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Sports Headlines: 5/22/20


May 22nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

NHLPA voting on 24-team playoffs…NFL eyes officiating help, alternative to onside kick

UNDATED (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press the NHL Players’ Association’s executive board is voting on a 24-team playoff proposal as they return to play format. Results of the vote could be in as soon as Friday night. Under the proposal plan, the top four teams in each of the Eastern and Western Conferences would play each other for seeding while the remaining 16 teams face off in a best-of-five series play-in round to set the final 16. Even if the executive board votes to approve the format, the league and players union still need to negotiate other details, including health and safety protocols.

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is considering adding a “booth umpire” and a senior technology adviser to the referee to assist the officiating crew. NFL clubs received a list of potential rules changes on Thursday. Owners will vote on the proposals at the upcoming league meeting to be held by video conference on May 28. If owners don’t approve adding a booth umpire and/or a senior technology adviser, the league could test a version of both rules in the preseason for possible future implementation.

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL has come up with a proposal that would give teams another option instead of an onside kick, permitting a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play. The kicking team would attempt a fourth-and-15 from its 25-yard line. This could be done a maximum of two times per game. Onside kicks have become infrequent and rarely successful since the NFL changed rules on alignments for kickoffs.

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Chase Briscoe won the Xfinity Series’ return to action at Darlington Raceway on Wednesday, two days after the race was postponed by rain. Briscoe used two strong restarts and a quick pit stop to finish on top. He got the lead out of the pits during the final caution, then pulled away from Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier (AHL’-gy-ur) on the subsequent restart with seven laps to go for his fourth career win and second this season.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt has removed the interim title and made Candice Storey Lee the first woman to run a Southeastern Conference athletics program. Lee is one of only five women and the second black woman in charge of a Power Five program. The 41-year-old Lee is a former Commodores basketball captain. She took over as interim athletic director on Feb. 4 when Malcolm Turner resigned after one year on the job.