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Scoreboard roundup — 3/31/21

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iStockBy ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

Portland 124, Detroit 101
Miami 92, Indiana 87
Brooklyn 120, Houston 108
Dallas 113, Boston 108
Minnesota 102, New York 101
Oklahoma City 113, Toronto 103
Utah 111, Memphis 107
San Antonio 120, Sacramento 106
Phoenix 121, Chicago 116
Milwaukee 112, LA Lakers 97


Buffalo 6, Philadelphia 1
Toronto 3, Winnipeg 1
Colorado 9, Arizona 3
Los Angeles 4, Vegas 2
San Jose 4, Minnesota 2
Calgary at Vancouver (Postponed)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Supreme Court questions NCAA limits on student athlete compensation

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Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty ImagesBy DEVIN DWYER, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — With March Madness in full swing, the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Wednesday faced off against a group of former college athletes at the U.S. Supreme Court in a long-running dispute over limits on education-related compensation.

The NCAA and its biggest, most lucrative athletic conferences want the justices to overturn a ruling abolishing the limits, saying it would erode the amateur nature of college sports and open the door to “pay for play.”

The athletes argue the rules unfairly suppress their ability to be rewarded for valuable skills and abilities in violation of federal antitrust law.

The case is one of the biggest tests in decades for the NCAA and its limits on athlete compensation, and it could dramatically alter the nature of college sports, some experts said.

While the NCAA allows schools to provide full tuition, room and board for athletes, it places limits on education-related benefits such as computers, paid internships and summer abroad programs which can value tens of thousands of dollars.

“In the present world, as the district court recognized, we permit student athletes to receive the ‘actual and necessary’ educational expenses,” NCAA attorney Seth Waxman told the justices during oral arguments in the case. “And the (lower) court said ‘no, you can’t place any limit on that’ … that permits schools to allow pay for play.”

Waxman argued that amateurism is a defining feature of college sports and that lifting caps on compensation would create “a regime in which student athletes can be paid large sums of money on account of their athletic performance, which does not distinguish college from professional sports.”

A majority of justices appeared concerned by the association’s position.

Chief Justice John Roberts noted the tens of thousands of dollars in insurance policies some schools pay for their athletes.

“Doesn’t that undercut amateurism?” he said.

Justice Clarence Thomas noted the disparity between coaches’ salaries and what players are allowed to receive.

“it strikes me as odd that the coaches’ salaries have ballooned and they’re in the amateur ranks as are the players,” Thomas said.

Justice Samuel Alito showed empathy for athletes, who he said “lead a pretty hard life” and face “shockingly low graduation rates.”

“So the argument is they are recruited, they’re used up and they’re cast aside without even a college degree. So they say, how can this be defended in the name of amateurism?” Alito said.

Justice Elena Kagan accused the NCAA of “very high-minded” talk of amateurism when the schools have essentially “gotten together into an organization that has undisputed market power and they use that power to fix athletic salaries at extremely low levels.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh said plainly that “anti-trust law should not be a cover for exploitation of student athletes.”

But several justices also voiced support for the association’s need to maintain a distinction in college sports.

Roberts worried aloud that rolling back too many limits on student athlete compensation could be “like a game of Jenga.” “You pull out one log and then another, and everything’s fine, then another and another and all of a sudden the whole thing comes crashing down.”

“I worry a lot about judges getting into the business of deciding how amateur sports should be run,” added Justice Stephen Breyer.

Thomas said he was “perplexed” about how to ensure “an important distinction between student athletes and professional athletes without (the NCAA) constantly being involved in litigation.”

The athletes’ attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, repeatedly sought to assure the court that the nature of college sports would not be altered by ending the cap on education-related expenses covered by schools.

“We heard over and over again that each loss was going to destroy college sports … it’s never happened,” Kessler said. “We’re not challenging any restrictions or rules regarding that they have to be students. And, in fact, the education-related benefits here would help them to succeed as students.”

The court is expected to hand down a decision in the case by the end of June.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Report: Seahawks sign WR Tyler Lockett to 4-year extension

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Abbie Parr(SEATTLE) — Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett has signed a 4-year, $69.2 million extension with the team, according to an ESPN report. The deal includes $37 million guaranteed.

Lockett is coming off of a career year in Seattle, posting personal highs across the board with 100 receptions and 1054 yards in 16 games.

Some of Lockett’s teammates took to Twitter to congratulate the 27-year-old on his pay day, including quarterback Russell Wilson.

“You deserve it all,” Wilson wrote. “Love you bro!”


