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Creighton's Josh Jones: Giving up basketball hurts

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Creighton's Josh Jones: Giving up basketball hurts

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) As hard as it is for Creighton's Josh Jones to give up basketball, he says it's not worth risking his life to keep playing.

Doctors advised Jones to stop playing after he underwent a procedure Dec. 18 to locate and correct an atrial flutter. He faces more procedures to treat the heart condition that caused him to faint before a game three weeks ago.

He said he wanted to let their words soak in a few days before he made his announcement this week.

``My life is more important,'' he said Thursday as teammates practiced behind him at the Vinardi Athletic Center. ``The game has gotten me this far. I'm the same person with or without it. But right now, and maybe forever, I'm just stepping away from the game.''

Coach Greg McDermott said he sensed after he visited with Jones two weeks ago that it was doubtful Jones would return.

Jones had an initial health scare in 2007, when he needed an infected heart valve replaced. Doctors said the first procedure revealed additional concerns with Jones' heart. Jones said he'll undergo a second procedure in January to diagnose the other problems, and more treatment probably will follow.

He said it would have been impossible for him to play again this season.

The fifth-year senior is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in public relations.

Jones' situation has prompted an outpouring of support from the community. Though he started only 14 of his 108 career games, he's one of the Bluejays' most popular players.

He's an Omaha native who led Central High School, a few blocks from the Creighton campus, to three consecutive state championships.

``I've got aspirations to do other things,'' Jones said. ``I'm going to try to put my degree to use. I was going to do all these other things regardless, whenever my athletic career was going to end. Now it's time to start pursuing them early.''

Jones said walking has been his most strenuous activity since he passed out during warm-ups before the Dec. 6 game at Nebraska. He admitted to still picking up a basketball and dribbling it when he's hanging out at his family's home a few blocks from campus.

``I want to tell everybody I'm fine - I'm normal - I'm just not able to do high-intense things to put my heart rate at an unsafe rate that can put me down, make me pass out again or potentially cause death,'' he said. ``That's what the procedure is about, changing the complications of my heart to make me live a healthy life with a healthy heart.''

Jones played in eight games this season and usually was the first guard to come off the bench for the 16th-ranked Bluejays. He scored 18 points in a win over UAB. For his career he averaged 5.0 points and 15 minutes a game.

``Obviously, it's a sad deal for him,'' senior guard Grant Gibbs said. ``As much time as he's put into this game... If there is anybody who can handle this, it's definitely Josh and his personality. He's been tremendous, bouncing back and kind of looking toward the next phase of his life. He's one of those guys who can find good in anything. He's going to find a way to get through it.''

Jones plans to be on Creighton's bench at home games, and he said he'll hang around with teammates when he can.

``I'm still a great-spirited person,'' Jones said. ``I'm still smiling. I won't stop smiling, as much as it hurts.''

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Astros and Athletics clear benches, have a very non-socially distant brawl

Astros and Athletics clear benches, have a very non-socially distant brawl

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, the normalities of a baseball season will continue on. That means players and managers getting heated, arguments with umpires and benches clearing. But because of the risk the virus poses, MLB has asked for those moments to remain socially distant.

The Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics did not follow that rule on Sunday.

After Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch, he appeared to be exchanging words with a Houston bench coach. With no fans, the words can be heard loud and clear by everybody. That led to both benches clearing and not even six inches of separation between players. 

It's understandable for players to get angry and caught up in the moment, but this move by both teams is rather unacceptable given the current climate of the country and the sport. Though players are being tested constantly, this close contact between teams is unnecessary and only creates a larger risk for all involved.

The non-socially distant brawl comes at a bad time for baseball, as the league is dealing with numerous coronavirus-related issues. The St. Louis Cardinals have had at least 15 games postponed due to an outbreak within the organization, and that comes just after the Miami Marlins dealt with the same problem as well. Cleveland Indians pitcher Zach Plesac was reportedly sent home on Sunday after breaking protocol and going out with friends in Chicago on Saturday night.

Despite tightening up regulations for players, MLB still faces daily challenges while trying to operate a season during a global pandemic. Moments like the brawl between the Athletics and Astros don't help.

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Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence says there should be a college football season

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence says there should be a college football season

Amidst growing momentum in postponing the college football season to the spring, this year's biggest star has isn't mincing words on why there should be a season ithis fall. 

Hours after ESPN reported the Big Ten is looking to postpone fall sports while waiting to see if other Power 5 conferences were going to do the same, star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence tweeted his reasoning for having a fall season.

Lawrence has been vocal about the need for a 2020 season despite the complications of playing a contact sport during a pandemic.

"Players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting covid because the season/ teammates safety is on the line. Without the season, as we’ve seen already, people will not social distance or wear masks and take the proper precautions," Lawrence wrote on his Twitter thread. 

Back in June, Clemson announced 28 members of the athletic department tested positive for coronavirus, producing the highest return of positive tests around the country at the time. 

While those in positions of power continue to lean towards opting out of the fall season due to all the headaches that come with it, Lawerence's outward cry of public support to play next month could have some Power 5 presidents more hestitant than before. 

If anything, Lawrence's passion gives college football fans a glimour of hope in increasingly desperate times. 

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