Controversial Recruit Parker Being Considered by UTEP

Article excerpt

After keeping a low profile at an Arizona community college for a semester, Richie Parker is being considered as a Division I basketball prospect again.

UTEP athletic director John Thompson said he is "investigating" the situation of Parker, a former star at Manhattan Center High in New York who was considered one of the top recruits and best guards in the nation. But his dreams for a college and NBA career took a wrong turn after Parker admitted that he and a schoolmate lured a 15-year-old girl into a stairwell at the high school and forced her to perform oral sex on them. Parker pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of felony sexual abuse 13 months ago and was sentenced to five years probation.

Last year, Parker's quest to play at a Division I school generated controversy at each campus that expressed an interest in him. Parker had signed a letter of intent with Seton Hall, but the school backed out because of the negative publicity. Utah then showed interest before backing off. …