Officials from three postseason football bowls say they view Virginia as a candidate for their respective games.

Scouts from the Independence Bowl (Dec. 19, Shreveport, La.) will be in Charlottesville Saturday when the Cavaliers (5-4) play North Carolina (5-4). "We are interested in both teams," an Independence official said.

"Definitely on our list," said Bill Oakley, public relations director for the All-American Bowl (Dec. 22, Birmingham).

"They are on our list and if we don't send somebody to their game, we will be watching that score very closely," said Robert Dale Morgan, assistant exceutive director of the Peach Bowl (Jan. 2, Atlanta).

Coach George Welsh terms thoughts of bowls "premature," saying, "I'm not discussing it. I don't believe in it. I don't think it's necessarily an incentive." . . .

Howard (7-1) is No. 20 in this week's NCAA Division I-AA football poll for the third consecutive week, gaining no ground with its 54-7 handling of Division II Morehouse College . . .

The NCAA and the Big Ten cleared Iowa running back Kevin Harmon of any wrongdoing in allegations of payments made to Harmon by sports agents Norby Walters and Lloyd Bloom.

The university launched an investigation last week after a report by federal arbitrator John C. Culver said Harmon may have received $350 and airline tickets from Walters and Bloom's sports management firm. Culver ruled that Harmon's brother, former Iowa running back Ronnie Harmon, now of the Buffalo Bills, does not have to repay Walters almost $50,000 given him during his junior Hawkeyes season.