Dick Dull, director of athletics at Maryland, said yesterday he will personally look into the allegations of a female student, who said basketball Coach Lefty Driesell tried to pressure her into dropping a complaint that one of Driesell's players had attempted to force sexual advances on her.
"When we get back home, we will look into those allegations," said Dull, who was attending the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament yesterday in Atlanta.
Yesterday, a football player at Maryland said that he had been asked into Driesell's office last week. He said the coach wanted to find out "what I knew" about the woman's background.
Ed Aulisi, a senior offensive guard at Maryland, said from his home in West Orange, N.J., "A teammate of mine, Mike Lewis, came to my suite and told my roommate that Coach Driesell wanted to see me and my brother (Joe, also a football player). He knew I knew her."
Asked if Driesell had questioned him about the woman's past life, Aulisi said, "Yes."
The woman had complained that Herman Veal, a junior cocaptain of the basketball team, attempted to make sexual advances on her last Oct. 5. As a result, Veal has been placed on disciplinary probation through the fall semester of 1983 (mid-December) and thus lost his athletic eligibility; he lost his final appeal two days before Maryland was to play Virginia in one of the season's biggest games.
The woman told The Washington Post that Driesell called her three times on March 5, and told her that her "name would be dragged through the mud" if she did not drop her complaint against Veal. Driesell has denied he pressured her, and refuses to comment when asked if he has spoken to her.
Aulisi said that essentially Driesell "wanted to know what I knew" about the woman. Joe Aulisi was on vacation and unavailable for comment. Mike Lewis could not be reached.
Taylor Baldwin, a former Maryland basketball player and current student, said from his home in Annapolis that he, too, had been questioned by Driesell about the woman. Baldwin said Driesell "wanted to know what kind of girl she was.
"When he wants to know about somebody, he wants 100 percent of the details," Baldwin said.
Dull called the woman's comments "serious allegations, which obviously need to be looked into. The question is whether Coach Driesell attempted to intimidate a young girl.
"When we get back home, we will look into those allegations," Dull said. "I can't pass any other judgment until I find out all the facts. Right now, all my information has come from media accounts."
Driesell said, "I think it's fine (for Dull) to look into it. I haven't talked to Mr. Dull yet. But I encourage it. I'm not worried about that." Driesell said he still would rather not comment on whether he phoned the woman last Saturday.
On Friday, Driesell had said, "I'm an honorable man. I've got discretion. Anybody who knows me knows I'm honest."
Earlier in the week, Driesell had said he was told not to comment publicly by Edward Bennett Williams, an attorney whom Driesell said is "going to represent me in this." Last night in Florida, Williams, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, said, "I'm not representing him because, as far as I know, he doesn't have any legal problems.
"I talked to Lefty several days ago and what we discussed was not legal. It was more athletic--whether Veal could play again this year . . . I'm not really in touch with this situation at all."
Dull was asked specifically if Driesell's future at Maryland is in question. "I think any discussion of that issue is premature," he said. "I would have no comment on that."
Dull said he had not yet discussed the matter with Driesell, who returned to College Park yesterday morning after losing a first-round ACC tournament game to Georgia Tech late Friday night.
"I didn't want to disturb the team this weekend during competition," Dull said. "The fact that we lost in the opening round of the tournament is of no consequence to me.
"I don't like losing, but neither does Coach Driesell. Insofar as his performance as a coach, his record is one of the best in the nation."