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Archive for August 6th, 2020

Ohio State names 2020 Football Captains: Offensive Captains Press Conference Audio (Fields, Davis, Myers)

Tue, Aug 4, 2020

 

PRESS CONFERENCE WITH MEDIA (12:54)

Ohio State 2020 FTB Offensive Captains QB Fields OL Davis OL Myers 8 2020

 

Borland, Cooper, Davis, Fields, Hilliard, Myers and Wade selected to lead this year’s team

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day announced today that seven players will serve as captains for the 2020 Buckeyes. This year’s captains include a pair of returning captains – LB Tuf Borland the DE Jonathon Cooper – along with OG Wyatt Davis, QB Justin Fields, LB Justin Hilliard, OC Josh Myers and CB Shaun Wade.

 

Borland becomes just the second three-time captain in program history, joining QB J.T. Barrett, who held the honor from 2015 through 2017. Borland’s played in every game – 42 – over the past three seasons and has totaled 180 tackles, 15.5 tackles-for-loss and five sacks. He graduated last December with his degree in human development and family science and is currently working toward a master’s degree in sports coaching.

 

Cooper, from Gahanna and a graduate of Gahanna Lincoln, was slowed by an injury last year as a senior and ultimately decided to redshirt. He did play in four games and started each one, including the regular-season finale at Michigan. He’s played in 37 career games with 51 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 quarterback sacks. He graduated last December with his degree in consumer and family financial services.

 

Davis was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2019 and is considered one of the outstanding offensive linemen in college football this year. He’s a member of the 2020 Outland Trophy watch list. Davis, who is majoring in communication, has played in 28 consecutive games since the start of the 2018 season and has started 16 times.

 

Fields had one of the greatest seasons ever by an Ohio State quarterback last year, throwing for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and just three interceptions in his first year as a starter. A finalist for the Heisman Trophy and the Davey O’Brien Award, Fields was also the Big Ten’s Quarterback of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. From Kennesaw, Ga., he is majoring in consumer and family financial services.

 

Hilliard has battled injuries for much of his career and returns in 2020 for his sixth year of eligibility. He recovered from a spring 2019 injury in time to play in 12 games last season and earn three starts.  Also a valuable player on special teams throughout his career, Hilliard has played in 42 games with 51 total tackles, 4.0 tackles-for-loss, one interception and three passes defended. He graduated in May of 2019 with his degree in marketing.

 

Myers also was a first-year starter last season and established himself as one of the nation’s top interior linemen. A second-team All-Big Ten choice by the media, he, Davis, Thayer Munford and Co. paved the way for the Buckeyes’ first-ever 2,000-yard rusher (J.K. Dobbins) and an offense that averaged 529.9 yards of total offense per game. Myers is a member of the 2020 Outland Trophy watch list and will be a leading contender for the Rimington Trophy this season. He is majoring in social work.

 

Wade, a fourth-year junior from Jacksonville, is the Buckeyes’ most experienced returning member of the secondary following a 2019 season that saw him play in 13 games and make 26 tackles, four tackles-for-loss, one interception and force two fumbles to go along with eight pass breakups. Wade is on the watch list for four major awards this preseason, including the Jim Thorpe Award, which honors the top defensive back in college football. He is nearing completion of his degree in sport industry.

#GoBuckeyes

 

THE PEOPLE. THE TRADITION. THE EXCELLENCE.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig & Mike Basford; COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS


NHRA Race Teams ready for 2020 Third Event at Lucas Oil Raceway in Greater Indianapolis

 

INDIANAPOLIS – As NHRA continues its return to racing, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series teams are gearing up for their third race at Lucas Oil Raceway for the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil, Aug. 6-9.

In the Top Fuel division, veteran driver Doug Kalitta leads the points thanks to his three final round appearances this season and one win at the season opener in Pomona. Kalitta won the prestigious U.S. Nationals last season in Indianapolis and went on to finish second in the championship standings. With a solid start to the 2020 season, he and his Kalitta Motorsports Mac Tools dragster team hope to carry their success through the rest of the year.

