The NFL Players Association has filed a federal antitrust suit in New York against the National Football League, charging the NFL prevented the NFLPA from promoting group licensing rights of its members. Also cited are the NFL Management Council and National Football League Properties.

The NFLPA asks a permanent injunction against the defendants' alleged interference, treble damages and punitive damages.

Gene Upshaw, NFLPA executive director, said the NFL owners were trying to deprive the association of income needed to support individual player lawsuits against the league. The NFLPA decertified itself in order to facilitate pursuit of such individual suits. . . .

Mel Kaufman, who retired in 1988 after eight years with the Washington Redskins as a linebacker, is rejoining the NFL team as scouting administrator.

The Redskins said yesterday they also have added Larry Bryan to their scouting department and reassigned Miller McCalmon.

McCalmon, a Redskins scout with the scouting combine BLESTO last season, becomes a college scout. Bryan will replace him as the Redskins' BLESTO scout; he coached at Southern California, Oregon State, and in the USFL with Portland. . . .

Doug Flutie signed with the British Columbia Lions, capping a whirlwind weekend courtship in Vancouver between the CFL team and the 1984 Heisman Trophy winner who went on to the USFL and lesser success with the NFL's Chicago Bears and New England Patriots. The B.C. Lions say they like their other quarterback acquisition, Major Harris, but that the rookie from West Virginia needs experience. . . .

Bengals cornerback Lewis Billups pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges from his January arrest for allegedly waving a handgun at two undercover Cincinnati police officers. He was released on bond with sentencing scheduled for July 31.