Monday, October 29, 2007


Just like all responsible parents, the moms and dads of the LBSU sports department had their coaches spread their collections from Halloween Trick or Treating on the big table in the conference room.

Using our hidden camera we saw what seemed to go on. First in were basketball coaches Dan Monson and Mary Hegarty, the handsome couple on 49er brochures, billboards and pocket schedules. You could not have missed the high energy promotion called Monson Mania in which the new hire made a two county, two month tour of happy hours to meet and greet. He hopes that in February he can still find some smiling faces as the clipboards rebuild the empty LBSU locker room.

Ironically the extra effort to sell Monson and men’s hoops has been parlayed into a quiet campaign you might call Helping Hegarty. By rule (Title IX and similar) colleges are required to spread the marketing money between the sexes. Therefore despite coming off the worst season in the history of Niner women’s hoops, the Beach brass has put a shiny face on this year’s ladies team. You have a feeling that if the mirror cracks again changes will be made.

Both Ms. Mary and Mr. Monson presented well at Big West Media day but were picked toward the back of the pack by the coaches and media. Actually two media liked the men’s team to repeat as champs but you know us folks in Florida are experts in filling out our ballots and therefore I plead not guilty.

All by himself and worn out as much from the back room as the back nine, men’s golf coach Bob Livingstone dropped off his “retirement” letter but will coach his kids until the end of the spring, when the Big West Championship and NCAA playoff selections take place. One name that came up during the last search was Virginia Country Club pro Jamie Mulligan but he now has lucrative coaching deals with several PGA pros—translated time and money conflicts.

Next up and arriving at the treat table at the same time were volleyball coach Brian Gimmillaro and soccer coach Mauricio Ingrassia. Forgetting the scary costumes, this was a meeting clearly where the devil was in the details. It looks fairly clear that both skippers will find the winding road that leads to post season. Cal Poly will get the Big West automatic in volleyball but the Niners have enough wins to be selected as an at large.

In soccer, there is a more complicated set of details but the Beach will get in the BWC tourney, Friday November 9 and Sunday, November 11, but it may be played at Fullerton’s former football stadium which, well, isn’t busy with American football. It would take some luck for the conference to get more than the tourney champ in the NCAA field. For both the volleys and soccers maybe going on the road with a healthy “bunker mentality” will prolong the post season parties. The NCAA Volleyball Tournament field is revealed November 25.

TROUBLE AHEAD DUST. This from the Seth Greenberg file. New this season are coaching behaviors the NCAA said will earn a quick 'T'. “Addressing an official disrespectfully, trying to influence an official's decision, using profanity or abusive language, and objecting to an official's decision by rising from the bench or excessively using gestures that either demonstrate officiating signals or displeasure with officiating."

And we will close this month’s report with some info on the NCAA disciplinary sword hanging over men’s hoops. Beach insiders say that when the final verdict comes down the university will get only a 48 hour advance notice before it is released to the media. All the pleadings are in and at the moment the hope is that whatever happens comes after the November 14 signing date. Film at 11.—DR. DAN


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