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Braswell Moves Up; Abraham Steps Down

Northridge: Men's basketball coach put in charge of athletic department. Women's coach officially resigns.


NORTHRIDGE — Men's basketball Coach Bobby Braswell was put in charge of the Cal State Northridge athletic department and Michael Abraham officially resigned as women's basketball coach Friday.

In an effort to buy more time to choose an acting athletic director, Northridge President Blenda J. Wilson appointed Braswell "administrator in charge" of athletics.

The search for an acting athletic director could take several weeks, Wilson said.

In the interim, Braswell will run the department with help from William Watkins, assistant vice president for student life.

"[Braswell's] presence will put a steady hand at the helm of the athletic department," Wilson said. "And the short duration of the role also will allow him to focus on the upcoming basketball season."

Braswell replaces Paul Bubb, who resigned under pressure Wednesday.

Bubb was forced out along with Judith Brame, associate athletic director, because they did not inform senior administrators of allegations by women's basketball players two years ago that Abraham was using drugs.

Abraham, 39, was arrested last week on federal charges of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. He was on paid administrative leave since his arrest until resigning Friday.

Frozena Jerro, an assistant with one year's experience, is acting coach of the women's team.

In a statement through his attorney, Stephen Houze, Abraham said: "I have made this painful decision out of respect for the university and the fine student athletes with whom I have had the privilege of being associated. My family and I are grateful for the support that has been offered to us during this difficult time."

Abraham went before a Los Angeles federal magistrate Friday and promised to appear Nov. 23 in federal court in Omaha, Neb., where he has been indicted.

Abraham has been free on $100,000 bond since his arrest Oct. 26.

Northridge coaches made it clear Wednesday that Braswell, 36, was their choice to be athletic director until a permanent replacement is hired next summer.

However, Braswell wants to give full attention to the men's basketball team, which opens its season Nov. 14 at Long Beach State. He said he probably will not become the interim athletic director.

"I don't want to do anything to dilute my energies with the basketball team," Braswell said.

Wilson is leaning toward going outside Northridge and hiring someone who has experience as a Division I athletic director, a source said.

Once the interim athletic director is in place, Wilson will open a national search for a permanent replacement.

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