Good Morning, Big Blue Nation!!! I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday morning around the Bluegrass (and wherever else ‘Cats fans may be reading this from today). I don’t want to start your day off with any sort of doom and gloom, so let’s cover a few positive, fun topics before we discuss some of the issues swirling around the return of two of the major professional sports leagues.
Final Round of the Charles Schwab Challenge
There are live sports on television now with the return of the PGA Tour at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. So, once again, Sundays mean professional golfers competing for a title. There are a couple of good Kentucky connections that are right in the thick of things going into the final round today as well. Louisville native Justin Thomas is 12-under and in a log jam of golfers just one shot behind leader Xander Suchauffele. Thomas tees off at 1:00 (ET) this afternoon.
After shooting a 66 in the 3rd round (-4), Louisville's Justin Thomas is currently in a tie for 2nd at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He sits at -12 for the tournament, one stroke off of the leader in Xander Schauffele.
(Photo Courtesy: Associated Press/David J. Phillip) pic.twitter.com/XU7WFoAZE8
— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) June 13, 2020
Also, friend of Kentucky Sports Radio, Aaron Flener. is the caddy for J.T. Poston who is currently sitting in 15th place at 9-under. On Friday, Poston carded a 66 at the request of birthday boy Drew Franklin and is lurking four shots off of the lead. Poston will tee off at Noon (ET). TV Coverage will pick up on CBS from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) June 12, 2020
Jack Pilgrim Goes to Tennessee
Despite some of the rumblings going on around the NBA, basketball was being played yesterday, albeit in an open gym in Brentwood, Tennessee. Our very own Jack Pilgrim decided to make the trip down to check in on top 2022 Kentucky basketball prospect Skyy Clark. Also participating in the open gym was Alex Poythress along with other NBA players Darius Garland, Robert Covington, and Ian Clark. Go check out Jack’s article for some highlights and more coverage from yesterday’s open gym.
Olivier Sarr’s Eligibility Waiver is Submitted
While this wasn’t exactly a mystery, ESPN’s Dick Vitale did confirm yesterday that Kentucky has submitted the necessary paperwork to appeal for Sarr’s immediate eligibility following his transfer from Wake Forest. This waiver was almost certainly submitted immediately upon him signing back in May, but it now has the Dickie V seal of approval after his phone conversation with Coach Calipari yesterday evening.
BBB @UKCoachCalipari told me tonight that all the paper work for OLIVIER SARR has been submitted to @NCAA for a waiver to be eligible instantly .To me a no brainer /ALL PLAYERS AT A SCHOOL WITH A COACHING CHANGE should be allowed to transfer & be allowed to play .
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 14, 2020
NBA Players Uncertain About Returning?
Despite having a plan in place to return to action on July 30th, the last few days have been met with a lot of questions regarding the return of the National Basketball Association. Everything from quarantine restrictions in Orlando, to the racism issues facing our country, to the ability of “at-risk” coaches being allowed on the bench during games, are at the forefront of potential hurdles that the NBA and the Player’s Association need to come to agreements on. These issues were raised earlier this week during a conference call with players, led by Player’s Association Vice President Kyrie Irving.
The NBA and NBPA are nearing completion on items needed to reach a final agreement on parameters of a return-to-play, sources said. Some players with hesitation have been discussing a number of issues on return, including family concerns, COVID-19, social justice, and more.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2020
One respected NBA player tells me: “Once we start playing basketball again, the news will turn from systemic racism to ‘who did what’ in the game last night. It’s a crucial time for us to be able to play and blend that to impact what’s happening in our communities.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2020
There is also a group of players, including former Kentucky Wildcats Bam Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox, who are seeking potential insurance policies before returning to play in Orlando. Adebayo, Fox, and a few of their 2017 Draft Class peers are eligible for rookie extensions at the end of this season and the uncertainty of the Orlando bubble, along with the potential for injury after several months off, have them seeking some ways to protect themselves against their potential loss of future earnings.
Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox, Kyle Kuzma, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum – members of the 2017 draft class soon eligible rookie extensions — are talking with NBPA about facilitating with league on insurance allowances for players. https://t.co/lRskauNjSK
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 13, 2020
Major League Baseball Continues to Negotiate
The NBA may have a few hurdles to still overcome before everyone is on board for a return to play, but the MLB has massive issues to work out before games can even be scheduled. A few days ago, Major League Baseball issued its latest proposal, which included a 72-game season and players earning about 80% of their prorated salaries. However, the players rejected that offer on Saturday and have stated that they will not provide a counter offer. This thread of tweets from ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan explains things better than I can, but it appears that Monday will be a very important day for those of us that hope to have baseball this summer.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has rejected MLB's latest proposal and will not counter, sources tell ESPN. In a letter to the league, the union asked MLB to inform it of how many games it intends to play and when players should report.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 13, 2020
From MLBPA letter: "We demand that you inform us of your plans by close of business on Monday, June 15."
This isn't to suggest Monday will be the end of this and we'll know what sort of baseball season there will be, but the players are asking for a season and asking by Monday.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 13, 2020
That’s your news to start your day. This is the only June 14th of 2020 that you will ever get, so let’s make it a great one!