NCAA investigators yesterday questioned Maryland assistant men's basketball coaches Billy Hahn and Adam Preyer as well as former assistant Roger McCready about the school's violation of preseason practice rules.

The interviews, conducted on the College Park campus, stem from the disclosure Jan. 31 that Coach Gary Williams observed his players in two workouts before Oct. 15, the official starting date for practice.

Hahn, Preyer and McCready declined to comment on their interviews. Each reportedly was asked about allegations from at least two sources that the team conducted practices before Oct. 15. If substantiated, what Athletic Director Lew Perkins called a "secondary" violation last week could become major.

Maryland is serving a three-year NCAA probation for 27 rule violations in 13 categories that occured mostly during the three-year tenure of Bob Wade, Williams's predecessor.

Perkins, attending a convention of athletic directors in Florida, was not interviewed by the NCAA yesterday. Williams was not interviewed either, but it was obvious the presence of the investigators on campus, as well as their line of questioning, angered him.

"There are two things being discussed here. One is watching pickup games -- I wish I could give you the names of all the coaches, like {Michigan State's} Jud Heathcote, who have called and said, 'Are you kidding me?' " said Williams.

"The other point -- the running a practice -- is an outright lie that has already been denied. This is just someone who's trying to hurt the program. This kind of innuendo has to stop and we are going to take every measure to make sure that it does."

Williams would not elaborate on what measures might be taken.

Kim Adkins, the wife of former Maryland player and assistant coach Jeff Adkins, was interviewed twice by the NCAA last winter and said in a statement that she saw Williams and Perkins watching a workout from a railing above the court at Cole Field House, and that two assistants were present on the floor at the time.

A university employee reported to the school's compliance officer, Gerald Gurney, that he witnessed a workout in the auxliary gym at Cole Field House last September in which the Maryland players were dressed in practice gear and the coaches blew whistles and instructed the team.

Gurney, who also was reportedly interviewed by the NCAA yesterday, declined to comment.

Williams, who was hired a year ago yesterday, has maintained that he only watched two practices, which he admitted in the statement he and Perkins sent to the NCAA.

McCready, who played for Williams at Boston College and joined him on Maryland's staff before the 1989-90 season, resigned Monday to seek a non-basketball business position. The timing of the announcement, just before the NCAA visit, has fostered speculation that he was forced to resign.

Williams denied that, saying McCready -- who worked at Columbia, Yale and Massachusetts before Maryland -- was frustrated by an increasingly nomadic lifestyle.

McCready, 26, confirmed that during a telephone interview yesterday from his home in Laurel, and called talk of a forced resignation "ridiculous."

"I'm suffering from a little burnout," he said. "Name one person who's been through what I've been the last four years. I've had four jobs, had to make four moves in that time. I've been thinking about this since last year."