Johnson says he's no longer interested in Georgia

The Associated Press

ALBANY? Georgia basketball recruit and former Dougherty High School star Alexander Johnson said he took the SAT test in December and knows nothing about an allegation that someone else was asked to take the test for him. University of Georgia officials are investigating the latest allegation of improprieties in the basketball program.

The school is looking into charges that Ernest Shanks Jr., a Colquitt County High School guidance counselor, asked a student to take the SAT exam on Dec. 7 for Johnson, now a student at Bridgton Academy prep school in Maine.

The student never took the test but the scheme was reported to the Colquitt County superintendent.

"Why would I want to take it down there when I was going to take it up here?" said Johnson, who said he took the test in Maine on Dec. 7 and scored a 920, which would make him eligible to go to college if he graduates in May.

Shanks resigned his job, but said Monday that although he was aware of the accusations, he did nothing wrong, does not know Johnson or any coaches at Georgia.

He said he quit because his wife is ill and he wanted to change professions.

Told of Shanks' statement, Johnson replied: "It's real good to hear that. Like I've said, I had nothing to do with this."

Athens attorney Ed Tolley, who is heading a joint school and NCAA investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by coach Jim Harrick and former assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr., acknowledged he is looking into the Johnson situation.

Johnson, a 6-foot-10 forward, said he is no longer interested in going to Georgia, but added that two other Southeastern Conference schools ? Florida and Kentucky ? are still recruiting him as well as several other schools. He also indicated he could make himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

Johnson signed with Georgia in 2001 before his senior season at Dougherty, but didn't qualify academically to join the Bulldogs this season.