"It totally against U.S. Olympic Committee policy. We have a policy of no closed practices at National Sports Festival," said the media coordinator at the festival in Syracuse. "Had" is the word, now that John Thompson and his college basketball coaching freres are on the scene.

Georgetown's Thompson, in charge of the East squad for the four-team competition that doesn't begin until Saturday, stirred a teapot tempest as photographers and radio network personnel were kept out of a practice Sunday night and three reporters were ushered away yesterday when Thompson's team worked out.

In mid-June, Thompson told the Amateur Basketball Association-USA he wanted closed practices, and while ABA-USA hemmed and hawed, "The next thing we heard (said one official), the practices were indeed closed." Mondayu night, a compromise was worked out to satisfy conflicting demands of publicity and strategy: practices at high schools in the festival area would be closed, those in Syracuse U.'s Manley Fieldhouse would be open 15 minutes, then scheduled.

And while Thompson complained of reporters trailing athletes to their dormitories (lobby interviews are okay), Big John said one of the most sought-after players is off-limits, doesn't want to talk to the media, for now at least: Hoya-to-be Patrick Ewing . . . w

Guard Woody Peoples, a starter in 46 of 48 Eagle games after 10 years with the 49ers, reported to Philadelphia camp just in time for distribution of NFC championship rings -- and a conference with Coach Dick Vermell & Co. at which Peoples, 38 next month, got the message his time had come: make way for younger talent. Peoples, "after talking with them and my wife and throwing it around, decided it woiuld be the best thing to retire" . . .

The ACC football coaches have selected a preseason all-star team that includes four Maryland Terrapins: RB Charlie Wysocki (to repeat), DL Mark Duda (unanimous pick), DL Greg Vanderhout, TE John Tice. And two Virginia Cavaliers: K Wayne Morrison, DB Pat Chester . . .

Golfer Amy Geithner, at 21 the seven-time women's champion at Country Club of Fairfax, tees up in the U.S. Women's Open at LaGrange, Ill., today on the strength of a runner-up finish in the regional qualifier at Maplewood, N.J. . . .