IN ADDITION TO SIGNING his new and improved eight-year, $26 million contract last week with the Utah Jazz, Karl Malone also entered into a contractual agreement with the shoe company L.A. Gear.

"I'm not saying how much it's for, but it could be very, very good," said Malone as he left the Jazz's press conference in Salt Lake and headed for a press conference inL.A. the next day.

Malone said there will soon be a line of Karl Malone shoes and Karl Malone sportswear in your favorite sportswear store, wearing the L.A. Gear label. "I helped design the shoes," he said. "I can't tell you yet what they'll look like, but they'll be nice."

In addition, Malone has retained his endorsement contract with Wilson Sporting Goods.

"All in all, not too shabby of a week," he said last week.

STAYING POWER: They may be waving around "Ty Died In Eugene" signs in Oregon this week, but Ty Detmer insists he'll be around Provo for at least another season and a half.

"I'll be here (at BYU) two more years," Detmer reiterated recently in the face of rumors that he might leave for the NFL after this season. "I signed a scholarship for five years and I feel like the school has given me so much. They're not ready for me to leave school. The team is depending on me to be here. The fans. I've told everybody I'd be here. If I didn't stay, I feel I'd be letting down all of Utah. I'm serious. The (NFL) money's going to be there. I feel like the extra year in college is going to help my maturity even more."

SOUNDS LIKE: Norman Chad, a television columnist for The National sports daily, recently devoted a column to describing what America's sportscasters' voices sound like.

Of Bob Costas, for instance, he said, "Sounds like the kid in the back of the room in seventh grade," and of John Madden, "Sounds like that big, friendly dog that slurps the water out of your toilet bowl," and of Keith Jackson, "Sounds like a huge tractor-trailer truck on a one-land round." And of Brent Musburger, "Sounds like a guy in a J.C. Penney suit."

Then he got to Dick Vitale.

"Imagine," he said, "that you're strapped to the barrel of a big gun that fires 250 rounds of ammunition per minute and then you hear 18,000 bowling balls rapidly coming at you and then a volcano erupts less than 100 feet away and then you are hauled into a VW Beetle in which a big-band orchestra and Z.Z. Top are jamming in the back seat and then you are dragged through an automotive plant's assembly line and then your head is stuck into a cotton-candy machine and then you go home to rest and your smoke-alarm goes off until morning, when you are taken away in a straitjacket and left to rot at a nuclear waste facility in upstate New York."

ALWAYS ANOTHER ANGLE DEPT.: Greece is down but not defunct in the Olympic-bid movement.

After getting upset by Atlanta for the Olympic centennial games of 1996, Athens is looking to the year 2000. Melina Mercouri, an actress who helped lead the 1996 bid and is a candidate in the Athens mayoral race to be held this month, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying, "If elected, I will seek Athen's candidacy to host the Olympics in the year 2000. I have the feeling that the whole of Europe will support us."

Mercouri reasoned that the Olympics would be entering their third millennium in 2000 - the ancient Games began in Greece in 776 B.C. - and it would only be appropriate for the Games to start that third millennium where they began.

HALF A DEAL: Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan is getting caught up in the re-doing of contracts these days.

Said Sloan to the audience at last week's Multiple Sclerosis Dinner of Champions, "I would like to announce I have signed a new five-year contract to coach the Jazz . . . He paused for effect.

. . . Now I hope Larry (Miller) will sign it too."

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: ESPN commentator Bill Robinson, on the New York Yankees: "The Yankees are just four players away from contention. And the four players are named Mickey, Babe, Lou and Yogi."