Mar 21, 2020 3:44 PM

USA Track joins swimming in pushing for Olympic postponement

Posted Mar 21, 2020 3:44 PM

DENVER (AP) — U.S. Olympic leaders face a growing rebellion after the USA Track and Field chief added to the call for a postponement of the Tokyo Games because of the mushrooming coronavirus crisis.

CEO Max Siegel sent a two-page note to his counterpart at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Sarah Hirshland, asking the federation to advocate for a delay. It came late Friday, only a few hours after USA Swimming’s CEO sent a similar letter.

Now, the sports that accounted for 65 of America’s 121 medals and 175 of its 554 athletes at the last Summer Games are on record in urging, in Siegel’s words, “the USOPC, as a leader within the Olympic Movement, to use its voice and speak up for the athletes.”

Other national committees are already doing that. The federations in Norway and Brazil each went public with requests to postpone.

“Our clear recommendation is that the Olympic Games in Tokyo shall not take place before the COVID-19 situation is under firm control on a global scale,” Norway’s federation wrote in a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach.

The U.S. brings the largest contingent to every Summer Games and wins the most medals — both factors that lead have led NBC to pay billions to televise the games through 2032. It would seem to give the USOPC leverage in talks about almost any subject with the IOC, but the federation has been reluctant to use its power. It spent years, in fact, trying to smooth over tense relations with its international partners.

And since Hirshland took over as CEO in 2018, the focus has been inward, as the sex-abuse scandals that have consumed American sports have shifted the focus to athlete welfare and safety.

Hirshland and the USOPC board chair, Susanne Lyons, were insistent that the USOPC won’t sacrifice athlete safety in the current crisis. But they stopped well short of pushing the IOC toward a postponement.

“The decision about the games does not lie directly with us,” Lyons said in a conference call with reporters Friday. “It lies with WHO, the Japanese government and the IOC. Under no circumstance would the USOPC send atheltes into harm’s way if didn’t think it was safe.”

Leaders of the track and swimming teams don’t appear willing to take that risk, either, though whether they’ll act on their own — without the sign-off from the USOPC — remains in question. The leader of the third sport that makes up the backbone of the Olympics — gymnastics — has sent a survey to athletes, asking for their thoughts on what the USA Gymnastics stance should be.

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Mar 21, 2020 3:44 PM
🏀 Azubuike and Dotson Named Associated Press All-Americans

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas senior Udoka Azubuike and sophomore Devon Dotson were each named Associated Press All-America Second Team, the AP announced Friday. The Associated Press All-America Team was selected and voted on by a media panel of 65.

Azubuike and Dotson gives Kansas an Associated Press All-America selection each of the last five seasons. Last year, Dedric Lawson was a third-team selection, while Devonte’ Graham was a first-team choice in 2018. Frank Mason III (first) and Josh Jackson (third) were named in 2017 with Mason being named 2017 Associated Press Player of the Year. Perry Ellis was a second-team selection in 2016. In head coach Bill Self’s 17 seasons at Kansas, there have been 18 Jayhawks named to the Associated Press All-America teams (see below).

Azubuike, a senior from Delta, Nigeria, led Division I in field goal percentage at 74.8%, which helped his career percentage of 74.4% break the all-time Division I field goal percentage record of UCF’s Tacko Fall (74.0%). Azubuike led the Big 12 in rebounding (10.5 rpg) and double-doubles (15) and was second in the conference for blocked shots at 2.6 per game. A unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection who was named Big 12 Player of the Year, Azubuike was the only player in the conference to average a double-double (13.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg).

Dotson led the Big 12 in scoring at 18.1 ppg, steals (2.1) and free throws made (142). The Charlotte, N.C., sophomore guard ranked among the Big 12 leaders in 20-point games (second at 9), field goal percentage (second at 46.8), free throw percentage (fifth at 83.0), assists (fifth at 4.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 1.7). Dotson became just the fifth Jayhawk to lead the Big 12 in scoring joining Drew Gooden in 2002, Wayne Simien in 2005, Frank Mason III in 2017 and Dedric Lawson in 2019. This season, Dotson was an All-Big 12 First Team (unanimous selection), a Bob Cousy Award Point Guard of the Year Award Finalist, USBWA All-District VI. He has amassed 986 career points in only two seasons at Kansas.

Associated Press All-America Selections Under Bill Self (since 2003-04)Season – Name (AP team)

2020 – Udoka Azubuike (2nd); Devon Dotson (2nd)2019 – Dedric Lawson (3rd)2018 – Devonte’ Graham (1st)2017 – Frank Mason III (1st; AP Player of the Year); Josh Jackson (3rd)2016 – Perry Ellis (2nd)2014 – Andrew Wiggins (2nd)2013 – Ben McLemore (2nd); Jeff Withey (3rd)2012 – Thomas Robinson (1st); Tyshawn Taylor (3rd)2011 – Marcus Morris (2nd)2010 – Sherron Collins (2nd); Cole Aldrich (3rd)2009 – Sherron Collins (3rd)2005 – Wayne Simien (1st)2004 – Wayne Simien (3rd)

Udoka Azubuike career honors2019-20: Associated Press All-America Second Team; Naismith Trophy Finalist (1 of 5); ESPN.com All-America First Team; CBSSports.com All-America First Team; Bleacher Report All-America Second Team; Led the nation in field goal percentage (74.8%); Big 12 Player of the Year (B12, AP); All-Big 12 First Team (B12, AP); Big 12 All-Defensive Team; Sporting News All-America Second Team; USBWA All-District VI; Bleacher Report All-America Second Team; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist (1 of 5); Wooden Award Ballot (1 of 15); Academic All-Big 12 First Team; 3x Big 12 Player of the Week (1/27, 2/10, 2/24); Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List (1 of 12); Maui Invitational Co-MVP & All-Tournament Team; NABC Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 20); Preseason All-Big 12; Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year

Academic All-Big 12 First Team [2018-19]; Preseason All-Big 12 HM [2018-19]; All-Big 12 Third Team [2017-18]; Academic All-Big 12 Second Team [2017-18]; Led the nation in field goal percentage (77.0%) [2017-18].

Devon Dotson career honors2019-20: Associated Press All-America Second Team; ESPN.com All-America First Team; CBSSports.com All-America Second Team; Sporting News All-America Second Team; USBWA All-District VI; Bleacher Report All-America First Team; All-Big 12 First Team (Coaches & AP); Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List (1 of 12); Wooden Award National Ballot; Bob Cousy Award Finalist (1 of 5); 3x Big 12 Player of the Week (12.16.19, 12.2.19, 2.3.20); Maui Invitational Co-MVP & All-Tournament Team; NABC Player of the Year Watch List (1 of 20); Preseason Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention; Preseason All-Big 12

Big 12 All-Tournament Team [2019]; All-Big 12 Third Team [2019]; Big 12 All-Freshman Team [2019]; CBS Sports/USBWA Freshman of the Week (2.12); Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (12.31); Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Candidate (1 of 20)