Florida football Coach Charley Pell, saying he was "shocked and disappointed" to learn that about 20 percent of the recruiting violations that resulted in stiff NCAA penalties for Clemson occurred while he was the Tigers' coach, has called for an independent review of his current program.
Pell said he is determined to show that he is running a clean program at the Southeastern Conference school. There have been rumors that the NCAA is preparing to begin an investigation into the Gators.
Meanwhile, Florida President Robert Q. Marston said the NCAA has told him that Pell was directly involved in only one recruiting violation at Clemson. Marston said he had talked to David Berst, NCAA enforcement director, and Berst "authorized me to state that to the best of his memory, Coach Pell was not directly involved in any violations at Clemson with the exception of a possible 'bumping' violation in which Coach Pell may have visited a player without knowing the player had been visited by other members of his staff."
Pell's reaction came in the wake of news that Clemson, where Pell was the head coach in 1977 and 1978, had received one of the toughest-ever probations after a probe involving 69 charges. At least 13 of the charges were linked to Pell's tenure there.
"I was totally unaware of it until I just read it," Pell told the Miami Herald. "I'm shocked at a lot of this. I'm shocked and disappointed."
The Gainesville Sun reported that the charges against Clemson during Pell's tenure included offers of scholarships to sisters and friends of prospects; offers of cash, TV sets, clothes and football tickets to prospects; giving an airline ticket to a prospect; giving cash to the fiance of a prospect; exceeding the three-visit limit in recruiting, and providing prospects and their parents with transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment . . .
SMU running back Eric Dickerson says he was once offered $40,000--in cash in his home -- by a college recruiter. In an interview with RKO radio, he said several schools were willing to spare no expense in recruiting him out of Sealy, Tex. Without naming names, Dickerson said the highest offer he received was $40,000 cash--which he turned down . . .
A "handful" of football players for Louisiana State will be disciplined for damaging a hotel room during a celebration of last weekend's 55-21 victory over Florida State, officials said.
The damage occurred when the sprinkler system was set off in a second-floor room in the Baton Rouge Hilton, damaging that unit and the one below it. The damage was estimated at more than $5,000, said hotel spokesman John Fels . . .
Saying he would rather accept public outrage than discuss his reasoning, Duke University Athletic Director Tom Butters officially announced the firing of Red Wilson, the school's head football coach, yesterday.
Wilson led the Blue Devils to successive 6-5 seasons, including last Saturday's 23-17 victory over arch rival North Carolina. After that win, Wilson met with Butters at Butters' home, where he was informed of his dismissal.
"What now appears perceptually to be an insensitive and inhumane decision is clearly, in fact, an unparalleled opportunity for Coach Wilson and Duke University," Butters said. "Had this decision not been imperative, it would not have been made" . . .
Texas Christian has named Jim Wacker of Southwest Texas State as its new head football coach. Wacker follows F.A. Dry, who was fired Nov. 15, effective last Sunday, after six losing seasons . . .
Art Baker, The Citadel's most successful football coach until this year, was fired after posting a 5-6 record and losing to arch-rival Furman for the fourth time in five years . . .
The Touchdown Club will hold its annual luncheon saluting the Army-Navy game next Wednesday. Among the guests will be Navy Coach Gary Tranquill and Army Coach Ed Cavanaugh. Mal Campbell will be master of ceremonies for the noon affair. Tickets, at $12.50 a head, are still available . . .
Virginia is ranked No. 1 and Georgetown No. 7 in Sports Illustrated's preseason college basketball poll. In between are UCLA, Villanova, Louisville, North Carolina and Memphis State. Southern California is ranked first among the nation's women's teams, with Maryland No. 5.