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Gronk to Bucs…Minor leagues shrinking…Buffalo men’s hoops punished…US Olympic cutbacks coming

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski is about to come out of retirement and be reunited with Tom Brady, pending completion of a physical. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to acquire the tight end and a seventh-round pick from the New England Patriots for a fourth-round selection. The proposed trade needs to be finalized before the NFL draft, which begins tomorrow. Gronkowski has caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 regular-season games.

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of minor league teams with major league affiliations is about to shrink by 25%. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the minor leagues are prepared to agree to Major League Baseball’s proposal to cut guaranteed affiliations from 160 to 120 next year. The plan would impact hundreds of prospects and cut player development expenses. Under MLB’s proposal, each franchise would have four full-season farm teams, a rookie level club at its minor league complex and prospects in the Dominican Summer League.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team has been placed on one-year probation after a former assistant coach was found to have forged recruiting documents. Buffalo also was fined $5,000, agreed to a two-week ban on communicating with potential recruits and reduced its recruiting days by five for the 2020-21 season. The decision was announced by the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference school as part of a negotiated resolution reached today. The school said it self-reported the infractions in October and cooperated with the NCAA investigation.

DENVER (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is bracing for cuts of 10% to 20%. The reductions are due to the coronavirus pandemic that has pushed the Olympics back one year and triggered losses across the nation’s sports organizations. The AP received a copy of a letter CEO Sarah Hirshland sent to leaders across the U.S. Olympic world today in which she said the exact nature of the cuts would be determined by the end of May.

UNDATED (AP) — The men’s and women’s professional tennis tours plan to create a player relief fund to help those in the sport dealing with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The ATP and WTA say they are in discussions with the International Tennis Federation and the four Grand Slam tournaments. Neither tour provided any specifics about how much money they are pooling or how it will be distributed. No tournaments will be played before mid-July at the earliest.

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