Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer received the Maxwell Award as outstanding football player of the year. The Brigham Young junior quarterback had 1,993 points on a 3-2-1 vote system, with 413 first-place votes among 878 ballots by coaches, media and Maxwell Football Club members. Raghib "Rocket" Ismail of Notre Dame had 1,385, Colorado's Eric Bieniemy 747 and Virginia's Shawn Moore 431.

The Maxwell Club also announced Penn State's Joe Paterno won the George Munger Award as outstanding coach. Grambling Coach Eddie Robinson won the Bagnell Award for outstanding contributions to football. . . .

Georgia Tech football coach Bobby Ross won the 15th annual Bobby Dodd Award "in recognition of a higher and more noble aspect of college coaching . . . a belief that the game of football should be kept in perspective of college life in general."

Ross, who has taken Georgia Tech to No. 2 ranking, 10-0-1 record and berth in the Citrus Bowl against Nebraska, is the first Georgia Tech coach to win the award, named for the former Yellow Jackets football coach and athletic director. . . .

Mississippi State President Donald Zacharias told the state College Board that an exhaustive background check was made before offered Jackie Sherrill was offered its football coaching job. Sherrill, 105-45-3 in 13 years of coaching, resigned at Texas A&M two years ago after an internal investigation of the program. The Aggies were put on NCAA probation for two years, but Sherrill was never implicated in any wrongdoing.

The board unanimously aproved the hiring of Sherrill and of Jeff Bower as football coach at Southern Mississippi.