Joe Paterno

is lobbying again for a major college football playoff system, calling the reasons against it "bogus" less than 3 weeks after the Bowl Championship Series decided to maintain its current format for the foreseeable future.

The 81-year-old Penn State coach said yesterday he doubts if a playoff system would be enacted soon, particularly after a May 5 meeting of the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conference commissioners and Notre Dame's athletic director ended with a decision to reject a four-team playoff and begin negotiations with the television networks with the current system in place.

"I'm only going to be a head coach another 10 or 15 years, and I don't think it will happen by then," said Paterno, who is entering his 43rd season as Penn State's head coach.

Paterno's pro-playoff stance differs from that of the Big Ten, which has long opposed a playoff.

Those opposing the playoff cited the sanctity of the regular season and the fact the players would be forced to miss too much class time.

"To be frank with you, I don't know what the reasons are not to have a playoff," Paterno said during a speaking appearance in Pittsburgh. "You can talk about missing class and all that kind of stuff, [yet] you see basketball go on forever.''

In other college news:

* Former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo has severed ties with the sports agency that allegedly funneled him thousands of dollars in violation of NCAA rules. In a statement, Mayo's mother, Alisha, said the expected NBA lottery pick is looking for a new agent after firing Calvin Andrews, of Bill Duffy Associates.

* South Carolina forward Chad Gray was dismissed from the basketball team by new coach Darrin Horn because of repeated violations of team rules.

* Indiana coach Tom Crean dismissed forward Brandon McGee from the team, leaving the Hoosiers with only three returning players for next season. McGee was kicked off because of academic and team guideline violations.

* Alabama forward Alonzo Gee will remove his name from the NBA draft list and return for his senior season.


* Gymnast Paul Hamm might miss tomorrow's U.S. gymnastics championships after injuring his first hand in the last few seconds of his parallel bars routine, his final event last night in Houston.

* Athletes at the Beijing Olympics will be subject to no-advance notice doping controls at any time and any place, the IOC said.

* Three-time Olympic equestrian gold medalist Andrew Hoy, of Australia, appeared at hearing to answer accusations of horse abuse.

* World recordholder Paula Radcliffe might not compete in the marathon at the Beijing Olympics because of a stress fracture in her left thigh bone.

Auto Racing

* Kyle Busch won the pole position for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, N.C.


* Jay Haas withstood wet, bone-chilling conditions by shooting a 1-under 69, to take the lead after one round at the Senior PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y. Jeff Sluman and New Jersey golf pro Bill Britton are one shot back.

* Erica Blasberg shot a 7-under 65 for a two-shot lead after one round of the LPGA Corning (N.Y.) Classic. *