Dan Wolken, USA TODAY
Published 7:11 p.m. ET April 28, 2020 | Updated 7:13 p.m. ET April 28, 2020
What I’m Hearing: Baseball could be coming back as early as late June, according to our very own MLB insider Bob Nightengale. He details how this radical plan makes sense and would work.
Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Seema Verma, held a conference call with representatives and chief medical officers of 23 sports entities on Tuesday, according to a White House official who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The call, according to the White House official, focused on President Donald Trump’s plan for opening up America again and updated the leagues on how expansion of coronavirus testing could assist with getting sports up and running.
Among the participants were all of the major professional sports leagues, the NCAA, the College Football Playoff, NASCAR, the National Women’s Soccer League, the U.S. Olympic Committee and entities that represent golf, tennis, horse racing and the Big 3 basketball league.
According to one person who participated in the call, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the specific contents were supposed to be private, the administration did not relay specific timetables but was generally optimistic about infrastructure being in place that would allow sports to resume this summer.
One key question that came up on the call, the person said, involved when and how players from foreign countries would be allowed to enter the United States to participate in sporting events. That could be a key issue for the PGA Tour, which plans to resume playing in June, or any professional tennis tournaments that would hope to have top players in the field.
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock, who represented the CFP on the call along with Bob Bowlsby, characterized it as an introductory call.
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“It was helpful to hear about possible conditions and circumstances to be considered when sports resume,” Hancock said in a text message.
CFP officials were on a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence on April 15. A number of professional sports commissioners had a conference call with President Trump on April 4.