WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal mediators have arranged direct talks between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and black basketball coaches who had threatened a boycott over scholarships and academic requirements.

Ron Tomalis of the Justice Department's Community Relations Service said Monday the discussion is to be held by telephone conference call tonight.

Two earlier attempts to arrange face-to-face meetings collapsed because of ''last-minute logistical problems,'' said Tomalis.

In mid-January, the black coaches put off a threatened boycott of college basketball games after the Justice Department offered to mediate.

The black coaches began plans for a boycott after the NCAA rejected their proposal to return a 14th scholarship to men's Division I programs. Because blacks represent about 64 percent of the players in Division I men's college basketball, critics say the scholarships reduction hit blacks the hardest.

But University of Minnesota coach Clem Haskins said the dispute mainly was over a proposal to require athletes with lower scores on college aptitude tests to have a 2.5 grade point average in core subjects instead of the 2.0 average now required.

Black coaches claim the college entrance exams are culturally biased.