A Southeastern Conference spokesman said the league will leave it up to individual colleges to decide if they'll accept an offer from the University of Florida to forfeit three 1980 football victories because of allegedly illegal scouting activities that surfaced during a NCAA investigation.
Allegations that the Gators spied on opponents in 1980 and 1981 were included among the 107 charges contained in an official letter of inquiry the Gainesville school received from the NCAA.
Florida President Marshall M. Criser announced that he had directed letters of apology to seven schools, including four members of the SEC, and had offered to forfeit triumphs over six of them.
Steve Townsend, the SEC's director of public relations, said there was no known precedent for volunteering forfeits, but confirmed that if Mississippi State accepts Criser's offer the Bulldogs could claim a share of the 1980 conference title with Georgia.
Criser also offered to forfeit 1980 victories over two other SEC opponents, Mississippi and Auburn, as well as triumphs over California and Louisville.
The transcript of a university interview with former grad assistant Mike Brown detailed illegal scouting he performed during the 1980-81 seasons . . .
A defensive cocaptain of the Towson State football team has been expelled from school for five years because of a criminal charge that he sexually assaulted a female student in her dormitory room, officials said.
Sheldon E. Nelson, 25, of Pittsburgh, was ordered expelled by Thomas Knox, a university judicial affairs officer who held a hearing on the case, according to university spokeswoman Katie Ryan.
Nelson, a 6-foot-3 tackle who was starting his senior year, appeared at the hearing without an attorney and declined to speak on his own behalf, said Dorothy Siegel, the dean of student services.
Siegel said Knox's decision will be reviewed by two campus committees because of "the seriousness of the ruling," and a final committee recommendation will be reviewed by university President Hoke L. Smith.