Hightower’s decision was made out of concern for the health of his fiancée and child, who was born earlier this month, the person said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Patriots have not announced the decision. ESPN was the first to report the move. Two other people told the AP that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon and fullback Danny Vitale have also chosen to sit out the season, citing health concerns.Cannon is a cancer survivor and Vitale has a young family and doesn’t want to risk exposing them, according to the sources. ___ Ball State is still scheduled to host Wyoming on Sept. 26 in its second game of the season before heading into Mid-American Conference play.___Real Madrid says forward Mariano has tested positive for the coronavirus.The announcement came as the team returned to practice ahead of its Champions League match against Manchester City on Aug. 7. Real Madrid lost at home 2-1 in the first leg of the round-of-16 series.Madrid says Mariano was in “perfect health condition” and was following health protocols. Two people with direct knowledge of the decision have confirmed to The Associated Press that Buffalo Bills starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is voluntarily opting out from playing this season.The people spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity because the team has not revealed this information as players reported for the start of training camp Tuesday. The NFL Network first reported Lotulelei’s decision earlier in the day.The 30-year-old Lotulelei has seven years of NFL experience and was entering his third season with the Bills. He has two years remaining on his contract, which will now run through 2022.— John Wawrow reporting from Buffalo. New York.___ Iowa has paused its men’s basketball workouts for 14 days after two players tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Tuesday.Iowa’s protocol requires individuals who test positive to be in isolation and for people who might have been exposed to someone with the virus to be quarantined.Last week, Michigan State suspended football workouts and players began a 14-day quarantine after a staff member and player tested positive.___ Ohio State will limit home crowds to about 20,000 and prohibit tailgating if the football season is played this fall. Fans inside Ohio Stadium will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing to help stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Concessions will be limited.The traditional “Skull Session” pregame pep rallies at St. John’s Arena will not be held.Athletic director Gene Smith informed season-ticket holders of the new rules in a letter Tuesday, first reported by Cleveland.com.The guidelines limit capacity of the 105,000-seat stadium to 20%.-Mitch Stacy reporting from Columbus, Ohio ___The Atlanta Falcons have selected their 40-member cheerleaders squad following their first virtual tryouts.Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 38 women and two men earned their spots in online tryouts. The results were announced on Monday night on a livestream on the Falcons website.Chato Hendrix, director of the cheerleaders, said the group was disheartened at first to have to go completely virtual, but like the rest of the world had to adapt.Hendrix says the virtual tryouts made it possible for out-of-state applicants to compete for spots without having to travel to Atlanta. This is the first time since 1989 the Falcons have had male cheerleaders.___Ball State has filled one of three open dates on its football schedule by announcing plans to open the season Sept. 12 at Iowa State of the Big 12.The game replaces a previously scheduled date for the Cardinals at Michigan and the annual rivalry game at Iowa for the Cyclones. Both games were wiped out when Big Ten officials said they would play a conference-only schedule.Ball State also had its Sept. 3 season opener against Maine and a Sept. 19 trip to Indiana canceled earlier this month. The Big Ten games reportedly cost the Cardinals about $1.7 million in guaranteed money. Only 2,805 fans attended the French Cup final between Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne last Friday but the number was low because Saint-Etienne fans did not use their allocation of 900 seats at Stade de France.PSG faces Lyon in the League Cup final at the same stadium on Friday.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Brazilian TV host Rodrigo Rodrigues has died at age 45, two weeks after contracting COVID-19. A fan favorite for his humorous style leading sports programs, Rodrigues was hospitalized on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro after feeling nausea and disorientation. Doctors found he had a cerebral venous blood clot, one of the possible bodily responses to an infection by the new coronavirus. Rodrigues had surgery on Sunday and was in an induced coma. He worked at TV Globo and its cable channel Sportv, which confirmed his death during one of the programs he hosted. Rodrigues also worked in several other Brazilian networks, including ESPN. Associated Press The Latest: Patriots Dont’a Hightower opting out of season ___The New Jersey Athletic Conference announced the suspension of all fall sports because of the coronavirus pandemic. The conference of Division III schools will explore the possibility of playing fall sports in the spring. The fall sports include football, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, field hockey, women’s volleyball, women’s tennis, women’s cross country, and men’s cross country. The member schools are Kean, Montclair State, New Jersey City, Ramapo, Rowan, Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers-Newark, Stockton, The College of New Jersey, and William Paterson.___ July 28, 2020 The entire Madrid squad was tested for COVID-19 on Monday. The players had been on a break of almost 10 days after winning the Spanish league title.___The French government has maintained a maximum capacity of 5,000 fans in stadiums until the end of August amid the coronavirus pandemic.French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu says the decision was taken because France has seen an increase in coronavirus cases recently.But Maracineanu adds that local officials will have the authority to increase the capacity at some events from Aug. 15 if they can obtain special dispensation and observe strict health and safety protocol. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___A person familiar with the situation says New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower has decided to opt out of the 2020 season.