Jack Zane, the University of Maryland's longtime sports information director, said he has agreed to step down. He will be reassigned as ticket manager as early as Jan. 1, sources said.

Joe Blair, Zane's assistant and formerly the top publicity man with the Terrapins and the Washington Redskins, will be named interim SID as the school begins a national search for Zane's replacement, according to associate athletic director Kevin Weiberg . . .

The NCAA banned the Cleveland State basketball team from postseason play for two years because of recruiting violations in 1983-84 that included the university's attempt to recruit 7-foot-6 Manute Bol, now with the Washington Bullets.

The university is preparing an appeal of the sanctions, said athletic director Robert F. Busbey. "We believe the penalties assessed are out of proportion to the alleged infractions cited by the NCAA," Busbey said.

Bol was recruited by Coach Kevin Mackey and came to Cleveland in May 1983, but he never enrolled at the school because he did not speak English well enough. The NCAA report said Cleveland State improperly provided financial assistance, transportation and housing to an athlete while he was attending English language proficiency classes at a nearby school. Bol attended English proficiency classes at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland.

"I talked to the NCAA after my first year here. I talked to the NCAA after my second year here," Bol told The Baltimore Sun. "I wrote them a letter and told them to leave Cleveland State alone. There are a lot of illegal basketball players in this country. They get cars, money, everything. I didn't get anything from Cleveland State." . . .

Former North Carolina football coach Dick Crum wants to remain in coaching and will not rule out reports he could be considered for the Southern Methodist job. The Dallas Times Herald listed Crum among possible candidates to rebuild the SMU program.

Meanwhile, the New York Jets have given defensive coordinator Bud Carson permission to discuss the UNC post with school officials, the New York Daily News reported.