The chancellor's office at the University of Maryland took over from the athletic department yesterday the investigation of a complaint by a woman that Coach Lefty Driesell tried to pressure her into withdrawing allegations of sexual misconduct against one of his basketball players.
The investigation, sources said, also will focus on leaks of confidential information from student judicial board proceedings, which are supposed to be secret.
It also was learned that Herman Veal, the player involved, did not accompany the team to Atlanta last week for the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and will not go to Houston for this week's NCAA tournament at order of Athletic Director Dick Dull.
"The university intends to take a close and considered look at all the facts in this matter," Chancellor John B. Slaughter said in a prepared statement. "My office will conduct a thorough review, and will attempt to gather all the relevant facts. When I have those facts in hand, I will decide if any further actions need to be taken.
"This case involves both student discipline and specific personnel issues. University regulations require confidentiality in such matters. Therefore, I will not be making any further statements at this time."
Dull said Saturday that he would investigate the case himself, starting yesterday. But yesterday, Dull said he was no longer involved in the investigation, although he has offered his assistance to the chancellor's office.
The main elements of the investigation, sources said, apparently will center on Driesell's involvement after Veal's appeals were exhausted on March 4. The next day, Driesell allegedly called the woman three times in hopes of getting her to drop the charges. She refused.
On Sunday, William Salmond, attorney for the woman, said he would ask the university to look into other reports of involvement by Driesell.
Driesell has a 9 a.m. press conference today.
Asked about the investigation by the chancellor's office, Driesell said yesterday, "Sure, let them investigate it. I haven't done anything wrong."
Veal practiced with the team yesterday, but declined comment.
The woman had complained that last Oct. 5 Veal had tried to force sexual attentions on her. As a result Veal was placed on disciplinary probation through the fall semester of 1983 and thus lost his athletic eligibility.
On March 6, Veal missed the regular-season finale against Virginia. He sat on the bench in street clothes. Two days later Driesell said he was attempting to use his "pull" so that Veal could play in the ACC tournament. He had said that Veal would accompany the team to Atlanta, even if he could not play.
But Veal did not go to Atlanta, nor will he accompany the team to Houston for Thursday night's game against Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Dull said yesterday that he made those decisions and that Driesell did not object.
Asked why he decided not to allow Veal to accompany the team, Dull said, "I think he is better advised to remain in College Park and catch up with his studies, even though this is a week off."
Slaughter was unavailable for further comment yesterday. Tim Gilmour, his executive assistant, declined to say who would be in charge of the investigation. Gilmour said it would move "as expeditiously as possible," but that the chancellor had set no deadlines.