High school senior football players began signing letters of intent Wednesday, notifying colleges that they had accepted athletic scholarships.
But no one from the Fairfax High School team, last year's 3-A Los Angeles City champion with a 12-0 record, was expected to take pen in hand.
"Not one kid has taken a visit (to a college)," said Fairfax Coach Denis Furlong. He added that his seniors have all run afoul of the new scholastic eligibility requirements for NCAA Division I schools that were set in 1982 but go into effect next fall.
Furlong said that "all our kids have 2.0 GPAs (grade point averages), but they don't have the core curriculum classes" specified by the new NCAA rule.
700 SAT Score
The standards require at least a 700 combined score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test or a 15 on the American College Test. A scholarship candidate also must have a 2.0 GPA in a core curriculum that includes three years of English, two years of mathematics, two of a social science and two more of a natural or physical science.
An amendment to the requirements, passed this year, will permit a lower SAT or ACT score to be offset by a high GPA, or vice versa, for the next two years. But that wil not help the Fairfax seniors.
Furlong said his seniors were made aware of the rules when they were sophomores. "It was not a surprise or anything." Though not one of them had less than a 2.0 average, he added, the only player attempting to finish up his core curriculum classes is quarterback Rodney Dorsett.
He said he thinks his seniors are typical of many of this year's potential recruits. "It's happening everywhere. They don't do a lot of work as 10th graders and fall behind. And you can't take a year off." He said that his players as sophomores were "worried about what's going to happen Friday night," not about the courses they should be taking.
Furlong said that Cal had been "impressed with Rodney as an athlete," but he expects Dorsett, The Times' Westside back of the year, and tailback Michael Hale, wide receiver Haamid Wadood nd linebackers LaTrelle Barnes and Derek Mallard--each an All-Westside selection--will probably wind up together at a community college because they all have played together since they were in youth football.
At other Westside schools, the NCAA requirements did not seem to cause much difficulty for athletes recruited by Division I schools, although here and there a player probably was passed over because he did not have high enough grades or the right courses. But not many Westside stars were recruited by Division I schools.
Pat O'Hara, Santa Monica High's All-CIF quarterback, last week made an oral commitment to USC and was expected to sign Wednesday.
Santa Monica High Coach Tebb Kusserow said wide receiver Travis Clark was being sought by Utah State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal State Long Beach, and O'Hara said that Clark had decided on Utah State. Kusserow said linebacker Bernard Shockley and offensive lineman Dale Evans were other possibilities but he thinks they will wind up at Division II schools.
Eduardo Vega, Hamilton High's 6-6, 298-pound lineman, indicated that he would sign with California, and Sean Robinson, a 6-5, 252-pound lineman from Palisades, had narrowed his choices to Hawaii and USC.
Daniel Murphy High Coach John Finn said he believes that Milton Wilson, a 6-2, 230-pound defensive lineman and running back, will sign with San Diego State.
Hamilton Coach Dave Lertzman said that for Vega, it came down to Colorado and Cal and that the big lineman had made an oral commitment to Cal.
Lertzman said that defensive back-tight end Lavelle Parker had narrowed his choices to Cal State Long Beach or Cal State Northridge and linebacker-offensive lineman Derek Flot had applied for financial aid from Northridge, a Division II school, and would probably play there as a walk-on.
University High Coach Joe Sedia said that quarterback Jonn Moomaw was supposed to visit San Diego State last week but did not go, and that he has been trying to get Cal State Northridge interested in Moomaw, running back William Harris, linemen Mike Saltzman and Craig Pryor and wide receiver William Green.
Palisades Coach Jack Epstein said lineman Scott Cooper had drawn interest from Cal and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo but lineman Mark Lambert may have to "walk on somewhere."
At Beverly Hills, co-Coach Bill Stansbury said that Whittier College, Claremont and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have been interested in 5-8 wide receiver Gregg Silver, and 6-7, 265-pound lineman David Ellis plans to go to Brown and play football if he can meet that Ivy League school's stiff academic requirements. If Ellis doesn't get into Brown, Stansbury said, he plans to try playing as a walk-on at Colorado.