Edwin Moses . . . Sebastian Coe . . . Don Quarrie and a host of others of track and field's creme de la creme on the way to the 1980 Olympics -- did they meet their amateur Waterloo at Gateshead? We soon find out.

The International Amateur Athletic Federation has given British officials until Dec. 1 to produce a report about the 1978 meet in Gateshead, England, that produced media stories of taboo "appearance" money allegedly having been accepted by more than a dozen athletes. If the charges are proven, that the money exceeded allowable expenses, the IAAF and International Olympic Committee could disqualify recipients from competition.

With 1980 bearing down on us, John Holt, IAAF secretary general, told London listeners yesterday: "We want these matters cleared up quickly and not dragged into next year" . . .

The Atlantic Coast Conference gathered coaches and media for Operation ACC Basketball Preview in Greenboro on the weekend, and here's how the 104 journalists/casters see the 1980 ACC race: North Carolina 766 points (60 first-place votes); Duke 726 (33), Virginia 659 (10), N.C. State 472 (0), Clemson 377 (0), Maryland 258 (1), Wake Forest 277 (0), Georgia Tech 105 (0). Obviously Ca'lina media outnumbered Virginias. And the Terps can sneak up on folks with no pressure to live up to advance billing . . .

Dwane Morrison, Georgia Tech hoop coach, could miss the Wreck's ACC debut, Dec. 1 against Virginia. He's hospitalized with a bad back, aggravated lifting a lawnmower from his car. Assistant Jay Nidiffer would direct Tech in his absence . . .

The American League took a 2-11 lead in the baseball all-star tour of Japan by beating the Nationals in Tokorozawa, 6-5, yesterday. Oriole Ken Singleton tied the game in the eighth with a two-run homer and Willie Wilson of K.C. won it with a ninth-inning single. . . In Provo, Utah, Toronto Blue Jay second baseman Danny Ainge has returned to his other-season, pursuits as a junior guard at Brigham Young and scored 20 points in leading BYU over the Soviet National team, 89-81, first U.S.S.R9 defeat in five games of the current tour . . . . Melissa Belote, the Olympic gold medal swimmer from Springfield, Va., follows up a fine collegiate career at Arizona State by joining the coaching staff of the capital area's Solotar Swim Team. Under Coach Edward Solotar, of course. . . . The Better Sports Club of Arlington has Frank Herzog to guest-speak, Redskins Terry Hermeling and Bob Kuziel, Oriole Rich Dauer, Dip Mike Dillon, other celebs to help present a score of trophies and plaques to outstanding youth at 23rd annual banquet Wednesday evening; a sellout at K of C Activity Hall on little Falls Road.

"Thanks to you," says the National Football League hero during breaks in the televised NFL action, "it works for all of us. The United Way."

Those plugs for the multiple-way charity use up about three-fourths of the two minutes of public-service time pro football has arranged to carry during each game telecast. A nice, noncontroversial way to show you those aren't robots or meanies out there between the goal lines, hey?

Not on your life. Controversy knows no bounds.

Two nonprofit groups -- the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and the Media Access Project -- declared yesterday they will file a complaint against the commercial TV networks, charging that the United Way announcements present only one side of a controversial issue.

The two organizations maintain the slogan is misleading and fraudulent. "More and more people across the country are saying that United Ways, while doing much good work, definitely do not work for all of us," said Robert O. Bothwell, NCRP executive director.

Andrew Jay Schwartzman of Media Access Project chimed in at the announcement here of plans to file the complaint under the Federal Communications Commission's fairness doctrine that CBS, NBC and ABC had turned down their request to air "opposing views." We can't believe it's necessary to drag them into the FCC on something as blatant as this."