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Thursday Sports

NFL

The NFL announced a plan for reopening team facilities and gave the 32 teams until Friday week to have it in place. Commissioner Roger Goodell released the memo, and last night The Associated Press says Goodell laid out several phases of the protocols. The first phase pertains to the coronavirus pandemic involving a limited number of non-player personnel. Initially, 50% of the non-player employees, up to a total of 75, would report on any single day. However, state or local regulations could require a lower number.

NCAA

The NCAA approved a waiver that will allow schools to spend below the minimum level on athletic scholarships required to compete in Division I. The Division I Council Coordination Committee approved two other blanket waivers Wednesday that had been requested by several conferences in recent weeks in response to coronavirus pandemic. Basketball and football players will be allowed to participate in summer athletic activities without being enrolled in school. Also, schools that are in the process of moving to D-I can be counted toward the minimum required Division I opponents.

MLB

LSU graduate Rachel Balkovec has become the first-ever female full-time hitting coach in Major League Baseball (MLB). However, COVID-19 has the MLB season and Balkovec’s coaching duties on hold. Balkovec was coaching during spring training of her first season with the New York Yankees in Tampa, Fla. when COVID-19 delayed the start of the season. Balkovec’s baseball career started in the minors. After graduating from LSU, she took an internship with the St. Louis Cardinals. After her baseball year with the Cardinals was up, she found her course with the Chicago White Sox’s, which then lead to her second job with the St. Louis Cardinals. She served as the Cardinals’ minor league strength and conditioning coordinator for two years.

DIXIE

There will be no Dixie League World Series. The organization that oversees leagues in 11 different states announced that the board had canceled the 2020 World Series competitions for 12 and under. Their announcement came just days after Little League International canceled all seven of their World Series events due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Sandy Jones for Dixie Boys and Majors Baseball, Inc. has implemented plans for (Phase 2) regarding a 2020 summer baseball season. Considerations for “Resumption of Play” are based on various start dates. The goal is to get players back on the playing fields in their league program as soon as it is safe to do so. The extended deadline for a franchise is June 15. More information will be provided no later than mid-May.