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COMMUNITY COLLEGE NOTEBOOK / STEVE KRESAL

Task Force Plan Would Cut Deeper

September 14, 1993|STEVE KRESAL

There is little question that the most vital numbers concerning athletic teams are dollars and cents.

Although most state community colleges already have made across-the-board cuts, more are anticipated as California's economy continues to struggle.

In the last year alone, Rancho Santiago dropped its men's volleyball team and Saddleback eliminated men's and women's cross-country.

The state's community college Commission on Athletics formed a task force last summer to look at other ways, on a state-wide level, to reduce costs, yet save programs.

The committee announced its initial recommendations at a meeting Thursday at Cypress.

Among the recommendations was an item to restructure the conferences, primarily those with schools in the north, which would reduce travel costs.

Geographically, the Orange Empire Conference--Cypress, Fullerton, Golden West, Irvine Valley, Orange Coast, Rancho Santiago, Riverside and Saddleback--is one of the more ideal conferences in the state.

Another recommendation, which would affect all the colleges, is the suggestion to reduce by about 20% the number of contests for each sport. The theory is that a shorter schedule would mean less money spent on travel, games and school officials.

It was suggested that the football season be cut from 10 games to nine, and baseball and softball would reduce its schedule from 36 games to 29.

"The worst thing they could do is cut the number of games that are played," said Cypress Coach Scott Pickler, the Orange Empire Conference's baseball representative at the meeting. "The more games we play, the better the kids have a chance to become."

The plan also would cut the number of teams that qualify for certain State tournaments. For example, water polo and women's and men's basketball would go from eight teams to four.

"What they really emphasized is that these are only guidelines," said Golden West women's volleyball Coach Al Gasparian, the OEC conference representative. "There are going to be more cuts, but we want to be able to have a say on how they are made."

The committee will make a report to the state office and the matter will be considered again at the COA state meetings, Oct. 21-22.

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Southland Poll: Saddleback remained atop the weekly football poll thanks to a 37-7 victory over Santa Monica Saturday. Palomar, which beat L.A. Pierce, 40-0, is No. 2.

Bakersfield (1-0) is third, Mt. San Antonio (1-0) fourth, San Bernardino Valley (1-0) fifth, Moorpark (1-0) sixth, Long Beach (1-0) seventh, Glendale (1-0) eighth, Golden West (1-0) ninth and Los Angeles Harbor (0-0) 10th.

Golden West plays host to Long Beach at 7 p.m. on Saturday at OCC in a meeting of top-10 teams. Saddleback takes its No. 1 ranking and 20-game winning streak to Cerritos (0-0-1) for a 7 p.m. game.

In other games Saturday night: Orange Coast (0-1) is at El Camino (0-1), and Pasadena (0-1) takes on Fullerton (0-1) at Cal State Fullerton in the home opener for first-year Coach Gene Murphy.

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Cross-Country: The Orange Empire Conference Festival, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been switched to Friday at Craig Park in Brea.

The men's race starts at 9 a.m. and the women's race begins 45 minutes later. Riverside again figures to be the strongest team.

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Early Honors: Five Orange County defensive players were selected to the J.C. Grid-Wire preseason team. Scott von der Ahe, a linebacker from Saddleback and OCC punter Justin Sogoian made the first team.

Bernie Johnson, a defensive lineman from Saddleback, Anthoni David, a defensive back from Orange Coast, and Golden West defensive back Scott Caringella were second-team selections.

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