Lockett has had a successful career so far with the Seahawks, making the All Pro team as a returner in his rookie season. He’s racked up 5148 yards from scrimmage, along with 38 touchdowns.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

NYC sports arenas welcoming fully vaccinated fans back, other businesses may follow

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littleny/iStockBy Ivan Pereira, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Across the country, tens of millions of Americans received a tangible bill of health following their vaccinations against the coronavirus.

And in New York’s biggest arenas, that vaccination card will be their ticket back to indoor events.

This week, Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center will be the first major indoor sports venues to allow fans who show proof of full vaccination to purchase tickets to NBA and NHL games, albeit with limited seating and a mask mandate.

Ben Diamond, a Knicks and Rangers fan who started the blog Concrete New York, that has chronicled the city’s sports fans’ thoughts and experiences during the pandemic, told ABC News that he and other fans were relieved when the arena announced the plan.

“I’d personally feel better going to the Garden if I was fully vaccinated, and knew that others had their shots,” said Diamond, 25, who received his first vaccine shot last week.

Public health experts and business experts predict that more indoor businesses will ask for vaccination confirmations from customers as more locations begin reopening. However, they warned that such a program would not immediately bring their businesses back to pre-pandemic times, as millions of Americans are still waiting for their shots and thousands of new COVID-19 cases are still recorded daily.

Dr. Dean Winslow, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told ABC News that MSG and Barclays Center’s strategy is effective since it doesn’t rely heavily on vaccination rates to safely allow fans inside.

The arenas are only at 10% capacity, and any ticket buyer that is not 14 days out of their second shot will have to present a negative coronavirus test, according to MSG’s website. All fans must also adhere to the mask mandate, regardless of their vaccination status.

“I do think people do have to understand that any time you have to gather indoors, outside of your immediate family, you are assuming a risk, but the risk [at MSG] is manageable,” Winslow told ABC News.

Winslow said other sports locations will likely be instituting similar policies during the spring and summer if they want to welcome their fans back safely — but it may take time.

“Right now, with such a small percentage vaccinated, it’s going to be a few months before you see these policies adopted on a widespread basis,” he predicted.

Lauren Bock Mullins, an assistant professor of management at the College of Staten Island, told ABC News the policy will likely go beyond sporting events.

Indoor businesses that have been most impacted by the pandemic, such as movie theaters, concert halls, shops and restaurants, have been yearning to get their customers back without spreading the virus, she said.

In many cities and towns, those businesses have reopened and have strict health policies, including limited seating and mask mandates.

Mullins said a proof of vaccination option may be used by bigger businesses and chains first, but smaller mom-and-pops will be keeping their eyes on the plan’s effectiveness.

“If they do it well, I don’t see why others would not want to follow suit,” Mullins told ABC News.

Public health experts warned that businesses that do impose a policy that allows for more vaccinated customers to enter a venue need to be careful.

Philip Alcabes, the director of the public health program at Hunter College, said that the country’s vaccination rate is moving at a good pace nationally, but there are still some counties that are lagging behind, particularly in lower-income and minority neighborhoods.

Proof of vaccination policies, at this point, would accentuate the vaccine inequality on an economic level, Alcabes said.

“These sorts of systems that require people to show proof of something always invite opportunities to have inequities,” Alcabes told ABC News.

The professor added that there is still the threat of rising cases from the COVID-19 variants, and people need to stick to social distancing, even if they already received their shots, until more people are vaccinated.

Alcabes said if indoor businesses do start implementing the proof of vaccination policy, people who have been hesitant to get the vaccine may do so, if only to begin resuming their normal lives.

Diamond said he has heard from a lot of sports fans in the New York area who are more than willing to get their shots and return to their pre-pandemic activities.

He said fans feel a sense of appreciation and acknowledgment when they see rewards being offered to those getting vaccinated.

“Some fans will say, ‘OK I don’t want to miss out on this,'” Diamond said. “They feel they’ve done a good job being safe.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 3/30/21

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iStockBy ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:


Atlanta 5, Boston 3
Milwaukee 6, Texas 3
Colorado 2, Chicago White Sox 1
Arizona 3, Cleveland 2
LA Dodgers 6, LA Angels 4
Pittsburgh 1, Minnesota 1

Tampa Bay 5, Detroit 0

Charlotte 114, Washington 104
Denver 104 Philadelphia 95
Phoenix 117, Atlanta 110
Orlando 103, LA Clippers 96

Florida 4, Detroit 1
NY Rangers 5, Washington 2
Montreal 4, Edmonton 0
Columbus 3, Tampa Bay 1
Boston 5, New Jersey 4 (SO)
Chicago 2, Carolina 1
Nashville 3, Dallas 2 (OT)


Gonzaga 85, Southern Cal 66
UCLA 51, Michigan 49

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.