That would make Super Rugby untenable, with the tournament featuring teams from five nations, including five from New Zealand, and involving regular travel between countries. Teams from Australia, Japan, South Africa and Argentina also compete in the competition, which runs from January through to June. ___12:45 p.m.The Edinburgh Marathon has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 5:10 p.m.Lionel Messi has joined a call in Spain by sports figures, who are supporting a public awareness campaign by government authorities and healthcare workers asking the nation’s population to remain indoors to fight the spread of the coronavirus. “It is the moment to act responsibly and to stay home,” Messi wrote on Instagram on Saturday.The Barcelona star added: “We are worried by what is happening and we want to help by putting ourselves in the place of those who are having the most difficulties, either because they or their families or friends are directly affected, or because they are working on the frontline in hospitals.”Spain is tightening controls on movement and closing shops as it struggles to stem a peak in virus infections that has surpassed 5,000 people. The race was due to take place on May 24, but organizers have announced it will be postponed.Race director Neil Kilgour said a new date for the marathon in the Scottish capital is expected to be announced on Monday, ___10:45 a.m.Two more Fiorentina players have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as a club physiotherapist. The professional hockey league has 26 teams in the United States and Canada.___8:15 p.m.The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings, along with Staples Center, have joined together to set up a fund to provide financial help to all hourly arena workers impacted by the stoppage of games.The fund will help compensate for lost wages through the end of the NBA and NHL regular seasons. Payments will go to over 2,800 workers, including ushers, ticket sellers and takers, security, parking attendants, merchandise staff, food and beverage employees, housekeeping, operations staff and stagehands. March 14, 2020 In a statement attributed to Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, the teams say their employees “are family, and we will navigate this unprecedented situation together.”___4:51 p.m.The Pro Football Hall of Fame is closing temporarily because of the coronavirus pandemic.The museum in Canton, Ohio says it will be closed to the public from Monday through March 27. The Hall says it “will continue to closely monitor the situation and maintain ongoing communication with state and local health officials.” 3:25 p.m.The Mexican soccer league announced that the rest of its matches this weekend will be played with no fans, a day after starting the weekend with two games in which fans were in attendance.While other leagues around the world suspended play, Liga MX insisted on going forward with its matches. Until now, the only change was banning pre-match handshakes due to the new coronavirus.But Mexico’s first division reversed course and decided to play in empty stadiums after consulting with the government.The headliner match of the weekend is a Mexico City derby at Estadio Azteca between league leader Cruz Azul and third-place Club America. Attendance was expected to be around 60,000. ___1:40 p.m.Super Rugby organizers have decided to suspend the competition indefinitely after the weekend’s games because of the coronavirus pandemic.SANZAAR, the southern hemisphere rugby body that runs Super Rugby, says Saturday the tournament will be off for the “foreseeable future.” The decision was prompted by the New Zealand government’s directive that people entering from trips overseas, including returning New Zealand citizens, would have to self-isolate for 14 days from Monday. ___2:35 p.m.Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert has donated more than $500,000 to support health services in the U.S. and France and employees of the team impacted by the coronavirus.Gobert became the first NBA player to be stricken with the virus, which led to the league suspending play for at least 30 days.His donation was announced by the Jazz, who said some of the money will go to COVID 19-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the French health care system. ___5:45 p.m.Sampdoria midfielder Fabio Depaoli has announced he’s tested positive for COVID-19.He’s the 10th Serie A player confirmed positive and the sixth at Sampdoria.While Sampdoria said in a statement earlier Saturday that it would not announce any more updates about its players “to avoid news leaks and useless alarmism” since “all the lads are well,” Depaoli revealed his positive test on social media. The Latest: ECHL board approves cancellation of season The smaller Southland Conference also announced a similar move.The moves follow Thursday’s decision by the NCAA to cancel the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as all remaining winter and spring championships.___6:05 p.m.The men’s curling world championships in Scotland have been canceled, along with the mixed and senior events in Canada, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Late Thursday, the XFL canceled the remainder of its season, which had five weeks left.___12:15 p.m.The Pac-12 Conference has canceled all spring sports and championships following a meeting of conference executives and athletic directors.The conference also announced that all organized team activities are not allowed until at least March 29, when that decision will be revisited. 