Tito Horford, the highly touted 7-foot-1 basketball player who left Houston and LSU before playing his first game as a freshman, showed up again on the American University campus late last week, AU Coach Ed Tapscott said yesterday.

Tapscott also said that mutual friends of his and Horford's had told him that Horford "was putting together a list of schools to contact when, and if, he gets a release from LSU." Tapscott said his sources described Horford as "relaxing . . . and waiting to go to school."

The fact that Horford, who is from the Dominican Republic, is intending to re-enroll in college is important to his immigration status. He is in this country on a student visa, according to a source familiar with Horford and the NCAA investigation concerning his recruitment.

Dale Brown, LSU's coach, has told The Washington Post that he will give Horford his release, use his contacts to help place him at another college or use other contacts to place Horford on a European pro team.

After Horford left LSU, Brown charged that unspecified schools had tampered, and sources said American was one of the schools. Brown called Tapscott last Thursday and talked to him for 20 minutes. "It was a very friendly conversation," Brown said Thursday. "I believed what he told me. It was a private conversation."

Yesterday, during a news conference at George Mason University attended by coaches from the area's three Colonial Athletic Association members, Tapscott said Horford came to AU's gym Friday to meet Manuel Nadal, a redshirt freshman guard at AU who comes from Horford's hometown.