Mike Kane, the Cal State Northridge career leader in rushing, finished fourth in regional voting for the Harlon Hill Trophy.
The inaugural trophy will be awarded to the Division II's best football player on Dec. 11 after final voting by sports information directors.
Jeff Bentrim, a quarterback from North Dakota State, and Jeff Tiefenthaler, a receiver from South Dakota State, are the finalists from the West. Two finalists from each of the four regions were announced Tuesday.
Johnny Bailey, a freshman running back from Texas A&I, and quarterback Dave Walter of Michigan Tech are the Midwest finalists. From the South are quarterbacks Mike Turk from Troy State and Earl Harvey from North Carolina Central. The East finalists are Kutztown (Pa.) State running back Paul Magistro and California Pennsylvania defensive back Robert McDonough--the only two players nominated from that region.
Kane, a senior, rushed for 1,565 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, both Western Football Conference records. He went over 100 yards in nine of Northridge's 11 games. His career rushing total was 3,572.
Kane was also the team's top receiver this season with 30 catches for 384 yards and two touchdowns. But he finished behind Bentrim, Tiefenthaler and UC Davis quarterback Chris Petersen in a tight regional race.
Bentrim, a four-year starter at quarterback for the No. 1-ranked team in Division II, had 28 points. Tiefenthaler was a surprise second-place finisher with 26 points.
Petersen, the top-rated passer in Division II, was third with 20 points, followed by Kane with 19.
Cal State Northridge President James W. Cleary would not comment on a unanimous vote by CSUN coaches and physical education instructors to step up to Division I status in athletics, a spokesperson said Tuesday .
Judy Elias, director of public affairs, said that Cleary had not received the report by noon Tuesday, but the proposal had already been added to the agenda of the university's planning council.
"He'll have to see it and study it before he can say much about it," Elias said. "We have all winter and spring to put this recommendation through an extensive review process."
Elias said that Cleary would like to gauge the interest of the rest of the faculty, students and alumni groups about the plan.