MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By the USFL, a reduction from 18 to 14 teams for the upcoming season. The Arizona and Oklahoma franchises have merged and will play in Phoenix; the combined Michigan and Oakland franchises will play in Oakland; Chicago will suspend operations for the 1985 season; and the Pittsburgh owners and three Maulers will join Philadelphia's owners and players to form a Baltimore-based franchise. The remaining players from Pittsburgh, as well as those from Chicago, will be placed into a leaguewide pool.
BARRED: From appearing in the Sugar Bowl or any other bowl by the SEC executive committee, the conference champion Florida football team, which faces a possible three-year NCAA probation for recruiting and other violations.
FIRED: As football coach: at Missouri, WARREN POWERS, 43, the 1983 Big Eight Coach of the Year, whose teams were 46-33-3 in his seven years but only 3-7-1 in 1984; at the University of Utah. CHUCK STOBART, 50, whose three-year record was 16-17-1 (the Utes were 6-5-1 this season); at VMI, BOB THALMAN, 62, whose 14-year mark with the Keydets was 54-94-3; at James Madison, CHALLACE McMILLIN, 42, the only coach the Dukes have ever had, whose teams were 67-60-2 in 13 seasons; and at Oregon State, JOE AVEZZANO, 41, whose teams were 6-47-2 over five seasons.
As coach of the Vancouver Canucks, BILL LaFORGE, 33, after a 4-14-2 start in his first season. General manager HARRY NEALE, 47, took over as coach.
NAMED: As National League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America, New York Mets righthander DWIGHT GOODEN, 20, who was 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA and struck out 276 batters, a major league rookie record; and as American League Rookie of the Year, Seattle Mariner first baseman ALVIN DAVIS, 24, who hit .284 with 27 homers and 116 RBIs.
RESIGNED: As football coach: at Columbia, BOB NASO, 47, after the Lions finished the season 0-9 to give him a five-year mark of 4-43-2; at Princeton, FRANK NAVARRO. 54, who guided the Tigers to a 4-5 record this fall and a 29-35-3 record in seven seasons; and at West Texas State, DON DAVIS, 44, who led the Buffaloes to a 3-8 record this season and a 6-26-1 mark in his three years.
TRADED: By the New York Islanders, goalie ROLLIE MELANSON, 24, to the Minnesota North Stars for a first-round pick in the 1985 or '86 draft.
DIED: BEN WILSON, 17, a 6'8" forward who led Simeon Vocational High School to the Illinois 2A basketball title last season and was rated by some scouts as the top high school prospect in the nation; of gunshot wounds apparently inflicted by two youths who were attempting to rob him; in Chicago.
Maxwell Gluck, 85, businessman, thoroughbred-horse breeder and onetime ambassador to Ceylon; of a heart attack; in Los Angeles. Owner of Elmendorf Farm in Lexington, Ky., Gluck was the nation's top money-winning breeder in 1973, 1980 and 1981 and the leading money-winning owner in 1977 and 1981.