“I think we will continue to be consistent,” Kalitta said. “This team has been doing a great job preparing the car for every run. We had a strong finish to the season last year and I feel like we picked right back up to start this season. We just try to do everything right and race hard. Every race always matters but we are definitely not taking any race lightly. We want to hold onto this points lead all season.”

The Funny Car class has been dominated by the Don Schumacher Racing Dodges as of late. DSR has won the last five events in Funny Car and will also claim a sixth when the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals are concluded at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals. That final round will feature teammates Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman, both with one win on the season. Hagan, who is the most recent winner, currently sits third in points.

“The momentum that we have is just amazing,” Hagan said. “We’ve been carrying the momentum since the beginning of the year from the work my guys put in over the winter and kept up through the break. We started with two No. 1 qualifiers and a semifinal appearance, then added a win and another final round appearance in the last two races back. The work that my team at DSR and Mopar has put into the preparation is really paying off right now on the racetrack.”

The Pro Stock rivalry of Elite Motorsports and KB Racing continues to be the focus of the division in 2020. With Elite Motorsports off to a hot start at the beginning of 2020 and KB Racing with the most recent win on the season, the two powerhouses are not slowing down. Leading the pack in points, is Pro Stock vet and five-time world champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. of Elite Motorsports. Close behind in second and most recent winner, is three-time champion Jason Line of KB Racing. Both drivers have announced their retirement at the conclusion of the 2020 season.

“Our JEGS.com team strives to continue the strong run we are on right now,” said Coughlin, who leads Line by a mere eight points heading into the event. “This run dates back to 2019 and has really carried nicely into 2020 with a win and runner-up finish to our credit in the three events we’ve had. The competition has always fueled the majority of the rivalry between the two teams.”

Pro Stock Motorcycle made its 2020 debut at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals and featured a first-time victor in Ryan Oehler. He faced three-time champion Matt Smith in the final but was victorious to claim his first win. Smith finished the 2019 season in third on his DENSO Auto Parts/Stockseth MRS EBR, narrowly missing a fourth world title.

“This MSR/DENSO team is going to be really strong this year,” Smith said. “We qualified 2, 4, and 6 at the first race. We’re looking forward to trying to do better at the next race. I think all three bikes can be in the top five after qualifying is said and done. Me and Angie (wife) have been doing a lot of work in the shop. We’ve been doing a lot of dyno work, a lot of new parts and new pieces that come in over the winter. We only see things getting better the longer we work this year.”

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds of qualifying on Saturday Aug. 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9. Race coverage will be featured on Fox Broadcast Network and FS1 throughout the weekend.

A limited number of tickets are on sale now to the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals. Tickets may be purchased by visiting NHRA.com or calling 800-884-NHRA.

 

RACE PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NHRA COMMUNICATIONS

USA Ryder Cup Captain Steve Strickler announces revised criteria for selection process

 

Wed, Aug 5, 2020 3:20 pm

 

Steve Stricker To Retain Six Captain’s Selections

 

San Francisco (August 5, 2020) – With the 43rd Ryder Cup recently rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker announced revised selection criteria for the U.S. Team that will compete Sept. 21-26, 2021 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.
All points earned by U.S. players since qualifications began in 2019 will continue to be recognized.
The U.S. selection criteria will now extend through the second 2021 FedEx Cup Playoff event (BMW Championship).
The points system for the American team will include the top six players on the points list securing spots on the U.S. team. Previously, the top eight players had been expected to secure spots.
The remaining six players will be selected and announced by Captain Stricker following the 2021 TOUR Championship. Previously, the captain was to select four players.
  • 2019 Major Championships
    • 1 Point per $1,000 earned
      • The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open & The Open
  • 2019 WGC Events and The Players Championship
    • 1 Point per $2,000 earned
      • WGC-Mexico Championship; WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship; The Players Championship; WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational; WGC-HSBC Champions
  • 2020 Regular PGA Tour events
    • 1 point per $1,000 earned
      • Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, through the Mayakoba Golf Classic (Dec. 3-6)
      • 2020 Opposite Field PGA TOUR events will NOT receive points
  • 2020 Major Championships
    • 2 Points per $1,000 earned for the Winner
    • 1.5 Points per $1,000 earned for all others to make the cut
      • PGA Championship, U.S. Open, Masters only
  • 2021 Regular PGA Tour events
    • 1.5 Points per $1,000 earned
      • Beginning January 10, 2021 (Sentry Tournament of Champions), through the end of the second FedEx Cup Playoff (BMW Championship); including The Players Championship and WGC events
      • 2020/21 Opposite Field PGA TOUR events will NOT receive points
  • 2021 Major Championships
    • 2 Points per $1,000 earned for all others to make the cut
      • Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, Open Championship



PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Julius Mason & John Dever; COURTESY PGA OF AMERICA COMMUNICATIONS

American Athletic Conference announces plans for 2020 Fall Sports Seasons

Wed, Aug 5, 2020 2:00 pm

 

The American Athletic Conference Board of Directors has announced the conference’s plan and timeline for the start of athletics competition for the Fall 2020 season.

 

Approval was unanimous after consultation with the conference’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, athletic directors and senior woman administrators.

 

The plan calls for regular-season intraconference competition in football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, capped by conference championship events in those sports, as well as men’s and women’s cross country. The American’s 12 member schools will be able to schedule nonconference competitions in fall sports at their discretion, but under the guidelines and protocols set by the Medical Advisory Group. The number of qualifying teams for conference championships in men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball has been reduced to four.

 

“With the guidance of the health experts on the COVID-19 Medical Advisory Board and through the diligent work of the athletics staffs at our schools and at the conference, we have a sensible direction for the return of intercollegiate athletics in the fall,” said M. David Rudd, president of the University of Memphis and chair of The American’s Board of Directors. “The safety of our students, staff members and campus communities will continue to be our top priority. We are confident that the protocols put together by our Medical Advisory Group will guide a safe return to play. As medical information evolves, we will update our plans in conjunction with national, state and local guidelines.”

 

“The health and safety of our student-athletes is our top priority as we face the challenges of the current global pandemic,” said American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco. “With the guidance and advice of our Medical Advisory Group, which has done an outstanding job developing health and safety protocols, we have developed a collaborative and comprehensive plan that will allow us safely and reasonably to play our fall sports. Our plan provides us with the flexibility to adapt to potential disruptions to our schedules. I want to thank our board of directors, our Medical Advisory Group, athletic directors, senior woman administrators and conference office staff for their thoughtful input and approach to what is one of the most challenging situations we will face.”

 

 

FOOTBALL

In football, the plan calls for conference competition to begin Sept. 19 and for each of The American’s teams to play eight conference games on their originally scheduled dates. Nonconference games may be played at the discretion of the individual schools, with the understanding that the opponents will strictly adhere to protocols and standards for testing, pregame, in-game and postgame operations set by The American’s Medical Advisory Group. Depending on the need to potentially reschedule regular-season games, The American Football Championship will be played on either Dec. 5, 12 or 19 at the stadium of the regular-season champion. A decision regarding the date of the championship game will be made no earlier than Nov. 1.

 

CROSS COUNTRY

Institutions may schedule regular season cross country competitions at their discretion on or after Sept 1. The American Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 31, at 4 Mile Creek Resort in Augusta, Kansas.

 

MEN’S SOCCER

The American’s six men’s soccer teams will play a 10-match double-round-robin schedule of conference matches. Conference matches will be played on Saturdays, beginning Sept. 5, but may be moved to Friday or Sunday if a conflict with a home football game exists. Midweek matches against nonconference opponents may be scheduled on or after Sept. 1 only if the opponent meets the standards and testing guidelines set by The American’s Medical Advisory Group. Midweek matches may not be scheduled if an institution would have to utilize air travel and/or an overnight hotel stay. The four-team 2020 American Men’s Soccer Championship will be held either Nov. 12 and 14 or Nov. 13 and 15 at the site of the No. 1 seed based on regular-season standings. In the event that the No. 1 seed is unable to host the championship due to travel restrictions or state or local regulations, the site shall be the campus of the next-highest seed.

