James (Turk) Tillman, the University of Maryland basketball player who was arrested on campus July 22 and charged with two counts of petty larceny, will not return to College Park, his lawyer said yesterday.
Pete Fedak, the lawyer, said that Tillman is currently considering transferring to one of four colleges. The schools are Point Park in Pittsburgh, which Maryland coach Lefty Driesell considers Tillman's No. 1 choice: Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth and Idaho State.
Tillman, who would have been entering his junior year at Maryland, faces trial in Maryland District Court next month and also Judicial Board charges at the University of Maryland. But by leaving Maryland, Tillman, former Eastern High All-Met, would not face those charges unless he reenrolled.
Tillman, a 6-foot-4 forward-guard, was arrested July 22 in the Maryland library and was charged with stealing a woman's purse that day. He also was charged with one other count of petty larceny, involving similar circumstances.
"We've trying to do the best for him (Tillman)," Fedak said. "We have a court date in September. We'll be talking to the state's attorney. We will wait to the court date to see what the disposition will be."
Tillman could not be reached for comment.
Driesell, who suspended Tillman for insubordination last season and then reinstated him after four games, said he was trying to help Tillman find a new school. Driesell called Point Park where Jerry Conboy, the coach, was an assistant to Driesell at Davidson.
Driesell said that Point Park was the leading contender at present because Tillman would only have to sit out one semester and would be eligible for competition in December. Point Park is an NAIA school and does not have a year's sit-out rule following transfer.
Tillman was the first inner-city Washington player signed by Driesell. He played infrequently the past two seasons. As a sophomore, he started two games and averaged 5.6 points per game.
He is technically a fine jump-shooter and a quick defensive player. But his ball-handling was not satisfactory.
Fedak thinks that all Tillman needs is a chance to play regularly.
"Basketball's his whole life," Fedak said. "Turk, if he plays, won't have a problem. What he needs is motivation.He didn't get that at Maryland. I don't know why."