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National Sports Headlines: 5/21/20

Sports

May 21st, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Hamlin gets Wednesday win…NFL reinstates Aldon Smith…A’s have rent issues

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Denny Hamlin became the winner of NASCAR’s first Wednesday race in 36 years when rain stopped the event with 20 laps remaining at Darlington. The Daytona 500 winner was out front but out of fresh tires and trying to hang on when he got unintended help from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. The reigning Cup champion caused Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution. A furious Elliott waited for Busch on the apron of the track and flipped Busch the middle finger as he passed.

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The NFL has conditionally reinstated Aldon Smith from an indefinite suspension for off-field issues, allowing the pass rusher to take part in team activities with the Dallas Cowboys. Smith will be able to participate in the Cowboys’ virtual offseason program starting next week and can meet with teammates and coaches. He hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2015 and was signed to a one-year contract last month despite his uncertain playing status.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The head of the agency that oversees the Oakland Coliseum says the Athletics have informed him they had “no ability to pay” the annual $1.2 million rent on the facility. Henry Gardner tells the Bay Area News Group that the A’s say they’ve been unable to generate revenue because they haven’t used the Coliseum this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gardner says the Coliseum is willing to negotiate and waive some items in the Athletics lease, but, “we can’t just say no rent.”

UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA Division I Council has voted to lift a moratorium on voluntary workouts by football and basketball players effective June 1. The decision comes as a growing number of college leaders express confidence that fall sports will be played in some form. Notre Dame and LSU are among a number of schools that have announced plans to reopen their campuses for the fall semester. A decision on other sports was pending.

HOUSTON (AP) — Stephen F. Austin has received postseason bans and agreed to several sanctions including probation, scholarship reductions and the forfeiture of wins for having low scores on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate. The sanctions will bar the football, men’s basketball and baseball teams from postseason tournaments for one year. The three teams were on a nationwide list released Tuesday that faced bans for posting a four-year score below 930. The men’s basketball team had the lowest score of any team in Division I at 810.