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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | AREA COLLEGE NOTEBOOK

Wall, Borges Will Not Coach

March 21, 2000

Cal State Northridge opens spring practice today, but assistants Craig Wall and Keith Borges, who filed a $6 million claim against Northridge in October for allegedly retaliating against them for cooperating with an investigation into NCAA rules violations, will not coach this season, Wall said.

Wall, former defensive coordinator, and Borges, former running backs coach, signed contracts in January and were expected to be at spring practice. Monday, Wall said he and Borges, who were reassigned to non-coaching positions last fall, decided against coaching while their claim remains unresolved.

Wall said the decision was warranted under the circumstances.

"Nobody kicked me out of the office," Wall said. "If I really wanted to get in there, I would. I don't have anything to hide or anything to be ashamed of. I wanted to move on and coach, but there's tension. I don't expect any of the coaches to see my perspective. But other people wanted to relive the whole thing."

Northridge Coach Jeff Kearin declined comment. Dick Dull, Northridge athletic director, declined to discuss the coaches' status. The school confirmed that Wall and Borges will remain physical education coaches.

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Kearin, promoted from interim coach in December after leading Northridge to a 5-6 record last season, will coach the Matadors in their final year in the Big Sky Conference. Northridge will move to the Big West Conference in July 2001 and the football team will compete as an independent.

Aside from quarterback Marcus Brady, expected to return for his third season, there are few certainties.

Kearin said the Matadors will rely more on a two-back formation and increase the role of tight end.

Alan Taylor, who rushed for 133 yards last season, enters as the most experienced ballcarrier. Marquis Brignac (Taft High), who redshirted last season, is expected to compete at running back.

Defensively, the Matadors added lineman Ramsey Venner, a transfer from Fresno State. Venner, 6 feet 5 and 250 pounds, quit after three games at Fresno State last season.

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As if the Northridge baseball team isn't in enough trouble trying to shake a three-game losing streak, the Matadors suffered a blow this weekend when second baseman Eric Horvat broke a wrist while diving for a ball against Washington State.

Horvat, a junior batting .303, is expected to be sidelined six weeks. Bobby Koba and Jason Watkins filled in for Horvat over the weekend.

Horvat, a three-year starter from Hart High, set a Northridge freshman record with 12 home runs in 1998.

Northridge (9-15) plays Long Beach State (16-5) tonight at 7 at Blair Field.

The Matadors begin a three-game series at Oregon State on Friday.

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