You can definitely put Muhammad Ali versus Larry Holmes on the back burner: Holmes signed yesterday in New York to give journeyman Scott LeDoux a shot at his World Boxing Council heavyweight championship July 7 in Bloomington, Minn.
Easy as ABC, prime time yet (9-11 p.m.), promoter Don King announced the match that gives the undefeated Easton Assassin a shot at breaking Joe Louis' record of seven consecutive knockout victories in title defenses.
"This man is a worthy opponent, he has paid his dues," Holmes said of the stocky LeDoux, who has battled Ken Norton and Leon Spinks to draws and also tested George Foreman, Ron Lyle, and lost a decision to Mike Weaver the bout before Weaver kayoed John Tate for the WBA version of the crown. "As far as Joe Louis' record is concerned, you can forget about that," pronounced LeDoux, who will have one thing in his favor, the fight site. He lives in Anoka, Minn. . . .
Larry Brown, erstwhile ABA and NBA coach fresh from guiding UCLA to the NCAA final in his first try, had decreed he intends to remain at the Bruin helm and forgo any pro coaching opportunity. He had been a leading candidate for the expansion Dallas Mavericks' post. . .
Gene Shue was formally unveiled at Capital Centre yesterday as Bullet coach, three-year contract affirmed. Still weighing between incumbent Bernie Bickerstaff and Shue's San Diego helper, ex-Bullet Bob Weiss, as to who'll be his assistant here. Names? Some pretty good ones going through their paces behind closed doors at Bowie State, three days' tryout camp concluding today, for Shue: LSU's DeWayne Scales and Wisconsin's Wes Matthews, declarers for year-early eligibility in the upcoming NBA draft; NC. State senior Clyde Austin, and more, draft-hopefuls and free agents. Considerable of such athletes just outside the top dozen draft prospects attend such sessions of maybe two or three teams before D-Day, and Shue says of the crop on view at Bowie: "I have looked at some very good players and this is the best camp I've ever been involved with in terms of seeing a lot of talent" . . .
Catholic U. bids adieu to a second basketball starter because of the university's decision to phase out of NCAA Division I down to III, and he's George Washington's gain. He's 6-7 forward Mike Neville, Cardinals' leading scorer past season (13.5) and No. 3 rebounder (5.4). As a transfer he must sit out a year before using the two years of eligibility he has left. . . Another belt in the breadbasket of the CU athletic program: the student government's vote not to fund varsity football after this year. Athletic Director Jack Kvancz says his department can't afford to pick up the cost, so unless the 1980-81 student governemt reverses the action, it's back to club football or none -- and Coach Joe Pascale and staff have had something really good going.
The NBA governors, at their meeting in Coronado, Calif., have unanimously approved Cleveland advertising executive Ted Stepien's purchase of controlling interest in the Cavaliers. "I'll be the power behind this team, the Bill Veeck, the Paul Brown, the George Steinbrenner," he says, invoking a lot of strong old Cleveland names. And to make sure there's no mistake about it, Stepien is bringing the old basketball muscleman, Bill Musselman, into the organization, probably as player personnel director. . .
"Dream's Bubble Bursts," said the headline over FanFare of May 24, 1979, after Grand Canyon College's top-ranked NAIA baseball team was withdrawn by the Southern Baptist school's adminstration from a berth in the national tournament. The squad had been photographed celebrating victory in a rregional elimination by pouring (but, they insisted, not drinking) champagne. That violated a rule against having alcohol beverages on campus, and it was goodbye trip to Nashville for Grand Canyon's Antelopes from Phoenix for the finals (host school David Lipscomb, selected to fill the gap, proceeded to win it all). Pitching ace Jim Gerlach of Grand Canyon said at the time, "I don't think it's fair to kick 20 ballplayers out of a dream . . . No way I'm coming back to play here next year."
Time heals -- June 2, 1980: Grand Canyon, trailing 4-1 on four unearned runs, rallies to beat Lewis U. in 10 innings, 5-4, for the NAIA World Series championship. Winning, route-going pitcher: Jim Gerlach.