RICHMOND -- Virginia Tech basketball coach Charlie Moir, his reputation tarnished and his recruiting efforts devastated by reports of irregularities in his program, said he is "not necessarily ready to stay" at the Blacksburg school, even if administrators decide they want him to stay.
"I'm waiting to see what they offer, if anything," he said.
The school's interim athletic director, Raymond D. Smoot, said he is "in no hurry" to discuss Moir's contract, which will end July 1, 1989. A clause, though, allows the contract to be renewed for three years.
But Smoot said if talks are reopened, they will be to ensure that Moir's contract contains an NCAA regulation that went into effect Jan. 1. That regulation subjects a coach to sanctions, including dismissal, if violations occur in his or her program.
Moir said he has been questioned by investigators hired by the school, and that they "obviously believed" allegations that some players had been paid, allegations Moir denied.
"The whole thing was apparently instigated by a couple of disgruntled former players," he said.
A special grand jury was empaneled last week in Christiansburg, Va., to investigate allegations of extortion, reportedly involving a Virginia Tech basketball player, although commonwealth's attorney J. Patrick Graybeal has declined to identify the alleged extortionist or his target.
A six-member committee of faculty and alumni, named by Virginia Tech President William E. Lavery to conduct an internal investigation at the state's largest school, reported Thursday that it had found a dozen violations of NCAA rules in the basketball program, including grade tampering, and that not a single basketball player enrolled since 1981 has graduated. But Moir said that, since the report was compiled, one player has graduated.
Moir's lawyer, S.D. Roberts Moore, denounced the report, saying "academic failures were not Charlie Moir's doing. He looks to the academic side for guidance. If they say a player is not eligible, he doesn't play." Moore said he is considering suing the school if it tries to fire Moir.
Moir's teams have won 213 games in 11 seasons, but last season's squad was 10-18, after five straight seasons of 20-plus victories.
Moir said the adverse publicity has cost him three top junior college players for the coming year.
One of them, Fred McCoy, a graduate of H.D. Woodson High School in the District, apparently will attend Kansas State, Moir said. McCoy averaged more than 20 points a game last season for Allen County (Kan.) Community College.
Also lost, according to Moir, are Mike Porter, a 6-2 forward from Pulaski, Va., via San Jacinto (Tex.) Junior Collge, who will attend St. John's, and Tony Dawson of North Carolina, who will attend Florida State.
Moir also said a top high school prospect, Roy Reese, of Franklin, Va., opted for Tennessee after Virginia Tech refused to enroll him, even though he met minimum NCAA requirements of 700 on the Scholastic Aptitute Test and a 2.0 grade average.
Moir interpreted the rejection of Reese "as an intentional slap in the face," his attorney said.
Smoot said the action demonstrated the school's new get-tough policy on borderline applicants.
Last week's report found that scholarship athletes at Tech scored an average of 450 points below other students, a gap admissions officials said makes it difficult for them to compete in the classroom.
Among recruits still expected on campus in the fall are two Northern Virginia standouts, Marvin Miles, a 6-5 forward from Hayfield High, and Dave Herbster, a 6-9 forward from Chantilly.
Among those planning to return in the fall, Moir said, are two former stars at the District's Coolidge High School, Tim Anderson and Wally Lancaster.
Lancaster, who was Virginia Tech's leading scorer last season, is at the center of one of the controversies.
He told the Christiansburg News-Messenger last week that campus police here offered to fix $335 worth of parking tickets in April in exchange for information that could be used against Moir.
Lavery said Thursday that the police "categorically deny" that, but Lancaster's father, contacted at his home in Lanham on Sunday, said his son is sticking with his account.
At the time of the alleged ticket-fixing offer, another Virginia Tech basketball player, Johnny Fort, a 6-5 junior guard from Chicago, was spending weekends in the Montgomery County Jail in Christiansburg, for driving repeatedly on a revoked license. Fort dropped out of school in May.
Moore said Fort was "telling all kinds of crazy stories, about payoffs, and the police apparently were trying to get Lancaster to support that."
At the time, Moir dismissed the allegations as "just malcontents spouting off. We're clean."
Another player, Russell Pierre of North Babylon, N.Y., who transferred to Virginia Tech from North Carolina State, said investigators asked him about reports of cash payments, but that he told them, "there wasn't anything like that going on."
He has been reported as the player involved in an incident that the in-house panel said violated NCAA regulations. According to the panel, "a representative of the university's athletic interests provided auto financing in an amount of $7,500 for the wife of an enrolled student-athlete."
D.T. (Dutch) Baughman, who resigned as Virginia Tech's athletic director June 4, told a Roanoke newspaper that Pierre's now-estranged wife got the money from William (Moose) Matthews, a former associate athletic director, for a 1974 Audi purchased from a Blacksburg dealership then owned by Matthews. The newspaper said the car was returned to the dealership after Pierre dropped out of school.
Pierre also was given a passing grade last fall for a class in which he had done no work, according to the in-house report. The report states that an unnamed coach contacted a professor in the college of education late last fall and said Pierre was going to be declared ineligible for failing a class on "house plants," unless he could earn an additional hour of credit. The professor volunteered "the establishment of an independent study," on the topic, "The History of the Metro Conference" (of which Virginia Tech is a member) to ensure that Pierre would be eligible.
Pierre played three games, but, after the incident was discovered, he dropped out of school and the school forfeited the two victories in which he played.