John Thompson of Georgetown, who built his team from the ground floor up, and Bill Hodges of undefeated Indiana State, who inherited a Larry Bird-led buzzsaw, were voted coaches of the year yesterday.
Thompson, who led the Hoyas to their finest season (24-5), was named District 4 (Maryland, Virginia, D.C.) coach of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Thompson took a team that had four returning players and six freshmen into the NCAA East Regional before losing to Rutgers in the first round.
Hodges, unexpectedly handed the coaching reins before season's start after Bob King suffered a heart attack, has guided the Sycamores through a 31-0 whirl of a season and to the Midwest final. He was named United Press International's coach of the year. Hodges received 60 votes. Digger Phelps of Notre Dame 49 and Lute Olson of Iowa 15...
U.S. District Judge Norman Roettger, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., voted against Kallie Knoetz and upheld the State Department's revocation of the controversial South African boxer's visa. That means no more U.S. fights for Knoetze, and the burly heavyweight's upcoming fight with Leon Spinks will be in Monte Carlo rather than in Las Vegas...
Former Yankee Sparky Lyle's assertion that then teammate Graig Nettles tried to throw the Mayor's Trophy exhibition game with the New York Mets last year, by comitting an error, is being taken under advisement by baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
In his book "The Bronx Zoo," Lyle, now with Texas, says Nettles told him he would try to end the charity game by throwing away a ball hit to him. Ron Hodges opened the 13th with a bouncer to third. Nettles bobbled the ball, then threw 10 feet over first baseman Chris Chambliss's head (Hodges did not score, the Yanks went on to win). Nettles has denied he would intentionally make an error.