Reggie Jackson began spring training yesterday, three days late, and smiled at the reported $2,000 fine tardiness cost him. It will go to the New York Public School Athletic Association, with which the Yankee star worked last year.

The slugger explained that "I had a bunch of things to do." Such as filming a commercial on the Pacific Coast; completing purchase of a town house in Carmel, Calif.; other business he reeled off at a Fort Lauderdale press conference. Tough offseason for Jackson -- including three trips to Hawaii and five to the Bahamas as an ABC-TV Superwhatever commentator -- but he checked in fit and trim at 208 pounds.

In Winter Haven (at 30 degrees?), Carl Yastrzemski checked into Boston Red Sox camp a day early -- to have an ailing left shoulder checked. "Slight tear. . . doesn't appear to be serious. . . shouldn't set me back too far," said the 40-year-old wonder fitted with special baseball shoes after limping through the 1979 home-stretch of his 3,000-hit campaign.

William Loeb, the inimitable Manchester, N.H., newspaper publisher, jumped all over the report that the White House made do with cold cuts for the visit of the U.S. Olympic hockey team last week. Loeb wrote a front-page editorial, and kicked in $100 seed money, to promote a lobster dinner for the team.Now offered free by a New Hampshire restaurateur. . .

Just now, though, they'll have a hard time, rounding up the goldmedal bunch, what with seven now employed by NHL teams. Latest: Dave Silk, signed to a long term contract by the New York Rangers. They drafted him in 1978 and , he says, "indicated to me last August that they were going to sign me after the Olympics whether we came in sixth or first". . .

Backup Olympic goalie Steve Janaszak followed up first-string Jim Craig's win for Atlanta over Colorado by battling the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-2 tie in his Minnesota North Star debut Sunday night. Janaszak's reward: a ticket to the Baltimore Clippers farm club -- where his act can be caught as he starts in the nets tonight against the Richmond Rifles, leaders of the Eastern league. . .

What an NHL start Sunday for center Dave Christian of the Olympians: seven second into his first shift for Winnipeg, first time he touched the puck -- SCORES!!

College basketball investigations in the West having turned toward allegations of a thrown game, two former U. of New Mexico stars say: no way.

Marvin Johnson of the 1978 Lobos, whose first-round NCAA playoff loss to 15-point underdog Cal State Fullerton raised eyebrows, says: "There's no way we'd go into a game of that nature and throw it. That's the most outrageous statement of the Year." (Johnson currently is a Lobo, assistant coach.) And '78 teammate Phil Abney: "We had too much at stake. A lot of guys' futures depended on that game". . .

The U. of Arizona athletic department again, or still, under scrutiny. Now, people are asking Athletic Director Dave Strack, why did you buy $15,457 worth of Fiesta Bowl off-field clothes without seeking bids as UA policy dictates? Insufficient time, Strack pleads. In view of the rush order, he knew he could count on Elliott's Big & Tall shop of Tucson because it specializes in grab for big fellows, such as Wildcat footballers.

Yeah, the doubters ask, but isn't Elliott's the outfit that Tony Mason.Arizona assistant coach, plugs on the radio? "I advised (Stack) that because of a possible conflict of interest, they shouldn't go there," says the university director of purchasing.