Southern Methodist officials have decided not to challenge the NCAA with a lawsuit.

"We've been reprimanded and we're going to grin and bear it," said Bill Clements, chairman of the university's Board of Governors. "We will not file suit with the NCAA. Our judgment is that for the long-term interest of SMU, it's not the thing to do."

SMU, charged with 36 rules violations by the NCAA, was placed on probation Friday for the sixth time. The Mustangs will have no football scholarships next year and only 15 in 1987. They also will not be allowed to appear on television in 1986 or participate in bowl games after the next two seasons.

Despite clauses in their contracts saying they can be fired if they are found guilty of major violations, Athletic Director Bob Hitch and Coach Bobby Collins will stay on . . .

Georgia basketball Coach Hugh Durham says he doesn't expect Cedric Henderson, his team's leading scorer and rebounder last season, to play for the Bulldogs again. Henderson has been declared academically ineligible to play for the Bulldogs at the start of the 1985-86 season. He has said he plans to enroll in school for the fall quarter and work toward regaining his eligibility.

Durham said it might be feasible for Henderson to begin his professional basketball career by playing in Europe before becoming eligible for the 1986 NBA draft. "Maybe school isn't for everyone," Durham said. "You take a truck driver who is good at what he does. Nobody tells him to stop driving a truck and go to college." . . .

Lawrence J. Geracioti has been named baseball coach at Georgetown University, replacing Ken Kelly, who resigned at the end of last season. In addition to his coaching duties, Geracioti will be a special assistant to Athletic Director Francis X. Rienzo. Geracioti coached baseball at NYU and later was athletic director at Wagner College and the University of Detroit.