Howard University, which has played in the NCAA Division I basketball tournament, but had not been able to schedule a game against any of the area's leading Division I teams, will play George Washington University this season.

The Dec. 8 game at Smith Center was arranged after the University of San Francisco dropped its basketball program, leaving Howard with two open dates, and George Washington did not get a renewal of its rivalry with Georgetown.

Howard was scheduled to play in the Golden Gate Classic at San Francisco on Dec. 17 and 18.

Until this season, the only area Division I teams that scheduled Howard have been Catholic University, which since has dropped to Division III, and George Mason.

Howard is attempting to schedule American University to fill its other open date, but AU's schedule, barring a last-minute change, is complete for the 1982-83 season. Since Howard already is scheduled to play at San Diego State as part of its West Coast trip, Howard officials still are trying to arrange another game out west.

"We'd love to play year in, year out with GW and AU," Howard Coach A.B. Williamson said yesterday. "But GW is the only new game we have scheduled right now."

GW Coach Gerry Gimelstob said he began looking for "an NCAA tournament-caliber team when Georgetown dropped us from the schedule. Right now it's a one-shot deal (with Howard). We'll have to wait and see what happens. But it really makes sense to play these (local) games. There's no travel cost, it's a game the people in D.C. should love, and I expect a hell of a crowd at the Smith Center."

Ed Tapscott, coach at American, said he, too, would like to schedule Howard, but the Eagles already have scheduled the maximum 27 teams. "We thought one team (Division II Randolph-Macon) might change, and then the first team we'd contact would be Howard because I know they need a game," Tapscott said. "It doesn't look like our schedule will change, however. But we'd like to play Howard in the future."

Andre Gaddy, George Mason's all-time leading scorer and a fourth-round pick by the Houston Rockets in this year's NBA draft, has signed a contract to play professional basketball in Barcelona, Spain this season.

Gaddy, a 6-foot-10, 212-pound center, has been playing with the Rockets' rookie team in the Los Angeles Pro League this summer. Houston Coach Del Harris suggested Gaddy play overseas this winter.

Orby Moss, UDC's athletic director, said there are no athletes "that I am aware of who will be affected by the enforcement of (the strong) academic guidelines" imposed last week by new university President Benjamin Alexander, who put 1,800 students on academic probation and suspended 880 more.