MILEPOSTS—NAMED: American League Rookie of the Year, Cleveland Outfielder JOE CHARBONEAU, 25, who hit .289 with 23 home runs and 87 RBIs. Lefthanded Relief Pitcher STEVE HOWE, 22, of the Dodgers was named the National League's top rookie. He had 17 saves and a 2.65 ERA.
As Syracuse University football coach, DICK MacPHERSON, 50, who had a 45-26-1 record at Massachusetts from 1971 to 1977 and has been linebacker coach for the Cleveland Browns since 1978.
PLACED ON PROBATION: For three years by the NCAA, because of recruiting, eligibility and other rule violations, the University of New Mexico basketball program. New Mexico must return to the NCAA $34,000 it earned from the 1978 national championship tournament and will be barred from postseason and possibly all televised appearances through the 1981-82 season.
RESIGNED: Auburn Football Coach DOUG BAR-FIELD, 44, who guided the Tigers to a 5-6 record in 1980 and a 29-25-1 mark over five seasons.
SIGNED: To a four-year $3.15 million contract with the Astros, free agent Pitcher DON SUTTON, 35, a 230-game winner in 15 seasons with the Dodgers. He was 13-5 with a league-leading 2.21 ERA in 1980.
Free agent Catcher DARRELL PORTER, 28, to a five-year, $4 million contract with St. Louis. Porter hit .249 with 51 RBIs for Kansas City last season.
By California, to a three-year contract reportedly worth $1.25 million, Pitcher GEOFF ZAHN, 33, who has averaged 13 wins per season since 1977.
DIED: Former college basketball Coach EDDIE HICKEY, 77, whose 435-231 record at Creighton (1935-43), St. Louis (1947-58) and Marquette (1958-64) included nine NIT and five NCAA tournament appearances; of a heart attack: in Mesa, Ariz.
Polish-born sprinter STELLA WALSH, 69, the winner of 37 AAU titles and two Olympic medals; of a gunshot wound suffered in a Cleveland mugging.