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COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NATION

Availability, Not Eligibility, Is the Key

September 05, 1996|Associated Press

The suspended coach of the Prairie View A&M football program, which has lost an NCAA-record 58 games in a row, confirmed that he possibly played ineligible players.

Hensley Sapenter Jr., Prairie View A&M coach and athletic director, has been suspended with pay since Tuesday when the school began an internal investigation.

Sapenter said he used the players in question because he was short-handed in the offensive line and feared injury to inexperienced players.

"I knew there were some kids that the compliance officer told me were technically ineligible," Sapenter told KRIV-TV of Houston. "It was simply a situation where I didn't have any other kids to play."

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Vanderbilt, coming off its 13th consecutive losing season, faces sixth-ranked Notre Dame tonight at Nashville.

"It always works to your advantage to have a lesser-quality opponent," Commodore safety Eric Vance said. "I see teams like Florida and Tennessee doing that. If you look at our record, that's what Notre Dame's doing with us."

"You never know," Irish Coach Lou Holtz said. "More upsets occur in the first game of the season than any other time."

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Auburn wide receiver Willie Gosha's future was in doubt after the NCAA ruled that he is not making sufficient progress toward his degree.

Gosha, the Tigers' leading receiver in 1995, has fallen below the grade-point average that NCAA rules state he needs to maintain in classes he takes in his Health Promotion major and is not expected to play Saturday against Fresno State.

Auburn Coach Terry Bowden, appealing the matter with the NCAA, said he expects to have Gosha back for the Sept. 14 Southeastern Conference opener against Mississippi.

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Nebraska reserve wingback Lance Brown was suspended for Saturday's opening game against Michigan State. Coach Tom Osborne said Brown's suspension was for disciplinary reasons but did not elaborate. . . . Chiffon Allen is appealing an NCAA ruling that stripped him of his scholarship at Pitt and freshman eligibility. Allen was barred from playing this season after the NCAA decided he took a remedial course as a high school freshman. The NCAA requires four full years of English. . . . The Western Athletic Conference will send its third-place finisher to the inaugural Haka Bowl in Auckland, New Zealand, on Dec. 27 against the third-place team from the Pacific 10.

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