Cal State Fullerton, which played two Southeastern Conference football teams last season, is close to scheduling a game against the University of Georgia for the 1991 season.
A game between the Titans and the Bulldogs is at least tentatively scheduled for Sept. 28, 1991, in Athens, Ga., sources at Georgia said.
Ed Carroll, Fullerton athletic director, said Wednesday he would not comment on future schedules.
"We're not releasing any information concerning future schedules, because--as always--that is subject to change," Carroll said. He would neither deny nor confirm that a contract had been signed.
Lee Hayley, Georgia associate athletic director, would not comment on whether a contract had been signed but said Georgia had negotiated with Fullerton.
Fullerton Coach Gene Murphy said early Wednesday he had not been told about a game with Georgia, but later he said he understood that it was a possibility.
Georgia, the consensus national champion in 1980, had a 9-3 record last season.
Fullerton played last season at Louisiana State and Florida, two teams that were ranked in the top 20 during part of the 1987 season. Carroll scheduled both games, in part because of the substantial financial rewards of playing at schools that offer large gate guarantees.
Fullerton, whose athletic program struggles financially in part because of poor attendance at home football games, received guarantees of $200,000 for each of the two SEC games last year.
The Titans lost to LSU, 56-12, and to Florida, 65-0, and finished with a 6-6 record.
Georgia probably would pay Fullerton a guarantee substantially more than $200,000, if the figure is in keeping with the amount Georgia has paid comparable teams.
Fullerton's past games against nationally prominent teams have met with mixed reaction from school officials and boosters, but Carroll has said he will continue to attempt to schedule games that will help the program financially.
Murphy has said repeatedly that such games are necessary for a program such as Fullerton's.
"It's something we have to do," Murphy said last season.
Fullerton discussed a 1988 game with the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., Carroll confirmed Wednesday, but did not make an agreement.
"We talked to Maryland after a school dropped from their schedule, but we looked at the the date and it would have been too difficult to rearrange our schedule," Carroll said.
Workers have been busy painting the numbers 14, 16 and 29 on the outfield fence at Titan Field, in honor of Bob Caffrey, Tim Wallach and Augie Garrido, whose jerseys have been retired.
Caffrey (No. 14) was a member of the Titans' 1984 National Collegiate Athletic Assn. championship team and a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. A catcher, Caffrey has been in the Montreal Expos' minor league organization.
Wallach (No. 29), the Expos' third baseman, was named national college player of the year in 1979, the year Fullerton won its first NCAA championship.
Garrido (No. 16) coached the Titans for 15 years, leading them to two NCAA titles, before resigning last summer to become the coach at Illinois.
The early concern for the Fullerton baseball team is pitching. The Titans--who lost Mike Harkey and Larry Casian, who between them won 21 games last season--have only two proven starters, Longo Garcia and Mark Beck.
Beck, however, has been bothered by back spasms and has had a rough start, allowing four earned runs in 2 innings in a loss to Chapman and walking six in less than an inning in a loss to USC Wednesday.
Both of Fullerton's two losses to Chapman last week were in part a result of pitching performances.
Paul Johnson, a junior right-hander, gave up five runs--three earned--in less than five innings in an 8-1 loss. Beck was the starter in a 10-7 loss.
The early surprise among the newcomers in freshman left-hander Huck Flener, who pitched seven innings of five-hit, scoreless ball in a 5-0 Fullerton victory over Chapman.
Larry Cochell, Fullerton's first-year coach, is not overly concerned by the early pitching troubles.
"We're not playing as well as we're going to play," he said.
Cochell said he expects Johnson to pitch better than he did in his first outing, and that he expects Danny DeVille, a junior right-hander who is a transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, to bolster the staff, now that he is eligible.