Nancy Lieberman, honored last night as player of the year in women's college basketball just as she was a year ago, recognizes that an Olympic boycott could drastically crimp her postgraduate market value -- but firmly declares:

"If President Carter says don't go, I don't go."

Lieberman, senior floor general of Old Dominion's two-time national champions, said on a visit to New York for the Wade Trophy ceremonies, "Our situation could be similar to that of the U.S. ice hockey team at Lake Placid. If we were to complete and beat the Russians and be given the exposure that the hockey team got, who knows, I might be another Jim Craig. He woke up the next day a national hero, sought by all of the big pro hockey teams."

But, she said, "I have to put my country before my individual interests . . . We have to think of the country's whole population, not just a few athletes."

Bill Rodgers, due in town for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler Sunday on his way to April 21 defense of his Boston marathon title, says Carter can have his alternatives games -- Rodgers has "no intention of competing in the trials or in any pseudo, bogus competition" . . .

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is caught in the middle between Britain's government and national Olympic committee stands as president of the International Equestrian Federation, whose sport is part of the Summer Games. Last word: he won't go . . .

Two Cambridge, Mass., lads yesterday resumed their 1,800-mile run from Florida to Boston to raise money for cancer's Jimmy Fund and after pausing for a Capitol nod from Speaker Tip O'Neill. Nothing to it for Dave McGillivray, who two summers ago hoofed it 3,400 miles from Oregon to Boston -- and companion Bob Hall has kept up nicely at a 43-miles-aday average, in his wheelchair . . .

The Easter Seal Treatment Center of Montgomery County has a sports weekend coming up April 12-13, climaxed by a Walk-Run-a-Thon ($5 registration) from and back to Sherwood High and featuring a sports medicine seminar the 12th at U. of Maryland's new Physical Education Building, open to the "Thon" registrees . . . This Saturday, the D.C. Medical Society presents a Sports, Safety and Sanity Seminar, free to the public, 9 a.m. in the society's auditorium at 2007 Eye St. NW . . .

Dean Smith, North Carolina's ACC coaching dean, now will have to answer to a 31-year-old athletic director (or vice versa?) named John D. Swofford. The 1969-71 Tar Heel football letterman was promoted, in house, to replace Bill Cobey Jr., who resigned recently to seek the GOP nomination for governor. Swofford gathered experience as athletic ticket manager and assistant director of athletic facilities at U. of Virginia, 1973-76 . . .

Much of the coaching fraternity is congregated in our town for tonight's Capital Classic -- including, it is said to be all but certain -- Michigan's next coach: Bill Frieder, 38, the Johnny Orr assistant (since 1973) Orr recommended for the Wolverine post as he left for Iowa State this week . . .

The Darrell Griffith-Joe Barry Carroll sweepstakes picks up pace Tuesday as the Boston Celtics (thanks, Detroit) join either the Utah Jazz or Golden State Warriors -- whichever winds up worst in the NBA West -- in the annual coin flip for the first draft pick. Winner of the toss, by conference call with Commissioner Larry O'Brien, leads off the June 10 parade. With Dr. D, Joe B. -- or Ralph Sampson?