The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference has stripped Howard University of its 1987 football championship. In a move that has been anticipated for months, since a Howard internal investigation revealed the Bison used at least three ineligible players that season, the league yesterday awarded the 1987 championship to Delaware State. Howard had sent a letter to all 10 of its opponents from that season saying it would forfeit its games. The Bison were 9-1 in 1987, the second-best Division I-AA record in the country. In addition, Willie Jeffries, Howard's coach at the time and now the coach at South Carolina State, was stripped of the MEAC coach of the year award. Conference Commissioner Ken Free said he was pleased the university had initiated its own investigation. But according to Free's statement, the MEAC thought it had Howard's final report. Yesterday university counsel Francis Smith said the school has issued only preliminary reports of its investigation. A final report has yet to be presented to the MEAC and the NCAA. In an unrelated matter, a former Howard football player is suing the school and the installer of its artificial turf field because of an injury he suffered in practice in 1986. Curtis Stokes, at the time a senior defensive end and team captain, is asking for $2 million in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. On Nov. 19, 1986, Stokes broke his right ankle when, he maintains, his foot got caught in the turf. The suit asks damages from Howard and Balsam American Sports Facilities for "permitting the {artificial turf} to be installed, maintained, repaired and serviced in such a way as to allow various holes, gaps and uneven sections." Attempts to settle the suit, which is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 13, have been unsuccessful. Stokes underwent surgery the day after the injury and says he still walks with a limp. "The doctor said he has 30 percent permanent damage to his right lower extremity," said Judith Katz, Stokes's attorney. "If he continues to have pain, he may have to have fusion." A major question involves former Howard defensive lineman Eric Moore. Stokes said Moore pushed him after a play, causing him to fall. The defendants claim Stokes was hit by Moore during the play and Moore then fell on Stokes's leg. "It is one of the risks assumed when one undertakes that kind of athletic endeavor," said Francis Smith, Howard University legal counsel. "We do not believe Howard was negligent. It is sad because we don't like to see any athlete hurt for any reason, but when 200- or 300-pound people fall on your leg, those things happen." Balsam's attorney, Ron Guziak, said his firm should not have been named in the suit. "There is no problem with this product," Guziak said. "He got hit by a 300-pound lineman. This is really for Howard and Mr. Stokes to work out. We are stuck in the middle."