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Conoly lost for season

Florida State offensive lineman Forrest Conoly is lost for the season after arthroscopic surgery Friday on his injured right knee revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament and joint surface damage. Additional surgery will be required.

Conoly, a junior, injured the knee in last Saturday's 17-0 win over Clemson. After an MRI earlier this week proved inconclusive, doctors scheduled Friday's surgery.

This will be the second time Conoly has had major surgery on his right knee. The 6-6, 325-pound, Berlin, Conn., native was forced to redshirt his freshman year in 1991 after reconstructive knee surgery.

Conoly missed the first four games this season while sitting out a university-imposed suspension.

UF's Hill cleared to play

GAINESVILLE _ Florida wide receiver Aubrey Hill has been cleared to play tonight against Georgia, coach Steve Spurrier said after a brief walk-through practice.

Hill practiced in a non-contact jersey for much of this week because a blood test showed an increased level of platelets, which help the blood to clot.

Spurrier said wide receiver Sorola Palmer (hamstring) also may be ready.

"How much he can go play, we'll find out right before the game," Spurrier said.

Pitino clarifies remarks

LEXINGTON, Ky. _ Kentucky basketball coach Rick Pitino tried to set the record straight over remarks he made about the school's struggling football program.

Pitino spoke to the football players Thursday for about five or 10 minutes before practice and told them remarks he had made to the Kentucky Broadcasters Association were taken out of context.

When he addressed the broadcasters on Tuesday, he defended the coaching staff and placed the blame for the team's six-game losing streak on inferior talent and "lousy recruiting."

Team suspends 40 players

WILMINGTON, Ohio _ Division III Wilmington College suspended about 40 players for the rest of the season for violating the school's policy on alcohol consumption. The team was left with 14 players, and will not play today's game against Bluffton College. A decision on the rest of the schedule will be made later.

School spokesman Raymond Wojda said the school's policy prohibits players from consuming any alcoholic beverages during the season. He said the suspensions were not the result of a single event.

Irish to play in Dublin

ANNAPOLIS, Md. _ The Fighting Irish will play in Ireland in 1996.

The Naval Academy said Friday that the Middies-Notre Dame game that year has been moved to Dublin.

And a freshman shall lead

HATTIESBURG, Miss. _ When Southern Mississippi and Tulsa play today, there will be a freshman quarterback on both sides of the ball. Tulsa's John Fitzgerald, a true freshman, was forced into action because of an injury, while Southern Miss redshirt Heath Graham took over three games ago.

_ Correspondents Michelle Thresher, Jim Lamar and Times wires.