BYU's season opener got a little less imposing Monday. Alabama, which hosts the Cougars Sept. 5, announced that senior defensive end Chris Hood has been ruled academically ineligible for the 1998 football season.

Hood, who was named the Crimson Tide's most improved defensive lineman last season, earned second team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press.BYU, meanwhile, faces a classroom casualty of its own. Highly touted wide receiver Jonathan Pittman of Long Beach City College has reportedly failed to complete a correspondence math course needed to earn eligibility and may not be able to enroll at BYU until January.

The Cougars began two-a-day work-outs Monday and will put the pads on for the first time Wednesday. LaVell Edwards, who is entering his 27th season as BYU's coach, said the team's first scrimmage is set for Saturday morning.