Kobe Bryant and the rest of this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class won’t be inducted in 2020 — or at the birthplace of basketball.
The Hall announced Friday that the enshrinement ceremony will be held May 13-15, 2021, and the entire festivities will be moved to Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
This year was to be a highlight for the Hall of Fame, located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Bryant, killed in January in a helicopter crash, headlined a decorated class featuring Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett that would have been enshrined in the recently renovated museum.
But the coronavirus pandemic scuttled those plans and hit the Hall so hard that it eliminated several full-time positions and cut senior management pay in the 25-40% range.
Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva says the rescheduled enshrinement festivities, the diminished museum visitation and the uncertainty regarding the Hall’s college and high school basketball events this fall “has forced us to make these very difficult decisions.”
Mohegan Sun is a long-time partner of the Hall. Doleva says it can a operate a “near-bubble” to provide a secure environment for guests.
Charleston Southern is suspending its 2020 football season. The school is part of the Division I Big South Conference and competes in the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Big South and the NCAA have canceled its plans for a fall championship, although the league did let member institutions play non-conference games if they wanted in the fall.
Charleston Southern said in it statement Friday the environment with COVID-19 was too “uncertain” to go forward in the fall. The school said the decision will let the football team prepare for games in the spring.
The Las Vegas Raiders have taken edge rusher Maxx Crosby off the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Crosby was placed on the list last week. The list was created for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with an infected person.
He was removed on Friday and took part in his first practice.
Crosby is being counted on to contribute much more after recording 10 sacks as a rookie. He is slated to be a starting defensive end and is the top pass rusher on a team that has struggled to generate consistent pressure in recent years.
The ASUN Conference says it is postponing all fall sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement from the ASUN’s Presidents’ Council on Friday also says that providing a spring season for men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball is a priority.
“We’re not in the position today to guarantee it will happen, but we can promise to make every effort to get there. We owe that to our student-athletes, our athletic departments and our institutions,” ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart said in a statement.
League schools may continue with such activities like training and practice in accordance with NCAA, local and state guidelines.
The nine-team league operates mostly in the Southeast and does not play football. It is formally known as the Atlantic Sun Conference.