James Lott, a Texas defensive back and three-time NCAA high jump champion, denied published reports he accepted money from two sports agents being investigated by a Chicago grand jury.

The Atlanta Journal reported that Lott took $1,500 from agents Norby Walters and Lloyd Bloom. Under NCAA rules, Lott would be ineligible to play in his final season for accepting cash from an agent.

"I don't know anything about that," Lott told the Austin American-Statesman. "Ineligible? I know better. No, I sure didn't sign with them. Nope, I sure haven't {taken money}." . . .

Tennessee is considering eye tests as an alternative way of checking athletes for drugs because of the cost and controversy of random urinalysis drug testing.

The pupilometer test uses a small flashlight to chart the response of eyes to light. It can indicate whether such drugs as cocaine, marijuana, PCP and heroin have been used in the past three to four days.

The 30-second tests are used by the California Highway Patrol and are under review at other universities looking to cut drug testing costs that range between $50,000 and $100,000 annually . . .

Northwestern plans to drop its track and cross country programs after next season, according to the Chicago Tribune. The school would neither confirm nor deny the report . . .

Virginia basketball coach Terry Holland said he is not a candidate to replace Dick Schultz as the school's athletic director, the Roanoke Times & World News reported.

According to the report, Holland said he was one of several Virginia coaches questioned by an advisory committee, but that he was not in the running for the job. The committee reportedly concluded its work and has presented a list of candidates to university president Robert O'Neil, who will appoint the successor to Schultz. Schultz will become NCAA executive director Sept. 1 . . .

Virginia released its 1987-88 basketball schedule, which features non-Atlantic Coast Conference games against Houston, Arkansas, Jacksonville and Villanova. The Cavaliers will host the Investors Classic Nov. 27-28, will play in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Invitational in Richmond Dec. 18-19 and in the Chaminade Christmas Tournament in Hawaii Dec. 23-25. In those tournaments, they could face Georgia, Oklahoma, La Salle and Rhode Island.