University of Alabama athletic officials announced yesterday they have ceased efforts to restore the eligibility of Derrick McKey, the 6-foot-9 basketball center who was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics after he was declared ineligible for his last year of college play because he accepted money from an agent.
McKey, the Southeastern Conference player of the year last season, recently enrolled at Alabama for his senior year when it appeared the NCAA might restore his eligibility.
But Steve Sloan, Alabama's athletic director, said the university has notified the NCAA and SEC that efforts to restore McKey's eligibility have been terminated.
"We believe it is not in the best interest of Derrick McKey or the University of Alabama to further pursue efforts to have his eligibility restored," said Sloan.
"In this case, Derrick McKey's collegiate athletic career has been cut short by some errors in judgment and some advice that, in retrospect, does not appear to have been entirely accurate," he said.
McKey was declared ineligible after he admitted accepting a loan from New York sports agent Norby Walters . . .
Texas has dropped its appeal of an NCAA decision that rendered football defensive back James Lott ineligible because he received an $800 loan from an agent. Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said the challenge was dropped because Lott now admits he also signed a contract with sports agent Lloyd Bloom.
"The difference is that when we appealed we felt there was a promissory note only. We found out now there is a contract, and the university is not happy with a contract," Dodds said . . .
Walter Byers, the NCAA's first executive director, said he will turn his duties over to his successor, Dick Schultz, on Oct. 1, much earlier than expected. Byers, 65, who has been chief operating officer of the NCAA for 36 years, announced his retirement last year and said at the time he would work with his successor for at least a year.
Byers said Schultz is ready to handle the job. "I recommended the prompt appointment of Dick Schultz to the director's position as soon as convenient," Byers said . . .
Former Maryland basketball coach Lefty Driesell has received a clarification of his new job description from Athletic Director Lew Perkins. Driesell, now an assistant athletic director, said yesterday he will begin working for the first time as a full-time fundraiser with the Terrapin Club, his duties to include solicitation of funds and renewal of memberships. Driesell will also use his salesmanship abilities to launch a program asking members to purchase life insurance policies naming the school as a beneficiary, the Baltimore Sun reported . . .
Virginia Tech's future in Division I-A football depends on new sources of athletic income wiping out a massive debt, President William Lavery and interim athletic director Ray Smoot said.
The two officials told members of the Faculty Senate that they want to try to keep Tech at the top level, but said a drop to I-AA "must be kept on the agenda," Smoot said.