Georgetown University Coach John Thompson said yesterday he has not ruled out resuming a basketball series against the University of Maryland, but he has to be "convinced to play."

A day after a report that Thompson rejected another attempt to resume that rivalry, he said, "Nobody has said anything to convince me yet. I know a good deal when I see one."

Asked what a good deal might be, Thompson said, "Set up something like they did at Indiana {the Big Four doubleheaders that sold out the Indianapolis Hoosier Dome two days last weekend}. Get four good teams in here and get people banging at the door {to get in}. Some of those people {at the Hoosier Dome} drove over 100 miles to get there."

Thompson's team plays St. Leo in a 1 p.m. game today at Capital Centre that is expected to draw a crowd of about 5,000. He said decisions regarding scheduling are based on financial and competitive reasons, and not personalities. "It's not bitterness," Thompson said. "It's competitiveness."

Maryland and Georgetown have not played a regular season game since the 1979-80 season after which the Terrapins dropped the Hoyas from their schedule.

In another development, Georgetown Athletic Director Frank Rienzo emphatically denied that the Hoyas this summer dropped American University, another local rival, from their schedule. Rienzo said the schools were in the midst of negotiations when American decided to sign a contract with another school.

But AU Athletic Director Joe O'Donnell disputed Rienzo. O'Donnell said he signed a contract with Kansas only after he received word indirectly that Thompson did not want to play the game this season. He said that Rienzo was out of town at the time and he contacted him as soon as he returned.

By not playing American, Georgetown has no local schools on its schedule for the first time in recent history. "John Thompson has been consistent since Day 1 at Georgetown University that, although local rivalries are of interest to some people, Georgetown's goal is to win the national championship," Rienzo said.

Rienzo said any interpretations that he and Maryland Athletic Director Lew Perkins had agreed to a game were inaccurate. In fact, Rienzo said, he has doubts a game could be scheduled, even if Thompson agreed to it.

"What we agreed to do was, if the coaches were interested in playing, we would continue to negotiate a game, which is significantly different because we could get hung up on a hundred different details," Rienzo said. "The most important, I think, is scheduling, the time when it would fit into the needs of each coach.

"Personally, I believe that if everyone wanted to do it, there is a high likelihood you couldn't come to an agreement because of exam schedules, conference schedules and everything else."

Perkins, who has acknowledged details for such a game would have to be worked out, said yesterday, "I understand. They have a business to run, and we do, too. They're doing what's best for Georgetown. We have people who want to play us that we won't play. I respect Georgetown, I respect Rienzo, I respect Thompson."

Thompson said he makes decisions based on the bottom line, not media interest nor for "the good of the community" -- a phrase he seems to detest. He also said it is important to keep "emotional control" of his team and that there is a danger of mental fatigue later in the season if he played too many games against local teams who would be emotionally charged for a contest with the Hoyas.

Thompson said he and Maryland Coach Bob Wade, who is a good friend of Thompson's, talk frequently but have never mentioned the resumption of the Maryland-Georgetown series.

"The decisions I make here are not popular decisions. But I didn't cry {before Georgetown became a power}," Thompson said. "I learned the system from {schools like} the University of Maryland and made it work for me. I don't schedule the Big East tournament, and we've won that five times. I don't schedule the NCAA tournament, and we've been to that nine straight years.

"This is a business. If it doesn't succeed, education suffers. Universities cut back on athletics and scholarships become unavailable. And needy kids are hurt because they're the ones who don't get an education."