Howard Coach Willie Jeffries reportedly has been asked to return to South Carolina State, whose football coach, Bill Davis, confirmed he has been asked to resign.

A South Carolina newspaper quoted sources as saying Jeffries had been offered the job, which he held from 1973 to 1978, but Jeffries, contacted in Jacksonville, Fla., where he is recruiting, told the Associated Press he was reluctant to discuss the matter because the school has not made an official announcement about Davis' future. "I will say that I am very happy at Howard," he said.

Davis said school officials asked him last week to resign, but he has not decided whether he will go along with the request . . .

Pittsburgh reportedly will name Mike Gottfried as its head football coach. According to United Press International, Gottfried, the coach at Kansas, will receive a five-year contract. Pitt interviewed Gottfried after Pat Jones said it is in his "best interest" to stay Oklahoma State's coach . . .

United Press International named Maryland's J.D. Maarleveld to its first-team all-America squad at guard and Virginia's Jim Dombrowski at tackle. Paul Palmer, the Temple running back from Potomac, made second team . . .

North Carolina quarterback Kevin Anthony will forgo his final season of eligibility and graduate with his class "to pursue academic interests." He is an academic all-America . . .

Morgantown, W.Va., authorities confirmed that members of the West Virginia football team are being questioned in connection with a brawl outside a downtown bar in which three people were beaten. Det. Ralph Boyce said police didn't know how many players were involved, but that a figure between seven and 15 "is in the ballpark." . . .

The Pacific-10 Conference has placed the Southern California football team on probation for two years and cut the number of football scholarships. But the action, after 30 rules violations, will not affect the Trojans' eligibility for postseason games or televised games.

The conference also put Arizona State's basketball program on probation for one year, and will not allow the Sun Devils, who violated 20 rules, to grant new scholarships in that sport during the year.