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SPORTSBRIEFING

Shoots canceled

CHESTER, W.Va. — The Chester-Newell Sportsmen’s Club has canceled all remaining turkey shoots and the April 7 club meeting, following the state and federal guidelines for the coronavirus COVID-19. For future updates, see the club’s Facebook page.

A day of wrestling on ESPN

ESPN will dedicate Sunday programming to wrestling. Programming begins at noon with an encore presentation of the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships in which Cornell’s Kyle Dake became the first athlete to win four Div. I titles in four different weight classes. The day culminates with the re-airing of Wrestlemania 32 at 7 p.m.

Rewatch some the greatest NFL games

Fox network television will kickoff its slate of the NFL’s greatest games with Super Bowl LI at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The game features a come back by the New England Patriots and Tom Brady against the Atlanta Falcons to win the first Super Bowl decided in overtime. Other games in the series will air Thursday, Fridays and Sundays on FS1 or Fox network television.

Draft remains in place

An NFL draft handled remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic is the latest twist to an event that has become as popular as any pro football happening short of the Super Bowl.

Roger Goodell alerted NFL teams in a memo Thursday night that the dates of this year’s draft would remain April 23-25. There has been chatter from franchises about wanting it pushed back, and Goodell threatened disciplinary action against any teams publicly criticizing the decision.

So next month’s draft, originally set for Las Vegas, will have a pretty much unadorned look. And with club facilities shut at least through April 8 and likely for much longer, Goodell told the teams: “All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with draft headquarters.

“Needless to say,” he added, “we will be prepared to adjust to changed circumstances in the next several weeks, including the prospect of clubs being able to resume even limited operations within their facilities.”

The draft will be televised and, given the scarcity of sports offerings, the ratings for this “selection meeting” could be impressive.

NCAA weighs more eligibility

The NCAA Division I Council is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to allow another year of eligibility for spring sport athletes such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players, who had their seasons wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing similar relief to winter sport athletes, such as basketball and hockey players and wrestlers, will also be considered. According to a memo recently sent to college sports administrators from the NCAA, there does not appear to be support for that.

“(W)inter sports had either concluded their regular season competition or substantially concluded their regular season competition,” said the memo, a portion of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Division II has already approved legislation to provide an extra season of eligibility and financial aid for its spring sport athletes, according to the memo.

Around Division I, conference-level discussions on the subject of restoring eligibility have been ongoing.

The Division I Council has representatives from all 32 conferences. After it votes, the Division I Board of Directors, made up of mostly university presidents and chancellors, will have the opportunity to weigh in and could kick it back to the council for further consideration. — AP

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