So how does Chuck Fairbanks while away the time waiting for legal clearance to leave as coach of the New England Patriots and to take over at U. of Colorado?

Seems, as the Boston Globe tells it, Fairbanks gathered four high school coaches and seven top high school players at his Foxboro home the evening of Jan. 10. They chatted about the Colorado football program while sipping soft drinks and munching chips and pretzels.

And, lo and behold, one of the lads, quarterback Steve Salvatore of Norwood (Mass.) H.S., turns up as a letter-of-intent signee to attend Colorado.

Chuck Neinas, Big Eight commissioner, allowed that Fairbanks "called me... and told me of a situation that took place... in Massachusetts. He gave me his version of what happened." Neinas also noted the NCAA rule prohibiting "the representative of any college to entertain (a prospect) off campus." Neinas will investigate further.

Larry Bowa, the Phillie shortstop, spilled the simmering beans on a radio talk show the night before and it came to pass yesterday that he has a new keystone partner courtesy of a multiplayer trade with the Chicago Cubs: Manny Trillo, no less.

That gives the Phils more punch than expectable from Ted Sizemore, who moves to Chicago in the swap; he batted only.219 last year after fracturing a hand early on, while Trillo hit.261 on the heels of.280 success in 1977 -- and.300-style work until the August doggy days. The Phils also get catcher Dave Rader and outfielder Greg Gross in exchange for catcher Barry Foote and outfielder Jerry Martin, plus two rookie pitchers.

So the Phils line up solidly with Mike Schmidt, Bowa, Trillo and Pete Rose around the horn -- but still looking for pitching help.

Victor Galindez says no problem, he'll regain the WBA light-heavy-weight championship in today's ABC-televised rematch with Mike Rossman. Galindez says he was in "50 percent condition" when Rossman stopped him Sept. 15 on the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks rematch card. "He is a fair fighter," adds the Argentinian; "I'm still the champion, it's just like Spinks beating Ali (once but not twice)." Counters Rossman, 11-5 favorite in Las Vegas, site of the fight: "We'll see..."

Underhanded recruiting? U. of Alabama officials are beside themselves. Chuck Ehin of Layton, Utah, a 6-5, 255-pound defensive tackle, had agreed to don the Crimson and play for No. 1 until receiving a telegram last week saying 'Bama scholarships were no longer available; a telegram signed "B. Bryant."

By the time Alabama recruiters got back in touch with Ehin to assure that Coach Bear Bryant, hospitalized last week with three broken ribs, never sent the message, Ehin had signed with Brigham Young, presumably an innocent party.

The WVU Alumni Association is staging a pregame (5 p.m.) social hour/dinner and postgame cocktail party at Marvin Center, GWU student union, around this evening's Mountaineer-Colonial basketball set-to. Careful, last time we posted notice of similar, West Virginia beat Maryland in football...

And, 7 p.m. Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla., the Volusia County Umpires Association meets -- at, honest, the Florida Regional Library for the Blind.