3:30 p.m.The XFL says an unidentified player with the Seattle Dragons has tested positive for coronavirus.The fledgling football league says the player reported his symptoms to team medical staff on Tuesday and has been in quarantine ever since. He was tested for COVID-19 and received the result Friday.The league says the player participated in the Dragons’ March 7 game against the Roughnecks in Houston and a Feb. 29 game against the BattleHawks in St. Louis. He was asymptomatic at the time.The league says it’s alerting players, staff, vendors and partners associated with the Dragons, Roughnecks and BattleHawks and is monitoring the situation closely. ___5:30 p.m.The Baseball Hall of Fame said it will close to the public beginning Sunday at 5 p.m. because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Cooperstown, New York, shrine will provide updated information regarding this closure on each subsequent Sunday.___ The World Curling Federation said that with hundreds of athletes and staff needing to travel to each tournament, “it is no longer possible to run these international events.”The WCF says it acted on the advice of the Scottish government in canceling the men’s tournament, which had been scheduled for Glasgow from March 28 to April 5.“We believe that in the current unprecedented situation this is the only responsible course of action to take,” said Billy Garrett, Director of Sport and Events at Glasgow Life.The mixed doubles and seniors events were to take place in Kelowna, British Columbia, from April 18-25.The women’s world championships in Prince George, British Columbia, were canceled on Thursday. ___5 p.m.The International Triathlon Union has suspended all of its competitions and activities from Monday to the end of April.Major events postponed include the second world series event in Bermuda on April 18-19, and four World Cups in the United States, New Zealand, Brazil and Mexico.“World Triathlon will continue working during this time to try to reallocate the events after the 30th of April when possible, and will work with all stakeholders to undertake further actions if needed regarding the Olympic and Paralympic qualification rankings,” the ITU said. Spanish football club Alavés says two members of its coaching staff have tested positive for the coronavirus. The club says both unnamed coaches are without symptoms and in good health. The club added it will test the rest of the members of its team on Monday. Spain has stopped all sports competitions for the next two weeks. ___ 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. Mexico played some matches in empty stadiums during the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 flu.___4:15 p.m.The United Center ownership and the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks say they will pay day-of-game employees through the end of their scheduled seasons.The NBA and NHL seasons have been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Each team has seven home games left. The pledge includes $200,000 in aid for part-time employees at Utah’s Vivint Smart Home Arena. They can’t work while game and other events are on hold.Gobert said he’s humbled by “the tireless efforts and care of people around the globe for those affected by COVID-19, especially my own communities of Utah and France.”He called the donations a “small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take to try and make a positive difference.”Gobert, who was diagnosed with the virus while the team was in Oklahoma, was infected along with teammate Donovan Mitchell.___ Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his country still intends to host the Olympic Games in Tokyo as planned.Abe says there were no discussions about postponing or canceling the games during talks with U.S. President Donald Trump, who suggested this week that Japan should consider postponing the Olympics because of the spread of the coronavirus. Abe says Japan is continuing to “coordinate well” with the International Olympic Committee, adding: “We have to overcome the spread of the infection and want to hold the Olympics and Paralympics as planned.”The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from July 24-Aug. 9, and the Paralympics Aug. 25-Sept. 6.Abe says the virus outbreak has not reached a point in Japan that requires him to declare a national emergency like the United States and parts of Europe. ___8:10 p.m.Churchill Downs is delaying reopening its stables and training center until March 31 after consulting local public health officials amid concerns about the coronovirus.The home of the Kentucky Derby is expected to provide an update about horse racing’s marquee event, scheduled for May 2, and its upcoming spring meet next week. Churchill’s stables have been closed for annual winter renovations since Dec. 31 and were scheduled to open Tuesday. The track stated in a release Saturday night that the safety and health of guests, employees and participants remain a primary concern and that it’s taking every precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Associated Press Depaoli writes in Italian on Instagram, “Unfortunately I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. But I want to reassure you that I’m OK! This invisible monster is hitting us indiscriminately, but by adopting the correct measures and following medical advice, we can win our biggest match and return stronger than before.”The five other Sampdoria players who tested positive are: Manolo Gabbiadini, Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby. The other Serie A players who tested positive are Daniele Rugani at Juventus and Fiorentina teammates Dušan Vlahović , Germán Pezzella, Patrick Cutrone.