All roads lead to Detroit: The Lions have traded for an established NFL Pass catcher out of Amherst - no, not Jean Fugett . . . The Pistons have hired as coach the man who brought U. of Detroit back to basketball prominence . . . Leon Spinks not only has a home-television date with Muhammad Ali, and (gulp) Howard Cosell, but "as of 4 o'clock this afternoon" will have a driver's license - Michigan issue.
The Lions landed Freddie Scott, whom Redskin fans unhappily remember diving into Memorial Stadium's end-zone mud one night last November to receive the pass that beat Washinton, 10-3( for Baltimore. The Colts sent along with Scott an undisclosed pick in the impending draft to get disgruntled Lion defensive end Herb Orvis - which the speculative might see as a perlude to another swap for Baltimore, accommodating disgruntled Colt ace DE John Dutton. Medical student Scott was a starter all last season (18 catches, 267 yards) for Coach Ted Marchibroda, getting his shot because Pro Bowl receiver Roger Carr was hurt in preseason; Orvis was Detroit's MVP in '73 . . .
Dick Vitale, 37, committed a bit of a boo-boo at his unveiling as Piston coach on an undisclosed but guesstimated three-year, $100,000-per contract: he immediately broke and NBA rule by naming Campy Russell of Clevelan - a Michigan man - a sa free agent he sure would like to put in Piston garb. Vitale was introduced at the Pontiac Silver-dome 80,000-seat home of the Lions and effective come fall - courtesy of a partitioning curtain - 30,000-seat home of NBA club. He delivered an impassioned 35-minute talk on Piston Pride he will instill. He declared, "NO NBA coach will outwork me . . . Once around this league, baby, and I'll be nationally known."
What about that bleeding ulcer that forced Vitatle out of coaching after four years (78-30) at the Titan helm, into just athletic director work at U.D. past year? Granted, "The only thing that can hold me back is that stomach," said Vitale. "I'd be aliar to say I'm not concerned. I'll drink a lot of milk and get lots of loving" . . .
American Broadcasting Co. and Top Rank Inc. got Spinks and Ali together in New York to announce their signing that means all it'll cost you to see their Sept. 15 Louisina Superdome rematch is your monthly installment on the TV set. What ABC bid to beat CBS (and NBC?) was not revealed, but in-the-know types reckon $5.5 million; the heavyweight match will climax an 8.11 p.m. EDT title tripleheader. According to Ali, each fighter wil earn $4 million (live gate, they hope, will reach $5 million), and the would-be three-time champ added it may not be his last stand: "I'm 36 years old, I can got four more years. I'm still faster than any of the feavyweights they have around today." And Spinks' adviser, Judge (former) Ed Bell of Detroit, cut off talk of Leon's two recent scrapes with St. Louis police: "We'll meet with law enforcement people in St. Louis later this week and hope to settle the situation amicably." Meantime, Bell said Spinks - who had no operators' license either time he was arrested - will be picking up that Michigan permit . . .
Driving from Motown to Mizzou ahead of Spinks, we visit U. of Missouri, which has named an athletic director to relieve easedout Mel Sheean - and it isn't Russ Potts; it's Dave Hart. Potts, assistant a.d. at Maryland, had been one of three finalists but the Tiger hierarchy takes Hart, 53, athletic director at U. of Louisville since 1953. Western Pennsylvania native Hart was defensive backfield coach at Navy in the mid-'60s before serving as head football coach at Pitt 1966-69 . . .
Frank Robinson, Oriole coach, has been discussing with Hank Peters, general manager, the prospect of succeeding Ken Boyer at Class AAA Rochester. In the International League, big-league baseball's only (former) black manager, would have company: Richmond skipper Tommie Aaron . . .
Sam Bercovich who runs an Oakland furniture firm, has resurrected the A's from radio limbo - and brought Curt Flood, one of his American Legion teen-age players of 25 years ago - back to baseball. Former St. Louis Cardinal hero Flood went to Oakland's McClymonds High School - so did Bill Russell, Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson et al. - and remembers, "I was raised on Bud Foster's voice." That was when Foster was doing Oakland Oaks Pacific Coast League games, and Barcovich has resurrected Foster too; at 62, he will be Flood's partner.
Boning up on American League rosters. and how it was before he unsuccessfully challenged the reserve clause all the way to the Supreme Court, Flood played a few weeks for Bob Short's 1971 Senators before jumping the team and beating the Nats out of town by a few months. Later, he lived in ports of call including Copenhagen and Majorca. Flood declares, "I feel inspired all over again" . . .