Joe's Morning Sports-Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press the NFL has offered to scrap all preseason games.  The players' association had sought no preseason games and the league had reduced the exhibition schedule to two games.  The NFL said last night it would eliminate those preseason contests and also would offer players 18 days for acclimation, up from seven days. The union has not yet accepted the offers.

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler knelt during the national anthem along with several of his players before first pitch of a 6-2 exhibition win against the Athletics in Oakland.  Right fielder Jaylin Davis and first base coach Antoan Richardson also took a knee, with shortstop Brandon Crawford standing between them with a hand on each of their shoulders.  Davis held his right hand over his heart and Richardson clasped his hands in front of him.

ESPN reports that a former Nebraska volleyball player is among nine women who filed a lawsuit yesterday against the University of Nebraska, alleging that the school mishandled complaints of sexual assault and harassment, including reports involving accusations against at least five athletes.  The lawsuit filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska alleges violations under the Title IX gender equity law, as well as racial discrimination, negligence and lack of due process.  The lawsuit also alleges that school officials made errors in their investigations of some of the women's reports and did not provide academic help.  The lawsuit states that the university "handled sexual misconduct complaints against student-athletes in a different manner than how other complaints were handled."  One of the women named in the lawsuit filed yesterday is former Nebraska volleyball player Capri Davis, who also was part of a lawsuit filed in April against the NCAA.  In that action, seven women, including two other female athletes, alleged that the NCAA failed to protect them from alleged sexual assaults by male college athletes, despite having an obligation to do so.  That case was refiled in a Michigan state court in May.

The Omaha World Herald reports that the University of Nebraska at Kearney is delaying the start of fall sports competition to Sept. 28 because of the coronavirus pandemic.  UNK and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association officials announced the decision yesterday.  The move was approved unanimously by chancellors and presidents of the conference’s 14 schools.  Football, volleyball, cross country, women’s golf, women’s soccer and women’s tennis all will start about a month later than anticipated.  Student-athletes at UNK and all MIAA schools will report for fall camp and begin practices Aug. 31.  The NCAA has approved a new rule that fall sports may have split seasons, with teams playing a portion of their schedules one semester and competing for championships in another.  The MIAA will address scheduling of conference championships at a later date, after the NCAA Division II Administrative Council determines regional and championship dates.

The Nebraska Schools Activities Association announced yesterday that they are preparing to begin the 2020 fall sports season as currently scheduled.  First practices for football, volleyball, cross country, girls golf, boys tennis, and softball are set to begin August 10th.  The NSAA has recommended that schools should keep all activities, practices, and scrimmages in-house to avoid interaction with other teams, athletes should wear masks when not in competition, coaches keep groups small and attendance recorded, athletes and coaches wash hands regularly, equipment should be disinfected regularly, athletes and coaches stay home if they don’t feel well, and stay home if someone in their household tests positive for COVID-19.  Competitions for fall sports begin on August 20.

Kearney Country Club is hosting the second day of the three-day Nebraska Women’s Match Play Championship today. Wahoo’s Lauren Thiele won the qualifier after shooting a 72.  She won by two strokes.  Snyder’s Hannah Hunke carded an 81, Beemer’s Lacie Fox shot 83, Norfolk’s Allison Temple put up an 87, and Hartington’s Cassidy Ulrich shot 91.  In the Round of 16 in the Championship Bracket, Hunke won her match 2 & 1 over Shelly Liddick of Bellevue and will face Sydney Taake of Papillion in the quarterfinals today.  In the Founders Bracket, Fox beat Ulrich 7 & 6 and Temple lost to Brandi Lemek of Doniphan 4 & 2.  Fox will battle Elly Speece of La Vista today in the quarterfinals.

Local Schedule:  Norfolk Seniors at Grand Island Home Federal (Bsbl DH-5:00).

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