Norman Nolan, Dunbar's All-Metro center, got the response he needed Saturday from Nike representative Rich Shuebrook, and now hopes he can put any eligibility questions behind him.
Shuebrook's letter indicated that his athletic footwear company had received the merchandise -- including a $100 gift certificate -- which Nolan returned after accepting it early last month at Nike's Fab 40 basketball tournament in Beaverton, Ore.
By accepting the merchandise, Nolan and 36 of the nation's top senior Division I prospects violated the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations governing eligibility in all 50 states.
On Sept. 28 Nolan met with Maurice Howard, the assistant superintendent for Baltimore City public schools, and Donald Williams, specialist for physical education and athletics.
Howard said he was allowing "10 to 14 days" from that day for Nolan to return the gifts and to receive a "letter of certification that the material has been returned." The letter, Howard said, would prompt his recommendation to superintendent of schools Walter Amprey that Nolan be exonerated.
Howard's secretary confirmed that Nolan had delivered the letter early yesterday, 15 days after the meeting. She said Howard likely would not see it until last night.
If Nolan's letter is not honored, the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association allows for an appeal for reinstatement after 60 days -- well into the winter basketball season.
"There's a good possibility I'll sign early," said Nolan, 17. The NCAA's early signing period begins Nov. 10.
Nolan needs only to keep his grade-point average above a 2.0 for NCAA freshman eligibility. A 2.8 student with an 18 on his American College Test, Nolan is seeking a major in the health field.
"I like all three schools because they're relatively small, with good histories," said Nolan.
Wojo wows Coach 'K'
A day after verbally committing to attend Duke on a full basketball scholarship, Gibbons' All-City soccer player Steve Wojciechowski -- called "Wojo" by teammates -- scored two goals and an assist to lead the Crusaders to a 4-1 victory over Spalding.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made a special trip to celebrate Wojciechowski's decision and watched as the second-team All-Metro basketball player showed how talented he is with his feet. Wojciechowski (eight goals, one assist) has had a foot in on the scoring of nine of the Crusaders' 13 goals.
Lake Clifton's Dennis Harding was so impressive in last weekend's losing effort to No. 2 Poly (four receptions, 73 yards), that a Wake Forest representative -- in town to see the Engineers' Greg Kyler -- ended up asking about him.
Lake Clifton (5-1, 5-0) visits No. 9 Patterson (6-0, 4-0) Friday in a City 4A league battle for first place.
Gilman gets better
After outscoring its first three opponents, 98-0, No. 3 Gilman barely escaped Anne Arundel Community College with an 18-16 Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference victory over a tough St. Mary's squad.
And Gilman (4-0, 1-0) still is recovering from injuries that coach Sherm Bristow hopes are healed with games to come against No. 7 Calvert Hall (4-0), No. 2 Poly (6-0), Mount St. Joseph, Loyola and No. 5 McDonogh.
Key players such as All-Metro linebacker Jamie Biddison, running back Jimmy Zimmerman and kicker/running back Mike Allan were among several injured players who returned semi-healthy against St. Mary's, with Biddison and Zimmerman scoring touchdowns. Allan is 8- for-8 on point-after kicks.
"We're healing just as we hit the meat of our schedule," Bristow said.
Former Forest Park football players are expected to converge on Baltimore in a couple of weeks, and Warren Schwartz will be among them.
The 1955 Forest Park graduate and fifth-year assistant coach to City's George Petrides can renew friendships at the 25th anniversary reunion of Forest Park athletes.
Schwartz was a quarterback at Forest Park from 1951-55 and in 1968 coached the Foresters' only unblemished squad (9-0).
The four-hour event begins at 1 p.m. Oct. 24, at Martin's West. It will feature a bull and oyster roast.
Information can be obtained by calling either Schwartz (410) 889-7989 or Hy Zolet (410) 655-3100.
Lee attains fame
Doug Lee, 77, recently was notified that he'll become the first Marylander to be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The ceremony will take place in April at the national headquarters in Stillwater, Okla.
"When they called me [two weeks ago] to tell me, I was pretty excited. It's quite an honor," said Lee, a 1932 Towson graduate who lives in Phoenix, Md. "There are a lot of good wrestlers who have come out of this nation, mostly college guys," said Lee, a retired dairy farmer and former Baltimore County employee in land surveying. "Since I never went to college, well, that makes this even better."
With no high school wrestling, Lee didn't begin the sport until eight years after graduating.
He worked out at the city's YMCA, formerly located on Franklin and Cathedral streets, winning five national titles for its team. Lee also won five national Amateur Athletic Union titles from 1940-48.