THE UNIVERSITY of Maryland is losing its head athletic fund-raiser, Gordon Burris. The Terrapin Club director is going back to Virginia, from whence he came 2 1/2 years ago. He'll be assistant to the president there. Terps athletic director Andy Geiger is restructuring the department at College Park. Burris' successor will be hired within the new framework.
* Is Towson State lightning striking twice in New York? Kurk Lee hopes it is. Lee, who set basketball scoring records at Towson, is in camp with the NBA Nets and hoping to become another Dave Meggett (the ex-Towson Stater who is starring with the NFL Giants). "I'm in the same situation as Meggett," says Lee, who went to school with the Giants' kick returner/running back. "No one knows who I am. I know I can play. Maybe I'm a sleeper."
Nets coach Bill Fitch pays a compliment not only to Lee but to his college coach, Terry Truax, in saying: "Listen, Towson State almost beat Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament last year and Lee had 30 points. He's well coached and prepared to have a legitimate shot at pro ball."
NBA coaches aren't always so complimentary of college coaches -- even big names. One told me last winter that Georgetown's John Thompson recruits great talent and teaches his players almost nothing. As proof, he offered the undue length of time it takes Thompson's players -- even Patrick Ewing -- to learn to play in the pros.
* People at the University of Maryland kill me when they're asked if Joe Krivak will be retained as football coach and they say, "Well, if he finishes the season 6-5 . . ." Hey, guys -- this is Krivak's 12th year at Maryland as assistant coach or head coach. How much more do you have to know about him? He'll be the same man for the final three games of the season (at North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia) that he's been all along.
Jack Scarbath, onetime All-America quarterback at Maryland, asked what he'd do about Krivak if he were the Terps' AD, answered: "I'm not an AD, so I don't have to answer that. But I think Joe is a very, very good coach. If I had a son who was going to play college football I'd want him to play for Joe Krivak." There. That answers it anyway.
* You missed a funny TV show if you went to bed after the World Series' final pitch. Right afterward, George Steinbrenner hosted "Saturday Night Live" and showed America one admirable thing about him: He can laugh at himself. Most people seemed to think there was nothing to recommend the man whose erratic ownership embarrassed the most prestigious sports franchise in the country.
* Dr. Roger Blumenthal and his Johns Hopkins cohorts are dogged in their efforts to raise the money for the Henry Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center, named for the late Hopkins lacrosse coach who died at age 50. They're holding another fund-raiser Friday evening at the Baltimore Grand. It's an experience in haute cuisine called Heartfest. For tickets call 321-6500.
* Chuck Thompson has agreed to do 81 Orioles games on radio next season, but he will make no West Coast trips and he has made it clear he will do this for only one year as a favor to the station. Amazing. There must be hundreds of broadcasters out there who'd love to do Orioles games, yet a 69-year-old man who has to be coaxed out of retirement remains the most desirable of all.