Robert Arias, athletic director at Loyola Marymount University for five years, will decide within two weeks whether to accept a reassignment as athletic fund-raiser, a job that would be a demotion in the athletic hierarchy despite being created for him.
Though Arias is officially athletic director until July 1, he is considering job possibilities outside the university and talks about Loyola, perhaps unintentionally, in past tense.
The athletic department moves are seen as a clean sweep by the Rev. James N. Loughran, who took over as Loyola president at the start of the school year. He also dismissed basketball Coach Ed Goorjian.
"I'm grappling with the frustration of being told he's reassigning me," Arias said. "I feel I've been treated fairly. He's been honest. He's acknowledged my contribution to the university. Basically he felt he needed to build his own team. I told him I empathized and he could count on my support.
"I have three opportunities that I'm investigating. But I'm not really going out and seeking. If people see me here next year it'll be because I absolutely have clarified in my mind that I am happy here."
Arias, 35, spearheaded a period of unparalleled expansion at Loyola, including construction of a field house and baseball stadium, but those programs and others have not had the success the school hoped for.
"I have to assume responsibility for that," Arias said, " . . . but I feel we're handing over a program that has come a way."
Arias uses the analogy of the Olympic marathon for his five years at the helm: "You run that marathon outside the Coliseum, but if you don't make that big bowl people don't know you're out there. I feel we got a few laps inside.
"I'll be surprised if it (the Loyola athletic program) doesn't really come together in the near future. There's some satisfaction that we effected some of that. If other people acknowledge that, fine. If they don't, you know what you've accomplished. I feel satisfaction. I have no regrets."
Although the slam dunk may delight fans and energize players, most coaches would just as soon see layups.
One coach who wouldn't mind if he never saw another stuff shot is Long Beach's Bill Fraser.
One second before Long Beach's 83-77 first-round upset of San Francisco in the state JC tournament ended, Viking guard Curtis Moore attempted an unnecessary dunk on a breakaway.
Moore, the Banning High graduate whose 17 points and ball handling were a major reason for the Long Beach win, was brushed by a San Francisco player at the top of his jump.
The 6-3 Moore crashed hard to the floor and suffered a badly bruised back and left hip.
He appeared only briefly and ineffectively against Taft and El Camino, perhaps costing the Vikings a title game berth and a state championship.
Opponents should be warned that El Camino will not drop off in talent while defending its state JC basketball title next season.
The Warriors do lose their starting back court of Mark Wade and Greg Hill, but their replacements will be more than adequate.
Dion Wright, a top sub this year out of Inglewood, and Larry Lockley, a highly regarded transfer from Texas-El Paso out of Banning High, should take up the slack.
The frightening part for opponents is that El Camino returns its entire front line. Forwards Dwayne Lewis and Roland H'Orvath and center Darnell Jermany will form a tough trio again next season.
The major question mark may be the coach. After winning his second state title and never suffering a losing season, Paul Landreaux may not be long for El Camino.
Though Landreaux insists that he has had no offers, the off-season is still young.
Stan Morrison (USC), Boyd Grant (Fresno State) and Bill Berry (San Jose State) have been mentioned as possible replacements for Dick Kuchen, who resigned at UC Berkeley two weeks ago. There is also speculation that Jerry Tarkanian might vacate the helm at UNLV in favor of the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA next season. Any of those possibilities would leave an opening at a West Coast Division I school.
Even if he doesn't get a head coaching job, there is speculation that Landreaux may accept an assistant position at a major university.
Associates of Floyd (Scrappy) Rhea are putting together a retirement party for the longtime Harbor College athletic director and coach and are trying to track down Rhea's friends and former athletes. The dinner is planned for April 12 at Los Verdes Country Club. Contacts are Don Carlucci, Gordon Wells or Jim O'Brien at the school, 518-1000.