John Robinson now has an "opening" offer to coach the NFL's New England Patriots and they expect his (or his lawyer Ed Hookstratten's) response today. No problem with Robinson's five-year contract at Southern California; he has an escape clause and clearance from James Zumberge, university president . . .

Lionel Taylor, offensive coordinator of USC's former Coliseum buddies, the Rams--and thus the ranking black coach in the NFL--is gone in a purge of Coach Ray Malavasi's staff in Anaheim. If that's negative affirmative action, it's nondiscriminatory: gone too, while Malavasi carries on for owner Georgia Frontiere, are defensive coordinator Bud Carson, defensive line coach Frank Lauterbur, offensive line coach Dan Radakovich and offensive backfield coach Hewritt Dixon (another black). "Just part of the game," said Taylor . . .

Dave Wilson, 1980 Illinois star become 1981 New Orleans Saint No. 2 quarterback as their in-lieu-of-1982 No. 1 draftee, has asked a three-judge federal appeals panel in Chicago to award him $9 million in damages from the Big Ten. He contends its denial of his eligibility for 1981 hurt his football career development and potential bargaining power . . . Ken Anderson is UPI's AFC player of the year, landslide . . . Out of the playoffs, into the Pro Bowl (Jan. 31, Honolulu) as head coaches: John McKay, NFC; Don Shula, AFC . . . Non-Pro-Bowler Joe Theismann talks on, now as regular morning sports voice for WPGC radio . . . Large jump for another radio guy: Steve Lamar, 35, from Class A Durham Bulls, 1981, play-by-play to N.Y. Mets booth, with holdover Bob Murphy . . . Another great leap: Vin Scully, Dodger voice, named 1982 Ford C. Frick Award winner, for Cooperstown induction. President Reagan phoned plaudits.

Marvin Miller of the players association is on record as planning to present evidence to a congressional subcommittee next month that baseball owners have conspired to stop competitive bidding for free-agent players. "If baseball were covered by antitrust laws, this behavior could put (owners) in federal penitentiaries," Miller told an interviewer.

College basketball: West Virginia and Rutgers, eyeing independent status, evidently have impressed on Eastern Eight Commissioner Leland Byrd that they're following Pitt out of the conference after this season. Byrd, at E-8 HQ in Pittsburgh, is left to say, "We have five strong teams (GW for one) as a base, and there are other strong teams out there looking to join. It's up to us to pull it all together." Possibilities to join: Old Dominion, Holy Cross, Temple, La Salle and St. Joseph's . . . N.C. State has ACC player of the week in Dereck Whittenburg, Washington's own, a 71-point scorer in a 3-1 span including Rainbow Classic--and a verbal commitment from a prospective future Wolf for the Pack: Ernie Myers, 6-foot-4 guard. Myers averages 30 points, 11 rebounds at the Bronx' St. Nicholas of Tolentine High (10-0) . . . Clemson meantime wins an ACC recruiting rush on 6-10 Ed Bleynat, East Burke (N.C.) . . .

NBA: San Diego's 6-11 Swen Nater, facing knee operation, probably is through for the year, and Atlanta's 5-8 Charlie Criss, virtually idled with return of Wes Matthews from injury list, asks trade.

A. Last, before Card Roy Green, with a TD reception and pass interception in one game: Ed Sutton, 1957 Redskins . . . Q. What U.S. school's teams are nicknamed Arabs?