San Antonio Spurs owner Red McCombs, who this week put contract negotiations on hold after former Georgetown star David Wingate was charged with the second-degree rape of a 17-year-old girl in Columbia, yesterday said Wingate would not return to the NBA team.
Wingate, a restricted free agent who made $375,000 last season, was on the verge of agreeing to a three-year, $2.25 million contract with the Spurs earlier this week.
McCombs's latest decision -- which the Spurs termed a clarification of the owner's Tuesday statement -- came one day after a Howard County grand jury indicted Wingate on six counts, including second-degree rape, and two days after a 21-year-old San Antonio woman filed a civil suit accusing Wingate of raping and sodomizing her there on June 24.
"The Spurs will honor our obligations -- if any -- to David Wingate, but at this time, there are no plans for David being a part of our team," McCombs said in a statement. "I suspect David's primary energies will be spent in his own defense against the very serious allegations. At the same time, the Spurs must go full speed ahead in getting ready for our training camp beginning October 6."
No charges have been filed in the San Antonio case, and a police spokeswoman there said the case is "still under investigation right now." Howard County police, according to court papers, said Wingate told them he had intercourse with the Baltimore teenager, but that she consented to it. Neither Wingate nor his attorney, Steve Umin of the law firm Williams & Connolly, have commented on either case.
A Spurs spokesman declined to speculate whether Wingate would be offered a contract if he were exonerated in both cases. A spokesman in the NBA office said the league still is looking into Wingate's case and has no further comment at this time.
Wingate, a starter on Georgetown's 1984 NCAA championship team, was a second-round draft choice of the Philadelphia 76ers in 1986. He played three seasons there before being traded to the Spurs before last season. He was a reserve with the Spurs, but played nearly 24 minutes per game.