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Matadors Select Jerro, Braswell Nominated

Assistant becomes interim women's basketball coach and coaches nominate men's coach as athletic director.

November 05, 1998|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — Bobby Braswell received a vote of confidence from fellow coaches and the Cal State Northridge women's basketball team got its wish when assistant Frozena Jerro was chosen as acting coach Wednesday.

These developments followed the resignations a day earlier of Athletic Director Paul Bubb and his top associate, Judith Brame.

Northridge coaches voted at a meeting that their choice as interim athletic director is Braswell, men's basketball coach, and their wishes were relayed to President Blenda J. Wilson.

Jerro will succeed Brame, who held the interim coaching position for one week after Coach Michael Abraham was arrested by the FBI on charges of possession to distribute crack cocaine.

Bubb was pressured to step down at the conclusion of an internal investigation into Abraham's arrest.

The investigation revealed players informed Bubb of possible drug use by Abraham in February 1997, but that he told only Brame of the incident. After Abraham's arrest, Bubb and Brame denied knowledge of alleged drug use by Abraham.

Abraham, who has spent recent days in Portland, Ore., with his parents, is scheduled to appear Friday at a federal court in Los Angeles for an identity hearing. His attorney, Steve Houze, will review the charges stemming from a grand jury investigation in Omaha, Neb.

According to FBI sources, Abraham has the option of entering a plea in Los Angeles to avoid being extradited to Omaha for trial. Abraham is accused of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine and faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

Wilson allowed the players to decide on an acting coach and their overwhelming choice was Jerro, who has only one season of experience as an assistant.

"I have every confidence that Coach Jerro will give the players she already knows so well the spark and spirit they need to start the season," Wilson said. "This certainly has been a time of challenge for the women's basketball team.

"I want Coach Jerro as well as the staff and players to know they have my full support and that of the rest of the university."

Jerro, 28, was a point guard and captain at Arizona State for two seasons after playing at St. Mary's for two seasons. She graduated from Arizona State in 1993 with a degree in business administration.

"Ever since Michael left, I've been the one running practice," Jerro said. "We got over the initial shock last week and have had time to clear our minds. Now the focus is back on basketball. We've all bounced back."

Wilson is concentrating on choosing an interim athletic director before the end of the week. She also is collecting the resumes of candidates for the permanent post.

"We need a someone with skill, talent and energy, a team builder and a good communicator, someone who can recognize and support the talents and aspirations of our athletic program," said Wilson, who anticipates filling the position by June.

*

Brian Quinn, former athletic director at Loyola Marymount, said Wednesday he is interested in applying for the vacant athletic director position at Northridge.

Quinn, 57, served as athletic director for 13 years at Loyola Marymount until becoming the school's executive director of development last May.

"I would certainly have an interest in it," Quinn said. "I think some great things could happen over there."

Eric Sondheimer contributed to this story.

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