___5:35 p.m. ___3:50 pm.The Italian soccer players’ association says it is “saddened and outraged” that clubs are still calling on their players to attend training sessions.In a statement, the players’ association notes that “some clubs” are bringing in players to train in small groups, “or, even worse, for daily checks of their temperature.”Italy is the European country hit worst by the virus, where the number of virus cases climbed to over nearly 20,000, with more than 1,000 deaths. The government in Rome has ordered an unprecedented lockdown, ordering businesses to close and restricting people’s movement. The lockdown has suspended all sports in the country through at least April 3.The players’ association says that forcing players to leave their homes “is a shamefully irresponsible act,” adding that if it’s being done just to receive a refusal by the players in order to cut salary payments “it means that we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel of dignity.”The players’ association has been at odds with clubs over the virus for weeks, first arguing for the games to be stopped before the government-issued suspension on Monday.___3 p.m. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):9:05 p.m.The ECHL board of governors approved the cancellation of the remainder of the season.
Men’s basketball welcomes the Oregon schools to Los Angeles this week riding a four-game winning run. Though the Beavers and No. 5 Ducks will aim to snap it in the coming days, the Trojans’ current three-week streak has impressed me even more than their 14 consecutive victories to open the season: USC could have easily compiled a losing record from its games against Arizona State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State. The Bruins were a heavy favorite before getting upset at the Galen Center, and USC has struggled away from home under head coach Andy Enfield (13-28 since the 2013-2014 season). Yet the Trojans came away with wins in all of those games, perhaps putting the rest of the nation on notice in the process.But victories over the unranked Washington teams may not be enough to convince everyone that the USC team that showed up against UCLA was for real; after all, the Trojans have also gotten resoundingly thumped at Oregon and Utah. That makes this weekend massive for Enfield’s squad. A win over the Beavers is a must, but Oregon’s visit on Saturday is an opportunity. Last year’s Trojan side stumbled across the finish line, going 4-of-7 in the final month of the season, and they paid the price in the NCAA tournament, dropping to a No. 8 seed, getting matched up with a Kris Dunn-led Providence team and exiting in the first round. In truth, it likely wouldn’t have mattered much anyway, as No. 1 seed and eventual finalists North Carolina breezed past the Friars two days later — but it was a bitter pill to swallow nonetheless.If history isn’t to repeat itself, USC needs to carve out an easier path for itself in March Madness, and that starts with a strong finish to the regular season. Another top-10 upset at home would be one heck of a resume builder. But more importantly, the Trojans run the gantlet after Oregon, playing three straight games on the road against No. 9 UCLA, No. 10 Arizona and Arizona State. Almost any team in the country might expect to go 1-2 against those teams, if not worse, which means a loss to the Ducks on Saturday could send USC into a tailspin heading into postseason play. A win, on the other hand, might just give the team key momentum to pull a surprise or two during its road trip.It isn’t easy beating Oregon, though. Enfield has actually never triumphed over the Ducks since taking the reins at USC — even within the friendly confines of the Galen Center (where Enfield owns a 43-20 record). Having said that, there is buzz surrounding his program that the Trojans may finally be ready to make the leap to national relevance. What better way to announce their arrival than by finally edging fifth-ranked Oregon?From this perspective, sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright’s return from long-term knee injury couldn’t have come at a better time for the Trojans. Boatwright is arguably his team’s biggest offensive asset, but his size also gives USC’s undersized defense a boost, as evidenced by his seven rebounds at Washington State. This also takes some pressure off sophomore forward Chimezie Metu, who had spent long stretches as the Trojans’ sole big man on the floor during Boatwright’s absence. With a large contingent of USC’s roster playing its first season with the Trojans, there may have been concerns about how smoothly Boatwright would reenter his new-look team, but his career-high scoring night off the bench last week emphatically put such doubts to rest. It’s tough to say whether or not his recovery will be enough to push the squad past an Oregon side that beat USC by 23 points in Eugene earlier this season, but we’ll know the answer soon enough.Perhaps it was a little presumptuous to call Saturday’s game an opportunity; it could also be a precarious tipping point for a still-developing USC team. But a win over the Ducks would firmly establish the Trojans on the national radar. You simply couldn’t ignore them if they claimed the scalps of two of the top three teams in the Pac-12 standings. A strong follow-up road trip would be a bonus but not necessary; USC would already be cemented as a leading conference team.All things considered, however, the Trojans would do well to ignore me and not put the cart ahead of the wagon. At the end of the day, even an upset on Saturday would be for naught if Enfield’s squad can’t take care of business tonight against Oregon State. The beaver hunt comes first — then we can move on to the Ducks.Oliver Jung is a junior studying print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, Jung Money, runs on Thursdays.