Monday, February 26, 2007


One of the judges grew up on the campus of the University of Florida, later played basketball at St. Lawrence University and still later was the CEO of a mid-major (Murray State) who’s greatest athletic glory was on the hardcourt. The other guy played every sport you could in the frigid Northeast, got a basketball scholarship to Bucknell and later coached the sport at a couple of places before becoming an all-star fund raiser at PAC 10 power Arizona State.

With the Big West reuglar season championship and tournament top seed assured, this week F. King Alexander, judge one, and Victor P. Cegles, judge two, will have their usual snail and email to sort, calls to return and meetings to attend. Indeed there are games to be played, a Thursday night payback visit from UC Irvine and a Saturday drive out to Riversid, but next week the President and the Athletic Director may or may not change the course of 49er athletic fame and fortune.

Fame being relative, the fortune of 49er athletics pretty clearly centers on the crowd count at men’s basketball games. Fans sample entrees from the entire LBSU sporting menu but the Pryamid product of the current coach simply has to deliver dollars to the overall athletic budget. Falling short there puts a damper on campus-wide friend-raising and fund-raising.

The current coach would counter that this year is different even if he stacked the deck with eight seniors who count for 70 of the 79 average points per game. On paper the team should win the conference tournament next weekend in Anahiem and punch their first NCAA dance ticket in 12 years and only the eighth in school history. The game however will be away from the stat sheet on the hardwoods. The final score, well that is a story yet to be written and the future of the current coach, with his best team ever, is yet to be judged.

ASSORTED DUST--While they have no record yet in their home conference the Big West, an argument could be made that the Long Beach State baseball team is in first place in the PAC Ten conference with a 5-1 record. The team takes an odd mid-season break until they start a seven game road trip March 9.

The Dirtbags go into the break in a good mood with their 8-4 record and slow but steady climb in the national polls. With Fullerton also doing well against the PAC Ten (7-2) this could be a year when the Big West might get up to four teams in the tourney. This argument also got some support from of all places Northridge wherelast weekend the Matadors took two of three from #9 Oklahoma State. The two West seats on the NCAA selection committee are Brian Quinn, AD at Fullerton, and Pat Murphy, head coach of Arizona State who will see the Dirtbags up close when they play March 9-11.

Last Add Names in the News. Former Niner football lineman Darryl Wright has been missing from his first base seats at Blair while rehabbing at Memorial Hospital from leg surgery and Dr. John Kashiwabara, a couple of rows farther up, is in mourning because of the soon to be extinction of his and my late and sainted mother’s alma mater’s mascot, the University of Illinois’ Chief Illiniwek. After 82 years of intimidation of opponents (intimidation by the mascot not Dr. John) the “Chief” was deemed offensive in a political-correctness ruling by the NCAA. Best wishes to all three.—DR. DAN


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