Former Kansas City Chiefs coach John Mackovic has been selected as the Illinois football coach, sources said last night.

Peggy Tippett, wife of Illini defensive coordinator Howard Tippett, said Athletic Director Neale Stoner told her husband, who was a candidate, that Mackovic would get the job.

A University of Illinois source, who asked not to be identified, also confirmed Mackovic had been selected.

Earlier in the evening, the university announced that a decision on a new coach had been made but the announcement would be delayed until today so the candidate could be notified and could accept.

Mackovic is a 21-year coaching veteran with collegiate and professional experience but has been out of football for about a year.

Choosing Mackovic would mean ignoring support for Tippett from high school coaches in the state, alumni and some Illinois players. If Mackovic gets the job, Tippett has said he will resign. "I would never stay with Mackovic," he said. "Maybe someone else. But I've heard enough about him to know that I wouldn't work for him." He would not elaborate.

Former Northwestern coach Dennis Green, an assistant with the NFL San Francisco 49ers, and Ohio State assistant Jim Colletto also interviewed.

Mike White quit as coach Jan. 18 after allegations of recruiting violations . . .

Duquesne is investigating whether sophomore center Pete Freeman violated NCAA rules by accepting $1,200 for a summer job that consisted of answering questions on the political views of college students. Mossie Murphy, a political consultant and longtime Dukes' booster, said he hired Freeman at Coach Jim Satalin's suggestion. Satalin now is trying to disassociate Murphy from his program.