A decision whether Maryland junior forward Herman Veal will play in the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament will be made before the Terrapins meet Georgia Tech in the first round Friday at Atlanta. That decision is being made at the highest levels of the university, sources said yesterday.

The five-member student judicial board ruled that Veal had violated a dormitory code of conduct, sources said. The alleged incident, sources said, involved an unidentified female student. The incident allegedly took place before the current basketball season began last November, according to reports.

Veal reportedly appealed the board's ruling, but an appeal was rejected Friday. Veal did not participate in the game against Virginia on Sunday. But he did practice yesterday and will be among the players traveling to Atlanta Thursday for the tournament.

"If I've got anything to do with it, he'll play Friday," Coach Lefty Driesell said yesterday at a news conference. "Right now, it's out of my hands. But I've got a little bit of pull around here, and we'll see how much. That's all I'm going to say."

Athletic Director Dick Dull said, "At this point and time, he is not slated to play in the ACC tournament. But I will let you know Friday what his status is for the tournament."

University and athletic department officials have declined comment on specifics concerning Veal, citing federal privacy statutes that forbid university employes from discussing a student's academic or disciplinary record.

Veal, Maryland's second-leading rebounder, said he hopes to play in the tournament at Atlanta.

"I hope there's still a chance of playing," Veal said before practice yesterday. "We hope to have a prepared statement later in the week. I've been told to say it's an administrative problem."

Veal said he wanted to talk about the situation, but could not comment further.

It could not be learned yesterday whether the alleged incident was reported to campus police. Don Smith, a spokesman for the campus police, said he could not comment because of federal privacy statutes.

"The NCAA is not involved. The athletic department has not been involved," Dull said. When asked if the Prince George's County police had been notified of the alleged incident, Dull said: "It is being taken care of within the university framework. There has been no involvement of outside sources."

When asked generally about procedures for complaints on campus, Drury Bagwell, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, said: "Individual complaints are handled based on circumstances of a particular case . . . Some are handled internally and some are handled externally. So much would depend on the circumstances."

Asked if being handled internally would include involvement of the campus police, Bagwell said, "They may, or they may not be, depending on the circumstances of the case."

Attempts to reach John Slaughter, chancellor of the College Park campus, and members of the Board of Regents, which oversees the university, were unsuccessful.