Delores Vorhies, whose son Bob died as a Virginia Tech freshman almost four years ago, his heart perhaps overtaxed after a prolonged round of disciplinary drills on the football field, has tentatively accepted a settlement -- and dedicated some of it to deterring such a thing from happening again.

Tech announced out-of-court settlement in principle yesterday of the Vorhies family's $14 million suit against the Tech Athletic Association. Final terms still were being negotiated.

Said Bob Vorhies' brother Tim, 29: "They will agree not to perform any more punishment drills. That was the main thing that we were concerned about."

Delores Vorhies, a secretary in Newark, N.J., said the impending compensation will be enough to free her from debt and worry, but she will keep her job and begin a state-by-state effort to eliminate such treatment of student athletes.

Her son, a reserve fullback, died in his dorm room Nov. 21, 1977, shortly after a series of timed repetitions of runs, sit-ups, push-ups and "bear crawls." He allegedly had violated team dormitory rules, in the waning days of the Jimmy Sharpe coaching regime. A Virginia grand jury found school and coaches blameless; Vorhies' father, Jerome, then sued in New Jersey.

In February 1980, returning from one of his twice-weekly visits to his son's grave in Union, N.J., Jerome Vorhies died. Broken heart, his wife said, and picked up the torch . . .

Tennis and table tennis have been added to the Olympics, effective with the 1988 Games, so there will be 23 sports on display at Seoul. No pros allowed in the tennis, for now . . .

Also from Baden-Baden: the South Africa issue, and a crack in the door. The Olympic executive board has agreed to send a fact-finding mission to the country in 1982, and Monique Berlioux, IOC director, said it was by request of Reginald Honey, 94-year-old South African member of the 82-strong IOC. Honey, the fragile last link between the Olympic community and the nation expelled in 1970 because of its apartheid, withdrew South Africa's application for reinstatement and said it would not reapply until the mission makes its report . . .

Snakebit Virginia football: Starting tailback Quentin Walker may be forced to redshirt (NCAA permitting) until 1982; aggravated hamstring pull on a 53-yard run against Duke . . .

Swingin' Maryland basketball: Andre Hines, 6 feet 9, transferring in from Furman, where he started at power forward as a freshman last season. Averaged 8.4 points, 6.8 rebounds but lower classroom stats, and would have been ineligible this season. Terrapin Coach Lefty Driesell, though, reckons Hines can get his grades up in time to play as of January '83. Hines says it's a dream come true: "I like the league they're in. And there's a lot of good media up there, too." Awww . . .

Fred Dryer wasn't out of work long. The defensive end now being paid by the Rams for not taking up roster space hops right to the NFL-on-CBS team, analyzing with Gary Bender; eight games this season, starting with Minnesota-San Diego Oct. 11 -- or until somebody taps him as a player . . . In RFK Sunday, it's Brookshier and Staubach -- and Herzog, and Huff, and Jurgensen . . .

Fergie Jenkins, 264-game winner, won't be invited to stay a Texas Ranger for 1982. And Gaylord Perry, 296-gamer, probably will get similar word from Atlanta -- where the Braves' late-season slump just might bring Bobby Cox his pink slip, too. Owner Ted Turner no longer ringingly endorses Cox; won't say if he's safe or sorry until season's over.

A. Col. Hugh B. (Hube) Elder, 80, might be the oldest amateur boxer if he could swing it. Elder, a trim newcomer to the game, envisions a Senior Citizens Boxing Association, and looks for help organizing same: "There might be a couple hundred around the country, 70 years old or so; we could have a heck of a lot of fun." He's at P.O. Box 700, The Dalles, Ore. 97058 . . . Q. Saturday is anniversary of Bobby Thomson's 1951 pennant-winning Polo Grounds homer. How did Thomson help the Giants win another flag in 1954?