 

WOMEN’S SOCCER

The American’s nine women’s soccer teams will play an eight-match single-round-robin schedule of conference matches. Conference matches will be played on Sundays, beginning Sept. 6. Midweek matches against nonconference opponents may be scheduled on or after Sept. 1 only if the opponent meets the standards and testing guidelines set by The American’s Medical Advisory Group. Midweek matches may not be scheduled if an institution would have to utilize air travel and/or an overnight hotel stay. The four-team 2020 American Women’s Soccer Championship will be held Nov. 6 and 8 at the site of the No. 1 seed based on regular-season standings. In the event that the No. 1 seed is unable to host the championship due to travel restrictions or state or local regulations, the site shall be the campus of the next-highest seed.

 

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

The American will feature a two-division format in which each team will play the other teams in its division twice at the same site. The East Division will consist of UCF, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Temple and USF. The West Division will include Houston, Memphis, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State. Conference play will begin during the Sept. 24-27 weekend and will conclude the weekend of Nov. 12-15. Conference matches may be scheduled between Thursday and Sunday. Three weekends will be available for nonconference opportunities, on or after Sept. 1. The 2020 American Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held Nov. 21-22 at Fifth Third Arena on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. The top two teams from each division, based on regular-season standings, will qualify for the championship.

 

OTHER SPORTS

Decisions regarding Fall 2020 competition in the sports of baseball, softball, women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis will be announced at a later date. Decisions for potential modifications to The American’s winter sports (basketball, swimming and diving, indoor track and field) will also be announced at a later date.

 

The American’s health and safety protocols developed by its Medical Advisory Group will be announced at a later date. The conference’s Medical Advisory Group will continue to meet regularly regarding protocols for the safe return of fall competition.

 

THE AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

The American Athletic Conference (The American), a member of the NCAA, was reconstituted in 2013. With the conference office in Irving, Texas, The American is comprised of the following institutions: UCF, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy (in football only), USF, SMU, Temple, Tulane Tulsa and Wichita State (basketball and Olympic sports). Under the leadership of Commissioner Mike Aresco, The American sponsors 22 championships – 10 for men and 12 for women; is a member of the College Football Playoff; has television partnerships with ESPN and CBS Sports; in the spring of 2019, signed a landmark television agreement with ESPN that commences in 2020-21; and has a marketing partnership with Learfield. For more information, please visit www.TheAmerican.org.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Chuck Sullivan; COURTESY AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE COMMUNICATIONS

Penn State VP for Athletics Sandy Barbour issues Letter to Fans regarding Fall Sports Attendance

Thu, Aug 6, 2020 11:44 am

 

As you may have seen, the Big Ten announced the 2020 football schedule and medical protocols yesterday and we expect additional fall sport schedules to be announced in the coming days and weeks.

 

Sandy Barbour

We continue to plan for a safe return to campus and to sports and remain hopeful our student-athletes will be back in action this fall. We have been in communication with the Governor’s office throughout this process and have worked actively with University leadership, Big Ten, NCAA and State and County public health officials.

 

As of today, the current large group gatherings guidance from the Governor’s office limits capacity to 250 people for outside events and 25 people for inside events. Therefore, under the current conditions and current state orders, our fall sports events would be conducted without fans in the general seating areas of our facilities. We continue to work with the Governor’s office to discuss, and possibly be prepared for the opportunity to have spectators at our fall Penn State sporting events.

 

Despite the current state orders, we continue to refine our plans to welcome Nittany Lion fans, should the conditions and orders be revised to accommodate spectators at events. These plans will have the safety and wellbeing of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and community at the forefront. Let me be clear; we will only enact these plans should the orders currently in place by the Governor and the PA Department of Health accommodate such activity based on conditions and public health advice.

 

Penn State Athletics has always and will always put the health, safety and education of our students as our top priority. The current COVID-19 environment is no exception. Your support and generosity have always been the cornerstone of our ability to provide our coaches, staff and students with the resources necessary to meet our students’ needs in those areas. You have ALWAYS supported our students at our times of the most acute need. This is one of those moments.

