In Champaign, Ill., the University of Illinois' announcement that the NCAA had begun an inquiry into Illini athletics was a public relations time bomb dropped on the sports program, according to Athletic Director Neale Stoner.

Stoner didn't know ahead of time that Illinois faculty representative John Nowak was going to release a statement about the NCAA preliminary investigation. The university statement gave no details and said the school was unaware of the nature of the inquiry or even which sport it involved.

Stoner, however, told the Illinois News Broadcasters Association the NCAA questions concern the university's role in the recruitment of California junior college running back Elton Veals and his teammate, Delton Edwards. He said he is confident that the university's role is above reproach.

Benoit Benjamin, considered among the top high school basketball players in the country, signed a letter of intent to attend Creighton University in Omaha, a Bluejay spokesman announced. He said Benjamin, a 7-foot, 240-pound center, signed at Monroe, La., his home town.

North Carolina, Virginia and Johns Hopkins are unanimous choices for the first three spots in the Division I coaches' poll of the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

Defending NCAA champion North Carolina (10-0) once again received all 10 first-place votes, while Virginia (8-2) got all 10 second-place ballots and Johns Hopkins (7-2) received all 10 votes for third.