USOPC relaxes rules on athletes marketing themselves — It has been an Olympic tradition as predictable as the torch relay. Before every games, athletes would complain about a regulation that prevented them from marketing themselves at a time when they could reap the biggest profits. Now the controversial Rule 40 is changing. On Tuesday, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced it is following the International Olympic Committee’s lead in relaxing the long-standing regulation for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. Previously, no competitor could allow his or her name or likeness to be used for advertising purposes during a period that began just before the Olympics and extended several days after the closing ceremony. That meant only big-money IOC sponsors could benefit; any endorsement deals that athletes negotiated on their own were shut out. The USOPC will now allow American athletes to publicly thank their sponsors during the games. Sponsors can likewise issue congratulatory messages and produce generic advertisements.
Sun force decisive Game 5 in WNBA Finals — Alyssa Thomas had 17 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds to help the Connecticut Sun stave off elimination and force a decisive Game 5 of the WNBA Finals with a home 90-86 win over the Washington Mystics on Tuesday night. The title will be decided Thursday night in Washington with a first-time champion crowned. Thomas fell just short of the first triple-double in Finals history. Jonquel Jones had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Sun. Washington’s Elena Delle Donne, who left Game 2 with back spasms that an MRI later showed resulted from a herniated disk, was able to play more Tuesday night than in Game 3, when she was limited to 26 minutes. The league MVP had 11 points and five rebounds while playing 30 minutes.
Beavers extend Tinkle’s contract — Oregon State and Wayne Tinkle have agreed to a one-year extension of his men’s basketball coaching contract, the school announced Tuesday. The 53-year-old Tinkle has a deal that ends at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. Tinkle signed a six-year contract when he was hired in 2014. That deal was extended by two years in 2016. The Beavers are coming off a fourth-place finish in Pac-12 play, their best since the 1990 season. Tinkle heads into his sixth year as Oregon State coach. Tinkle has four years remaining on his updated contract. It calls for a salary of $2 million this season, $2.1 million in 2020-21 and $2.2 million in 2021-22 and 2022-23. According to the contract extension Tinkle signed in 2016, he has a buyout of $750,000 should he leave Oregon State before the end of the 2020-21 season. Tinkle is also eligible for a retention bonus of approximately $1 million should he stay through the end of the 2021-22 season.
Sharks bring back Marleau — Patrick Marleau is returning to San Jose. General manager Doug Wilson announced Tuesday that the Sharks’ all-time leader in games, goals and points is returning to his original team with a one-year, $700,000 contract after spending the past two seasons in Toronto. The 39-year-old Marleau left San Jose two summers ago to sign a three-year, $18.75 million contract in Toronto after the Sharks were unwilling to offer a deal longer than two years. Marleau had 43 goals and 41 assists in two seasons with the Maple Leafs before being traded to Carolina in June in a salary-cap move. The Hurricanes then bought Marleau out, making him a free agent. He worked out with his former Sharks teammates in San Jose over the summer but the team opted to go young instead of bringing Marleau back. That all changed following the rough start for San Jose, and now Marleau is back in teal. Marleau originally joined the Sharks as the No. 2 overall pick in 1997. He helped the team reach the conference final four times and the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 but never won it all.
Biles sets record as U.S. wins team gold — Simone Biles won a record 21st medal at the world gymnastics championships Tuesday in Stuttgart, Germany, as the United States retained its women’s team all-around title. It was Biles’ 15th career gold and broke a tie with Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina for the most medals overall by a woman at the world championships. She is now two short of Vitaly Scherbo’s all-time record of 23 among men or women. “Every year it feels better and better just because we’re adding to the legacy,” Biles said. “I feel like I never think of records. I just go out there and do what I came to do, which is compete for the country.” The U.S. team scored 172.330 points to beat second-place Russia by 5.801 points and win its seventh consecutive team title at an Olympics or world championships.
Jets QB Darnold cleared to play — Sam Darnold’s spleen is fully healthy and he will be back at quarterback for the struggling New York Jets. Darnold, a second-year pro out of USC, was cleared by doctors Tuesday to play this week after he missed three games while recovering from mononucleosis. He had medical tests to determine if the swelling in his spleen — a common symptom of the illness — had dissipated enough for him to play again. The 0-4 Jets announced in a Twitter post that Darnold would start Sunday at home against Dallas.
Fox Sports adds Gronk as analyst — Fox Sports has hired Rob Gronkowski as an NFL analyst. The network announced on Tuesday that the former New England Patriots tight end will make his debut during Thursday night’s pregame show before the Patriots-New York Giants game. Gronkowski retired at the end of last season after winning his third Super Bowl with the Patriots. He is expected to appear on Fox’s NFL studio show as well as be an analyst for some games. Fox Sports executive producer Brad Zager said in a statement that Gronkowski’s passion for the game and larger-than-life personality made him a great fit. Gronkowski was a four-time All-Pro selection during his nine seasons with New England. His 79 touchdowns are third-most ever among tight ends.
— From wire reports