The Boston Celtics have placed guard Nate (Tiny) Archibald on clear waivers (free to negotiate with any team). He is no longer needed since the acquisition of Dennis Johnson from Phoenix, General Manager Red Auerbach said.

"You ask me why," Auerbach said from his home here. " . . . He (Archibald) is a little older (34). He may have a few more years, but you can't continue to build a team like that."

But a Celtics spokesman, Bill Koenig, said another factor was that Archibald complained last season: "The rumors I've heard are that he was somewhat of a disruptive force for the team. He was unhappy about not starting."

Archibald, a 12-year pro making $300,000 a year, said his top choices are the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets, and "I'm not looking to make a killing, I'm not going to demand a huge salary from anybody" . . .

West Virginia University officials confirm that the Mountaineers' basketball program is under investigation by the NCAA. "There was an official complaint . . . ," said Tom Shupe, associate athletic director. "Right now, we're not treating it as serious and we won't unless we learn otherwise."

Leland Byrd, former WVU athletic director and now commissioner of the Atlantic 10 conference, said the investigation centers on recruiting and the conference is not conducting its own probe.