Carl James, University of Maryland athletic director, said yesterday that he would like his school's football team to play a more regional schedule in the 1980s, with Navy an opponent as often as possible.

"I think we ought to try and concentrate on playing Eastern teams because that's where our natural rivalries lie," James said. "We really don't have any traditional opponents except maybe Penn State. I'd like to see us play teams like Penn State, Pittsburgh, Army, Navy, West Virginia and Syracuse on a regular basis along with seven conference games."

James said he would not object to playing an occasional game with such powers as Notre Dame, Ohio State, Southern California and Alabama. "We tried to get a game with Notre Dame, perhaps in the Meadowlands, but it didn't work out," James said.

"I think we should be playing teams our fans can identify with. Take a school like Mississippi State. They have a very good football team. But our fans aren't going to be interested in Mississippi State."

James said that he has talked with Navy Athletic Director Bo Coppedge about renewing the Maryland-Navy football rivalry, dormant since 1965.

Coppedge said yesterday that he would like to see the rivalry resumed eventually, but not in the immediate future.

"I want to see if we can be consistent," Coppedge said. "Last year we had a good season (9-3). But are we going to continue to do that? I don't know. The last 10 years we weren't anywhere near that.

"We play a lot of tough teams and no matter what their record Army and Air Force are always going to be very emotional games for us. I want to see what we do the next couple of years before I commit to another emotional game."

Coppedge said he hoped the two schools could resume in the late 1980s. "I think it'll happen," he said. "But not until then."

James said he thought that might still be part of the problem. "I think Maryland and Navy should be playing football, though," he said. "We play each other in almost all other sports."

James is trying to juggle Maryland's schedules to eliminate such teams as Villanova, Tulane and Miami of Florida and add Georgia Tech -- a conference opponent starting in 1983 -- and Navy and Ittsburgh.

Villanova is on the schedule this year, 1980 and 1981 and Tulane is on the schedule in 1980 and 1981. James wants now to replace Tulane with Georgia Tech the next two seasons.

James is also working with Virginia Athletic Director Gene Corrigan to switch the date of the Maryland-Virginia game, traditionally the last of the football season for both schools.

Virginia would like to close its season with traditional rival Virginia Tech and Maryland would prefer to close with either North Carolina State or Clemson, since that kind of game could often decide the ACC title.

"Not only would a game with Clemson or N.C. State possibly be for the league title, but there's a good chance a game like that would be picked up for TV," James said. "The way things are today, getting on television is very important because of the money involved."

Maryland also has a game scheduled at UCLA in the mid-1980s that James said he would like to change. "With the economy the way it is I just can't see any reason to schedule West Coast games," he said.

Starting split end Gary Ellis, who has missed the entire preseason because of mononucleosis, began running yesterday. He hopes to begin practicing next week but is not expected to play before the Clemson game Sept 15 . . . Quarterback Bob Milkovich was 30 minutes late for practice Tuesday but was not disciplined because he had an impeccable excuse -- a late class . . . Maryland's basketball team will be on national television at least once this season. NBC informed James this week that the Terps' January game at Notre Dame will be a Sunday afternoon telecast.