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FOCUS : AREA COLLEGE NOTEBOOK

While Voting Was Fair, They Were Fowl

November 23, 2000|FERNANDO DOMINGUEZ

After counting the ballots with an abacus and a sleight of hand, we can certify the results for this year's Turkey Awards.

* With a majority of votes, the Golden Gizzard goes to Cal State Northridge.

An NCAA report shows Northridge's graduation rate for athletes who entered school in 1993-94 was 26%, including 28% of men and 20% of women.

The national average for Division I schools was 58%.

So much for those coaches who brag ad nauseam about the athletes they graduate.

From the looks of it, many of the so-called student-athletes coming out of Northridge probably couldn't figure out a butterfly ballot either.

* In a close call, Valley's football team takes the Gobbler Guano.

The Monarchs, with more out-of-state personnel than a Central Valley lettuce ranch, seemed headed for the Western State Conference Northern Division penthouse before the season.

But because of internal chaos, the Monarchs finished 2-8 and dangerously close to the outhouse, even losing to longtime doormat and cross-basin rival Pierce.

The Monarchs would have struggled against the Electoral College.

Can anyone say Jim Fenwick at Valley?

* Former Antelope Valley women's basketball coach Jackie Lott is the recipient of the Mayflower Medal.

Lott dismissed freshman forward Fran Mitchell from the team during a tournament in Monterey last season and allegedly directed a racial slur toward the player, who is African American.

The incident happened in December, but we work with an open-ended calendar.

* Voters chose Northridge for the Disjointed Drumstick, an indication that the school's bumbling ways are not easily shed.

The latest was the Pete Cassidy fiasco earlier this month.

Cassidy, former Northridge men's basketball coach, nearly was prevented from coaching the California All-Stars in an exhibition against the Matadors because of an idiotic contract clause put in years ago by Paul Bubb.

Bubb is the former athletic director who resigned under fire in November 1998 after several blunders and scandals during his watch.

The clause said Cassidy could not coach the All-Stars against Northridge. Nobody noticed the clause when the contract was renewed this year and Cassidy wasn't sure he would coach until the last minute.

Dick Dull, the school's athletic director, allowed Cassidy to coach in the game. Cassidy guided the All-Stars to an 80-78 victory.

* Steve Lavin, the Pat Riley wannabe at Westwood who'll never be mistaken for a wizard, gets the Bronzed Wattle for the spectacle against Northridge on Tuesday night.

The Matadors are a talented team and deserved to beat UCLA, which seems more concerned about which headbands and neckties to wear than with making shots or playing defense.

Northridge, a blue-collar outfit skillfully coached by Bobby Braswell, will be in the mix during March Madness. The enigmatic Bruins will drive their followers mad.

Hey, Lavin, don't bother to close the door on the way out. Bob Toledo is right behind you.

* The coveted Pilgrim Plaque goes to the Canyons football team.

All the Cougars (9-1) needed for a perfect regular-season record and a virtual guarantee to play for the Southern California championship was to dump Moorpark on Oct. 28.

The Raiders (6-4) applied the reality check, 31-26.

No one applied the Heimlich maneuver to Canyons.

* Not to be forgotten, the Pumpkin-Pie-in-Your-Face ribbons go to Pierce (0-8) men's water polo, Oxnard (2-12-6) men's soccer and Cal Lutheran (3-6) football.

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