The U.S. Department of Education will conduct an onsite investigation next week at the University of Maryland for possible sex discrimination in the athletic department.

Maryland is one of 100 schools chosen by the Office of Civil Rights, which will review all schools that have had complaints filed against them.

Dick Dull, the school's director of athletics, said it is "a routine investigation . . . They will look at our athletic facilities, talk to university personnel, the coaching staffs, trainers and look at our financial records."

"Then, I believe, they will wait 90 days to issue a statement of compliance or noncompliance. The supreme penalty that any school could suffer is a reduction in federal funds. But more realistically, they would request that the university come up with a plan to comply with Title IX guidelines. I am fully confident that we are in compliance. I welcome the visit and we'll cooperate fully."

The investigation stems from two complaints against the university, one in 1977 and another in 1981. The first was filed by the father of a former Maryland basketball player, Page Croyder, citing discrimination against women in operating budgets, facilities, awards, promotions and fund raising. Dull said improvements and corrections already have been made.

The second involves Dull and former athletic director Jim Kehoe, who denied NCAA status to the women's softball club. Dull said he feels there is "insufficient interest" on campus in the sport.