COLLEGE PARK -- James Spears, a 6-foot-6 forward who left Temple University last week after quitting the basketball team earlier this season, said yesterday that he hoped to be enrolled at the University of Maryland sometime next week.
"It's in motion," Spears said from Glen Mills (Pa.) School, a boarding school where he played for two years before going to Temple. "I'm going up there [to College Park] Tuesday to register. I haven't received my release yet from Temple. I don't know what the holdup is about."
Earl Cleghorn, Temple's associate athletic director, said last night that the university received the request for Spears' release from Maryland on Thursday. Cleghorn said the request had been granted.
Spears has yet to be admitted to Maryland, but apparently was in good academic standing when he left Temple. Also, Spears said he was aware that he would have to pay tuition, room and board for the spring semester before going on scholarship next fall.
"I think they have an up-and-coming program," Spears said of Maryland. "I feel I can immediately help their program. It's a nice college atmosphere. I think I will function well at a place like Maryland."
Spears, who grew up in Hollywood, Md., played in all 34 games at Temple as a freshman last season, averaging 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 11 minutes a game. In four games this season, Spears averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds while playing 15 minutes a game.
Asked to comment yesterday, Maryland coach Gary Williams said, "It's premature to talk about James Spears until he's in school here."
If admitted, Spears will have to sit out until the second semester next season in accordance with NCAA rules and will have 1 1/2 seasons of eligibility remaining.