Bob Hayes, former football and sprint hero, busted: cocaine and methaqualone. Don Murdoch, hockey star, in court between NHL games: cocaine. Earlene Brown, U.S. shot putter in Hayes' days of Olympic glory, arraigned: "angel dust." Al Jones, not so long ago among boxing's top 10 heavyweights, awaiting grand jury action: cocaine.

Lem Barney, NFL star, alleged in an affidavit to have been wiretapped by officers in a "pertinent" conversation: cocaine and amphetamines. Darrell Shepard, U. of Houston quarterback whose recruitment last year landed the Cougars on NCAA probation, charged: marijuana. Don Reese and Randy Crowder, former Dolphin linemen, marking time in Dade County Stockade, Miami, hoping they'll be released early for good behavior in time for Reese to join the Toronto Argos and Crowder maybe to hook on somewhere for 1978 NFL action: cocaine.

Aside from the last-mentioned pair, mind you, these aren't convictions we're talking about - so let the presumption of innocence be our guide - but all these happenstances moved across the national wires over the past several days, capped by yesterday's Hayes bombshell.

Conclusion: There are a lot of illegal drugs being trafficked, there are a lot of undercover agents out where the action is, and a lot of sports names - guilty or innocent - are getting hung up in traffic. Moral: Steer clear, stay out of a jam.

New York Ranger wing Murdoch, 21 - first NHL player ever brought up on drug charges - appeared in provincial court yesterday at Brampton, Ontario, and counts of possessing cocaine for sale (he was arrested Aug. 12 when police at Toronto International Airport seized 5.6 grams) were dropped. But he headed for Philadelphia and last night's Ranger-Flyer game with a possession charge, to which he pleaded innocent, hanging over him until a continuance today.

"Bullet Bob" Hayes, the Florida A&M flash who won two gold medals at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, then scored 75 touchdowns in 10 years as a receiver and sometimes kick returner for the Dallas Cowboys, was arrested in suburban Big D with a Dycon International Inc. business associate. Investigators said that after three months of undercover work, they caught Hayes and Bob Adler, 29, delivering the goods to undercover officers and charged them with same. Hayes was released on $30,000 bond and Adler $15,000.

Hayes, voice quivering, called the incident "a mistake." That didn't stop Hershey Foods Corp. from promptly severing Hayes' association with its national youth athletic program.

A recent press release from the National Track and Field Hall of Fame said Hayes expected the nation's youth to produce a successor to his famed title as "world's fastest human." It quoted him: "That's a happy and healthy development when our children strive to initate the accomplishments" of Olympic heroes. . .

For an inspiring example, let us turn - as President Carter did in the Oval Office - to Midshipman Tom Harper, Naval Academy assistant football coach presented the American Cancer Society's Courage Award. Harper, from San Mateo, Calif., made the Navy varsity at tight end, then after the third game of the 1973 season, was found to have widespread abdominal cancer. Doctors gave him three months to live; despite pain and effects of medication - Harper lost his hair and 50 pounds - he came back to work out with the squad and has been serving on Coach George Welsh's staff. In June, he graduates and goes on active naval duty . . .