FOOTBALL

The first night of the NFL draft averaged a record 15.6 million viewers on television, easily shattering the record set six years ago.

Thursday night’s first round was aired on ABC, ESPN, the NFL Network and ESPN Deportes. The coverage peaked from 8:45-9 p.m. when 19.6 million viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen. That is up 37 percent over last year’s 11.4 million.

The previous high was 12.4 million in 2014, when the draft was held in early May.

The Houston Texans agreed to a three-year, $66 million contract extension with left tackle Laremy Tunsil, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Tunsil had one year left on his contract that will pay him $10.35 million this season.

The Los Angeles Rams announced the signings of linebacker Leonard Floyd and defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, after quarterback Jared Goff restructured his contract to create salary cap room.

BASEBALL

DALKOWSKI DIES: Steve Dalkowski, a hard-throwing, wild left-hander whose minor league career inspired the creation of Nuke LaLoosh in the movie “Bull Durham,” has died. He was 80.

He died Sunday at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. His sister, Patricia Cain, said Friday he had several preexisting conditions that were complicated when he became infected with the new coronavirus. Dalkowski had been in assisted living for 26 years because of alcoholic dementia.

Dalkowski never reached the major leagues but was said to have thrown well over 100 mph.

“Fastest I ever saw,” then-retired Ted Williams said after facing Dalkowski during batting practice at spring training in 1963, according to a first-person story by Bull Durham director and writer Ron Shelton, a former minor league player.

He averaged 17.6 strikeouts and 18.7 walks per nine innings at Class D Kingsport in 1957, throwing 39 wild pitches in 62 innings as he went 1-8. That Aug. 31, he struck out 24 and walked 17 or 18 – records differ – in an 8-4 loss to Bluefield, hitting four and throwing six wild pitches.

At Class C Stockton in 1960, he struck out 262 and walked 262 in 170 innings.

COLLEGES

MEN’S BASKETBALL: Memphis freshman Precious Achiuwa says he will enter the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Nigerian-born star is projected as a likely first-rounder and possible lottery pick. He became the first player in the American Athletic Conference to be named both player and freshman of the year, averaging 15.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

GOLF

USGA: The U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Girls’ Junior have been canceled. That makes six USGA championships that have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Junior Amateur was to be played July 20-25 at Hazeltine National outside Minneapolis. The U.S. Girls’ Junior was scheduled for July 13-18 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The USGA says it wouldn’t be able to hold qualifying for its two premier junior championships because of health guidelines. State associations were to hold 100 qualifying events in 41 states between May and July.

Qualifying for six other amateur events – including the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur – have been delayed until May 18.

SOCCER

NETHERLANDS: The rest of the Dutch soccer league was canceled Friday, and leading team Ajax won’t be declared the champion.

The Eredivisie is the first top-tier European league to end its season prematurely because of the coronavirus crisis, but its decision sparked instant complaints from clubs who felt they had lost out.

Ajax was level on points with second-placed AZ Alkmaar but ahead on goal difference when the league was suspended on March 12. The Dutch soccer federation, known as the KNVB, said Ajax was considered to be on top of the final standings but won’t be awarded a 35th national title.

The KNVB said it will allocate Champions League and Europa League spots based on the current standings.


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