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Colorado officials make pitch to Cincy's Jones

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Colorado officials make pitch to Cincy's Jones

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn made his pitch to Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones on Monday.

``A productive day,'' is how Bohn described the meetings that lasted about six hours at Folsom Field, the Buffaloes' football stadium.

Jones is Bohn's top target in his search to replace Jon Embree, who was fired last week with three years left on his contract after going 4-21 in two seasons.

Jones and his wife, Barbara, flew back to Cincinnati on Monday night after spending most of the day meeting with Bohn and other Colorado officials.

The Denver Post said a decision whether to leave Cincinnati for Boulder, Colo., is expected on Tuesday.

Jones is scheduled to meet with the media in Cincinnati on Tuesday to discuss the Bearcats' upcoming bowl game.

Jones also is being courted by Purdue. He met with Boilermakers officials Sunday in a quick trip to the West Lafayette, Ind., campus.

Among those in attendance at the meetings on the Colorado campus were Jones' agent, Trace Armstrong, university president Bruce Benson and school chancellor Phil DiStefano.

The Buffaloes are reportedly ready to offer Jones $13.5 million over five years, a hefty jump from the less than $1 million annual salary Embree received. That would make Jones the highest-paid coach in school history.

Jones, who made about $1.5 million this season, is 50-27 as a head coach, including 23-14 in three seasons at Cincinnati. The Bearcats (9-3) are preparing to face Duke (6-6) in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 27 in Charlotte, N.C.

Jones followed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly at Cincinnati and also at Central Michigan, where Jones was 27-13 in three seasons beginning in 2004.

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AP Freelancer Monica Costello in Boulder, Colo., contributed to this report.

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

You know what’s fun? Winning Metropolitan Division titles. 

No, it’s not as good as the big prize. The Capitals will never top their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. But winning a competitive division against their biggest rivals five years in a row? Pretty, pretty good. 

Washington took its fifth in a row officially on Tuesday when the NHL announced that the regular season had concluded thanks to the ongoing coronavirus. The Capitals just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers with 90 standings points to 89. The difference over 69 games? One extra Caps game going into overtime for a single point. 

Credit to the Flyers for making a late run. No one was playing better in the NHL than Philadelphia just before the season was halted. Whether that carries over into the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains to be seen. 

But the Capitals should take pride in that streak. It’s hard to do in an age of parity. They play in a division where the Pittsburgh Penguins won two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons. The two teams slugged it out three times in the second round. That’s the luck of the draw, and so four straight division titles -- and two Presidents’ Trophies -- meant just one Cup for Washington. 

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It’s also rare to dominate a division the way the Capitals have for five years. The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division title every year from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, the Detroit Red Wings won the Central Division an astounding eight times from 2001 to 2009. It doesn’t get you a championship -- Washington won the expired Southeast Division from 2008 to 2011 -- but it does mean you played great hockey year after year.

And to do it in the reconstituted Patrick Division, where long-time rivals like the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils joined with newer rivals Carolina and Columbus, makes it even sweeter. Add another banner to the rafters at Capital One Arena. The Caps are the class of the Metropolitan Division yet again. 

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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