Lucas receives release from Baylor

Updated: August 13, 2003, 11:44 PM ET

HOUSTON -- John Lucas III, Baylor's starting point guard, said Wednesday he has received his release to talk to other schools about transferring.

Baylor president Robert Sloan said Monday that any player who requests a release will be granted one. He also said the school would support a petition to the NCAA to waive the requirement that players sit out a year when transferring to another NCAA Division I school.

Sloan said last week he was putting the program on probation for at least two years because of major violations of NCAA rules, saying it will not participate in the postseason this season, including the Big 12 tournament.

Lucas, who is spending the summer in Houston, said more than a half dozen schools, including Georgetown and Arkansas, have already contacted him about transferring.

"It's just like high school all over again," he told Houston television station KRIV on Wednesday. "It's exciting but it also makes me nervous because you don't want to make the wrong decision."

He hasn't decided on his future yet, but said he plans to decide with his father if he will remain at Baylor or finish his basketball career elsewhere.

"Right now, it's still more like a shock to everybody," Lucas told the Dallas Morning News in a story in Wednesday's online edition. "The whole thing, it's like, it can't be happening. It's like it's a movie. It's all crazy. But I know I'll have to figure things out sometime soon, because school starts in a couple of weeks."

The development may quiet talk that his father, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Lucas, is a candidate for to be the head coach at the school. He declined to comment on whether he had been contacted by Baylor.

"We're trying to listen and learn," the elder Lucas told the newspaper. "My concern is him. Once I help him decide what he needs to do, then I can go forward from there and talk about my situation."

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach the Lucases by telephone Wednesday night were unsuccessful.

Lucas joins other Baylor standouts Lawrence Roberts, the Bears' leading scorer last season, and Kenny Taylor, the third-leading scorer, who requested and received releases from Baylor on Tuesday. On Sunday, one of Baylor's top recruits, 6-foot-9 center Tyrone Nelson said he would ask for a release from his national letter of intent.

Baylor organized a six-member search committee Tuesday to find a new coach and athletic director.

Former coach Dave Bliss and athletic director Tom Stanton abruptly resigned last Friday after school officials revealed that Bliss was involved in two players' receiving improper financial aid and that staff members did not properly report failed drug tests by players.

Questions about the basketball program came about after the disappearance of Baylor player Patrick Dennehy, whose body was found in a field July 25. Dennehy, who was missing about six weeks, was shot twice in the head. A former teammate and roommate, Carlton Dotson, has been charged in Dennehy's death.

Some of Dennehy's family and friends said a coach gave him money for a car and apartment rent and that his tuition was taken care of, although he was not on scholarship after transferring from New Mexico.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index