SEIFERT HEADED TO CBS? Former San Francisco 49ers coach George Seifert is set to join CBS as a commentator, perhaps as early as Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported today.

"I have visited with them, but it's premature to say anything," he said. "It's a great opportunity and something I'm excited about."

A CBS spokeswoman refused comment. The network is returning to NFL telecasts this fall after a four-year absence.

Seifert, who has no previous TV experience, said he wasn't told what spot he'd fill.

FALCONS LET EMANUEL GO: The Atlanta Falcons decided not to make Bert Emanuel the highest-paid player in team history, freeing him to sign a four-year, $16.4 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

HOYING HAS APPENDECTOMY: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Bobby Hoying was rushed to Ohio State University Hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

Hoying, an Ohio State graduate who is from St. Henry and has an apartment in Columbus, is expected to fully recover but might miss most of next week's mini-camp, Eagles trainer James Collins said.

SCHNELLENBERGER RETURNS: Howard Schnellenberger is back in college football - this time to help Florida Atlantic build a Division I program.

Schnellenberger, 64, who coached Miami to its first national title 15 years ago, was hired as a special assistant to the director of athletics for football operations. Florida Atlantic is scheduled to begin play in 2001.

AUBURN RECEIVER INDICTED: Auburn receiver Robert Baker has been indicted on cocaine charges. His trial is scheduled for May 11.

Baker, Auburn's leading receiver in 1996, was suspended indefinitely from the team last week. He's expected to enter a plea at his April 24 arraignment in Lee County Circuit Court. The 22-year-old Baker was indicted Monday on two counts of distribution of cocaine and one count of trafficking cocaine.

49ERS' SCRAFFORD RETIRES: San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Kirk Scrafford retired Tuesday because of a neck injury.

The former Montana player, an eight-year NFL veteran, has a bulging disc between the fifth and sixth vertebrae, an injury first diagnosed in 1993 when he played for the Denver Broncos.


BLISS TO RULE ON THOMAS: New Mexico center Kenny Thomas today can expect to find out what disciplinary sanction, if any, he'll face from his coach for a DWI incident in which a vehicle the athlete was driving struck another car.

Lobos coach Dave Bliss said Tuesday he would disclose today what action he plans to take against his star center, who faces a charge of aggravated DWI. Bliss was on vacation at the time of the incident on April 4 and spoke for the first time about it on Tuesday.

ASU POINT-SHAVING PLEA: The alleged mastermind of the 1994 Arizona State point-shaving scandal pleaded guilty to five counts of sports bribery. Benny Silman, 26, a former Arizona State student from North Hollywood, Calif., faces five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Auto racing

INDY 500 QUALIFYING: Two-time champion Arie Luyendyk and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier head the list of drivers who will fill 75 cars in an attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.


TEXAS TECH VIOLATIONS: Texas Tech admitted breaking several NCAA rules from 1991-97 and will compensate by reducing scholarships and forfeiting victories - potentially dozens - in several sports.

The penalties accompanied a self-imposed, three-year probation in which Texas Tech compliance director Bob Burton promised a series of audits and intense monitoring. The school admitted in October that four sports awarded too much scholarship money and 76 athletes weren't academically eligible to compete from 1991-97. Audits have raised that number to 81.


TOCCHET SUSPENDED: Phoenix forward Rick Tocchet drew a two-game suspension from the NHL, bringing to nine the total number of games he has been penalized his season. Tocchet also was fined $1,000 for his latest infraction, a high-sticking attack against St. Louis' Scott Pellerin on Saturday.


GOLOTA WINS: At Ledyard, Conn., Heavyweight Andrew Golota won for the first time in more than two years, knocking out Eli Dixon in the sixth round. Golota (29-3) stopped Dixon with a solid right to the body.


CONDE DE GODO OPEN: At Barcelona, Spain, top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia beat Spain's Francisco Roig 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the second round of the Conde de Godo Open. No. 2 Alex Corretja of Spain beat countryman Alberto Martin 6-1, 6-0.