- Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is once again helping coach the Sooners — at least for now — due to coronavirus issues.
The Sooners had postponed last Saturday’s game in West Virginia, temporarily pausing organized team activities due to recent positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing throughout the program. The situation impacted assistant coaches, prompting Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley to ask Stoops for help. Riley said Stoops was on the field Tuesday helping the coach as the 13th-ranked Sooners prepared to host Baylor on Saturday.
“It was great,” Riley said. “It’s nice. It’s been in our waist pack, so to speak, the whole time. If we’ve had an associate who’s fallen off, we’ve got a Hall of Famer sitting on the bench, so that’s a pretty good bench if you have that guy.” can call.
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The 60-year-old Stoops led the Sooners to 10 conference championships and a national title in 18 seasons and had a career record of 190-48 in Oklahoma.
“When Lincoln asked me if I would be willing to help out in a coaching role while he was a little understaffed, I didn’t hesitate to say yes,” Stoops said in a statement. “Of course, I’m happy to do whatever it takes to support the team for as long as I’m asked.”
- Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda was transferred from the intensive care unit, although he remains hospitalized in Southern California.
Los Angeles Dodgers spokesman Steve Brener said Tuesday that the team’s 93-year-old former manager is undergoing rehab at the Orange County hospital. Lasorda has been in the hospital since November 8, although the team didn’t make it public until a week later.
- Major league baseball players donate $500,000 to support minor leagues whose seasons have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Major League Baseball Players Association announced Tuesday that it is donating money through the Major League Baseball Players Trust to More Than Baseball, a nonprofit organization that benefits smaller leagues.
The big league season was cut from 162 to 60 games because of the pandemic, resulting in a pro rata pay cut. Minor league schedules were wiped out, and big league teams gave players on minor league contracts $400 weekly stipends through May 31; Many teams extended the grants over the summer.
“Without a season, many minor-league players have experienced major financial hardship,” Leonor Colon, the union’s senior director of international and domestic player operations, said in a statement.
Tuesday’s donation was part of a $1 million pledge to minor leagues announced by the Players Trust on June 17. Founded in March 2018, More Than Baseball funds affordable housing, food, financial counseling and mental health support for smaller leagues. The money will go to the Minor League Grant Program for players on minor league contracts over two years starting July 1, 2020.