A University of Maryland staff member answered the telephone the third time Basketball Coach Lefty Driesell is alleged to have called a female student and to have pressured her to drop a complaint she had made to the student judicial board against one of his players, sources said yesterday.
The sources said that the staff member is expected to be one of the persons called in the chancellor's office review of the woman's complaint to the university student legal aid office that Driesell called her three times the morning after the appeals process was exhausted in the disciplinary case of basketball player Herman Veal.
Veal, a junior forward and the team's second-leading rebounder, was ruled ineligible for intercollegiate competition for the remainder of the season by a student judicial board, missing the Terrapins' final four games. The woman complained that Veal tried to force sexual attentions on her in a dormitory room on Oct. 5.
The focus of the chancellor's review panel is on Driesell's role after Veal's appeals were exhausted. The panel also is looking into leaks of information from student judicial proceedings, which are supposed to be confidential.
Dennis Blumer, an attorney and an executive assistant to Chancellor John B. Slaughter, said the chancellor's office had decided not to reveal details of the review process until it is completed.
Sources familiar with the case say that if the allegations are true, Driesell would not be fired or asked to resign, but would be reprimanded .
Contacted yesterday at an offcampus location, the woman, who has requested anonymity, confirmed that it was a university staff member who answered the telephone the third time she alleges Driesell called her. The staff member was at the woman's dormitory apartment as a result of her complaint to university police following the first alleged call, sources said.
The same sources said the university police contacted Gary Pavela, director of judicial programs, and he also went to the woman's apartment, but left before Driesell allegedly made the second call. The woman has said she hung up when Driesell called the second time. On the third alleged call, the university staff member answered the phone, told Driesell that the woman did not want to speak to him and suggested that he call Pavela, according to the sources.
Driesell has declined comment about whether he placed the calls, but has said he did not pressure the woman.
In another development, the woman said she is uncertain whether she will continue as a student at College Park, but said she will continue to pursue her complaint against Driesell.
"I'm doing a lot of thinking about it (returning to Maryland). I just don't know what I'm going to do," she said in a telephone interview. "I'm real upset and confused right now. I don't know if I can be just another student at Maryland. I hope that one day I'll wake up and it'll all be over."