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2 VOLS ASSISTANTS FIRED: Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer fired offensive assistants Jimmy Ray Stephens and Pat Washington on Sunday, following the Volunteers' first losing season since 1988.

Stephens, 51, was the offensive line coach and had been at Tennessee for three years. Washington, 42, was wide receivers coach and had been with the program for 10 years.

"I appreciate everything Jimmy Ray and Pat have done for Tennessee over the years," Fulmer said in a statement. "This was a difficult decision to make, but I feel it is in the best interest for the future of our football program."

The moves come about a month after offensive coordinator Randy Sanders resigned during a season in which the Vols' offense struggled. Tennessee finished the season with a 27-8 win over Kentucky on Saturday to go 5-6.

Fulmer said the next offensive coordinator will select Stephens' and Washingtons' replacements.

Former Vols offensive coordinator and Mississippi head coach David Cutcliffe is believed to be the front-runner to take over the team's offense next season.


HOWARD OUT: Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard will miss the team's two-game trip to Toronto and Milwaukee after injuring his ankle in Saturday's loss to Memphis. An MRI was scheduled for Sunday, team officials said. After the Monday-Tuesday trip to Toronto and Milwaukee, the Mavericks play Thursday at home against San Antonio.


LEMIEUX MISSING: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Mario Lemieux missed Sunday's game at Tampa Bay because of a stomach virus. Lemieux also sat out a game Nov. 16 against Philadelphia with a stomach virus.


WORLD OPEN: Toru Taniguchi of Japan shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to win his first title of the year with a two-stroke victory over Kim Jong Duck of South Korea in the Casio World Open. Taniguchi made five birdies, including one on the final hole, against two bogeys as he finished the tournament at 11-under 277 at the Kochi Kuroshio Country Club.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Robert Allenby played through a painful finger injury to win the Australian Open on Sunday, shooting a 5-over 77 in windy conditions to hold off Australian countrymen John Senden, Nick O'Hern and Paul Sheehan by a stroke.

Allenby, a four-time PGA Tour winner, finished with a 4-under 284 total on the sun-baked Moonah Links course. He opened with a course-record 63 and added consecutive 72s.