Len Elmore is back on inactive status after a six-game shot at coming back from the preseason knee injury that sidelined Maryland's contribution to the Indiana Pacers' starting NBA lineup. "The knee is all right, but it needs further rehabilitation," a Pacer spokesman said yesterday. "We're not sure he'll play again this year" . . .

The Portland Trail Blazers play the Pacers tonight at Indianapolis, but won't have their No. 1 center either. Bill Walton, pestered by an inflamed Achilles tendon, went home to Portland yesterday to have his right foot put in a cast while the team was in Kansas City for last night's contest. Walton will have missed three games by then, but wouldn't you know it, is given a good chance of returning to action Saturday night for the Bullets invasion of Oregan . . .

But Marvin (No Noose) Barnes can play merrily along for the Detroit Pistons, another judge has decided . This time a Michigan court imposed two years' probation and $330 court costs on the wayward a concealed weapon at Detroit Metropolitan Airport Oct. 9 - the violation that brought him an off-season jail sentence for breaking Rhode Island probation.

"He'll keep his nose clean," said Piston coach Herb Brown after the judge turned down Bernes' request to work with community youngsters - "strongly urging" Barnes to do so but "on a voluntary basis; I will not order you to do that" . . . Jack Marin, Chicago Bull forward who took several punches from Barnes intervened in an elbowing-punching bout between Marin and his former (Baltimore) Bullet teammate, Kevn Porter of the Pistons in not so charitable, Marin tagged Barnes " a thug who should go to jail" . . . Jerry Sloan, the hell-for-leather guard of the Bulls who has spent this season on the injured list as Chicago assistant coach, has reached "tentative agreemet" to become head coach at alma mater Evansville U. to replace 500-game winner Arad McCutcheon, who is retiring . . . Barnes or no Bernes, detroit is a tough town. Willie Bouyer, once an NAIA all-America footballer and track star at Feris State, had a WFL tryout with the Wheels, was shot to death on a street corner this week; he was 30, ran a carryout restaurant . . .

Detroit . . . The city arson squad has its troubles, investigating the two alarm fire that destroyed the press box at Tiger Stadium on Tuesday night. A 300-foot stretch is a mass of debris, some kind of setback to the projected 7-to-10-year renovation of the old ball park - some sections date to 1912 - begun last fall with installation of mercury vapor lamps. "We'll be ready for the home opener (April 7 vs. Kansas City)," said general manager Jum Campbell. "only thing is, we might not have the press here, he-heh, wouldn't that be great." . . .The broadcast booth, a deck lower escaped the fire and will be waiting. Al Kaline's first campaign as regular commentator along with long-timer George Kell. . .

Sure enough, Lynn Patrick, just released by the St. Louis Blues as assistant GM, and Craig Patrick, just hired to play wing for the Capitals, are father and son - not to mention son and grandson of Lester Patrick, who guided the New York rangers for years . . . George Reveling, the former Maryland assistant with 14-4 record at Washington State this season, has signed a new four-year contract and prompted State athletic director Sam Jankovich to beam, "This is the brightest dau in the history of Cougar basketball" . . . Saturday afternoon's Baltimore Civic Center boxing card featuring Sugar ray Leonard vs. Luis Vega also will feature Prince George's favorites Ralph Palladin (10 round junior-middleweight go with Angle Robinson Garcia and Ronnie McGarvey (eight-round fatherweight tiff vs. Ringo Carrington) - and Onell Leonard, Rays cousin, vs. Stanley Jackson of D.C. four rounds welters. . .

The Redskins lost to the Chiefs last fall, but Kansas City's 101 Committee - their TD Club, as it were - has tapped George Allen as NFC coach of the year. Guess he had Feb. 25, awards night in K.C., as an open date . . . The Redskin basketball team is looking for games again (call coach Mac McGowan, 550-7420 or in Woodbridge at 703 - 491-3333). Impressive roster of 'Skin footballers, but no Mike Thomas there either . . .

How about the Special Olympics' new "Sponsor an Athlete" program?For $19.50, you finance a competitor you can follow personally in the world's largest sports training and competition program for the retarded, for a whole year. Write Bob Frisbie, area coodinator, 3912 Fairview Drive, Fairfax, Va. 22030.

A little doimestic bliss to balance off the Johnny-Vickle Bench bummer? New Orleans Jazz guard Gail Good-rich has new twin daughters to help his morale while he lounges, leg propped at home in Los Angeles following Archilles tendon surgery . . . Bill Koch who surprised the skiing world by bagging a silver medal in Olympic cross country, married a fellow member of the U.S. Nordiac team, Katie Tobey, last week - and showed a lot of zip when he unexpectedly showed up to ski anchor leg in a 30-kilometer relay in Vermont three days later . . . Wehn Bud Selig, Milwaukee Brewers president, was divorced last year, Mrs. Selig of 20 years' standing sighed that "Bud is married to baseball." But now selig is married again, to the former Sue Steinman, in a ceremony performed by Rabbi Barry Silberg - who holds Guiness records for rope jumping. . .