Earl Jones will announce his decision Friday whether he will stay at the University of the District of Columbia for his senior season or opt for the National Basketball Association draft, his coach said yesterday.

"I do think he's going to stay (in school)," said UDC Coach Wil Jones. "He's under a lot of pressure to go (to the NBA) because of this salary cap thing, but I do think he'll be here. I think he really wants to play in the Olympics. Earl knows he can play with any of these guys coming out. He's kicked most of their butts somewhere down the line."

Coach Jones also pointed out that Patrick Ewing isn't the only local player trying out to represent the U.S. in the Pan American Games. Add Earl Jones' name to that list and, says Wil Jones, "he deserves to play on that team, I know that" . . .

Kevin Loughery, coach of the Atlanta Hawks, says he cannot believe the NBA fined Milwaukee Bucks Coach Don Nelson $1,000 for calling Boston Celtics guard Danny Ainge a "cheap-shot artist." "It's ridiculous," Loughery said in an interview in The Milwaukee Journal. "We must have a new Danny Ainge rule in the league now. You can't touch Danny Ainge and you can't say anything bad about him" . . .