take place July 24-26 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Ayo Dosunmu to the NBA Draft

I hope everybody is in good health and is well during these times of uncertainty. The posts on the website have stopped at least from me because of the fact that there are no sports on, and all of our worlds are different. Just remember, we are living through history everyday and learning more and more about this virus that has caused us so many headaches, and heartbreaks. We have a few things to talk about(in separate posts) and they all involve basketball. Let’s start with the Illini, and how that landscape has changed so much during the last month. 


As we all know the pandemic has taken a lot away from everybody including sports lovers, starting with the NCAA tournament, the cancelation of the Big Ten Tournament, the Masters, the delaying of the MLB season, and more. The pandemic took away a chance for Sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu to raise his soaring draft stock, even more, this past March. With the NBA not being able to have any in-person meetings or workouts due to the social distancing guidelines, Ayo is going to take start the next chapter in his life by entering the NBA draft, he announced on his Instagram page this evening. Ayo in 62 games in the Orange and Blue averaged 15.2 PPG, 4.2 TRB, and 3.3 AST. To go along with his career numbers, he’s hit multiple game-winners and has that “clutch” gene that a rare few have while earning a few accolades along the way such as being on the All-Big Ten team this past season, and the All-Freshman Big Ten team the year prior. 


Dosunmu has helped Head Coach Brad Underwood and staff rebuild this program from the ground up, by winning games, helping the Illini get back into national rankings, placing second in the Big Ten, all which help get high tier players on campus in the future. 


To go along with Dosunmu heading to the draft Freshman big man, and Freshman of the Year winner Kofi Cockburn is heading with him. Add that along with Alan Griffin heading to Syracuse(closer to home) after a huge season for the Illini, Tevian Jones transferring, Kipper Nichols, and Andres Feliz graduating; its a huge hit to the Fighting Illini.

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson fired one day after losing his sponsors


Former big league manager Jim Frey has died at age 88. Frey managed the Kansas City Royals to the 1980 AL pennant and the Chicago Cubs within one win of the 1984 World Series.



Kyle Larson has been fired by Chip Ganassi Racing, a day after nearly every one of his sponsors dropped the star driver for using a racial slur during a live stream of a virtual race.


NASCAR driver Kyle Larson has been suspended for a racial slur used in a virtual race

ESPN and NFL Network will join forces for this year's NFL draft. They will produce a broadcast that will air on both networks over all three days. The April 23-25 draft was originally scheduled to be in Las Vegas but has been moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will now originate from ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Larson has been suspended for a racial slur used in a virtual race. Larson's racial slur cost him his two primary NASCAR supporters in McDonald's and Credit One Bank . It likely will cost him his job soon. The decision came hours after NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing suspended Larson indefinitely, his team doing so without pay.


Tonight on WPXN it’s NASCAR Live. Get the latest news in NASCAR from 6-7.


Former Chicago Cubs Second Baseman Glenn Beckert has died

Glenn Beckert’s baseball exploits can be overshadowed by his four Hall of Fame teammates, but his contributions were vital to the success of the Chicago Cubs during the late 1960s and early 70s. The four-time All-Star second baseman has died of natural causes at age 79, according to his family.


Jason Hehir is the director of “The Last Dance" documentary from ESPN and Netflix that tells the story of Michael Jordan's last season with the Chicago Bulls. The 10-part series begins airing April 19. Hehir says it has been a big task to get the documentary done, especially since its debut date was moved up two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Tonight on WPXN it’s Fast Talk. Get the latest news in NASCAR from 6-7.

The latest NBA Mock Draft released by ESPN showed zero Illini being drafted

(Madison-cf)-- The NCAA voted last month to allow seniors in spring athletics an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic canceling all spring sports. The University of Wisconsin will be the first confirmed power 5 university to not seek waivers for seniors in spring sports whose seasons were cut short. In the vote from the NCAA last month, the board of governors left it open to the universities to seek those waivers. 



(Champaign-cf)-- The Fighting Illini are adding more depth to the wide receiver position. Graduate Transfer from New Mexico State Desmond Dan committed to Lovie Smith and company last night to the Fighting Illini. Dan in 2018 tallied 37 receptions for 491 yards and three touchdowns. Dan suffered a season-ending broken forearm last season-ending his redshirt JR. season. 



(Champaign-cf)-- The latest NBA Mock Draft released by ESPN showed zero Illini being drafted. Sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu is testing the waters of the NBA draft again this offseason, while Freshman big man and Freshman of the year Kofi Cockburn declared for the draft earlier this week. Both still have the possibility to return to Champaign next season. 



(WPXN-cf)-- In a poll ran by Seton Hall on Thursday, 73% of Americans said they won’t attend sporting events until there is a vaccine to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic. The poll had 762 correspondents, only 12% said they would attend if there would be social distancing practices implemented in stadiums without a vaccine. 

The NFL is turning the league's 2020 draft into a three-day fundraiser

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is turning the league’s 2020 draft into a three-day fundraiser to help six charities dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The “Draft-A-Thon” will be featured during the draft April 23-25 to raise money for non-profits selected by the NFL Foundation. Among the charities are the American Red Cross, CDC Foundation’s All of Us, Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund, the Salvation Army, and United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that the Draft-A-Thon will deliver much-needed funding to many who are suffering as well as those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards are among the new nominees for NASCAR's next Hall of Fame class

(CHAMPAIGN-dg)-Fighting Illini Big Man Kofi Cockburn announced that he was going to enter the NBA draft after just one college season and earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He still will have an opportunity to return to the Illini if he pulls his name from the draft by June 3rd.


