Pitts's Big East basketball season opener against Georgetown will be held in the Pittsburgh Civic Arena at the request of the conference, which wants to accommodate television and fans.

Conference Commissioner Dave Gavitt ordered the move for the Jan. 2 game, which opens ESPN's college basketball coverage and will be half of a Big East doubleheader.

Pitt Athletic Director Ed Bozik objected to the switch.

"We made a commitment to Fitzgerald Field House that we would play our games there," Bozik said. "It is a good facility with adequate parking and it's an advantage to us. When it's rocking, it helps our team."

A record crowd of 16,532 attended Pitt's game with Georgetown at the Civic Arena Jan. 19, which ended in a 65-53 loss for the Panthers. The field house seats 6,586 . . .

Auburn, benefiting from two victories while Oklahoma remained idle, moved past the Sooners and into the No. 1 spot in the college football rankings in voting by the United Press International board of coaches. The Tigers amassed 549 points and 23 first-place votes. Oklahoma was in second with 528 points and 10 votes for No. 1; the Sooners' first game will be Sept. 28 at Minnesota.

Maryland is No. 16 . . .

Boston College hopes to begin testing its 700 athletes for drug use by next semester, Athletic Director Bill Flynn and football Coach Jack Bicknell said.

Bicknell said he believes football players will be tested before next season. The athletes must sign releases or they will not play, he said. The tests will be given randomly throughout the season, Bicknell told the Boston Globe. "Without that random test, all of the other stuff doesn't work," he said . . .

George Mason's soccer team is ranked 19th in the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America poll. Mason (5-0) defeated East Carolina Saturday and UNC-Wilmington Sunday.