THE NCAA'S PLAN to give athletes a $2,000 stipend may be in trouble.

The legislation, passed in October, now faces an override challenge at January's annual NCAA convention, a decision that could create an unusual discrepancy between recruits who have already signed national letters-of-intent and those who have not.

David Berst, the Division I vice president of governance, acknowledged yesterday that about 1,000 players signed with schools in November, and those who did it with the promise of getting an additional $2,000 toward the so-called "full cost of attendance" would still get their extra money. Those who did not, may not. "I would hope we don't end up with that, but it could happen," he said.

Berst said 97 schools have signed onto the override measure, more than the 75 needed for the NCAA board to reconsider the stipend. If that number hits 125 by Dec. 26, the legislation would be suspended.

Either way, the Division I Board of Directors has three options: Rescind the stipend and operate under previous NCAA rules, modify the rule or create a new proposal that would go back to the schools for another 60-day comment period, or allow members to vote on the override. It would a take 5/8ths majority of the roughly 350 Division I members to pass.

Golf * 

Tom Lehman now has won player of the year at every stage of his career. Lehman has been voted the Champions Tour player of the year, following similar honors 2 decades ago on the Hogan Tour and in 1996 on the PGA Tour.

* Sixty years after he wrote from the first of 210 major championships, Dan Jenkins is headed for the World Golf Hall of Fame. Jenkins, 82, will be only the sixth media member in the hall when he is inducted May 7 along with Phil Mickelson, Hollis Stacy and two other inductees to be announced today.

* The PGA Tour has agreed to lend the Canadian Tour money and assist next year in tournament development and sponsorship. The amount of the loan wasn't disclosed.

Sport Stops * 

Strike the Gold, the 1991 Kentucky Derby winner, was euthanized after injuring his left front leg at a stud farm in Turkey.

Heather Richardson and Tucker Fredricks won 500- meter titles at the U. S. Speed Skating Long Track Championships in West Allis, Wis.