In Christianburg, Va., Montgomery County Circuit Judge Kenneth I. Devore, who dismissed the bowl eligibility case of Outland trophy football lineman Bruce Smith of Virginia Tech on Monday, granted Tech attorney Jane Bulbin's request for a temporary injunction barring the NCAA from imposing sanctions against Tech for letting Smith play in the Independence Bowl.

"Virginia Tech has now become sort of a sitting duck for sanctions from the NCAA, sanctions that could seriously hurt our athletic program," Bulbin said. Tech is ready to "do whatever is necessary so that we don't have an athletic program sitting in limbo, waiting to be sanctioned by the NCAA," she said . . .

Former Illinois football recruiter Gary Horton says he did break some NCAA rules, but suggested it often was out of compassion toward athletes.

Horton, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was named by the NCAA as one of the assistants involved in recruiting violations that brought probation down on the Illini.

"We made mistakes but we had no plan to cheat -- nothing organized," Horton told the Champaign-Urbana News- Gazette. "We had a responsibility to look after these young men who had come so far, some of them lacking the bare necessities to live in this climate" . . .

In Nashville, authorities have contacted Vanderbilt athletic department personnel in an investigation into the source of a prescription drug (phenylbutazone) found in the body of a dead Clemson track athlete, sprinter Augustinius Jaspers.

Vanderbilt strength coach E.J. (Doc) Kreis, who played football at Clemson 1973-75, referred reporters' calls to an attorney.