Ohio State University officials yesterday reaffirmed their decision not to appeal to the NCAA to restore Cris Carter's athletic eligibility, and the wide receiver's agent said Carter likely will announce today his intent to reenter a supplemental draft by the National Football League.

The affirmation came after a morning meeting among university president Edward Jennings; athletic director Rick Bay, who was adamant about not appealing, and football coach Earle Bruce, who was seeking a two- or three-game suspension for his star receiver.

"This is consistent with Ohio State's tradition of upholding stricter standards than those provided for by the NCAA or even the Big Ten," Jennings said.

Based on the NCAA's reinstatement last week of University of Pittsburgh defensive back Teryl Austin, who like Carter accepted money from an agent, Carter said through his new agent, Boston attorney Mitchell Frankel, that he had expected Ohio State to appeal on his behalf.

"I wanted to play football for Ohio State and I thought I was going to get that chance," Carter said in a statement released by Frankel. "I still don't understand why they didn't appeal. Now I've got to go back and think about the NFL supplemental draft. That won't be easy since I thought I would regain my eligibility. But that has to be done and it looks like I have no other choice but to go back in the draft."

Frankel said that announcement likely would come today.

The NFL said last week it would postpone the supplemental draft for Carter and Pitt running back Charles Gladman until Friday and urged the two athletes to attempt to regain their eligibility. At the time of the postponement, 13 of the 28 NFL teams, including the Washington Redskins, said they would not participate in a draft that had been highly criticized by college officials.

NFL spokesman Joe Browne said yesterday the league was ready to proceed with its second supplemental draft in eight days (none of the four players eligible were drafted last week). "Unless we hear from one of the players that they want their names withdrawn, we'll go ahead with the draft," Browne said.

Bob Berry, another Boston attorney who has represented Carter, said that Carter's only other recourse to regaining college eligibility was litigation, and that Carter did not plan to follow that path. Berry said the case underscores "the painful fact that college athletes have little recourse other than litigation . . . and the NCAA must change {that policy} in future years."

Frankel said the difference between Austin regaining his eligibility and Carter not getting an opportunity to regain his was Pitt's willingness to appeal on Austin's behalf. Pitt has not indicated what it will do in Gladman's case. Pitt officials were unavailable yesterday.

Berry criticized Jennings' logic for Ohio State's decision. "In Cris Carter's case," he said, "those standards are nowhere articulated and thus this invocation is of doubtful validity."

Bruce, the one Ohio State official who publicly backed Carter's reinstatement, did not attend the news conference with Jennings and Bay. The Associated Press reached Bruce at the team's training table, and he said:

"I promised myself I wouldn't talk about Cris Carter. It's over and it's finished. We have got to take care of the people who are here now. . . . We're going to get on with playing football and coaching. That's all. . . . The decision has been made and I have to live with the decision."

While declining to appeal on Carter's behalf, Ohio State announced it would pay for Carter's education as long as he makes satisfactory progress toward a degree. Jennings said the offer would be good if Carter, a senior, played in the NFL and pursued a degree in the offseason.

A week ago, only one NFL team, the St. Louis Cardinals, scouted a workout by Carter in Indianapolis. Now that Ohio State has declined to appeal his case, Frankel said he is hopeful that NFL teams will judge Carter "on his talent and not the circumstances surrounding his case."