"Federal Mediator Lived Suite Life" (or words to that effect) during the 1981 baseball strike talks, hollered the Philadelphia Daily News headline. "Making a mountain out of a molehill," responds that mediator, Kenneth E. Moffett.

"The thing (the story) does not say," says Moffett, director (by recess appointment) of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, "is that the suite was not for me alone. It was used for negotiations."

The newspaper also said Moffett was "openly telling people" at his agency during the strike that he would succeed Marvin Miller as head of the players association, a $160,000-a-year job. Just joshing by both sides, says FMCS spokesman D.J. Yount, that Moffett might be the next Miller or Bowie Kuhn.

The News had Moffett running up more than $22,000 in expenses at Doral Inn in New York, renting a $500-a-day suite and a press room, though FMCS facilities were available in N.Y. Moffett says "both sides refused to meet at each other's offices once the strike began. They said, 'You pick the place.' We were there the year before (and spent $15,200, in baseball talks of about two-thirds the 1981 span) and nobody said a word."

As for the termination of story source Robert P. Gajdys as FMCS director of administration, Moffett says: "We were reorganizing the agency and 96 jobs were cut. He happened to be one. He had access to the bills from the Doral. Ostensibly, he turned them over to the FBI (which Yount said investigated and "found no problem") . . .

No. 1 Clemson confirms NCAA conducting "official inquiry" into its football program. Previously it acknowledged "preliminary investigation" . . .

Women's Tennis Association has coupled Avon Products' exit as winter tour sponsor with word it will cut back its tournament schedule, no matter who picks up the tab. Both WTA and Avon cite the virtual winter-long vacation by No. 1 Chris Evert Lloyd and run of injuries, or whatever, that took other top players off many stops along the 12-week circuit. Avon hopes hereafter to sponsor "selected" tennis events. WTA--which has a Toyota series and may get back Virginia Slims--talks of "one primary sponsor and . . . play all year for points that lead up to one championship . . . a circuit to which we won't have to commit players every week."

So Jack Pardee wasn't the answer, so San Diego continues the Tampa Bay route to building a winning NFL defense. Latest acquisition: Dewey Selmon, at cost of a draft pick. Chargers and Tom Bass, Pardee's successor by way of the Bucs, pair Selmon with fellow LB David Lewis, another switcher from T.B. to S.D. And break up the brother act unbroken through Eufala (Okla.) High School, U. of Oklahoma, and six NFL years since DE Lee Roy Selmon was the Bucs' first-ever draftee and Dewey the second, in 1976 . . .

Filibuster! Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) says just try to begin Senate action toward granting NFL antitrust immunities without Judiciary Committee "proper" hearings and "I am prepared to . . . engage the Senate in lengthy debate."

Capitals' Randy Holt goes before NHL in Montreal today to discuss Saturday's pin of linesman Paul Flaherty--before 11,150 customers, compared to 11,700 in Capital Centre next day to see rasslin' champ Bob Backlund pin Adrian Adonis.

A. Coach with pizza franchise off Ohio State campus: Michigan's Bo Schembechler (Domino's Pizza, based in Ann Arbor) . . . Q. Dodgers' Mike Marshall in '81 was Pacific Coast League's first triple-crown batter since first baseman ???? in '56.