Coach Doug Porter, who criticized Howard University officials' handling of the school's football program, said yesterday recruiting is in limbo because a decision has not been made on who will head the team.

Howard finished the season 31/2 weeks ago with a 4-6 record and Porter, who suffered his first losing season in five at Howard, is awaiting word whether the school administration will rehire him.

"'m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs," Porter said yesterday. "We're just recruiting locally, that's all."

Porter said he is unable to recruit outside the area because he cannot tell prospective players his status.

"It's got to have an effect, no question about that," Porter siad. "Personal apperance and personal contact have a lot to do with recruiting."

Teams in Howard's league, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, could begin signing players Dec. 9. He said Howard had signed no Players to lteters of intent. He siad he assumed the league's other seven teams were on the roade recruiting and signing players.

Athletic Director Leo Miles said yesterday a decision on Porter's furture will be forthcoming "soon."

Carl Anderson, university vice president for student affairs whose baliiwick includes athletes, said that his office was making an assessment of "where we are, where we planned to be and how we plan to get there." He said no "final decision" has been made, but one may be forthcoming early in the week.

Anderson said that he and Miles had placed no recruiting restrictions on Porter.

Anderson said that the delay in assessing the football program and Porter's future was due partly to a Department of Health, Education and Welfare investigation late last month and early this month concerning a complaint by a former exploye that the university violated Title IX of an omnibus education law barring sex discrimination in athletics.

Sourcesclose to University President James Cheek, who will make a final recommendation to the university's board of trustees, siad the president is considering two lines of actions, at completely different ends of the spectrum:

Fire Porter and hire a new coach, keeping the same administrative setup.

Either elevate Porter to athletic director and fire Miles, a move most Howard observers see as unlikely, or make the athletic director report to the president, eliminating the middle man, as Anderson now is. This is a procedure many universities follow, with the AD reporting directly to the president or chancellor.

It was learned that Porter has had one meeting with Cheek to discuss Porter's remarks about the football program in the Oct. 25 edition of The Washington Post.

At that time, Porter said commitments made to him five years ago had not been fulfilled. He said his budget had been decreased every year and that needs for a successful program-tutors, weight rooms and a secretary-have not been effected.