Baylor volleyball will open up the season as the 20th-ranked team in the country.
The American Volleyball Coaches Association released its preseason poll Tuesday, and the Bears were one of just two Big 12 teams ranked, along with No. 4 Texas. Conference foes TCU and Kansas also received votes in the poll.
Stanford picked up 62 of 64 first-place votes to come in at No. 1. Rounding out the top five were No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Minnesota, the No. 4 Longhorns, and No. 5 Wisconsin.
Baylor went 20-9 overall and 11-5 in the Big 12 last year, making the NCAA tournament for the third straight year. The Bears will open their 2019 season against UCLA on Aug. 30 at Nebraska’s Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.
NFL teaming with Jay-Z
NEW YORK — The NFL and Jay-Z’s entertainment and sports representation company are teaming up for events and social activism.
The league not only will use Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to consult on its entertainment presentations, including the Super Bowl halftime show, but will work with the rapper and entrepreneur’s company to “strengthen community through music and the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.”
Inspire Change was created by the league after an agreement with a coalition of players who demonstrated during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice in this country. Those demonstrations were sparked by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.
NFL owners agreed to contribute up to $89 million over six years toward causes players were supporting. Commissioner Roger Goodell sees the partnership with Roc Nation as a significant step in several directions.
“Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” Goodell said. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”
Luck to miss preseason with ankle area injury
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts believe lingering pain in Andrew Luck’s lower left leg will likely force their starting quarterback to miss the rest of the preseason.
They’re still unsure about his availability for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Tuesday additional testing revealed Luck appears to be suffering from an injury near the front of his ankle, something his previously diagnosed strained left calf might have exacerbated.
“Honestly, I think it’s a cumulative thing through the years. Andrew’s had some issues with his left (ankle) for a while, so I think it’s really a cumulative thing,” Ballard told local reporters on a conference call. “We think we’ve found it. You hope you’ve found what the cause is. Is there a 100 percent guarantee? No, but we think we have, so we’ll move forward and try to treat it.”
Sounders add Wilson, Macklemore as owners
SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders are adding Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and wife Ciara, hip-hop artist Macklemore and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to the MLS club’s ownership group.
Other investors are also coming aboard while current majority owner Adrian Hanauer is increasing his investment stake in the club. Hollywood producer Joe Roth, who helped bring the MLS to Seattle, is leaving the franchise.
Wilson has been attempting to get into sports ownership. He was previously a partner in an effort to build a new basketball arena in Seattle and has also been part of the project in Portland, Oregon, to build a baseball stadium in the hopes of luring an MLB team to the city.
“When I got here in 2012, Seattle was a place that I felt I could call home forever. And obviously because of the Seahawks, and now because of the Sounders, it makes that really come to life,” Wilson said in a statement. “We’re really excited about building that winning culture. This city is a special place. The Pacific Northwest is a place we love and we get to raise our kids here and have a lot of fun while doing it.”