St. Frances basketball star Mark Karcher wants to play college basketball at a major Division I program, but is running out of chances to do it at an Atlantic Coast Conference school.

Karcher, The Sun's two-time All-Metro Player of the Year, and one of the country's top 20 players, failed to show for a scheduled meeting yesterday with Maryland coach Gary Williams.


St. Frances coach William Wells confirmed yesterday that Karcher was "supposed to visit" Maryland yesterday, but said, "We called and told them that we didn't like the proposal they were offering. We just didn't see the value in it."

A source within Maryland's athletic department said that Williams was to suggest Karcher attend prep school to improve his core grade average while still maintaining his four years of Division I athletic eligibility.


"What they had in mind is not what we had in mind," said Wells, adding that Karcher, having taken the SAT four times, still has not met the requirements for freshman eligibility. Karcher has two more chances to take the test.

"I think Mark has finally realized that if he's going to make anything happen, it's going to be all about putting his head into the books," said Wells.

"The kid's working hard to pass the test, so we just didn't think the proposal was right for a kid of his caliber," Wells added. "We've been talking all day and it hasn't gotten ugly or anything. We're going to continue to talk with [Maryland], and he's going to continue working hard."

The no-show follows last weekend's canceled visit to Georgia Tech, which yesterday announced the signing of 6-foot-5, 200-pound shooting guard and Parade All-American Dion Glover, whose skills are comparable to Karcher's.

Glover played alongside Karcher on the East squad in the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Game last month, scoring 15 points to Karcher's eight in the East's 94-81 victory over the West. Glover, along with last week's signee, 6-1 Travis Spivey of Mount Zion, N.C., make for a solid backcourt.

Neither Williams nor Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins could be reached yesterday.

Reached yesterday morning, Karcher dismissed speculation that he is considering the NBA's June draft.

"I just changed my mind," Karcher said of the aborted trip to Georgia Tech. "I'm definitely going to college. I have no intentions of going pro."


On April 9, the first day of the early signing period, Wells said Karcher was "roughly" 100 points shy of the 820 SAT score he needs to qualify with his corresponding GPA.

"I'm not going to say what his grades or SAT scores are," Wells said yesterday, "but obviously, he's close for people to still be considering him."

To be considered a full freshman qualifier, Karcher must obtain a minimum SAT score of 820 with a corresponding 2.5 GPA, or have a 2.0 average with a corresponding 1,010 SAT.

ACC schools do not accept Proposition 48 students (students who do not qualify academically and sit out their freshman season with no scholarship, then have three years' eligibility), so neither Georgia Tech nor Maryland could accept Karcher unless he were at least a partial qualifier. As a partial qualifier, Karcher must obtain on a sliding scale between a 2.525 GPA with a corresponding 810 SAT score (or 67 ACT), or a 2.75 GPA with a corresponding 720 SAT (59 ACT).

Karcher still lists Seton Hall, Villanova and Temple among his considerations. And though the ACC does not accept Prop 48 students, Seton Hall and Villanova of the Big East and Temple of the Atlantic 10 do.

Karcher said he plans to visit Seton Hall this weekend and Temple the following weekend.


Pub Date: 4/24/97