Here is the latest information we have to date regarding sports and COVID-19
Players’ Association Board Approves 24-Team Playoff Format
Yesterday, the executive board of the NHLPA elected to approve a 24-team playoff format, based on conference, for a potential restart of the 2019-20 season. The league is reportedly hoping that it can resume play this summer. The NHL paused the 2019-20 regular season back on March 12th.
Under the proposal, the top four seeds from both conferences will receive byes in the first round of the postseason. Also, the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature eight different best-of-five play-in series. These series will take place between the teams ranked five through 12 in both the East and the West Conference Standings.
League Talking About Resuming Play At Disney’s ESPN Complex
Earlier today, a spokesperson for the NBA said the league is discussing resuming the 2019-20 season at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. NBA Spokesperson Mike Bass said that play would take place at the complex located in Orlando, Florida, and start sometime in July.
Bass said, “the NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing.” He continued by explaining the league’s main concerns at this time. “Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”
It is still unclear if the NBA will resume the 2019-20 regular season or jump right into the playoffs. ESPN says that the 220-acre complex should allow the league to restart play while also limiting outside exposure to the Coronavirus.
Players’ Union Asks For More Coronavirus Testing Than Proposed
On Thursday, the MLBPA gave management a response to a set of protocols that were proposed for the upcoming season regarding how the league will handle the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. The union addressed issues like player protection, access to doctors, protocols for testing, and several other factors that influence that start of the 2020 season.
The Players’ Association is mainly focused on the availability of COVID-19 tests. According to ESPN, “the union wants more frequent testing than management’s proposed ‘multiple times per week.'” The league is expected to make an economic proposal to the players’ association over the next few days.
Mahomes Speaks At Texas Tech’s Virtual Commencement
Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes had the opportunity to speak at Texas Tech’s virtual commencement ceremony earlier today. His message to the graduates was simple, “go out and win your Super Bowl.”
Mahomes spoke to the 2020 Red Raiders’ graduating class for a little less than two minutes. One of the most important things he said was, “I know this isn’t the graduation ceremony that you and your families had envisioned, but that doesn’t change the outcome or all the hard work, long hours and sacrifices that you made to achieve this milestone… I know this is sure not how you imagined spending your last days as a student.” Texas Tech held its graduation ceremony virtually because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
All Athletes Can Resume On-Campus Activities Starting June
Yesterday, the NCAA D-I Council announced that athletes from all sports can resume voluntary, on-campus workouts beginning on June 1st. The announcement means that all athletes can continue individual workouts as long as they abide by state and local health protocols.
This decision is not that surprising. On Wednesday, the organization said that athletes participating in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball could resume voluntary workouts starting on June 1st.
Continue checking oddsusa.com for more updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic.