Bud Wilkinson knocks down a St. Louis newspaper report that he's soon to quit as coach of the Cardinals, whom he took over little more than a year ago:

"I signed a contract, and I intended to live by it. When I came here, there wasn't any question but what there were problemss," Wilkinson said (as if to confirm the presence of chronic policy disputes with owner Bill Bidwill). "But I didn't have my eyes closed." . . .

Sid Gillman, at 67 four years Wilkinson's senior, is back in pro football-couldn't stay away. Gillman has joined the Philadelphia Eagles as a special assistant in charge of the department of research and quality control for Coach Dick Vermeil.

A high-falutin' title, that, for a newly created department the club says will be devoted to preparing the Eagle offense.

Gillman, longtime head coach of Rams, Chargers, as recently as 1974 an NFL coach of year for coaxing Oilers University, San Diego. He'd taken refuge there after quitting as Chi Bears' offensive coordinator in a 1977 break with Coach Jack Pardee-who opted for younger aide Fred O'Connor as play caller. O'Connor has since come and gone as 49er head coach. Now Gillman is in the Redskins' division for a little home-and-home versus Coach Pardee and new assistant O'Connor. . . .

Now is the time Moses Malone probablly would have been rookie of the year if he'd gone ahead and played four college campaigns for Maryland, but since he didn't, Phil Ford is the only unaimous choice on the NBA all-rookie team selected by the pro coaches. Fifth-year pro Malone settles, poor chap, for NBA player-of-the-year designation by Basketball Digest.

Kansas City guard Ford's companions on the official all-rookie five: Mychal Thompson and Ron Brewer, Portland; Reggie Theus, Chicago; Terry Tyler, Detroit. Thompson and Brewer are first teammates to make all-rookie since 1969-70 when Milwaukee had two in-wow!-Kareem and Bobby D. . . . Neither of whom joins Malone on the Digest 1978-79 all-pro team picked by a panel of NBA experts and magazine staff-but Elvin Hayes does. Joining the Rocket center and Bullet forward are forward Marques Johnson, Bucks, with Paul Westphal, Suns, and George Gervin, Spurs, at guards.

Special Olympics, Inc., world's largest program for the retarded, presented its highest award yesterday to Rocky Bleier, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Purple-Heart veteran of Vietnam who came out of the war to make it as a slow, undersized but winning member of a champion team-reflecting qualities thar are the essence of the Special Olympians. Among the others cited in New York at the annaul dinner of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for their contributions and support of the Special Olympic ideal: baseball's Ron Guidry, basketball's Scott Wedman, the North American Soccer League, the Air Force Academy, NBC-TV Sports producer Don Ohlmeyer, and Washington Post sports columnist Dave Kindred. . . .

And next session, Bleier can call big buddy Terry Bradshaw "Doc." Alderson-Broaddus College, enrollment 1,000, no football team, will have the Steeler QB, once branded a dummy, down to Philippi, W. Va., May 20 to receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. A-B recognizes Bradshaw's "huminitarian efforts and his interest in people," particularly youth groups. . . We presume it was a slip of the college p.r. director's lip when he said, "Bradshaw is the first athlete ever to receive a degree from the school." . . .

Tony Roberts recently swept to his fifth straigth honor as D.C. sportscater of the year (by peer seletion), and Navy's got him, and now his station, WRC-910, as flagship outlet for the Navy football this fall. "We should now be able to reach more of our constituents," said the academy athletic director, Bo Coppedge.

Temper tantrum in the other league: Ken Reitz of the baseball Cardinals says $1,250 is what his cost him. Reitz said the amount represents damage he and two teammates (Keith Hernandez and Silvio Martinez) caused to a Trans-World Airlines waiting room, plus a fine by the club. Reitz admitted breaking a $700 sliding partition and throwing a chair April 11 at St. Louis' Lambert Airport during a 10-hour delay in a flight to Pittsburgh because of rainstorm.

"I don't like to fly anyway," said Reitz, "and I always drink some beers to relax me. We just sat there for so long that I was getting edgy. I'm sorry for what I did."