David Wingate, facing rape charges in Maryland and Texas, was informed yesterday that the San Antonio Spurs were not interested in re-signing him for the 1990-91 National Basketball Association season.
A native of Baltimore, Wingate, 26, starred at Dunbar High School and Georgetown University, where he was a member of the 1984 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship team. He played as a backcourt reserve for the Spurs last season after three years with the Philadelphia 76ers. He is a restricted free agent.
In a brief news release yesterday, Spurs owner Red McCombs said: "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.
"We appreciate David's contributions to the Spurs last season, and we have sympathy for him and all others connected to the various allegations."
Wingate was indicted Thursday by a Howard County grand jury on charges of raping a Baltimore teen-ager who said she was sexually assaulted at his Columbia home Sunday after getting drunk on beer and tequila.
The formal charges were for second-degree rape, assault and unauthorized sexual contact.
Wingate also faces a civil suit in San Antonio on behalf of a 22-year-old woman who alleges she was raped by Wingate and later assaulted by two of his friends at his San Antonio apartment, June 24, 1989. San Antonio police are investigating the charges.
Before McCombs clarified the Spurs' position on Wingate yesterday, team officials had credited the 6-foot-5 guard with exemplary work habits in practice and games.
But Washington Bullets general manager John Nash, who previously held the same position for the Philadelphia 76ers, remembered Wingate as being more of a problem.
"We felt that David was a very gifted athlete and were fortunate to get him in the second round of the draft in 1986," Nash said. "But he became a player who caused the team a lot of aggravation and frustration.
"He didn't have very good work habits and didn't take his profession seriously. Off the court, we were constantly getting complaints from his landlord about all-night parties."