Lenoir-Rhyne College will not play football against Liberty University because of philosophical differences, the school's president said yesterday, following campus apartheid protests aimed at Liberty founder Jerry Falwell. "There was objection on campus and in our constituency to playing Liberty University . . . " said Lenoir-Rhyne President John E. Trainer Jr. He said his school had fulfilled a contract to play Liberty in 1984 and 1985 and wasn't pursuing a new contract.

Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., and founder of the Moral Majority, has stated support for the South African government, which supports apartheid.

Lenoir-Rhyne, supported by the Lutheran Church in America, played Liberty in its homecoming game two weeks ago, winning by 18-16 in Hickory, N.C. Student leaders called for the football team to join the protest, but Coach John Perry said the demonstrations lost momentum by game day.

Neither Falwell nor Liberty President Pierre Guillerman was available for comment . . .

Recent rains have flooded Liberty's practice facility and damaged equipment, forcing cancellation of Saturday's game at Carson-Newman.

"Could be, folks, our season is over," Coach Morgan Hout said, referring to the Nov. 16 finale for the 3-4-1 Flames at Towson State. "We're wiped out. There's nothing left . . . We don't have a football. We don't have a shoe. We don't have a piece of headgear."

Hout said he estimated the equipment loss between $110,000 and $130,000 . . .

Former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall says he tried to prevent improprieties in his program and knew of none. The Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader reported Oct. 27 that 26 former Kentucky basketball players said they accepted cash, gifts or meals in violation of NCAA rules.

"It's impossible to keep a player and fan from becoming involved if that player and fan want to," said Hall, who resigned last season after 13 years as head coach. ". . . We gave (players) a list of what they couldn't do as far as free passes and material gifts. We told them that boosters and fans don't fall under NCAA rules, so the players are responsible that the rules are adhered to -- no one else" . . .

Iowa Coach Hayden Fry says he nearly took his team off the field Saturday because of excessive noise by the home crowd at Ohio State. "You don't know how close I came to taking my team off the field," he said. Iowa lost to Ohio State, 22-13, and dropped from No. 1 in The Associated Press poll.

"When it rains, it rains on both sides of the field. Crowd noise is one-sided."

Under a Big Ten rule, officials can charge a timeout to the home team because of excesive crowd noise. After three timeouts, they can penalize the home team for delay of the game. But Commissioner Wayne Duke said the rule would be used only as a last option.