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NCAA/UM update; UM still waiting on recruits; Marlins sign reliever; Lewis, Miller adjust

We'll post the Wednesday buzz later, but here's a quick UM and Marlins update, and our full story on three Heat players adjusting to playing far less than they're accustomed:

### Maria Elena Perez, Nevin Shapiro's attorney, expected to be paid for far more than out of pocket expenses when she took two depositions that would help the NCAA's case against Miami. She also wanted to be paid for her time to conduct those depos, more than a year ago, with Sean Allen and Michael Huyghue.

So how much was her time worth?

More than $20,000, according to a CBSSports.com report Tuesday evening. CBS says that's how much NCAA enforcement director Julie Roe Lach authorized to pay Perez to do something the NCAA had no legal power to do on its own.

That Perez/NCAA relationship angered NCAA President Mark Emmert, who hired an outside law firm two weeks ago to explore what the NCAA did improperly during its UM investigation. That investigation apparently is still ongoing. And UM won't get its notice of allegations until the investigation is complete.

Once it's complete, UM will push the NCAA for a setttlement, but Emmert's appetite for that remains to be seen. As we wrote last week, NCAA experts say Emmert likely couldn't unilaterally strike a settlement with UM without gaining the approval of two key NCAA boards - the executive committee and the board of directors. Both are made up of college presidents who may or may not be willing to allow UM and the NCAA to circumvent the usual enforcement process.

### UM hoped to get a commitment today from junior college defensive tackle Terrell Brooks, but he has delayed his decision, potentially until Wednesday.

His coach said he will choose between UM and Baylor. UM really needs Brooks if it doesn't get Keith Bryant or Jaynard Bostwick, who both have been considering Miami. UM hasn't given up on Bryant and Bostwick is a toss-up with UF, UM and Alabama.

### Running back Augustus Edwards, who UM badly wants, plans to announce at 7 a.m. Wednesday whether he will attend UM or FSU.

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The Marlins found a set-up man for Steve Cishek Tuesday when they signed 6-11 right-hander Jon Rauch to a one-year, $1 million deal. Rauch has 62 career saves. He was 3-7 for the Mets last season and converted only four of eight save chances. Outfielder Bryan Peterson was designated for assignment.

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Together, they have scored 28,232 points, drained 3707 three-pointers and hit a ton of big shots.

But on perhaps the deepest Heat team in history, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis and James Jones are essentially 10th through 13th men --- center Joel Anthony is lumped in that group now, too -- reduced to spare parts on a roster rich in shooters.

Lewis and Miller are sharing the 10th spot in Erik Spoelstra’s 10-man rotation, with Lewis usually getting the nod in recent games until Spoelstra chose to play neither Monday night against Charlotte.

Jones has been nearly invisible all season, playing 73 minutes and scoring 23 points.

The three skilled shooters “are good soldiers and very professional, but they’re pissed,” Dwyane Wade said good-naturedly.

“They want to play. You want guys like that. You don’t want guys who are just happy to be along for the ride. They understand when they signed up there’s a possibility this might occur.”

None have complained and all have handled their roles with class. Miller’s minutes have taken the biggest hit, largely because of the addition of Ray Allen, Spoelstra’s faith in Shane Battier, and Spoelstra’s decision to begin using Lewis again.

Miller played in 35 of the Heat’s first 37 games but appeared in just three of the past eight.

"It’s tough, but it’s part of being on this team,” said Miller, who is averaging a career-low 3.7 points on 40.3 percent shooting. “Some nights, you get four minutes. Some nights, you get 18. It’s not easy but we’re all happy where we’re at.”

It would be very surprising if Miami does not use the amnesty clause on Miller next summer when the luxury tax becomes more punitive.

He’s due to earn $6.2 million in 2013-14 and will be paid in full even if he’s amnestied. Keeping him would cost the Heat more than $10 million in luxury tax payments, even beyond his salary.

Miller’s playoff success --- including the seven three-pointers in the NBA Finals-clinching Game 5 against Oklahoma City – suggests Spoelstra might use him more in the postseason.

“If I can come out of any game where Mike’s healthy and rested, that’s a positive for us,” Spoelstra said.

Lewis was in the Heat’s rotation for Miami’s first 11 games but wasn’t used for 17 of the next 23.

He resurfaced during the Heat’s West Coast trip, first out of necessity when Battier missed three games. Averaging 5.0 points on 49 percent shooting for the season, Lewis has played in nine of the Heat’s past 11 games, but just nine minutes over the past three.

“If we’re playing a little bit of a bigger team, it gives us a little more balance with that unit to [use] Rashard” instead of Miller, Spoelstra said.

When he signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with Miami last July, “Rashard knew what he was getting into,” Spoelstra said. “Those were long meetings we had with Rashard and Ray Allen during the summer about nothing being guaranteed. All had the option not to come here.”

Even when he wasn’t playing, Lewis said, “I had a feeling I would get called again. I just didn’t know when. You don’t want to complain about minutes. When you are on a good team, you have to sacrifice.”

Jones plays the least of the group, which he knew might happen. Jones, who has a $1.5 million player option for next season, did not want to uproot his family and move out of Miami, where he grew up. And he relishes being a part of this team.

“Only so many can play,” he said. “It’s not due to lack of talent. I’m an idealist. I guess I’m crazy, but I always feel I can overcome all obstacles. I know it’s tough to find minutes here. But I’m playing with the game’s best players and won a championship.”

He said some fans tell him he should be playing more, “and I enjoy the conversations because it shows people are interested.”

Wade said the veterans who are playing talk to the veterans who aren’t, trying to keep their spirits high. “When you have a team like this with so many different parts, everyone at some point is going to become frustrated with their role,” he said. “We all do a good job of keeping each other uplifted.”

### Spoelstra is pleased with Chris Andersen – “he will play until his tank is absolutely empty” – but said he is still working on conditioning. “Right now he is probably capable of eight minutes [at a time] at the pace he goes at,” Spoelstra said.

### By shooting 13 for 14, LeBron James (31 points) became the first player to miss no more than one field goal in a 30-point game since Dwight Howard went 11 for 11 in a game in February 2010.

 

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