 

Regardless of whether we play or don’t play, our revenue losses will be in the high eight figures, reaching nine figures in the case of no competition. We cannot let this pandemic stall or wipe out all of the incredible work and progress that, with your help, our students and our programs have been able to achieve in the classroom, in our community and, of course, in our competitive venues. On March 12, 2020, when the NCAA Winter Championships were cancelled and our spring sports were halted, your Nittany Lions were in position to complete one of the best years in our history. All this with record-setting academics as the backdrop. We need to be in position to come out of the pandemic with a running start, and we need your support to do that.

 

We have taken many steps to minimize our potential losses by implementing salary reductions across the department for this fiscal year, restricting travel and reducing operational budgets, and pushing some projects and initiatives to a later date. These steps have allowed us to avoid the tough decisions other schools have already had to make, like eliminating sports or laying off employees. But our financial challenges will be immense, and I know as proud Nittany Lions, you will show your pride and support in as many ways as your individual, family and business situation will allow. We Are…grateful!

 

Your assistance for Penn State Athletics and our over 800 dedicated student-athletes, starts with selecting an option to address your 2020 football season ticket commitment in light of the current capacity restrictions in Beaver Stadium. We would like nothing more than to have a full 2020 season with 107,000 of the Penn State faithful cheering on the Nittany Lions, but COVID-19 clearly had other plans. There are three options for your 2020 football ticket payment:

 

  1. Convert Your 2020 Football Season Ticket Purchase into a Tax-Deductible Donation
    • Season ticket holders can opt to turn their entire 2020 football season ticket (ticket and seat contribution) and parking cost into a tax-deductible donation to the Levi Lamb Fund.
    • Season ticket holders who are paid in full will be guaranteed a price freeze for their 2021 football season ticket(s). A seat contribution will still be required in 2021, but will also be frozen at the 2020 contribution levels.
  • Additional benefits for choosing this option include:
    • In the event the Governor’s orders regarding large group gatherings changes, you will get priority access to seats based on NLC Priority Points.
    • 100 NLC Priority Points (equivalent to a $5,000 donation).
    • Extended payment plan for 2021 football season tickets.
    • Exclusive Enter to Win opportunities throughout the year.
  1. Rollover to 2021 Football Season Tickets
    • Season ticket holders can opt to roll over their 2020 football season ticket (ticket price only) and parking payment to their 2021 football season tickets and parking.
    • The 2020 football seat contributions will be converted to a tax-deductible donation to the Levi Lamb Fund.
    • Season ticket holders who are paid in full will be guaranteed a price freeze for their 2021 football season ticket(s). A seat contribution will still be required in 2021, but will also be frozen at the 2020 contribution levels.
  • Additional benefits to choosing this option include:
    • In the event the Governor’s orders regarding large group gatherings changes, you will get priority access to seats based on NLC Priority Points.
    • 50 NLC Priority Points (equivalent to a $2,500 donation).
    • Extended payment plan for 2021 football season tickets.
    • Exclusive Enter to Win opportunities throughout the year.
  1. Request a Full Refund
    • Season ticket holders can opt to request a full refund of their 2020 football season ticket (ticket price only) and parking payment.
    • The 2020 football seat contributions will be converted to a tax-deductible donation to the Nittany Lion Club’s Levi Lamb Fund.
    • Season ticket holders who request a refund will retain their season ticket holder status in the renewal process for 2021, but will not be guaranteed their 2020 seat locations and parking for the 2021 football season.

 

Charitable donations and non-charitable seat contributions are annually used to provide our student-athletes with scholarship opportunities and cannot be refunded per University policy as those scholarship allocations have been distributed for the upcoming year. We appreciate your understanding that as a Nittany Lion Club member, your annual support for our scholarships for student-athletes is the bedrock of our commitment to them.

 

As Nittany Lions, we are a gritty, resilient, passionate family who has been through much together. We have always stuck together and persevered through whatever the challenge. I know first-hand this crisis has impacted each of you in a variety of ways and I pray that you and your families are healthy and safe. Thank you for whatever support you are able to provide for Penn State Athletics at this time. For now, it is from afar, but we look forward to a time when we can bring our Penn State family back together again.

 

We Are!

 

Sandy Barbour

Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF PENN STATE ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

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