Frank Kush -- Frank Kush! -- evidently has such an inside track on the Baltimore NFL job that word is leaking from "close to the Colts" that Arizona State's ex will be unveiled Monday as coach of Bert Jones and pals.
Dick Szymanski, Colt general manager due back today from Mobile, Ala., where he has been scouting Senior Bowl talent (and probably interviewing other coaching prospects) is said to be sold on Kush. Not only did he post a 173-52-1 record in 21 1/2 years as ASU coach but Kush sent along such as Charley Taylor and Jerry Smith to the pros -- and he would seem to fill the bill in Szymanski's supposed hunt for "discipline" . . .
If Kush, 50, marks the three-month anniversary of his celebrated firing in Tempe with a move to Baltimore, it will balance yesterday's hiring by Georgia Tech of a coach from the pro ranks: Bill Curry.
Curry, 37, erstwhile All-Pro-center at Green Bay, Baltimore and other stops, leaves the Packer staff as offensive line coach to step in where Virginia's Dick Bestwick and Navy's George Welsh would not, in Pepper Rodgers' empty shoes on the Atlanta campus. Georgia Tech is alma mater to Curry, who was drafted on the 20th round by the Packers in '65, went on to snap the ball to Starr and Unitas, and now tries to put some snap into the Ramblin' Wreck for ACC competition . . .
But if Kush is supposed to do it like Lombardi, don't look for that from Curry, who broke in under Vince and says, "I refuse to coach like that" . . .
Gene Shue, Maryland's own, drew a week's suspension without pay and a $3,500 fine yesterday, stiffest penalty ever imposed on an NBA coach by Commissioner Larry O'Brien. Shue, coaching the San Diego Clippers, was convicted of intentionally striking referee Dick Bavetta during Friday night's game against the Bulls in Chicago and of failing to leave the court after being ejected. Shue is out of it, practices included, for three games, leaving former Bullet Bob Weiss, his assistant, to handle the team -- and see to it that Bill Walton, just back at workouts, shapes up.
Hmmm, wasn't it Bavetta who was the party of the other part when ref Earl Strom was fined $2,500 and suspended a bit in an altercation between striped-shirts a few weeks back? . . .
The Utah Jazz aren't any happier than the Clippers with NBA officiating. General Manager Frank Layden complained formally to the league yesterday over two recent losses in the Salt Palace: the 108-107 defeat by the Bullets Saturday night and the 128-121 overtime setback to Kansas City Jan. 2. Layden says Jazz film shows Greg Ballard still holding the ball as time elapses and the buzzer goes off and that the Washington forward's game-winning three-point shot should never have been allowed; and that Scott Wedman of the Kings should only have had a two-point basket on the shot chalked up as a three-pointer, again at the end of regulation, that tied the game, 119-119, so K.C. could go on to win.
Suspended coaches, cont'd.: At Allegany High in Cumberland, Md., Bill Henaghan has been returned to his post by the county school board -- but it docked him retroactive to Dec. 7; he won't be paid for coaching for the next month. Henaghan's the one suspended Dec. 10 after he reported to the home media that Allegany had won, 42-41, over Bishop Guilfoyle at Altoona, Pa., when Guilfoyle actually won, 43-42, on two free throws during a wild scene following a last-second scramble for the ball . . .