Iowa, which extended Lute Olson's coaching contract to 10 years when USC courted him four years ago, has let him out of it to become coach at Arizona. Olson told welcomers in Tucson he made the move to the Pac-10 because of his family's desire to return to the West, not to mention a salary announced as "in the mid-$60,000 range" that, with fringes, annually should gross him at least double that. Arizona, off its worst year ever, 1-17 in the conference, shed first-year coach Ben Lindsey two weeks ago and went after Olson the moment his Hawkeyes lost, 55-54, to Villanova in the NCAA regionals. Olson's 167-91 at Iowa is the best record in the Big Ten school's history . . .

Ralph Sampson, accepting his second Eastman Award as college player of the year, told a New York audience, "We (as a team) did the best we could . . . did win a lot of games and have done a lot of things for Virginia basketball. We are willing to accept that and not look at the bad things . . . My shooting, my rebounding and my defense all can get better as a pro . . . but I'm not promising to win an NBA or any other championship" . . .

Kentucky Coach Joe B. Hall dismisses a Louisville-UK regular-season series (to be discussed by the schools' presidents and trustees, but, hey, he's the coach): "There has been no policy change by the (athletic) department. Our schedule has been set for the next three years" . . . Tonight's the night the Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame grows from eight to 11 with the enshrinement dinner for Bosey Berger, Arnold Heft and Hymie Perlo; at Twin Bridges Marriott, check Sports America in Rockville about tickets . . . San Jacinto Junior College achieved tournament reversal of the regular-season defeat that vaulted Texas rival Laredo J.C., led by D.C.-area stars Linwood Davis, Earl Davis and Ken Harvey, to No. 1 JuCo rank--and SJCC went on to the national championship. Now, another coup for San Jacinto: it's signed Boyce Cherry, 6-7 all-PG (22-point scorer) at Northwestern High.