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Sports briefs, Feb. 15, 2012

Buccaneers release DT Albert Haynesworth

TAMPA, Fla. — Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has been released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who signed him after injuries decimated their roster midway through last season.

General manager Mark Dominik announced the move Wednesday, saying he appreciated Haynesworth filling in for seven games after tackle Gerald McCoy was lost for the year with a torn right biceps.

While the Bucs limited the number of days he practiced to try to keep Haynesworth healthy for games, his production declined steadily over the final month of a 10-game losing streak that claimed the job of former coach Raheem Morris. Haynesworth’s base salary for next season would have been more than $6 million, so his release didn’t come as a surprise.

The veteran of 10 NFL seasons was claimed off waivers from the New England Patriots on Nov. 8. He started six games for Tampa Bay, finishing with 25 tackles.

Haynesworth developed into one of the league’s top defensive linemen during seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans, but has underperformed since signing a seven-year, $100 million deal with the Redskins in 2009. He was obtained by New England in a trade last year, but lasted just eight games with the eventual AFC champions.

UConn coach will miss at least next 3 games

STORRS, Conn. — Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun will miss at least three more games while he receives treatment for his ailing back, the school said Wednesday.

Calhoun, who sat out the team’s last three games as a result of spinal stenosis, also will miss Wednesday night’s game against DePaul, Saturday’s game against Marquette and Monday’s game against Villanova.

“I am happy that we seem to have located the problem and I am currently moving forward with treatment,” Calhoun said in a statement. “We have to give that treatment time to see whether or not it is effective.

Calhoun, who has been experiencing back pain since last summer, took an indefinite leave of absence on Feb. 3.

The Huskies (15-9, 5-7 Big East) are 1-2 since then, with a win over Seton Hall and losses at Louisville and Syracuse. UConn has lost six of its last seven games, and has won just three times in 2012.

“I’m hoping by the middle of next week, we will have a much clearer picture of where we are and when I can look forward to getting back to doing what I do,” Calhoun said.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spine, normally associated with aging and sometimes with arthritis. If physical therapy and medicines aren’t effective, surgery may be considered.

Calhoun has had a history of health problems. He is a three-time cancer survivor, overcoming prostate cancer in 2003 and skin cancer twice, most recently in 2008.

Calhoun has missed 24 games during his career at UConn, 20 for medical reasons. He has had to leave another 11 games with health problems. His last extended medical leave came in 2010, when he missed seven games with stress-related issues.

He missed three games earlier this season because of NCAA sanctions.

Calhoun is No. 6 on the all-time wins list with 868. He has won three national championships at Connecticut and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005. He coached the team to its fourth Final Four and third national title last April.

He will get credit for any games the Huskies win while he is out on medical leave.

Heat’s Jones to defend All-Star 3-point title

NEW YORK — Miami’s James Jones will defend his title in the 3-point contest against a field that includes All-Stars Kevin Love and Joe Johnson and teammate Mario Chalmers.

Ryan Anderson of the host Orlando Magic and New Jersey’s Anthony Morrow round out the roster for the Feb. 25 contest during All-Star Saturday night.

The Heat have won three of the last five titles in the event. Last year, Jones scored 20 points in the final round to beat Boston All-Stars Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

Former Heat players Jason Kapono and Daequan Cook won in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

Clippers assistant Eisley fined for verbal abuse

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Clippers assistant Howard Eisley has been fined $15,000 for verbal abuse of an official.

The league said Wednesday he had been fined for an incident at the end of the Clippers’ 96-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

Eisley played 12 seasons in the NBA and is now a player development assistant for the Clippers.

Evernham returns as ESPN analyst after year off

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ray Evernham is returning to the broadcast booth in NASCAR, rejoining ESPN as an analyst after taking a year off.

Evernham, who won three championships as Jeff Gordon’s crew chief and later started his own team, was an ESPN analyst from 2008-10. He didn’t work for the network last season, instead becoming a consultant to NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick.

“I chose to take a year off from ESPN out of respect for ESPN and Hendrick Motorsports,” Evernham said in a statement. “I didn’t want to create any perceived conflict of interest while I got my bearings at Hendrick and didn’t want to cause distraction to either company.”

Evernham will continue working with Hendrick while commentating for ESPN. He said his work with Hendrick’s companies wasn’t related to racing, and he doesn’t believe it will create any issues.

Notre Dame’s Miller fine after fainting after game

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw says reserve guard Fraderica Miller is doing fine after spending the night in the university infirmary following a fainting spell.

McGraw said Wednesday that the senior from Atlanta was hit in the face during Tuesday night’s win over Providence. She hit the floor hard and had pain in her shoulder and elbow, but returned to the game for the fourth-ranked Fighting Irish. She felt lightheaded while signing autographs afterward and became unsteady.

McGraw says Miller fainted as she was being laid down.

Miller was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital. McGraw says tests showed Miller did not sustain a concussion and she was released. She spent the night in the infirmary as a precaution and did not practice Wednesday.

She is expected to be back for the next practice Saturday and the game Monday at Louisville.

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