Earvia (Magic) Johnson, Michigan State's superslick, Gervinsized guard, agonized to within 10 minutes of jumping from college freshman to NBA player before deciding to stay a Spartan as the Tuesday midnight deadline for declaring "hardship" status expired.
"One coach called me at 20 said. "I really wanted to go hardship . . . There was a lot of dealing going on at the end, which is why I really hadn't made up my mind completely until about 11:50 p.m.
"Choosing a college was small stuff compared to what I've been going through the last couple of weeks," said Johnson. ". . . They were talking a lot money."
"They" reportedly were three or four pro clubs, talking up to $1 million. And after his sophomore season, Magic will lend maybe an even more valuable ear . . .
Also staying put: defensive end Will Wynn, who made a big hit on Billy Kilmer one Monday night in Philadelphia before becoming an ex-Eagle, has signed to stay on with the Redskins, who rescued him from NFL limbo late last season (one game's worth) This leaves four Redskin vets unsigned and technically at liberty: Bill Brundige, Charley Taylor, Mike Curtis, Pete Wysocki . . . They'll no doubt stay in the fold with the word that things are looking up, Washington has the 161st pick in next week's draft. G.M. Bobby Beathard disclosed yesterday that the hitberto undisclosed pick coming from San Francisco to complete the Larry Jones-for-Tom Mitchell swap is a sixth-rounder the 49ers earlier acquired from Minnesota. So No. 161 currently is No. 1 for the 'Skins (No. 2 comes in the eigth round, No. 3 in the ninth), but Beathard hints, "We're working on some things that might get us even lower" . . .
Ken Boyer, managing the Orioles' Rochester farm, is the hottest bet to return home to St. Louis as Cardinal baseball skipper if Jack Krol indeed is only a caretaker appointee. The last straw for Vern Rapp was when word leaked that he'd berated as a "loser" catcher Ted Simmons, who last year acted as peacemaker between Rapp and rebellious players. Longtime Card third-base star Boyer is still a bit bitter he was passed over when the Redbirds hired Rapp in October 1976, but would jump at the job . . . Billy Hunter disclosed that boss Brad Corbett offered him a contract extension as Texas Ranger manager in the face of the recent losing streak that reached eight games. "I told him we'd talk about it at a later date," said the former Oriole third-base coach . . .
Georgetown is accepting the retirement of Hoya one-of-a-kind Tommy Nolan, 64, currently in his 20th season as baseball coach. "Tommy has been a major part of the Georgetown athletic program for over 40 years as a athlete, coach and educator," commented the a.d., Frank Rienzo. Nolan lettered in basketball on the Hilltop 1934-38, coached those sports for years at Anacostia and Gonzaa highs and took over as GU's basketball coach 1956-60 (W 40, £45) . . . GU gave Nolan no baseball recruiting budget the past four years but one of his boys,, Pete Garrity, is pitching for the Alexandria Dukes - who have sold out all 200 box seats for the home opener (turn off the rain, already) Friday night. G. M. Mike Halbrooks figures on a capacity crowd, 2,500, at Four Mile Run Park . . .
The Rangers report pitcher Roger Moret, hospitalized April 12 after going into a clubhouse trance, will be released as a daytime out-patient to work out with with the club . . . Early jail release for former Miami Dolphin linemen Randy Crowder and Don Reese from Dade County Stockade, where they are doing a year for selling cocaine, has been denied by Judge Joseph Durant. The judge said, "I agonized over the sentence last August," when it was criticizing as lenient."I said to myself, 'Damned if I do, damned if I don't.' The sentence was fair then It's fair now. Motion denied" . . .