John Mullen, a 6-foot-9 sophomore forward and center on the Howard University basketball team, has left school, his coach said yesterday.

Mullen, from Akron, Ohio, was avcraging 10.4 points and eight rebounds a game. He had started 11 games for the Bison but had been a reserve in the last six games.

"He has a lot of problems" said Howard head coach A.B. Williamson, adding "He spoke (to me) about his lack of playing time this year and about his family situation back home." Mullen's father has been ill.

"But he also said something about what some other people have told him about his basketball ability, and the fact that certain coaches out there (in the Midwest) want him to play for them," said Williamson.

"His major problem here has been consistency. Sometimes he comes to play all fired-up, and other times, he doesn't seem to care how he plays. Plus, he hardly ever talked with me or anyone else on the team about what was on his mind."

Williamson said that Mullen's presence will be missed under the boards, but noted that Mullen had been beated out as a starter by another sophomore, 6-10 Dorian Dent, who recently transferred to Howard from junior college.

Williamson also has 6-9 freshman Mike Pressley in reserve.

The Bison with a 3-2 conference record and 11-6 overall mark, host Maryland-Eastern Shore tonight in an 2 p.m. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Burr Gymnasium on the Howard campus.

The Eagles are only 4-11 this season, but showed their tenacity by rebounding from several 23-point deficits before bowing to Howard 96-89, at Princess Anne Jan. 19.

Federal City hosts St. Paul's at 7 p.m. in the first game of a men's-women's doubleheader between the two schools at H.D. Woodson High School.

Federal City's Pantherettes oppose Immaculata in the second game. The Mighty Macs are 9-2 and finished second in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women's (ALAW) national tournament last season.

In other men's games, George Mason visits the University of Maryland at Baltimore court, and West Virginia plays at Virginia Tech.

In women's action George Washington is at Georgetown, American at Gallaudet, George Mason at Virginia State, and Maryland Eastern Shore visits Howard.