THERE'S SOME BASIS for the rumor that Towson State may drop football. Explains Billy Hunter, the school's athletic director: "It's premature to talk about dropping football or any one sport. Because of a budget deficit and NCAA restructuring mandates, we have some hard decisions to make. We've decided we want to stay in Division I, but we have to decide what sports to participate in and conference affiliation. We have to have some answers by mid-October because of the recruiting process that begins in November."
* Sue Tyler, interim director of athletics at the University of Maryland, when asked if she's enjoying running the program at the 11th largest university in the country, answered: "I'm going to enjoy passing the torch to Andy Geiger this weekend." Geiger, who is coming to Maryland after 11 years as AD at Stanford, joins the Terps tomorrow in Ann Arbor when Maryland plays Michigan in football. Geiger will be at his desk in College Park Monday.
Acquiring Geiger is regarded as a coup for Maryland but one longtime Eastern athletic director who has known Geiger since he was an assistant at Syracuse is puzzled. Says he: "I can't believe Andy was dumb enough to take this job."
* Despite the disappointments of the Oriole season, one good thing is the way some of the kids have come along to push regulars who've had bad years. Leo Gomez has pushed Craig Worthington at third and Chris Hoiles has thrown a scare into catcher Mickey Tettleton. Pitching competition is so fierce that not even the O's top winner, Dave Johnson, is sure of a job next year.
* Team Baltimore probably won't win anything in the second annual Columbus Cup yacht series here Oct. 7-11, but it should fare better than a year ago, when it finished seventh. Under skipper Kin Yellott, the crew, which was thrown together at the last minute a year ago, has spent a year on the match race circuit. The other boats here will come from New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Spain and San Diego.
* While some feel the NFL babies its quarterbacks with its in-the-grasp rule, the QBs, their coaches and medical staffs feel otherwise. It's still September and already Washington's Mark Rypien is out for six to eight weeks. John Lopez, the ex-Baltimore Colt trainer who's now at Towson Sports Medicine and stays in touch with all the NFL trainers, reports that all three Indianapolis quarterbacks are hurt already.
* While 3-1 Maryland's fondest hope at Michigan tomorrow is to come away with enough survivors to play the remaining six games, 2-1 Navy has quite another view of its game with 0-2 Boston College at Annapolis. "We'll find out where we are," says Middie athletic director Jack Lengyel, who's realistic enough to know that Navy's victims, Richmond and Villanova, are no powerhouses. I think BC will beat Navy by two touchdowns. After being upset by the Mids last year in Boston, BC is not about to be caught napping again.
* The 120 golfers who will tee off Monday at Eagles Nest may look like a convention of doctors and lacrosse players but they'll be participants in the first annual Henry Ciccarone Golf Classic, named for the former Johns Hopkins coach who died two years ago at 50. The event is a fund-raiser for the Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center at Hopkins Hospital, for which $1.2 million has already been raised. For details call Dave Huntley at 561-9046 or, evenings, at 337-0531.