Carl James' nomination as Maryland's next athletic director passed the athletic committee of the university's Board of Regents yesterday and the full board will routinely approve his appointment Thursday, sources said last night.

James, 49, currently serves as executive director of the Sugar Bowl, a position he took last summer six days after resigning as athletic director at Duke University.

"We're going through the formality of (naming) James," said a source after yesterday's executive session. "I don't think there will be any hitches. It's not in the bag until the board approves it.But it's not controversial, just a routine thing."

In most personnel cases, other than controversial ones, the full board usually follows the recommendation of the committee in charge. Then the job is officially offered after the full board approves.

From New Orleans last night, James said he had not talked with Maryland officials since Monday. He said he expected contract terms to be settled before any announcement is made.

He indicated he anticipated few problems in this area.

"I expect to have some general terms of agreement prior to it," he said. "For the most part, we can do it on the telephone. It's not really negotiating, but outlining the things that go along with a new job, such as fringe benefits an dother packages."

James could be on the job as early as Aug. 1. Maryland officials want him to work with outgoing Athletic Director Jim Kehoe in order to facilitate a smooth transition when Kehoe retires Sept. 1.

James served five years as athletic director at Duke before running into a power struggle with football Coach Mike McGee and encountering differences of opinion with a new administration at his alma mater. James played football and threw the discus at Duke and later was assistant athletic director.