A selection committee has narrowed the field for the Lombardi Award, honoring the top college lineman of the year, to four finalists: Oklahoma nose guard Tony Casillas, Michigan defensive tackle Mike Hammerstein, Oklahoma State defensive tackle Leslie O'Neal and Boston College nose guard Mike Ruth.

Chosen by a 211-member committee of college football coaches, sportswriters and sportscasters, the winner will be announced Dec. 4 in Houston . . .

Virginia tailback Barry Word, the leading runner in the Atlantic Coast Conference who was suspended from school because of academic problems, says he blames no one but himself.

"I don't want to make a big fuss because it was my responsibility," he told the Roanoke Times and World-News. "Now that it's gotten into the press, I just hope people don't get the wrong impression. Things have gone wrong, I'll admit, but I hope people don't take that as any indication of my character."

Although the university's one-sentence statement did not say specifically what he had done to warrant suspension, it was reported that he failed to meet the deadline for submitting a paper in a French class, after having been placed on academic probation before the season.