(AP) – The NBA Board of Governors continues to ponder various scenarios as the league prepares to resume a season still on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Three people familiar with Friday’s meeting have told The Associated Press that the board hasn’t developed a consensus opinion on how many teams should be back on the floor for the planned late-July resumption. The people say Commissioner Adam Silver is still collecting information on multiple options ranging from 16 to all 30 teams returning to action when the season begins again near Orlando, Florida.
One person said 20 of more teams would be brought back to finish the season near Orlando, while a second person said the league would bring back any team within six games of a playoff berth.
The league suspended play following the conclusion of its March 11 games.
In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:
- Major league teams have released hundreds of young players with the minor league season in doubt due. Transactions posted at MiLB.com say over 200 players were cut Friday and more than 400 have been released over the past month. The start of the minor league season was postponed in March and players were mostly sent home from spring training. While Major League Baseball and the players’ association are negotiating terms to play big league ball this summer, it’s unlikely there will be minor league games. Minor league players not on 40-man rosters were promised $400 per week through May 31 by a policy drafted by MLB.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks have laid off or furloughed about one-quarter of the team’s employees because of lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organization made the moves on Friday. Remaining staff will take pay cuts that average less than 15%, with the team’s highest earners losing a bigger percentage of their income.
- Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says the state’s five professional sports teams – the Boston Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, New England Patriots and Revolution – can resume practicing at their respective facilities on June 6. But Baker made clear the reopening of those facilities must be done in accordance with the health and safety rules that each of the leagues are developing. The Celtics announced they will begin voluntary individual workouts at their facility on Monday. Workouts will be conducted in accordance with city, state, CDC and NBA requirements, with only four players allowed to workout at a time.
- The NCAA has released a long and detailed plan to help schools bring athletes back to campus. The move comes as schools across the country prepare for the return of athletes as early as June 8. The NCAA last week lifted a moratorium on athletic activities starting Monday. That cleared the way for voluntary workouts and training to begin at team facilities. Schools have already started putting plans in place to test athletes, coaches and staff for the coronavirus and implement social distancing. The NCAA says its plan is offered as guidance, consistent with federal and local public health guidelines.
- Four-year colleges facing budget shortfalls because of the coronavirus outbreak have eliminated nearly 100 sports programs. Critics say some of those sports might have survived if decision-makers had considered the benefits those sports brought to the schools as a whole. Former University of Idaho president Chuck Staben argues athletes in sports that award partial scholarships often pay more than the value of their scholarships for tuition. He says that’s especially important at a time when enrollment declines are accelerating because of the pandemic.