Vice President George Bush said yesterday that federal guidelines for enforcement of laws against sex discrimination in school and college athletic programs are vague and excessively burdensome. They will undergo an in-depth review to determine whether they should be modified or eliminated, Bush told a news conference.

The review is part of the Reagan administration's "ongoing effort to lighten the regulatory burden borne by Americans across the country," Bush said.

Said Ann Uhlir, executive director of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, "We are confident that after a careful study, the laws against sex discrimination will be found to be one of the most beneficial pieces of legislation ever to affect the school and college communities. We believe the administration will retain the policies after a careful study."

Commented a spokesman for Women's Equity Action League, "It hasn't been vague. They know exactly what they need to do.

"You can't reduce discrimination without regulation. If sports are necessary to develop leadership and character in men and boys, then they are necessary to develop leadership and character in women and girls."

A fact sheet provided by the White House at Bush's news conference said "concern has been raised about record-keeping, overall coverage and requirements for comparable expenditures for both sexes."

Enacted in 1972 as Title IX of the Education Amendments, the ban on sex discrimination affects all institutions receiving federal funds. Institutions found not to be in compliance with the law face the possibility of a cutoff of federal funds.

In 1975, the government issued regulations for enforcement of the laws, but its efforts have been dogged by controversy since. Sports programs have grown rapidly for young women and girls in the face of the threat of a cutoff of federal funds, although no institution has lost any federal aid.

At the college level women's programs were receiving an average of 2 per cent of the athletic budget in the year before Title IX. By 1980 that figure had increased to 16 per cent