The starting time for Pittsburgh's Oct. 30 home game against No. 4 Virginia Tech has been changed to 6 p.m.

The switch from the original 3:30 p.m. start was made so ESPN2 could televise the game.

The Virginia Tech game begins a three-game homestand that will be the Panthers' last in Pitt Stadium.

After they play Miami Nov. 6 and Notre Dame Nov. 13, the stadium will be torn down to make room for a convocation center.

TOWNSEND RETURNS: Howard QB Bobby Townsend returned to practice, and Bison Coach Steve Wilson said he probably will start Saturday at North Carolina A&T. Townsend aggravated a sprained foot in the Bison's Oct. 9 loss to Florida A&M and sat out last Saturday's loss to Towson.

RB Jermaine Hutchinson was named the MEAC offensive player of the week after gaining 166 yards and tying a school record with four touchdowns in the 49-33 loss to Towson.

ACC PLAYER LOSES: Stanford's K.J. Hippensteel defeated Virginia's Brian Vahaly, 6-1, 6-3, yesterday in the final of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association men's all-American championships in Austin.

Vahaly was the first Atlantic Coast Conference player to reach the final of the all-American championships, which is the second leg of the ITA Grand Slam.

OUT OF JAIL: A former Notre Dame football booster who showered football players with gifts and sparked an NCAA investigation left prison after serving her sentence for embezzling more than $1.4 million from a former employer.

Kimberly Dunbar walked out a back door of the Atterbury Correctional Unit south of Indianapolis partially shielded by Department of Corrections vans lined up to block journalists' access to her.

The university awaits word from the NCAA on whether Dunbar's relationship with up to a dozen players will result in the school's first major rules violation.

NEW WAC TEAMS: With an eye toward regional balance and adding more football bowl games, the Western Athletic Conference announced Boise State and Louisiana Tech will be joining in 2001.