The San Francisco 49ers are $10,000 poorer because of a guest column Coach Bill Walsh wrote for the Houston Chronicle.
The NFL confirmed last night that it had fined the team for tampering.
The column, printed April 11, said: "Earl Campbell is one of the great ball carriers in football history and we would like to trade for him. We've talked to the Oilers several times, just as we're talking to several teams about acquiring a running back."
The 49ers also had talked about acquiring Curtis Dickey of the Colts, Joe Cribbs of the Bills, Wendell Tyler of the Rams or Chuck Muncie of the Chargers, the column said. The 49ers eventually got Tyler.
The NFL bars teams from dickering with or publicly coveting another team's players . . .
The Chicago Bears had told Willie Gault, their No. 1 draft choice, to sign by last night or forget it; he didn't sign. "I don't think he's going to play this year and if he goes back into the draft, I don't think he'll play for the Bears," Coach Mike Ditka said. "There are no hard feelings. He's going after the American dream. He is going after the gold medal in the Olympics and that is a patriotic thing to do." But Gault's lawyer says the matter's still open . .
Ron Hester has a bone chip in his knee, Charles Bowser has a pinched nerve and Coach Don Shula has problems. The Miami Dolphins are left with only two healthy outside linebackers. "Hester's injury is really going to hurt us," Shula said as his team prepared for the Redskins . . .
Gone home: wide receiver Roger Carr of the Seahawks (contract problems), and linebacker Mark Merrill (cut) and tackle Greg Koch of the Packers. "It's a personal thing," Koch's mother said. "It has nothing to do with Bart Starr or the Packers." Starr had criticized Koch, but said, "I can assure you that was not the cause of it" . . .
The Eagles have talked offensive tackle Stan Walters, 35, into ending his retirement after one week . . .
Charger defensive lineman Gary (Hands) Johnson joined his team at training camp although he has not yet signed a new contract . . .
If you dialed 411 and asked for the Redskins' number, you may have gotten the Federals' number. "Obviously, we are delighted to talk to potential Federals patrons," Caroll Salas Arevalo of the Federals' staff said after the mix-ups. "However, for the sake of all our Washington fans, the Redskins can be reached at 546-2222. And the Federals number is 331-8735. P.S.: our tickets go on sale to the general public in October" . . .
The 22nd annual Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon will start at noon Aug. 25 at the Washington Sheraton. There'll be a special tribute to former Redskins Sonny Jurgensen and Bobby Mitchell. The $25-a-ticket revenue will go to the NFL Alumni Charities and the D.C. Special Olympics.