As faithful readers of your column," the letter from Williamsburg began - so of course, FanFare was hooked - " . . . as two of William and Mary's almost 2,000 students from Northern Virginia, we are shocked by the omission of any form of recognition in your newspaper's early editions of W&M's shocking upset of North Carolina in basketball . . . We would also like to bring to your attention the integral role of freshman Bobby Boyd, late of St. John's High School in Washington, as the sixth man on this year's Indian squad, which is off to a 5-1 start. We trust you will be able to rectify this omission and give the Tribe the credit they deserve for their spectacular 78-75 victory, (s) Jim Zavrel (j.e.b. Stuart, class of '74) and Charlie Hargest (Bishop O'Connell 76), representing Pi Lambda Phi fraternity."

Amen. And make it 7-1 - congrats to W&M for tacking two victories for the Cougar Classic crown in Provo, Utah, on the weekend.

Speaking of sith men on the W&M court, give John Kratzer some of the credit for the win over UNC. Kratzer was a regular last winter but didn't dress for the game: a senior who smiles a lot, he is battling cancer. He was introducted to a standing ovation from the 10,000 home fans before the tipoff; his teammates hugged him. Then he retired to the bench to cheer them on, serve as waterboy and generally inspire what may be the school's biggest basketball victory.

But the problem of early editions - It's a tough one. Press runs of the morning paper have to start by mid-evening for the sake of distribution, and outlying areas just can't get all the night results. The later editions carried the Tar Heel upset on the front sports page, guys . . . Also lost in the production shuffle: Florida A&M beat coach Ed Wyche's Delaware State football team in FAMU's Orange Blossom Classic Saturday night, 37-15 . . . And not all subscribers learned on the weekend that Stephainic Willim, the capital area's prime Olympic gymmnastic prospect, has been told by doctors - 10 of them, capped by Los Angeles' famed Robert Kerlan - that she must retire from competition or risk serious spinal damage. They cite an irregularity in a vertebra area, probably not attributable to gymnastics . . .

National Fan Poll, the Chapel Hill, N.C. based answer to writers' and coaches' rankings, is out with its preseason (almost) college basketball list, and it's an awful lot like - the media (AP) and coaches' (UPI) list, Kentucky Nao, 1 North Carolina, No. 2 (the ballots were in before the William & Mary thing). Maryland Nov. 12, Doug Bullock of NFP said about 300 fans had voted - they were looking for 1,000 so now it's open to anybody to mail in a weekly top 20 (P.O.Box 2715, Chapel Hill. N.C. 27514-last call). "We're a little shallow in the West," Bullock admitted saying there were votes from 15 or 16 states. "We did get a lot from Carolina," he granted "but their heavy vote for Kentucky as Nov. 1 shows they're fair. Our regular poil starts Jan. 1."

Elsewhere in downstate Virginia, or is Blackburg upstate. Virginia Tech is reported to be looking toward Carl James, director of the Sugar Bowl who used to be A. D. at Duke, to come in as athletic director. And mentioned as having been sounded out on the football coaching vacancy: Florida State's Bobby Bowden, South Carolina's Jim Carlin, Dallas Cowboy assistant Dan Reeves . . . A state medical examiner reported yesterday that the cause of death of VPI footballer Bob Vorhies, 18, who collapsed and died Nov. 21 may never be known completely. Dr. David Oxley said in Roanoke the most probable cause was cardiac arrhythima. That's a disturbance in heartbeat. And Oxley said the punishment drills imposed on Vorhies for clowning around in the athletic dormitory "may have exacerbated or aggravated some pre-existing condition," that there probably was "some relationship between the exercuses and his death" but "nothing we can find that specifically related." The punishment consisted of ten 30-yard dashes, ten 100-yard dashes, two 100-yard bear crawls, 50 situps, 50 pushups and four other 100-yard drills. Tech officials said the 6-foot, 230-pound athlete completed the exercises, went to his dorn and collapsed a few hours later . . .

The New York Yankees continue to wheel and deal, and yesterday grabbed veteran first baseman Jim Spencer, an outstanding fielder who tied his 10-year American League high with 18 home runs last year (274, 69 RBI). The Yanks set borderline pitcher Stan Thomas and cash to the Chicago White Sox for - what, another ance behind Chris Chambliss? another DH? - and, as Sox owner Bill Veeck said, "I find absolutely nothing distasteful about accepting money" . . . In hockey, the St. Louis Blues, who have a mere two more NHL standings points than the Capitals, took a big whack at shaking up things: traded away team-leading scorer Bob McMillan (7 G. 12 A) in a six-player deal with Atlanta. Left wing McMillan, 25: defenseman Dick Redmond (4 G. 11 A) and goalie Yves Belanger. 2.44 GA average at Salt Lake City to go to the Flames: goalie Phil Myre, center Curt Bennett (3 G. 7 A) and defensemen Barry Gibbs (1 G. 5 A) move to St. Louis. Myre has been with Atlanta since it came into the league in 1972 but yielded 4.93 goals a game in nine games this season.