Michael Graham, the 6-foot-9 all-Met forward from Spingarn High School, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at Georgetown.
Coach John Thompson said he did not actively recruit Graham, and that although Graham has signed a letter of intent, he "has not made application (for admission) and has not been accepted into Georgetown."
There is some question whether Graham will graduate with the 2.0 grade point average necessary for a scholarship at a Division I school. Ernest Faulkner, Graham's godfather and a teacher at Spingarn, said yesterday that Graham's chances of graduating "appear very good."
For much of the year, it appeared Graham would attend Maryland. But Faulkner took Graham to Georgetown in March to see Thompson.
John Wood, coach at Spingarn, said he didn't know of Graham's decision to attend Georgetown until yesterday, when he found out from Graham's mother that she and her son had signed the letter of intent "sometime in April."
"I had no prior knowledge about Michael signing, and I'm upset about it," Wood said. "I'm his coach and I think it's very unethical for any college coach to go behind a coach's back and sign a player. Michael told me that (John) Thompson told him not to tell me about it."
Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell said he had no comment regarding Graham's decision. Graham, who could not be reached for comment, also was recruited by the University of the District of Columbia, the Division II national runner-up.
"I happened to be talking to Michael's mother (yesterday) and she mentioned her son had signed with Georgetown," Wood said. "I went to Michael and he confirmed it. I'm in dismay over this situation. As his coach, I thought I had a right to know."
The last two seasons, Graham averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds in leading Spingarn to the Interhigh championship in 1982 and second place in 1983. He could be the inside scorer and rebounder Georgetown needs to complement Patrick Ewing, its 7-foot all-America center.
Wood briefly suspended Graham for missing practice, but he played well enough during the second half of the season to help Spingarn finish second in the league with a 24-5 record.
Thompson said his staff called and wrote Wood during the season to inquire about Graham, but was told he was not interested in Georgetown.
"Then, I thought it was mighty strange that the teacher would bring Michael to us," Thompson said. "I was told he had received our messages, but it was obvious he had not. I didn't want to get involved in internal squabbles. I had extended every courtesy to the school."
Faulkner said that Graham and Wood had strained relations and that he (Faulkner) was not on speaking terms with Wood.