TOWSON STATE bought some time, maybe a month, for its budget-plagued football program yesterday when its Intercollegiate Athletic Association rescinded an 8-1 vote to suspend football. But what the Tigers really need is an angel -- someone with big bucks. If the current media blitz doesn't produce one, maybe nothing will.
You have to feel sorry for Towson president Dr. Hoke L. Smith. He's been in and out of the hospital for the past month as the football crisis has come to a head.
* Lax World owner and former Baltimore Colts fanatic Lance Holden no doubt spoke for a lot of us when he said yesterday of the 7-1 Miami Dolphins' winning five in a row: "I'm so glad to see Don Shula winning again. When he didn't make the playoffs the past few years I felt bad. Everybody in Baltimore knows Shula's a great coach." This is the Dolphins' longest win streak in five years. The last time they won five straight they went to the Super Bowl.
* To those who fear the NCAA will pass legislation in January requiring Division I schools in one sport to be Division I in all, listen to the words of Bob Scott, athletic director at Division III Johns Hopkins, whose Division I lacrosse program would appear threatened: "Of the 51 schools in Division I lacrosse, 33 are members of the ECAC, which favors allowing a Division III school to play 'up' in one sport with the permission of 51 percent of the schools in its division. That would allow a school like Hartwick to continue in Division I in soccer or Wilkes to stay 'up' in wrestling or Hopkins to do it in lacrosse. Our traditional opponents want to keep Hopkins on their schedules. No sweat."
* In a sport not exactly noted for reputable operators, Baltimore's Stu Satosky is becoming a respected fight promoter. He'll be even more respected if his card Nov. 13, the first at Painters Mill in seven years, is as good as expected. In one featured 10-rounder welterweight Vincent Pettway (30-3, 24 KOs) goes against Stephan Johnson (11-3, 7 KOs). In the other between two former world champions, ninth-ranked (IBF) Calvin Grove (37-3, 14 KOs) meets Julian Solis (40-10, 20 KOs). The USA cable network will televise the show live to 50 states.
* Ex-Baltimore Colts kicker Tony Linhart, now in business here, was saying last Friday -- before Chip Lohmiller won Sunday's Redskins game with a 34-yarder in OT -- that Lohmiller is the best in the game today. "I'd choose Raul Allegre," Linhart said, "except he's so gimpy." How does a kicker get hurt so much? Said Linhart: "You can't keep warm on the sidelines, so when you go in you're cold. Kickers pull a muscle just making a quick stop or turn trying to avoid getting hit."
* The Baltimore sports scene lost two good men recently. George Rankin, a onetime Towson State athlete who was a top high school and college official for 35 years and an all-round great guy, died last week. Big Al Sokolowski, Mount St. Joe baseball and football standout in the '40s, died Oct. 24. Sokolowski, a pitcher who signed with the Dodgers, was 22-6 in the Texas League before arm trouble finished him.
* Pam Shriver says the two hottest players on the women's circuit will play here at the Arena Nov. 27 in the fifth annual First National Bank Tennis Festival presented by The Baltimore Sun. Monica Seles won her eighth tournament of the year Sunday when she beat Martina Navratilova in Oakland. Only No. 1 Steffi Graf has won more (9). If Seles goes further than Martina in next week's Virginia Slims championships in Madison Square Garden, Monica will replace Navratilova as No. 2. Jennifer Capriati, No. 10, is, at 14, the youngest player ever to make the top 10 and can only improve.