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SPORTSBRIEFING

Fecko out at Mooney

YOUNGSTOWN – Longtime Cardinal Mooney High School football coach P.J. Fecko was let go by the school on Monday, according to a press release.

Carl Pelini, who was defensive coordinator at YSU, was hired on an interim basis.

Fecko led the Cardinals to four state titles in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011 and three state runners-up in 2005, 2007 and 2013.

No reason was given for the change, which comes less than a week before fall practices are set to begin on Aug 1.

Buckeyes seat 20,000

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio State will limit home crowds to about 20,000 and prohibit tailgating if the football season is played this fall.

Fans inside Ohio Stadium will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing to help stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Concessions will be limited.

The traditional “Skull Session” pregame pep rallies at St. John’s Arena will not be held.

Athletic director Gene Smith informed season-ticket holders of the new rules in a letter Tuesday, first reported by Cleveland.com.

The guidelines limit capacity of the 105,000-seat stadium to 20%.

Colleges cut games

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Great Lakes Valley Conference is the sixth NCAA Division II league to suspend its football season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The GLVC announced its regular season and championship would move to the spring. Also considering football in the spring are the Great Northwest, Northeast-10, Southern Intercollegiate, Central Intercollegiate, and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Six of the other 10 Division II conferences are delaying starts to their seasons. The Rocky Mountain Athletic, Great Midwest, Great Lakes Intercollegiate and Northern Sun still plan to play full seasons in the fall.

In Division III, the Midwest Conference became the 23rd league to postpone or cancel its season. The only Division III conferences planning to play all or part of their seasons this fall are the American Rivers, Michigan Intercollegiate, Minnesota Intercollegiate, Upper Midwest and USA South.

More than 1,700 NCAA games across three divisions are known to have been canceled or postponed, according to Associated Press research. The breakdown: 114 in the FBS, 317 in the FCS, 445 in Division II and 889 in Division III.

Several dozen games have been cut from the 95 football teams in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. All junior college games have been canceled.

Games kick off earlier

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA is allowing all major college football teams to begin their seasons as early as Aug. 29.

The association confirmed that the football oversight committee had requested a blanket waiver to permit any school to push up the start of its season to the so-called Week Zero.

The official start of the season had been Labor Day weekend, with a few games scheduled for Aug. 29. That was before the coronavirus pandemic put the season in peril and schedules were remade to deal with potential disruptions of COVID-19.

Some schools and conferences are working on delaying the start of their football seasons while others are trying to get a head start. Kansas and Oklahoma from the Big 12 have both recently moved up their opening games against FCS opponents to Aug. 29.

Iowa St. adds Ball St.

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Ball State has filled one of three open dates on its football schedule by announcing plans to open the season Sept. 12 at Iowa State of the Big 12.

The game replaces a previously scheduled date for the Cardinals at Michigan and the annual rivalry game at Iowa for the Cyclones. Both games were wiped out when Big Ten officials said they would play a conference-only schedule.

Ball State also had its Sept. 3 season opener against Maine and a Sept. 19 trip to Indiana canceled earlier this month. The Big Ten games reportedly cost the Cardinals about $1.7 million in guaranteed money.

COVID suspension

TUSCON, Ariz. (AP) — The University of Arizona has suspended junior offensive lineman Edgar Burrola for violating school coronavirus protocols. Burrola confirmed the suspension on Twitter and said he stopped receiving his meal plan the day he was suspended. He also said his stipend has been taken away. Burrola started six games at right tackle in 2019 and had shoulder surgery in January.

“If you’re not going to pay attention to the protocol, wear a mask, all that other stuff, we can’t have you around,” coach Kevin Sumlin told the Arizona Daily Star.

LeBron gets rested up

ORLANDO — The scrimmage season for LeBron James ended after only two games.

The Los Angeles Lakers held James out of their scrimmage finale on Monday. James played in their first two scrimmages at Disney, but the team saw no reason to play him again in the last of the three warm-up contests.

Anthony Davis (poked in eye Saturday), Kyle Kuzma (ankle, rest) and Dwight Howard (rest) also got the finale off for the Lakers, who open seeding-game play Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Mid-Ohio doubleheader

LEXINGTON — The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will open its gates to spectators on a limited basis for the upcoming IndyCar doubleheader.

A pair of 75-lap IndyCar races will be held at 2:45 p.m. Aug. 8 and 1:45 p.m. Aug. 9 on the 2.258-mile road course.

Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis at midohio.com. Motorhome and tent camping will be permitted. The grandstands, paddock and pits will not be open to specators due to social distancing guidelines.

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