The Latest: 2 more Fiorentina players test positive
Two more Fiorentina players have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as a club physiotherapist. The top-tier Italian league soccer team tweets that defender and club captain Germán Pezzella, forward Patrick Cutrone and physiotherapist Stefano Dainelli “are in good health at their homes in Florence.” They were tested after “showing some symptoms.” The club had already announced on Friday that 20-year-old striker Dušan Vlahović tested positive. With Cutrone and Pezzella added to the list with Vlahović, there are now nine Serie A players who have tested positive. The others are Daniele Rugani of Juventus plus five Sampdoria players: Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby. Serie A is suspended until at least April 3 as part of a nationwide lockdown in Italy intended to contain the virus. Most people quickly recover from the global virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
Here is the latest Big Ten Conference sports news from The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota coach Richard Pitino will return for his eighth season with the program, according to a person knowledge of the situation. The 37-year-old Pitino has a 127-108 record with the Gophers. That includes a 48-82 mark in Big Ten regular-season play. They finished 12th in the 14-team league in 2019-20. They won their first-round game in the conference tournament on Wednesday before the Big Ten canceled the remainder of the event out of precaution for the coronavirus pandemic. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, without authorization to speak publicly on the matter.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers seemed to be only a couple of days away from ending a nearly three-decade absence from the NCAA Tournament. Then the coronavirus changed everything. After knocking off then No. 9 Maryland last week and winning at Purdue, all the Scarlet Knights had to do was play in the Big Ten Tournament and wait — for the announcement they would be going back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. The dream ended Thursday when the NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
Here is the latest Wisconsin sports news from The Associated Press
HARTFORD, Wis. (AP) — Some of the only sporting events still taking place this week were in gyms across the country as high school basketball tournaments were played amid the coronavirus threat. Most games were eventually called off or were played in front of restricted crowds. At least 33 states had canceled or postponed their tournaments as of late Friday night.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have released tight end Jimmy Graham after the 33-year-old veteran spent two seasons with the franchise. The move creates about $8 million in cap space for the Packers. Graham caught 38 passes for 447 yards and three touchdowns last season. He had 55 receptions for 636 yards and two scores in 2018. The five-time Pro Bowl selection previously played with New Orleans (2010-14) and Seattle (2015-17). Graham has 649 catches for 7,883 yards and 74 touchdowns in 153 career games with 111 starts.
Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward earned the most in the NFL’s performance-based pay program, getting an additional $654,750 out of an overall pot of just under $148 million. Ward, who was not selected in the 2018 draft, received nearly 15%t more than his 2019 salary of the league minimum for second-year players ($570,000). He started all 16 games during Chiefs’ championship season, playing in nearly 95% of the Chiefs’ defensive plays, as well as almost 26% of the special teams plays.
UNDATED (AP) — Facing criticism for coaching his team when he was not feeling well Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg wrote in a social media post he would not have been on the bench if he knew his presence could expose others to illness. Hoiberg wrote on Twitter that he would never do anything that would put his team, family or anyone else in harm’s way. Hoiberg was taken to an Indianapolis hospital after he left Wednesday night’s 89-64 loss to Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament. Hoiberg was diagnosed with influenza-A, which the school characterized as a “common cold” in a news release.
Here is the latest Illinois sports news from The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is asking the owners of all the state’s major sports teams’ owners to cancel games or play without fans until May 1 in another move to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which affects 32 people in the state. Pritzker said during a news conference that he also is mandating events of 1,000 or more people be canceled or postponed immediately and requested that events of 250 people be canceled or postponed as well. Pritzker said he is not ordering schools to close. The governor is asking private businesses that can allow employees to work remotely.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears re-signed veteran inside linebacker Danny Trevathan to a three-year contract extension through the 2022 season. Trevathan has 327 tackles in four seasons with Bears and 602 overall in eight years with Chicago and Denver. He played on a Super Bowl champion with the Broncos. The Bears value his leadership and production. But he has missed 18 of 64 games for Chicago, including seven last season because of a gruesome elbow injury.
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois-Chicago has fired basketball coach Steve McClain after five seasons. McClain went 76-93 with the Flames, including a 42-48 record in the Horizon League. UIC was 18-17 this season and reached the Horizon League Tournament final, but lost 71-62 to Northern Kentucky.