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UM player leaves school; See the NCAA's letter to Shapiro's judge; Dolphins, Heat notes

A few Tuesday afternoon notes, on a day the Dolphins are landing prime free agent target Mike Wallace:

### UM linebacker Eddie Johnson continues to hurt his chances of getting back on the Hurricanes football team. Johnson has left school, at least temporarily, and is not enrolled this semester, UM tells us.

Johnson, who was third on the team with 59 tackles and had a team-leading 7.5 tackles for loss, remains on indefinite suspension. UM people are highly skeptical about his chances of being reinstated, though Al Golden has not ruled it out. His missteps include tardiness, not showing up and other violations.

### While we were away the past couple weeks, I’m sure many of you saw the letter than since-fired NCAA investigator Ameen Najeer filed on behalf of Nevin Shapiro to his sentencing judge, as first reported by the AP. I also obtained a copy of that letter. Please click on the last post for that. Everyone involved in the UM case is fuming about the letter and with good reason.

### The agents for several prominent free agent cornerbacks and offensive tackles say Miami hasn’t made an aggressive effort to sign them, which suggests that the Dolphins want final decisions from Sean Smith and Jake Long before they move on to other options. Long is visiting the Rams tonight.

Besides adding Wallace, the Dolphins continue to make a push to sign Tennessee tight end Jared Cook. UPDATE: Cook has chosen to sign with the Rams instead, leaving Dustin Keller, Martellus Bennett (who said he wants to sign with Chicago) and Fred Davis as the top free agent tight ends available. Miami hadn't been pursuing Davis as of Monday but that could change.

Also, Miami cut Karlos Dansby after signing Baltimore linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who's younger, cheaper and more of a play maker.

(I'll be covering the Heat game tonight, but Armando and Adam Beasley will have updates throughout the night. There's a Wallace story on the home page.)

### Friday’s meeting with Milwaukee – the Heat’s second game on a five-game road trip – could be being a preview of a first-round playoff series. And at least one Bucks player believes that would be the preferable matchup for them.

“The two games that we played Miami so far, we matched up well against them,” guard Brandon Jennings told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “If you ask me, that’s who I would want to play first round, Miami.

“Right now we haven’t really played well against the Knicks. I just feel better if we play Miami first round, just the fact we have good games against them.”

### LeBron James said Heat players “haven’t talked much” about their winning streak – which stood at 18 entering Tuesday – but “we do appreciate it. We have a lot of guys who haven’t won as many games in a season as we’ve won in this win streak. It’s pretty unique and special.”

Four teams have won at least 20 in a row: The 1971-72 Lakers, who own the all-time streak at 33; the 2007-08 Rockets (22), the 1948-49 Washington Capitols (20) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20).

Dwyane Wade said before Tuesday’s game that he’s a long way from considering the possibility of breaking the Lakers’ all-time record. “The only time I would think it’s do-able is if we get to 32, and we’re playing for 33,” he said. “It’s so far away. It’s nothing we’re contemplating. It’s laughable in a sense to even think about that.”

He said the streak “will mean more one day when someone else, one day, gets on a streak and they bring your name up and show highlights of your team.”

### Shane Battier missed Tuesday’s shootaround with flu-like symptoms.

### The Heat signed Juwan Howard to a second 10-day contract.

### Coach Erik Spoelstra offered a surprising opinion before Tuesday’s game, asserting that “I don’t think last year’s [Heat] team is good enough to win this year.”

He added the level the Heat is “playing at right now might not be good enough. We don’t know how good we can become.”

Magic Johnson said on ABC on Sunday that he spoke to Heat president Pat Riley on Friday “and he said, ‘We’re really not playing that well.’ We’re not playing our best basketball. We’re just playing good enough to beat everybody.’ He says they have room for important and he’s looking for improvement.”

Spoelstra, asked about that comment on Tuesday, said: “I’ve had plenty of conversations with Pat and those haven’t been the conversations. We’re trying to play at a standard that’s adequate to us.”

### Check back later for the Wednesday buzz, with more Dolphins, Canes and Heat. And please click on the last post to see that NCAA letter to Shapiro's judge. 

 

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