Trump orders new policy about military academies, pro sports

President Donald Trump has signed a presidential memorandum ordering the Pentagon to develop a policy to allow athletes attending the nation’s military academies to play professional sports immediately after graduating.

The memo says student athletes graduating from the academies and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps should be able to defer their military service obligations due to the “short window of time” they have to “take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible.” It gives the defense secretary 120 days to develop a plan.

Several Navy football players have gone on to have success in the NFL, most notably 1963 Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach, a quarterback for the Midshipmen from 1962-64. After serving a tour of duty in Vietnam, he joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1969 and guided the team to two Super Bowl victories.

David Robinson also played for Navy and served a two-year active duty service before embarking on a Hall of Fame NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs.

ELSEWHERE

UConn decides

to rejoin Big East

UConn is heading back to the Big East. The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees on Wednesday accepted an invitation to move its basketball and most other athletic teams from the American Athletic Conference.

University President Susan Herbst signed a contract, and the teams are expected to begin play in the conference in the 2020-21 academic year.

The move is designed energize the school’s fan base by renewing some rivalries. It also means an end to costly trips to states such as Texas, Oklahoma and Florida for conference games. UConn is dealing with a deficit in its athletic division of more than $40 million.

The school hasn’t indicated what it plans to do with its football program, a sport not offered by the Big East.

NHL: Florida goalie Roberto Luongo says he is retiring after 19 seasons. His 489 career victories are third in NHL history behind Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy.

Luongo was the fourth pick in the 1997 draft, taken by the New York Islanders — with whom he made his NHL debut on Nov. 28, 1999. The Montreal native then spent five years with Florida and eight with Vancouver before returing to the Panthers on March 14, 2014.

NBA: Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol accepted a one-year player option for next season at $25.6 million.

WNBA: Minnesota Lynx scoring leader Odyssey Sims was arrested this month on suspicion of drunken driving. The Lynx said they were aware of the incident and taking the matter “very seriously.”

• On the court, Elena Delle Donne had 22 points and seven rebounds as the Washington Mystics beat the host Chicago Sky 81-74. … Rookie Arike Ogunbowale made a late go-ahead 3-pointer and finished with 23 points to help the host Dallas Wings beat the Connecticut Sun 74-73.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Trump-orders-new-policy-about-military-academies-14054487.php.

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