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SPORTSBRIEFING

Virus postpones WVU workouts

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia women’s basketball program has pushed back the start of its summer workouts by two weeks after six players tested positive for the coronavirus, the school said Thursday.

The players who tested positive will enter a 14-day quarantine period along with others who were identified through contact tracing procedures as potentially being exposed, WVU’s athletic department said in a news release.

Workouts for athletes who test negative for the virus will now start on July 20. The Big 12 previously allowed workouts to start on July 6 but the Mountaineers have not yet started their summer prep.

Earlier this month, West Virginia’s men’s basketball team also postponed the start of its workouts by two weeks after five players and a staff member tested positive for the virus.

The statement said three West Virginia football players also recently tested positive for the virus and they have gone into self-isolation.

Browns have ticket options

CLEVELAND (AP) — Planning for a season they acknowledge will be “very different,” the Cleveland Browns told their season-ticket holders they can opt out of the 2020 season without penalty and other plans related to the COVID-19 virus and its impact on the NFL.

The Browns sent a letter to their fans on Thursday that outlined some new policies due to the pandemic. Anyone attending a game at FirstEnergy Stadium will have to follow physical-distancing guidelines and wear “mandated facial coverings.”

The team did not say how many fans will be allowed in the 67,000-seat stadium, which has been the Browns’ lakefront home since 1999.

Earlier this week, the Baltimore Ravens said they’ll seat fewer than 14,000 fans at M&T Bank Stadium. The Browns are scheduled to open the season there on Sept. 13.

If Cleveland season-ticket holders decide not to attend games in 2020, they can retain their same seat location in 2021.

Two Wolverines have virus

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan says two athletes tested positive during a second round of COVID-19 testing, bringing the total to four out of the 375 who have been tested. The school says none of the 139 staff members have tested positive.

Mount Union’s 2005 title run

ALLIANCE — Mount Union’s run to the 2005 NCAA Division III national football championship will be highlighted by WIVM at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

At 8:30 p.m., the 2005 national semifinal game between Mount Union and Rowan at Mount Union Stadium will be broadcast.

Freshman running back Nate Kmic ran 48 times for 160 yards and scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to guide Mount Union to a 19-7 win. The Purple Raiders advanced to the Stagg Bowl on the way to their eighth national title.

The game is on Channel 39 over the air, Spectrum Channel 989 in Canton and online at WIVMTV.com.

No fans at St. Jude Invitational

MEMPHIS (AP) — The plan to have fans at the World Golf Championships event in Memphis has been scrapped.

Officials announced Thursday that the FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind will not have any spectators due to what they call “an abundance of caution.”

Tournament officials have been talking extensively with both the PGA Tour and local and state health officials. Executive director Darrell Smith says they had a safety plan for limited spectators but ultimately felt it was best to host without any fans. Ticket purchases will be refunded automatically.

The WGC event moved to Memphis last year after being held at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, from 1999-2001 and 2003-18.

The PGA Tour and the Memorial announced Monday a reversal of their plan for a limited amount of spectators next week in Dublin, Ohio, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that every PGA Tour event through at least July will be held without fans since play resumed June 11 in Texas.

Dartmouth cuts golf and course

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) — Dartmouth is eliminating five varsity sports teams and several staff positions.

The Ivy League school announced Thursday that men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s lightweight rowing, have been cut, effective immediately. That drops to 30 the number of varsity teams and will reduce the number of recruited athletes in incoming classes by 10%. A total of about 110 student-athletes are affected. Jobs for 15 staff, including eight coaching positions, also will end.

The change in the number of teams does not alter the college’s compliance with federal Title IX regulations, which require equal opportunities for women and men in varsity athletics, Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon said in an email to faculty, students, staff, and undergraduate families.

Dartmouth also is permanently closing its Hanover Country Club, which has deficits expected to swell to $1 million a year.

The cuts are projected to save more than $2 million as the school addresses a projected $150 million deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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