Jim Valvano, NCAA champion basketball coach, "would emphatically like to lay to rest the rumors that have abounded the last week or so concerning the possibility of my coaching the New Jersey Nets.
"North Carolina is my home and State is the only place where I have any intentions of coaching . . . I love college basketball . . . "-- and had no contact with anyone from the NBA, said the ex-New Yorker who came down from Iona in 1980 to take the Wolfpack job when first choice Morgan Wootten didn't.
Bruce R. Poulton, N.C. State chancellor, on Valvano's declaration: "I'm delighted . . . I tell you, we may have another Brickyard party. He means so much to us, for the morale of our campus. It's not just that he's a great coach. He's one of our favorite people" . . .
At U. of Illinois-Chicago, basketball coach Tom Meyer is no favorite of his players, his athletic director and now, apparently, the UIC administration--which has relieved him "temporarily," tagging him for "reassignment."
His 12 players had threatened to quit if he stayed on, alleging "a lack of academic support" and "lack of respect" for them as human beings. A.D. William Roetzheim, announcing Meyer's removal, said he recommended two years ago that Meyer, 39 (son of De Paul Coach Ray Meyer) be fired--"He's a user of people . . . Tom is only out for Tom."
Meyer said at least four players graduated during his six UIC years; administrators said it was only two. Meyer "smells a rat behind this. I think I've been set up . . ."
Recriminations fly elsewhere. Fairfield Coach Terry O'Connor charges that Pittsburgh assistant Seth Greenberg played loose with NCAA rules in courting a Fairfield-coveted high school star. Pitt Coach Roy Chipman: "Ridiculous . . . If (O'Connor) said some of these things, we may have to take some type of litigation . . ."
The player is 6-8 Marlon Ferguson of Monaca, Pa., and O'Connor alleges that Greenberg--an old adversary when they were assistants at Harvard and Columbia, respectively--fouled by giving Ferguson a ride to a high school teammate's house (where some people were watching a game on TV). Greenberg retorts: "sour grapes." Ferguson says he'll attend Pitt--or Duquesne. . . .
Kenny Hutchinson, touted 6-4 New York guard who almost picked N.C. State, has signed with Arkansas.