Affirmative action: In mid-December, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and civil-rights allies pur major-league football and baseball in notice about segregation in the upper echelons. One point stressed by SCLC's Joseph Lowery: "There are not any, nor have there ever been, black (head) coaches and no black offensive or defensive coordinators"; another complaint, the dearth of front-office opportunities for blacks.

Item last week: Lionel Taylor promoted to offensive coordinator of the Anaheim Rams.

Item today: Elston Howard named an assistant to N. Y. Yankee Owner George Steinbrenner -- to be involved in evaluating talent, free-agent scouting and promotions.

Two steps forward and one -- Item from Tallahassee, Fla.; Rudy Hubbard, Floria A&M football coach who moved into a mixed neighborhood following last season, looked outside Sunday morning to find a burned cross on his lawn, 10 feet from the front door.

Bo Rein's wife, Suzanne, has petitioned North Carolina authorities to declar he is legally dead, a month since N.C. State's former coach was lost in an ocean plane crash on his new job as football coach at Louisiana State. Without such a ruling he is a missing person and his estate and insurance remain tied up . . . At Central High School in Elkhart, Ind., TrentBias, 17, collapsed fatally at basketball practice -- an even more crushing blow than might be expected to Central's principal.Trent was his son. . . Deaths this week besides the great Col. Biff Jones of football coaching and West Point athletic directorship fame included John Greer, 82, the Knoxville bakery tycoon who owned Foolish Pleasure when the colt won the 1975 Kentucky Derby; Green bought the horse for $20,000, eventually sold it for $4.5 million. . .

Good news for Indiana University: (1) Senior basketball forward Mike Woodson, thought lost for the year when he underwent December surgery for a ruptured disk, has been cleared to return to action -- may be in the lineup at Iowa tonight, (2) Hoosier football has gained Don Geisler, the Richard Montgomery High kicker who punted 44 yards per and kicked field goals of 35, 38, 39, 47, 49, 53 and a Maryland state record 55 yards last season. . .

Scott Grooms, who followed in Art Schlichter's footsteps as all America quarterbacks at Miami Trace H.S. of Washington Court House, Ohio, will not follow Schlichter to Ohio State. Grooms announced for Notre Dame yesterday. . .

De Matha's Ricky Gray, Eastern's John Chesley and Mount Vernon's Billy Davis represent capital area on the 101-senior high school football all-America announced by Scholastic Coach magazine.