Tulane University students yesterday discussed ways to protest an effort to abolish their school's scandal-ridden basketball program and accused administrators of overreacting to the situation. Students charged that Tulane President Eamon Kelly and faculty members did not consult them.

"What (Kelly) is doing is ruining our reputation," said Jill Ehrlich, student government vice president. "It would better our reputation if he would just try to clean up (the basketball program)," said Ehrlich, a sophomore from Falls Church, Va. "If we rebounded and showed we could put together a clean program, that would help."

The Associated Student Body was expected to discuss the situation last night and suggest ways to protest the move. Kelly said he would attend.

The University Senate voted 42-5 Monday to support Kelly's recommendation that the men's basketball team be eliminated because of (1) the point-shaving case that has resulted in eight indictments and (2) admissions by coaches they broke NCAA rules by paying players. If the 23-member Board of Administrators concurs Thursday, the Tulane basketball program will end.

"There was a lack of care by the faculty to see how the students feel," said Ed Heffernan of Rockville, Md., president of the student government and a member of the senate . . .

Looking at the Tulane turmoil, Atlantic Coast Conference athletic directors have asked newspapers to stop publishing betting lines on college sporting events.

"We feel the publication of any information on intercollegiate athletic contests which assists the bettor or bookie has no place in the sports sections of our newspapers," they said in a statement issued at a seminar in Greensboro, N.C. "The undersigned (all eight athletic directors), therefore, respectively request the publishers of the newspapers in our geographic area to discontinue the publication of 'odds,' 'point spreads,' and any other such references on teams and athletic contests involving Atlantic Coast Conference teams. A similar request is also directed to radio and television stations in our area." . . .

Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell has gone to Italy in search of a big man for his basketball Terrapins, after landing two highly regarded players to national letters of intent over the weekend.

The signees are Greg Nared, a 6-foot-4 guard from Wilmington, Ohio, and Dave Dickerson, a 6-6 forward from Denmark, S.C.

Nared averaged 21 points and seven assists at Wilmington High School; a quarterback, he turned down an Ohio State football scholarship. Dickerson averaged 20 points and 12.5 rebounds at Denmark-Olar High. He was chosen most valuable player in the state all-star game Saturday night.

With 6-10 Stacy King of Lawton, Okla., yet to decide between Maryland and Oklahoma, Driesell left for Italy yesterday to talk to the parents of Marco Baldi, a 6-11 prospect who is attending Long Island's Lutheran High.