Secretary of the Navy William Ball received Friday a letter from the lawyer of former Naval Academy all-America David Robinson, requesting that he release Robinson from the rest of his active duty obligation, according to a Navy spokesman. A release would enable Robinson to play this season for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.

The spokesman said the request came from Lee Fentress of Advantage International. Fentress, surprised that word of the request had gotten out, declined all comment.