Former Washington Redskins running back John Riggins talked with WTTG-TV-5 last month about becoming color commentator for the Redskins' preseason games this season, but he lost a spot in the booth when the station decided to stick with Sam Huff.

Riggins and his attorney, Doug Woloshin, met with WTTG sports executive producer Ernie Baur in April to discuss the station's plans for the four 1986 preseason games.

"John said to me that he wanted to learn about the business, that he wanted to see if it was something he wanted to do in the future," Baur said. "It seemed like he was interested."

But WTTG General Manager Bob O'Connor said the station chose to hire Huff, a former Redskins linebacker and Hall of Famer, as its analyst for the third consecutive season. Dick Stockton will do play-by-play for a second season.

Riggins could not be reached for comment. In March, Riggins, 36, was waived by the Redskins after nine years with the team. . .

The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled the 1977 financial reorganization plan used by New England Patriots owner William H. Sullivan Jr. to retain control of the NFL team was illegal. The high court also upheld a ruling that non-voting shares were worth $80 plus interest, instead of $15 Sullivan offered to pay.

The court said it normally would order such a deal rescinded. But because of the passage of time, Sullivan must pay damages to the stockholders based on their share of the present value of the Patriots, which won the AFC championship last season but lost the Super Bowl to Chicago.

The case was returned to Superior Court so damages could be computed. AUTO RACING

Italian Grand Prix driver Elio de Angelis was in critical condition after crashing while testing his Brabham-BMW near Marseille. A hospital spokesman said de Angelis had skull, brain and chest injuries.

His Brabham-BMW was going about 170 mph when it spun, turned a somersault and bounced over the guardrails some 300 yards before landing upside down on a service road, bursting into flames.

Drivers, including Alan Jones, Alain Prost, Keke Rosberg, Jacques Laffite and Nigel Mansell, were the first on the scene, using on-board extinguishers to put the fire out as rescue crews arrived, then helping to right the car. A doctor who examined de Angelis found no pulse. But after 15 minutes' chest massage, he detected a heart beat . . .

Mario Andretti, 46, was treated for bruised knees and a cut to the inside of his left heel and released after a crash during practice for the Indianapolis 500.

Witnesses said something appeared to let go on the right rear of the car as it ran 200 mph laps, sending it spinning 480 feet into the third-turn wall. The nose of the car was sheared away, and the right front suspension was left dangling. COLLEGES

University of Maryland Chancellor John B. Slaughter said he will issue his statement on the athletic department review of the women's basketball program as soon as he has spoken with Coach Chris Weller. Slaughter, who three weeks ago asked athletic director Dick Dull to interview about a half dozen additional people, said he was satisfied by the comprehensiveness of the report Dull made. The review began after a booster alleged a small number of players were using drugs and shoplifting . . .

Athletic department officials at Georgia made the real decisions for several years about admitting student athletes, many of whom were ill prepared for college work, according to a report by Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers. But Bowers, who privately outlined the findings to the Board of Regents, also said he found no evidence of criminal conduct or illegal activities . . .

Harvey Grant III, who recently signed a basketball letter-of-intent with Kentucky, is among five Independence (Kan.) Community College athletes charged with burglarizing campus buildings. Grant, who started out at Clemson, was first team National Junior College All-America last season . . .

Northeastern basketball Coach Jim Calhoun has been offered the head coaching job at Connecticut, according to the Boston Globe. TENNIS

The top four seeds -- Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker and Yannick Noah -- advanced to the third round of the Italian Open. Lendl used an aggressive serve and volley game to beat Bruce Derlin, 6-2, 6-1. Wilander stopped Damir Keretic, 6-3, 6-1. Becker began erratically, but after switching to a tighter strung racket, his punishing forehands overpowered Horacio De La Pena, 6-2, 6-3. Noah, the defending champion, beat Italian Claudio Pistolesi, 6-3, 6-4.

Guillermo Vilas was upset by Libor Pimek, 7-5, 6-3, and Italy's Paolo Cane had the crowd cheering, as he survived two match points to edge Tomas Smid, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.