Joe's Morning Sports-Tuesday, March 31, 2020

ESPN is moving up the release of its Michael Jordan documentary "The Last Dance" from June to April.  The ten-part series will now begin April 19.  The move was announced on Good Morning America today, in response to fans asking for more programming while sports are on hold because of the coronavirus.  The pandemic has halted sports leagues around the world, leaving a giant hole for fans.  April should have been the stretch run of the NBA season, with teams jockeying for playoff positioning.  It's now not clear when NBA games will resume.

The NCAA will permit spring sport athletes who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus outbreak to have an additional year of eligibility.  The NCAA Division I Council has voted to give college athletes who compete in spring sports such as baseball, softball and lacrosse a way to get back the season they lost.  However, the council did not guarantee financial aid.  Winter sports were not included in the decision.  The amount of scholarship money available to each athlete will be determined by the athlete's school.  Roster limits will be adjusted to fit returning athletes along with incoming freshman.

Free agent safety Eric Reid wants the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement invalidated over language added following ratification of the pact earlier this month.  He is calling for an investigation and a re-vote.  In a letter to the NFLPA yesterday, Reid's lawyers said language posted on the players association's website after passage of the agreement in a vote on March 15 contains different language than the one players signed off on.  The letter highlights a difference in wording in the section about the league's disability plan that affects hundreds, and potentially thousands, of ex-players who applied for Social Security disability insurance payments before Jan. 1, 2015.  The new CBA is set to begin with the upcoming 2020 season and extend through 2030.

It didn't take much of a sales pitch from general manager Jason Licht and coach Bruce Arians to bring Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  In fact, it was Brady who did most of the talking.  According to ESPN, Licht said that in their first phone call with Brady on the first day of free agency on March 18, Brady was actually the one selling them on why he should go to Tampa Bay.  Prior to that time, during the legal tampering period, teams were only able to talk to player agents to get a feel for interest.

The Omaha World Herald reports that Creighton point guard Marcus Zegarowski said the recovery process is going well following surgery on his right knee.  He joined coach Greg McDermott for a question-and-answer session as part of a Creighton-produced online show called “The Offseason.”  Zegarowski suffered the injury near the end of Creighton’s March 7 win over Seton Hall.  He underwent an arthroscopic procedure on March 11.  But like most everyone else, Zegarowski is self-isolating now.  The threat of the spread of coronavirus has shut down Creighton’s campus, so he’s at home in Massachusetts, where he’s stuck maneuvering with crutches for at least another week.  Zegarowski indicated that he won’t be full-go until June or July, but the early signs of progress are encouraging.

Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM the home of Kansas City Chiefs football & Kansas City Royals baseball!

In other news

Mike Trout homered in his first plate appearance as a father, Albert Pujols moved one step closer to Willie Mays on the career home runs list and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3.  Trout missed four games while on paternity leave for the birth of his son, Beckham Aaron Tr…

The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the top seed in the NBA's Western Conference playoffs as Anthony Davis contributed 42 points, twelve rebounds, four assists, and three steals in a 116-108 downing of the Utah Jazz.  Davis’ final basket resulted in a four-point play with 42 seconds left, as he …

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Eagles released a statement saying Pederson hasn’t experienced any symptoms, is feeling well and under self-quarantine.  The team also said any person who was in close contact with Pederson has been notified and w…