(CHAMPAIGN-dg)-Former Fighting Illini men’s Basketball star and coach Harv Schmidt has died at the age of 84. He coached the Illini in the late 60’s and early 70’s.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards are among the new nominees for NASCAR’s next Hall of Fame class. Janet Guthrie returns as a nominee in the Landmark category after a one-year absence. There are three ballots this year: Modern candidates, Pioneer candidates and Landmark candidates. Two entries from the 10 Modern candidates will be elected, along with one entry apiece from the five-candidate Pioneer and Landmark categories.

British Open Cancelled for first time since 1945

(Phoenix-AP)-Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association. The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press.


Golf's oldest championship won't be played this year for 1st time since 1945.The R&A announced it is canceling the British Open in July because of the spread of COVID-19. It is pushing the British Open back one year and staying at Royal St. George's. That assures the 150th Open will be at St. Andrews in 2022.


Tonight on WPXN it’s NASCAR Live. Get the latest news in NASCAR from 6-7.


IBCA Cancels 2020 All Star Basketball Games

(Bloomington-dg)-The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association has cancelled the 2020 All-Star games that were scheduled for early June. The student-athletes will still be honored on the webpage i-b-c-a illinois dot org and Hall of Fame Banquet book.  The Hall of Fame banquet has been postponed and will hopefully be rescheduled for later this fall. 


WASHINGTON (AP) — Bobby Mitchell, the speedy Hall of Famer who became the Washington Redskins’ first black player, has died. He was 84. After starring in football and track at Illinois, Mitchell spent 11 seasons in the NFL.


Tonight on WPXN it’s Fast Talk. Get the latest news in NASCAR from 6-7.


College Athletic directors across the country concerned for academics and athletic department finances amid the pandemic

(East Lansing-cf)-- Michigan State Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo and two assistant coaches contacted a witness  in a 2017 investigation of criminal sexual conduct involving a basketball player before the witness had discussed the incident with police or school investigators. W. Scott Lewis, who works with compliance of Title 9 with schools, said “the actions of Izzo and his coaches are improper and open the school up to a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education Office or a lawsuit.” 


A survey of more than 100 athletic directors across the country finds deep concern for academics and athletic department finances amid the pandemic. Some 75 percent say they are concerned about a drop in donations and nearly as many are worried about ticket sales and money that comes from games and other fan events.


(Houston-cf)-- Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow will fulfill their one-season suspensions for the team’s sign-stealing scandal even if no baseball is played in 2020. Hinch and Luhnow were given one-year bans and fired in January.


Saturday on WPXN it’s Our Live Action Auction starting at 8am. 


On Sunday. We will be airing another classic NASCAR race from noon til 3pm.


Two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals is cancelled

Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic. The teams had been scheduled to play at Olympic Stadium on June 13-14.


New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has ended his quarantine after recovering from the coronavirus. He is now working out of the sprawling new Dixie Brewery in an industrial section of eastern New Orleans. The coach, and other essential employees have set up in an expansive room where they can keep their distance from one another and communicate with area scouts through video conferences.


Longtime Illini basketball assistant coach Jamall Walker is heading to the desert, taking a job at Grand Canyon University under new head coach Bryce Drew. Walker spent the last eight seasons at Illinois.


The IHSA encourages all Illinois residents to heed the recommendations of state officials and medical experts. Even though Illinois schools will remain closed through April 30th, the IHSA remains optimistic that a May 1st return to school followed by a to-be-determined acclimation practice period, can still result in a  spring season that culminates with the IHSA State Series tournaments and the crowning of state champions in June. 





(Paxton-cf)-- Baseball season has been put on hold, canceled, or even delayed across all levels due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. PBL Head Baseball Coach Brock  Niebuhr is very excited for when baseball does pick back up, since this group wants to put the work in to compete, and win day in and day out… 


PBL Head Baseball Coach Brock Niebuhr

The NFL will now have a 14 team playoff for the upcoming 2020 season

(NFL-cf)-- The NFL will now have a 14 team playoff for the upcoming 2020 season. The new format will consist of 3 wild-card teams up from 2 per conference, The Number 2 seed in each conference will now HOST the Number 7 seed in the wild card round meaning that only the Number 1 seeds will have first-round byes. 


(Champaign-cf)-- The University of Illinois Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball Program may potentially lose another guard during the offseason. HC Brad Underwood said in an in house podcast “there are a lot of unknowns” on Sophomore Guard Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu has entered the “draft process” but with all scouting, and in-person meetings being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic the NBA Combine set to take place in Chicago on May 21-24 is expected to be postponed or canceled. The NBA draft is still set to take place on June 25 but could also be postponed. Dosunmu led the Illini last season with 16.6 PPG and 3.3 assists. 


(Champaign-cf)-- College Basketball on Fox released a Freshman of the Year poll on the social media platform Twitter yesterday afternoon. Fighting Illini Freshman big man Kofi Cockburn(KO-burn) was voted by college basketball by FOX College Basketball Fans as Freshman of the Year. Cockburn(KO-Burn) was also named BIG Ten Freshman of the Year at the end of the Big Ten Regular Season. 


(Bloomington-cf)— The IHSA is postponing its State Finals bids for boys and girls basketball due to the extended stay at home order by Gov JB Pritzker. The IHSA board was scheduled to vote April 21, but Craig Anderson, IHSA Executive Director has delayed the vote until a later date. The next board meeting is set for June 15 2020 but that does not mean the board will come to a decision said Anderson. The IHSA will choose the current site at the Peoria Civic Center or move to the University of Illinois’ State Farm Center for the boys state finals. 


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