As the chancellor's office at the University of Maryland proceeded with a review of basketball Coach Lefty Driesell's reported intercessions in a disciplinary case involving one of his players, Gov. Harry Hughes said he felt the "university is handling the matter appropriately," and that he will review it afterward.
Chancellor John B. Slaughter announced Monday his office would look into "all the facts in this matter." Last week, a female student at Maryland said Driesell called her three times on March 5, pressuring her to drop a complaint against player Herman Veal. As a result of her complaint that Veal had tried to force sexual attentions on her, he was declared academically ineligible; his appeal process was exhausted March 4.
In addition, a former basketball player and a football player at the university have said that Driesell spoke with them about whether they knew the woman.
Driesell has declined comment on whether he called the woman, who has asked for anonymity, but has denied exerting pressure.
Tuesday, in a meeting with the editorial board of the Baltimore News American, Hughes said, "I will be talking to (university president) John Toll at the proper time." When questioned yesterday, Hughes reiterated his statements.
Asked about Hughes' plans, Bob Smith, vice president for university relations, said, "I don't think it's anything we'd want to react to." He said neither he nor Toll had been involved in the review, and at this time he knows of no planned involvement.
"In an issue like this, that is campus specific, we don't usually get involved," Smith said. Toll is president of the university, including its various branch campuses; Slaughter is the chancellor of the College Park campus.
Dennis Blumer, executive assistant to Slaughter, said Hughes' comments were "the first I've heard of anything like that."
Blumer said the review would move "as quickly as possible and still do a good job." He declined specific comment on the process.
Slaughter's original statement said the "case involves both student discipline and specific personnel issues." Sources have said that there are two issues: Driesell's actions after Veal's appeals were completed and leaks of confidential information from student judicial board proceedings, which are supposed to be secret.
Yesterday, a high university source said the leaks of information, which have included a memo reportedly containing testimony before the judicial board, were "unfortunate" and something that "needs to be looked at."
Asked whether the review would deal with the woman, the source said, "absolutely not," adding that the "appropriate time to bring up anything relevant of that nature" would have been earlier, during the judicial review proceedings.
Although forbidden under terms of his probation to dress for games or play in them, Veal is allowed to attend them. He is with the team in Houston for the first round of the NCAA tournament, although originally Athletic Director Dick Dull had said Veal would remain on campus. Dull said he "relented" after the basketball office appealed.
Tim Gilmore, executive assistant to Slaughter, said he would have no comment on Veal's trip. Asked whether the decision was made strictly by Dull or if Slaughter's office was involved, Gilmore said, "No comment."