Wittenberg and Baldwin-Wallace paw the dirt in anticipation of CBS-TV coverage of their Ohio Conference game, by Pat Summerall and John Madden, no less, to fill air time Sunday left by the NFL strike . . .

And another small-college football team proves, just like the pros, it can go on strike.

The Mars Hill (N.C.) College players reacted to the firing of Coach Claude (Hoot) Gibson by voting yesterday not to play this weekend's game against Newberry. Fred B. Bentley, Mars Hill's president, swallowed that pill after a meeting with team cocaptains, canceled the game and said the players have until Thursday to "decide as to the balance of the season." Bentley had fired Gibson, coach of the NAIA-affiliated school for a decade (56-39-3), Monday. "For several years," Bentley said, "the college has endured incompatibility between his administration of athletics and the overall administration of the college. Recently this reached crisis proportions."

Gibson was ordered to vacate his office in 24 hours, his college-owned home in 60 days.

Bill Simmons, named interim coach, said he understood what the players termed a "symbolic vote in support of and respect for Coach Gibson," but hopes "we can resume practice and play Savannah State next week."