American University's high-scoring guard, Stan Lamb, dismissed from school this week because of failing grades, said yesterday he held "no bitterness toward school officials" for their decision and only hopes they would reconsider and give him an opportunity to return.
"I made mistakes. It was a combination of things like a heavy workload and a few too many road games, I guess," said a somber Lamb, as he watched basketball practice at AU. "Things got out of hand, but it was mainly my fault. I know if I got one more chance and they let me in there wouldn't be a problem."
Lamb, a junior, will find out at 9 a.m. today if he'll get that opportunity. He is to meet with Ruth McFeeter, an associate dean of the college of arts and sciences and the director of academic affairs.
Schould Lamb not be reinstated for the spring semester, he would have to sit out a year, then apply for readmission for the spring semester of 1980 if he wishes to remain at AU.
"I haven't given much thought to what I'll do if my appeal is turned down," said Lamb. "Maybe I'll try to play basketball in Europe or maybe get a job. Right now I just don't know."
"I'm sure Stan will do a good job of presenting his case and I hope she gives him a break," said Gary Williams, in his first year as AU coach. "Obviously, I hope from a selfish point of view he gets back in school. He overcame a lot of problems to get this far and I hope he doesn't let this be a setback in his life.
"Stan's intelligent and now I'm sure he sees the value of sustaining certain responsibilities in school."
With the 6-foor-2, 200-pound Lamb pouring in 24 points a game from the outside and muscular Boo Bowers averaging 23, AU was one of three Division I schools in the country with two 20 point-plus scorers. Lamb was the area's top scorer.
Before he was suspended, Lamb was shooting 48 percent, leading his team in steals with 44 and was third in assists with 49. Lamb had a season high of 34 points against Alabama and was elected ECC and ECAC player of the week. He also was a unanimous choice for the all-tournament teams in the Lapchick and Tangerine Bowl tournaments.
After earning better than a 3.0 grade average his freshman year, the Bronx, New York, native's academic problems began last year when he got two incompletes. He failed to make them up last summer. Last semester he carried five classes and failed in two.
"I was in the process of completing the work for the imcomplete but I failed two other classes," said Lamb, a communications major. "I was told students received a probation letter before a dismissal notice. I never did."
Does Lamb feel he, because he is an athlete, has been singled out as the university tries to tighten its academic standards?
"Because I am an athlete could have something to do with it," said Lamb. "I know people around campus who are doing a lot worse than I am and are still in school. It's tough to say I'm a scapegoat but maybe people don't take into consideration athletes have problems and need help, too. We're human and we make mistakes."
Lamb said he went to see his advisor several times last semester for counseling but for "one reason or another" never saw him.
"I know I'm a good student and I should have passed the classes. I have no excuse."
Williams and his teammates have been sympathetic.
"It's a frustrting feeling wanting to help but being helpless to do anything about it," said Williams.
"I'm still with the team in spirit," said Lamb, who has cheered from the bench in AU's last two wins, over Lehigh and Drexel. "Without me they'll still have a good season because everyone will contribute."
Bowers said that with Lamb gone he felt he had to be more offensive minded. He scored 29 points as the Eagles defeated Drexel Wednesday night.
"Everyone has to take up the slack for Stan," said Bowers. "We're all hoping he comes back."