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SAT Trouble Means Bruins Lose a Recruit : College basketball: Tommy Prince of Dominguez has test invalidated.

August 17, 1995|ELLIOTT ALMOND and GREG SANDOVAL | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

UCLA basketball recruit Tommy Prince had his college entrance exam invalidated after the school reported a discrepancy in the results and he will not attend the university, officials announced Wednesday.

Prince, a 6-foot-5 forward/guard from Compton Dominguez High, was considered one of the area's prize recruits last year but signed late because of problems reaching a qualifying score on the Scholastic Assessment Test.

Prince said in April that he had failed to score an NCAA minimum on the SAT after three tries. He subsequently reached the standard, then signed with UCLA in May after the Bruins won the NCAA championship.

"I wanted to stay close to home," he said at the time.

But after what officials described as an "analysis" of those test scores in June by Richard Herczog, the athletic department's compliance officer, UCLA asked Educational Testing Service to investigate the results. ETS, which administers the SAT from Princeton, N.J., invalidated Prince's score.

Prince was offered the chance to retake the test, which he did recently, a source familiar with the situation said. His disputed score was invalidated after the results of the last test were analyzed.

UCLA could have admitted Prince as a partial qualifier under NCAA legislation known as Proposition 48 because the athlete completed his college preparatory requirements at Dominguez. He would have been required to sit out a year without practice or financial aid before becoming eligible.

UCLA's policy, however, is to not accept Prop. 48 athletes.

"We try to do things correctly," Coach Jim Harrick said Wednesday night. "Sometimes you don't get all the players you want."

Prince was one of three from the prep class of '95 that Harrick landed to bolster his team, which lost seniors Ed O'Bannon, Tyus Edney and George Zidek because of graduation.

Prince, who led Dominguez to the State Division II championship game last spring, averaged 19 points and seven rebounds a game. But he was not expected to have as great an impact on the team as the other two incoming freshmen--6-10 Jelani McCoy from San Diego and 6-1 Brandon Loyd from Tulsa, Okla.

"We're very disappointed about losing Tommy," Harrick said. "Any time you go all year recruiting a player and you lose them, especially when you plan on having them, it's tough.

"On the other hand, every person is responsible for their own academic work."

Harrick said he would not fill the vacant scholarship this year, and does not know what Prince plans to do. Prince could not be reached for comment.

Harrick said he was frustrated by the outcome of Prince's situation.

"At this time last year, nobody could say what Toby Bailey would do," Harrick said. "What if Tommy could have come in and done as well as Toby did?"

As a freshman last season, Bailey was a key contributor.

Times Senior Correspondent David Rosenzweig contributed to this story.

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