NORWALK, CALIF., JUNE 16 -- Turn on the lights at Dodger Stadium, Los Angelinos say, and 10,000 people will pay their way in just to see what's going on.

The same theory does not hold true in the rest of the Los Angeles basin. They've had the lights on at Cerritos College since Thursday and only a smattering of people have freed themselves from freeway gridlock to come find out that the Mobil Outdoor Track and Field Championships are being held here.

That does not surprise the American track athlete of the 1980s, Carl Lewis, who won the 100 meters Friday night in 10.05 seconds.

In his interviews with the media, he spent more time discussing the state of track and field than he did discussing the state of his quest for the sub-9.90 100 meters.

This was the result of an excerpt from his soon-to-be released autobiography, "Inside Track," which was published in Thursday's editions of The National.

In that excerpt, he chastised The Athletics Congress (TAC) leadership of Executive Director Ollan Cassell and President Frank Greenberg. Lewis contended the two reached their positions through the Peter Principle.

Interest in track and field in the U.S. is petering out, and Lewis blames Cassell and Greenberg.

If the lack of fans at Cerritos College Stadium doesn't give credence to Lewis's views, it at least points out that something is amiss.

The crowd for Thursday was so small, TAC decided not to count. When asked why not, an official said: "We would have to count the money to gauge the attendance and we just haven't done that yet."

Another official guessed 2,700 people were on hand all day Thursday, but added: "That's counting athletes, officials, security and reporters."

Late Friday night the crowd was announced at 3,500.

This was supposed to be the Super Bowl for this country's track and field athletes, but it's turning out to be less than the Major Indoor Soccer League finals as far as spectator interest goes.

Lewis, who boycotted this meet last year because of his disagreements with TAC, said the reason for apathy is poor promotion. Greenberg blamed competition from other sports.

"The sport of track and field has the problem of competing with baseball and football," Greenberg said. "Ours is a different sport. We don't have leagues and such . . . you can't open the paper every morning and read a track box score."

So does that explain the sparse gatherings?

Well, yes, Greenberg insisted.

"It's difficult when you come into a city and bring in an event that the public isn't aware of. There's no way to build up and maintain crowds."

It is that attitude to which Lewis and others take exception.

A former TAC official who asked that his name not be used and who was at the meet said the current leadership is "ruining the sport.

"TAC just wants to type results," the former official said. "They don't want to do anything to promote. They don't want to do anything to assist TV and they don't do anything for newspapers like announce a TAC athlete of the week, or something."

Lewis and the former official insisted changes must be made -- and fast. Lewis's decision to attend the meet indicates those changes just might be forthcoming.

"It's no secret that I am having ongoing discussions with TAC," Lewis said. "It seems as though they're open toward being more positive, toward moving our sport forward."

But he stopped short of recanting his scathing remarks in The National.

"Nothing is obsolete," he said. "The things that have happened happened, and I'm not going to take those things back. They {Callan and Greenberg} should take some heat. But now that everything's out, things are moving forward."

Even Greenberg indicated that he welcomes Lewis's words.

"I think debate is always helpful," he said. He stressed, however, that Lewis should seek change, not on his own, but through the current leadership.

"Carl is a person who always draws crowds and who has always been outspoken," Greenberg said. "But it would help if Carl would work within the organization."

Cassell is not at the meet. He is hospitalized in Indianapolis after breaking five ribs and his collarbone in a car accident.

TAC Notes: Tim Lewis won the men's 20 kilometer race walk for the sixth consecutive year early today in a time of 1:22:28. . . . The reason Randy Barnes, the world record holder in the shot put at 75 feet 10 1/4 inches, could not break 70 feet and why he finished behind Jim Doehring late Friday night was because of a bruised throwing hand. Doehring finished at 69-6 3/4 and Barnes at 66-9 1/4. Barnes suffered the bruise while throwing last month in San Jose. He kept on throwing over the past few weeks while competing in Europe and did not give the hand a chance to heal.