The New England Patriots placed four starters and three reserves on the AFC Pro Bowl team, including starting linebackers Steve Nelson and Andre Tippett. Their offensive starters are guard John Hannah, selected for the ninth time, and tackle Brian Holloway, a graduate of Churchill High who will start for the third straight year. The three reserves, all first-time selections, are: running back Craig James, a former Washington Federal; cornerback Raymond Clayborn and kick returner Irving Fryar.

Miami, one of six clubs with four players selected, had quarterback Dan Marino and center Dwight Stephenson named as offensive starters . . .

Minnesota Vikings kicker Jan Stenerud, who holds the NFL record for field goals with 373 in a 19-year career, announced he will retire at the end of this season.

Stenerud, at 43 the oldest active player in the league, holds NFL records with 17 field goals of 50 yards or more and 13 seasons with at least 20 field goals. He holds the Super Bowl record for longest field goal, a 48-yarder for Kansas City against the Vikings, and has played in six Pro Bowl games.

He has been with the Vikings two seasons after 13 years with Kansas City and four with Green Bay. Stenerud's success brought soccer-style kicking into vogue . . .

San Diego Chargers Coach Don Coryell will return for a ninth season in 1986, according to a report in the Escondido (Calif.) Times-Advocate. Chargers owner Alex Spanos put Coryell on notice at the beginning of the year that he would not tolerate a third straight losing season. The Chargers are 8-7 . . .

Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler blasted University of Akron President William Muse for replacing football Coach Jim Dennison, 80-62-2 in 13 years, with former Notre Dame Coach Gerry Faust. Dennison was appointed assistant athletic director.

"The biggest problem with college athletics is presidents like that," Schembechler said. "Believe, me this guy (Dennison) is a widely respected coach . . . But what's the guy (Muse) say? 'We want instant respectability.' I've got to laugh at that. That guy shouldn't be president of a junior college" . . .

Anthony Fitton, who told Sports Illustrated he sold anabolic steroids to several Nebraska football players in 1983 and '84, said he also sold steroids to, or worked with, strength coaches or athletes at several other schools, including Virginia. School officials deny Fitton had any influence on Virginia coaches or athletes, although strength coach John Gambel knows him through the professional powerlifting circuit.

Fitton is in prison for two counts of trafficking in anabolic steroids, among other charges.