BASKETBALL

Collins pitching a memoir as gay professional athlete

Jason Collins, the NBA veteran who last week announced he was gay, is seeking a book deal.

Officials at three publishing houses said Monday that they had been contacted about a planned memoir by Collins, the first active player in any of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay.

At least one publisher turned down the book, noting the extensive media coverage of Collins and expressing concern that his story already has been told.

CYCLING

GIRO d’ITALIA: Luca Paolini of Italy won the third stage, taking the overall lead from compatriot Salvatore Puccio. Overall favorite Bradley Wiggins finished eighth and is second, by 17 seconds, in the overall standings.

TENNIS

MADRID OPEN: Maria Sharapova rallied from the first set to beat Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 7-5, 6-2 to reach the second round at Madrid.

In the men’s event, 11th-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain advanced when Tobias Kamke of Germany retired after losing the first set 6-4.

The top-seeded men’s players, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, have a bye into the second round.

HOCKEY

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Switzerland sprung yet another upset at the ice hockey world championship, beating the Czech Republic 5-2 for its third straight victory over a traditional power at Helsinki.

Switzerland blew a 2-0 lead before scoring three goals in the third period to remain undefeated.

FOOTBALL

NFL: The Vikings released punter Chris Kluwe, bringing an end to his colorful and outspoken eight-year stay in Minnesota.

During his time with the Vikings, Kluwe earned a reputation as one of the most opinionated players in the league. He criticized union leadership during the lockout, wore a patch on his uniform to protest the lack of punters in the Hall of Fame and, most notably, became a vocal supporter of gay rights.

Even on the unemployment line, Tim Tebow’s a popular presence. The former Jets quarterback, cut last week after one disappointing season, was selected as America’s most influential athlete, according to a survey released by Forbes.com.

Tebow had the most influence on fans, according to 29 percent of respondents, finishing ahead of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps (25 percent), Jamaican track star Usain Bolt (23 percent) and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (22 percent).

Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer Joe Greene is retiring from the team’s player personnel department.

A first-round pick in the 1969 draft, Greene, 66, was the cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain” defense.

Cleveland Browns draft pick Armonty Bryant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, the latest legal trouble for the defensive end.

Bryant was arrested early Friday in Ada, Okla., near the stadium at Division II East Central University, where he was a standout player.

The Jacksonville Jaguars waived linebacker Greg Jones and running back Richard Murphy, and signed defensive end J.D. Griggs and running back De’Leon Eskridge, undrafted rookies who made an impression on the coaching staff.

GOLF

HALL OF FAME: Fred Couples, the first American to reach No. 1 in the world, and Colin Montgomerie, who had his success on the European Tour, were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Also inducted were former U.S. Open champion Ken Venturi, former European Tour official Ken Schofield and two-time British Open champion and architect Willie Park Jr.

ROAD RACING

TORONTO MARATHON: An 18-year-old woman died after collapsing near the end of the marathon on Sunday.

Terry Gehl of Quebec won the men’s title, while Montreal’s Mylene Sansoucy won the women’s title.

PREP SCHOOLS

GIRLS’ LACROSSE: Melanie Mait scored the game-winner with 28 seconds left and finished with seven goals and one assist to lead Berwick Academy (12-0) to a 11-10 win over Kent’s Hill (9-2) at South Berwick.

Tilly Burzynski added one goal and two assists for the Bulldogs.

–From staff and news services