George McGinnis, a 16-point contributor to the West victory in the NBA All-Star Game a year ago but lately a scrub at Denver, is going home.

McGinnis is back in Indiana. The Pacers finally consumated the long-rumored deal as basketball brass gathered here for Sunday's All-Star bash -- and it could be bad news for the Bullets.

The Pacers are two games ahead of Washington in the race for the playoffs and if the trade of forward Alex English plus a first-round pick in this year's draft works out, look out. Indiana Coach Slick Leonard gave up a 15-points scorer in English for a 15.6 man, and one who can supply, at 6-foot-8, 235, "a little muscle up front." And while McGinnis has sloughed off in an unhappy Nugget year, the Pacers can look back to his past seven campaigns and note 27.6, 25.9, 29.8, 23.0, 21.4, 20.3, 22.6 point averages. Working back, that's last season with Denver, three with Philadelphia, the biggest three as an ABA Pacer, in his native Indianapolis.

Stanford signed Paul Wiggin to a five-year contract as football coach yesterday, and a lot of Kansas City Chiefs, 1975-77 vintage, are sending congrats. Wiggin commanded utmost respect, even affection, from his players before getting the invevitable NFL ax. He was all-America defensive lineman at Stanford and starred at defensive end for the Cleveland Browns for 11 years . . .

The Arizona State-Michigan State shuffle, continued: ASU's Black Caucus is demanding to know why (in its view) affirmative-action laws were violated in the hiring last month of Joe Kearney as athletic director and Darryl Rogers as football coach. Both were lured from MSU, notwithstanding contractual ties there, while, the civil rights group in Tempe charges, several qualified candidates were ignored. For instance, applicant Gale Sayers . . . In East Lansing, meanwhile, Sherman Lewis was the only Rogers assistant who didn't opt to follow the boss to Arizona State. Lewis, onetime start Spartan running back and on the staff 11 years now, hoped to be named to succeed Rogers. No such luck so Lewis has settled for the title of assistant head coach under the new man, Muddy Waters -- "When it looked like my chances of getting it were slim, I said if I'm going to come back here I want some titles and some responsibility," said Lewis, a black . . .

Eddie Chiles, a Texas oilman known in the Southwest for his "I'm Mad" radio-TV broadcasts in which he frequently attacks government management, has been critical of Texas Ranger controlling owner Brad Corbett's management of the baseball club -- and aims to do something about it: Buy out two fellow Ranger stockholders and thus exercise more clout on the five-man executive committee on which he sits with Corbett. Chiles said he is arranging to buy 350,000 shares from Merv Snyder of Pittsburgh and Norman Rales of Belstville by mid-February, enough to give him a plurality. Chiles has told the impetuous Corbett to "quit running the baseball team like a toy," but hedges about trying to take actual direction away from the man who succeeded Bob Short . . .

The Jim Palmer renegotiation talks between agent Ed Keating and the Orioles began yesterday, if all went to schedule; they'll doubtless take awhile . . . NASL's Cosmos have transferred star striker Dennis Tueart, hampered by injuries last year, back to England's Manchester United for a $250,000 transfer fee -- compared to a then-record $485,000 in the 1978 transfer the other way . . . Gary Danielson, after a year of fruitless negotiation, has signed a one-year contract to quarterback Detroit Lions just before he might have become a free agent. Competition for Jeff Komlo, season-long 1979 fill-in while Danielson was out hurt . . . Mark down, or better yet up, Mark Manges as entry in another QB war. Well experienced in dueling for No. 1, with Larry Dick in Maryland days. Manges has been signed by the Philly Eagles along with former West Virginia thrower Dan Kendra and Rob Hertel, ex-USC, to vie for backup to Ron Jaworski . . .

Salt Walther, the Indy racing driver arrested in L.A. this week on complaints of hit-and-run and cocaine possession, calls it a frameup -- the dope "planted." To help him, Walther has called on superlawyer Marvin Michelson . . .

Had to happen, darn it: The $2 bet extinct. At Louisville Downs harness track, anyway, in the meeting starting next week. Minimum mutuel wager -- the basic bet -- goes to $3.