Seb Coe ran into John Law and there went the English track sensation's plans to go after his fourth world record, the 1,000 meters, Friday night.

Coe withdrew yesterday from the international meet at London's Crystal Palace because of a sore leg -- brought on evidently, when a police patrol flagged him as he trained in Richmond Park, South London. Coe was stopped for causing an obstruction by runnnng on a narrow road, and, explains meet organizer Alan Pascoe, "It seems that during the discussion he must have got cold, because when he started again he was hit by calf-muscle trouble."

That will leave the middle-distance spotlight at the Palace to Coe's archrival fellow Briton, Steve Ovett. Oh, they wouldn't have met anyhow, any more than when Coe set the 800, 1,500-meter and mile records this summer; Ovett opted for the mile event in Friday's meet. Can he artfully dodge his way inside 3:49?

The National Basketball Association is penning coaches and trainers, during games, into what you might call an imaginary dugout: a 28-foot-long area between the end-of-court baseline and a hash mark to be placed 19 feet from midcourt.

"There was concern that coaches and trainers were roaming too far away from their benches and interfering with the functions of the scorers' table," said Commissioner Larry O'Brien in issuing the rule enacted by the NBA governors. It decrees that coaches and trainers "may not leave this area unless specifically requested to do so by the referees . . . except during timeouts or between periods, and only to check statistical information. Penalty: technical foul . . ."

At the NBC-TV mikes Sunday for Oilers-Redskins in RFK: Jim Simpson (an easy commute) and John Brodie . . . NBC-TV is set with a 13-game slate of 1979-80 regular-season Saturday and Sunday college basketball -- Dick Enberg, Billy Packer and Al McGuire analyzing once again -- leading off with Notre Dame-DePaul Dec. 15, including Maryland at Notre Dame Jan. 26 and Virginia at Ohio State Jan. 27 . . . The Eastern College Athletic Conference has laid it on the line, definitely, for George Washington and four fellow Eastern Eight schools going for basketball TV contracts outside ECAC aegis: ECAC's executive council will recommend expulsion at the annual meeting Sept. 26 if GW, Massachusetts, Rutgers, Duquesne and St. Bonaventure don't reconsider . . .

If he were a betting man, says Kenneth Hahn, he "would bet heavy" that the Miami Dolphins will move into the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1980 or 1981 in place of the Rams (who already have set up their regular training base in Anaheim, where they move in 1980). Hahn, chairman of both the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Coliseum Commission, said he met "productively" in San Francisco night before last with Joe Robbie, Dolphins' owner who, Hahn said, "is really tired of the Miami City Commission and thinks he is being pushed around."

One believer in the Cincinnati surge to the top of NL West is Bowie Kuhn. His eminence issued permission yesterday to four clubs to print tickets for the playoffs and World Series: Baltimore, California, Pittsburgh and the Reds -- but not Houston, which for three solid months until Tuesday night led its division. Additional authorizations for printing tickets, of course, will be given "should the situation dictate."