A&M PLAYER TO GO PRO: ALIEF, Texas — Texas A&M tight end Martellus Bennett said Saturday he will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

New Aggies coach Mike Sherman, former coach of the Green Bay Packers, helped Bennett evaluate his draft status. Bennett said he received a favorable report about his draft prospects from the NFL.

"He always told me he wanted what was best for me," Bennett told Houston television station KRIV, referring to Sherman. "He did a lot of research for me. He has been honest with me the whole time. He's a real genuine guy."

Bennett tied A&M's career record for catches by a tight end with 105. He had 1,246 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

DOLPHINS INTERVIEW SPARANO: MIAMI — The front-running candidate to become the Miami Dolphins' coach was also the first to interview.

Dallas Cowboys assistant head coach Tony Sparano interviewed Saturday in Dallas with new Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, who was hired away from the Cowboys this week. The Dolphins declined to say whether executive vice president of football operations Bill Parcells also took part.

The Dolphins met first with Sparano in part because he's off-limits for interviews beginning Sunday. He can't be interviewed again until the Cowboys either lose in the playoffs or reach the open week before the Super Bowl on Jan. 21-27.

Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is expected to interview with Miami next week. Other possible candidates include Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, Jacksonville assistant head coach Mike Tice and Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

The Dolphins fired Cam Cameron on Thursday after he went 1-15 in his first year as an NFL head coach. The new head coach will be their fifth since 2004.


PIPPEN PLAYS IN FINLAND: VANTAA, Finland — Former NBA star Scottie Pippen scored nine points to help Finland league leader Torpan Pojat beat Honka 98-85 on Saturday.

Pippen also had nine rebounds.

"It was great. I did not know what to anticipate without a game for the last three years," the 42-year-old Pippen said. "My conditioning is not at the top level, but I played with a great team and had a lot of fun."

ToPo had won 19th straight games in the Finnish league.

Pippen scored 12 points in his first game Friday, ToPo's 93-81 win over Porvoo.

"We had a lot of young kids here today, and that's how you make it, you dream young and you work at it," he said.

Pippen will play a game in Sundsvall in northern Sweden on Friday.