University of Virginia basketball coach Terry Holland said yesterday he will consider reinstating suspended Mel Kennedy to the team at the end of this semester.
Kennedy, a 6-foot-5 senior who started 51 games the last two seasons, was suspended from the team for an indefinite period by Holland on Sept. 15 because of poor class attendance. At that time, Holland said the earliest reconsideration of the suspension would not be until Jan. 1.
Holland said yesterday he will make a decision on Kennedy's status at the end of the first semester (exams end Dec. 21).
"Although Mel has accepted his punishment without complaint, others have pointed out to me that suspending him past the first semester and causing him to miss 11 games of his senior season is extremely harsh. He has met our criteria for reinstatement," Holland said in a statement. "Mel has worked hard to return to the team." . . .
Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce said he has been contacted by Southern Methodist University and Kansas about head coaching vacancies there.
Bruce was fired by Ohio State two weeks ago after he went 6-4-1 in his ninth season. Kansas is seeking a replacement for Bob Valesente, who was fired after just his second year. SMU is attempting to rebuild a program after the NCAA canceled its 1987 season for repeated rules violations. The Mustangs will not resume football until 1989.
"I just had preliminary talks with both of them, to see how interested they are in me, and how interested I am in them," Bruce said.
SMU has received more than 75 applicants for its coaching job. Officials said there is no specific time frame for hiring a new coach, but would like to have one in place by early January to begin limited recruiting efforts. Another reported candidate is Tim Edwards, coach at nearby L.D. Bell High School.
Bruce said he has not been interviewed at either school. "I think they're still in the research phase," he said. "They'll get all the applications in and then go through the screening."
Meanwhile, the chairman of Worthington Industries said his company had canceled a $400,000 pledge to Ohio State because of the university's handling of Bruce's dismissal. "It was not the firing of Coach Bruce," John McConnell said. "It was the way it was done."
However, McConnell said the Columbus-based company would reconsider cancellation of the pledge "down the line." McConnell said he made the corporate pledge to a fund to support the university's indoor athletic facility during the Michigan State game Oct. 31.
Kent State's football coach, Glen Mason, said he has been contacted about a coaching vacancy at Kansas, but said he remains interested in becoming head coach at Ohio State, where he formerly was offensive coordinator . . .
Michigan State basketball coach Jud Heathcote still is smarting from George Washington's upset of his Michigan State team last week.
Three Spartans claim they heard a referee's whistle as Ellis McKinnie drove for an uncontested layup at the buzzer to give the Colonials a 65-64 victory.
"The loss is doubly disappointing because these are games we need not only for our club confidence, but for the record also," Heathcote said yesterday.
"The sad thing is the replay shows a definite travel. Our film does not just show just a travel, but a blatant travel. He took about four steps out there. You could hear the tweet of the whistle, and of course the referee meant to call it, but didn't. He had second thoughts. That's human nature, but we suffered for it." . . .
Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown of Notre Dame, runner-up Don McPherson of Syracuse and Lombardi Award winner Chris Spielman of Ohio State headed United Press International's all-America football team.
Brown made the UPI first team at wide receiver for the second straight year. Louisiana State's Wendell Davis, a second-team member last year, had nine votes to join Brown as the other receiver.
McPherson easily earned the first-team quarterback spot after leading the Orangemen to an 11-0 record and a Sugar Bowl berth.
Spielman headed the linebackers. Also making the first team were Aundray Bruce of Auburn and UCLA's Ken Norton Jr.
Complete list, Page D6