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Abraham Feeling Pressure to Produce Winning Record

June 07, 1997

Michael Abraham has kept a low profile during the gender-equity crisis that Cal State Northridge finds itself in.

"I feel terrible," the Matador women's basketball coach said, "because I have one of the programs that has not been successful and is given a lot of money to be successful. I feel bad for the people who have worked hard and given a lot to the community and are getting their programs cut."

Abraham has won nine games in two years, but he just received a two-year contract extension. His program has 14 scholarships, one shy of the NCAA maximum.

Meanwhile, five Northridge men's sports--baseball, golf, soccer, swimming and volleyball--are in jeopardy of being eliminated because of gender equity and financial concerns. All have been more successful than the women's basketball program.

"I'm a tremendous beneficiary of gender equity," Abraham said. "And with that amount of funding I feel there's a great pressure to produce, because I see people like [volleyball Coach] John Price, [baseball Coach] Mike Batesole and [soccer Coach] Marwan Ass'ad, who have been successful and may be losing their programs. . . If they are going to dump a program like baseball, the least I can do is try to put a very successful team on the court.

"It's really an ugly thing. I'm embarrassed in those meetings because our program has been at the lower end of the success spectrum and our budget is high."

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