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Sat., March 17, 2012

Fired University of Alabama Birmingham fired men’s basketball coach Mike Davis following his sixth season, a year after he led the Blazers to a fourth-consecutive 20-win season and the NCAA tournament. Davis couldn’t sustain the momentum, and a depleted squad fell to 15-16 – matching the record from his first season. Athletic director Brian Mackin said “One of the considerations in this decision is that we have seen a growing apathy among our fan base that has resulted in a decrease in attendance and ticket revenue.”

Agreed Six-time NFL Pro Bowl center Matt Birk agreed to three-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens. The 35-year-old Birk has started every game in three seasons with Baltimore.

• The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms on a three-year deal with John Abraham, the team’s top pass rusher and a key part of the defense last season. He led the team with 9 1/2 sacks and has 58 1/2 in six seasons with Atlanta, a total that ties him with Chuck Smith for second place in team history.

• Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst agreed to a two-year contract to return to the San Diego Chargers, who also released backup QB Billy Volek. Whitehurst was San Diego’s third-round draft pick in 2006. He was traded to Seattle and played in nine games for the Seahawks in two seasons.

• Free-agent center Scott Wells is on his way out of Green Bay after agreeing to a contract with the St. Louis Rams.

Signed The Kansas City Chiefs added tight end Kevin Boss, who spent last season with the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders.

Sidelined Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez had surgery to repair a tear in his left knee and will miss at least three months.

Released The Philadelphia Phillies released left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis. The 30-year-old Willis signed a deal with the Phillies this offseason and was competing for a bullpen spot this spring. A two-time All-Star with the Florida Marlins, Willis has pitched for four teams in nine seasons, all of them as a starter.

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