Joe Paterno is not about to let the idea of a big-time Eastern collegiate athletic conference that includes football fade away, and if it materializes, tough luck for the basketball-oriented Big East and Eastern Eight.

Representatives of Syracuse and Boston College (Big East), Rutgers and West Virginia (Eastern Eight) and Temple are due to discuss an all-sports league today in Philadelphia with Penn State's football coach-athletic director, Paterno.

The idea has been around for more than a decade but has never gotten off the ground because Pittsburgh (E-8), happy as a heavy-hitting football independent, won't go along. Paterno is hopeful that if the six schools whose athletic directors meet today can get the league started -- maybe bringing in Army and Navy -- Pitt might reconsider.

Look, says Paterno, now we all have big-capacity stadiums, or regular access to same -- and look at the travel costs to be saved by cutting intersectional play in favor of sectional dog-eat-dog action catering to the largest media market in the country. . .

New big spender in the NBA: Don Sterling, the Californian who recently bought the San Diego Clippers. Sterling has offered the Denver Nuggets $500,000 for Alex English, their high-scoring forward who signed a Seattle offer sheet; the Clippers then would pick up English's $3.5 million, five-year contract, and sorry, SuperSonics. At first, says Sterling, the Nuggets asked San Diego to give up a first-round draft choice; Sterling counter-offered the $500,000. After all, the man from San Diego confided, he recently offered Kansas City $750,000 cash for its first-round pick in the draft. "I'm not bashful," says Sterling, "about spending money". . . In Portland, first-round draftee Jeff Lamp of Virginia, after hanging around the Oregon city but missing the first two days of Trail Blazer rookie camp while contract negotiations proceeded, said what the heck and joined practices unsigned; led scoring in a scrimmage, too. . . Has that 6-11 doorman at the Washington Marriott had his expected tryout with the Blazers yet -- ex-Hoya Tom (Mount) Scates?. . .

NASL no more is the only league with bonus points in the standings. The Continental Basketball Association has adopted for next season a system of seven points per contest: three for winning the game, one for winning each quarter (outscoring the opponent those 12 minutes). As Commissioner James Drucker said, "Some people say the only time the players play hard is in the last five minutes of the game. Well, now we have four last five minutes". . . lMinor-leaguing over to football: Commissioner Billy Kilmer's persuasive powers failed to put the Carolina Chargers together again, after all, for further American Football Association play. The night after Kilmer came calling and the players decided, in spite of having been paid just once ($65 apiece) for several weeks of season, to go ahead and play Shreveport on the weekend, the settlement fell through. End of team.

Tsk, and one recent day brought double discouraging word from California: Michael Jerry West, 19, charged with burglary in Santa Monica, and Scott Kiner, 26, with felonious sale of cocaine and other drugs to narcotics agents in Palm Springs. They are sons of sports greats Jerry West and Ralph Kiner. . .

Pegged for a racing debut at Pimlico before the meeting ends July 20: Bay Bee I'm Back, bred by Gaylord Perry and family at the Atlanta pitcher's Williamston, N.C., farm; a granddaughter (spittin' image?) of 1961 Preakness winner Carry Back. And "If we're not back playing," says the 42-year-old about the 3-year-old," I expect to be on hand for her first start."

Lawsuit No. 98765432123456789, or some such: Augusta National Inc., CBS Television and Southern Bell sued by C. J. Silas and wife Mary T. over a broken leg incurred by Mrs. Silas during 1978 Masters golf.Testifying in an Augusta court this week, Silas said that until tripping over a wire strung by CBS between a tree and a grandstand, his wife had been active in sports but now "shies away from social obligations and community activities she did before." And still has a limp. The suit seeks $800,000. . .