The Atlantic Coast Conference is getting a new image and doesn't like it, league football coaches, meeting in Pinehurst, N.C., said yesterday.

"I don't know what our conference can do, or what we as coaches can do, or what the schools can do," Clemson Coach Danny Ford said. "The only thing that can be done is make some hard rules and make people follow them. . . . I know this: Counseling alone is not enough. That won't stop anybody from taking drugs."

Coach Bobby Ross said recent events at his school, Maryland, had an impact on all areas of the athletic department.

"This is the toughest thing I've ever had to go through in more than 20 years of coaching," Ross said. "The worst part about it is the innuendoes."

Georgia Tech Coach Bill Curry: "We're living in a world right now that could be characterized as being attacked by fear. We're afraid of finding out what we might suspect is really true."

Virginia Coach George Welsh plans to meet with his team today. "There's no question we've got to face some facts," he said. "Three squad members committed a conspiracy to distribute cocaine."