The US Open will return to NBC this year, with Fox Sports opting out of its 12-year contract with the US Golf Association, the USGA announced. “Partnering with NBCUniversal, including Golf Channel, gives us an unparalleled opportunity to connect and engage with the core golf audience more directly and routinely, and as a nonprofit, to continue to have a significant and lasting impact on the game,” USGA chief executive Mike Davis said in a statement. The tournament, one of golf’s four majors, had been scheduled for last week at Winged Foot in New York’s Westchester County, an early novel coronavirus hot spot. It will be played at the club Sept. 17-20, which means that the final Sunday of the tournament will be up against Fox Sports’ moneymaker: NFL games. NBC has no daytime NFL games, and the final round of the US Open will segue into the network’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. Fox also has conflicts with its baseball and college football programming. According to the AP, Fox considered moving this year’s US Open telecast to Fox Sports 1 but Davis was not open to the idea. The Open will be the second of the majors this year. The PGA Championship will take place Aug. 6-9, followed by the Open and the Masters on Nov. 12-15. The British Open was canceled because of the coronavirus. NBC’s acquisition is effective immediately. In addition to the US Open, it will telecast the Aug. 3-9 US Women’s Amateur Aug. 3-9, the US Amateur Aug. 10-16, and the US Women’s Open Dec. 10-13.
Michigan St. lands prized basketball recruit
Michigan high school basketball standout Emoni Bates, a 6-foot-9-inch guard who was the first sophomore to be named Gatorade’s National Player of the Year, committed to play at Michigan State for the class of 2022. Bates averaged 32 points this year, but missed his chance to help Ypsilanti Lincoln High School repeat as state champions due to the coronavirus pandemic . . . Stephanie Watts is returning to North Carolina for a final season after transferring to Southern California for a year. The former Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year would return after receiving an additional year of eligibility from the NCAA. She played four games for USC last year as a graduate transfer before having knee surgery. Watts, who averaged averaged 15.5 points and 6.9 rebounds through her first three years with the Tar Heels, was one of multiple UNC players to transfer in 2019 in the aftermath of an outside program review of concerns over player treatment. It led to the resignation of Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell and the hiring of Courtney Banghart from Princeton . . . The Texas Tech football team added another graduate transfer from a Southeastern Conference power by signing former LSU safety Eric Monroe a week after running back Chadarius Townsend came over from Alabama. Monroe played in LSU’s 42-25 victory over Clemson for the national championship last season and recorded a tackle in the 63-28 win over Oklahoma in the semifinals.
Ben Mee sparks Burnley to narrow win
Ben Mee marked his 300th league appearance for Burnley by clinching a 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace on Monday and keeping his team in an unexpected push for European qualification. A three-year wait for a goal ended for Mee with a header in the 62nd minute, moving Burnley up to eighth in the English Premier League — seven points from the Champions League places with six games to go . . . Juventus traded Miralem Pjanić to Barcelona in exchange for Arthur in a direct swap on Monday. Juventus paid an $80 million transfer fee for Arthur. He signed a five-year contract with the eight-time defending Serie A champion. Barcelona, meanwhile, paid $60 million for Pjanić, who signed a four-year contract . . . A day after a 2-0 loss at Villarreal, Spanish club Valencia fired coach Albert Celades. Valencia won only one of its five games after the coronavirus break and 15 of the 41 matches it played under Celades in all competitions, losing 14 and drawing 12.
Wizards G John Wall not with team
John Wall will not join the Washington Wizards for the resumption of the NBA season this summer, ending the chances of the five-time All-Star guard playing his first game since 2018. General manager Tommy Sheppard effectively ruled out Wall returning this season when he said the 29-year-old wouldn’t be part of the Wizards’ traveling party to Central Florida. Among the factors in the decision was a cap of 35 people per team in the quarantined bubble at Walt Disney World. The COVID-19 pandemic also hindered Wall’s progress in his rehab from multiple surgeries. . . . Colin Kaepernick and director Ava DuVernay are teaming up for a six-part Netflix dramatic series based on the free agent quarterback’s high school years called “Colin in Black & White,” which will explore “the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years,” Kaepernick said.