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CSUN Head Reinstates Sports Axed in Spring

Athletics: Heeding task force advice, President Blenda Wilson agrees to continue men's baseball, soccer, swimming and volleyball while announcing fund drive.

December 23, 1997|ERIC SONDHEIMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In order to meet the decree's terms with the men's squads restored, Wilson said CSUN is ready to launch its most ambitious fund-raising drive ever. Last week, she hired William Outhouse from the University of Arkansas to serve as vice president of university relations, the main coordinator for fund-raising on campus. In October, the athletic department hired Michael Rehm from Montana as assistant athletic director for development.

Keith Richman, chairman of the Northridge task force, said of Wilson: "Without coming up with a guarantee of keeping sports forever, what she is attempting to do is provide some quick stability for the program so that athletes looking for what to do next year have an answer."

Athletic Director Paul Bubb will begin the process of evaluating the task force's recommendations while putting together a budget for scholarships and operating expenses.

"It's a happy Hanukkah and a merry Christmas," Bubb said. "But it's not over yet. We have a challenge. Yes, we want a broad-based athletic program. I don't think there was any question about that. It's a question how will it be funded."

* LOUD VOICES: Community outrage made the difference. C1

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Chronology of CSUN Sports Crisis

June 11: CSUN drops four men's sports--baseball, soccer, swimming and volleyball--for financial reasons and to comply with gender-equity laws.

June 17: CSUN reinstates soccer for one season.

July 2: The Legislature approves Sen. Cathie Wright's (R-Simi Valley) request for $586,000 to restore the four dropped CSUN sports.

July 3: CSUN reinstates swimming after the team raises money from private donations for another season.

Aug. 4: The Northridge Corp., a CSUN auxiliary, lends $586,000 to the school to reinstate the four sports for one year, to be repaid when the school receives money from the state.

Sept. 29: The CSUN task force on athletics meets for the first time. Wright called for the task force's formation as a condition of the school's getting the state funds.

Oct. 23: Students vote by a 10 to 1 margin to reinstate the four sports.

Dec. 1: The task force unanimously recommends that CSUN permanently restore the sports.

Dec. 15: The task force arrives at the final wording of its 41-page report, to be forwarded to school President Blenda Wilson.

Dec. 22: Wilson announces that the four sports will be continued through 1998-99, making a long-term commitment to a broad-based program.

\o7 --Compiled by Times staff writer Fernando Dominguez\f7

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