PLACED ON PROBATION: For three years by the NCAA, the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS basketball program, for violations that included helping three players obtain preferential credit consideration when purchasing cars, improper recruiting and lack of institutional control. The Illini are also banned from 1991 postseason play, and the program had its recruiting restricted for the next two years and the number of scholarships it may grant reduced to two, from a possible six, in each of the next two seasons.
For two years by the NCAA, the UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI basketball program for violations that included the purchase of an airline ticket for an ineligible player and for unethical conduct by assistant coaches in giving false and misleading information to NCAA investigators. The Tigers are banned from appearing in the NCAA tournament this season and from inviting prospects to make paid campus visits during '91. New scholarships are limited to one in '91 and two in '92, and only one coach can recruit off campus in '91.
SIGNED: By the Los Angeles Dodgers, free-agent outfielder DARRYL STRAWBERRY, 28, formerly of the New York Mets, to a five-year contract that is worth $20.25 million.
SUSPENDED: For two years by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, sprinter BUTCH REYNOLDS, 26, the world-record holder in the 400 meters, and RANDY BARNES, 24, the world-record holder in the shot put, for testing positive for steroids. Both athletes denied the allegations.
TRADED: By the Winnipeg Jets, defenseman DAVE ELLETT, 26, and left wing PAUL FENTON, 30, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for center ED OLCZYK, 24, and left wing MARK OSBORNE, 29; and by the Minnesota North Stars, defenseman JAYSON MORE, 21, to the Montreal Canadiens for goaltender BRIAN HAYWARD, 30.