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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Kopita Upset Over Matador Travel Budget for Football

Northridge facing cutbacks in other areas after spending $30,00 more than allotted for road games.

January 09, 1998|ERIC SONDHEIMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — Cal State Northridge's football program exceeded its travel budget by $30,000 last season and is facing cutbacks in other areas to make up for the deficit, school vice president Ronald Kopita said Thursday.

Former coach Jim Fenwick said Thursday concerns about where cuts would be made weighed heavily in his decision to resign earlier this week after just one season to become offensive coordinator at New Mexico.

"It became the top thing on my mind," Fenwick said. "I had a paranoia about spending money. It wasn't the determining factor [in leaving], but it created a lot of stress."

Northridge's travel expenses were over budget because the football team stayed two nights for six of its road games and airplane fares were higher than originally projected, according to Kopita.

"I'm upset about it," Kopita said. "Clearly, I raised some questions. But I afforded a first-year coach a little bit of slack given he was using a travel budget used the previous year that came in appropriate."

Athletic Director Paul Bubb said funds from fund-raising and adjustments in other areas of the football budget will make sure there is no deficit when the budget year ends on June 30.

"The budget is balanced and will be balanced," Kopita said. "We cannot and I will not accept any over budget."

Kopita said he became aware of the extra travel expenses at the end of October when a quarterly budget report became available.

He said his message to Fenwick and the athletic department was, "You're not getting bailed out. You have to cut from another part of the budget."

Bubb expressed confidence that "adjustments" in other parts of the $900,000 football budget can be made in combination with funds from outside sources to keep the budget in the black.

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