FOLLOWING THROUGH IS CSUN'S NEXT STEP.Byline: Rizza Yap Daily News Staff Writer
Keith Richman Dr. Keith S. Richman is a California, United States, Republican politician. From 2001 to 2007, he served in the California State Assembly representing the 38th Assembly District based in Northwest Los Angeles County. remembers.
It was a Thursday morning. He and his wife were scanning newspapers when a story jumped off the page. Cal State Northridge had dropped four men's sports.
``I sure wish I could do something,'' he said.
He headed a group of 14 others - students, faculty, alumni and community members - charged by the state legislature A state legislature may refer to a legislative branch or body of a political subdivision in a federal system.
The following legislatures exist in the following political subdivisions:
They gave the public a voice.
Perhaps more upsetting than canceling baseball, men's soccer, men's swimming and men's volleyball last summer was the process.
Administrators didn't conduct a public forum. Athletic director Athletic director (commonly, "athletics director") is a position at many American colleges and universities, as well as in larger high schools and middle schools, which oversees the work of the coaches and related staff involved in intercollegiate or interscholastic athletic Paul Bubb said last year it would only pit neighbors, coaches and athletes against each other.
What's more, officials finalized See finalization. the decision in early June, when most student-athletes had left for the summer. Many who stayed learned of their fate through the newspapers.
Even worse, university president Blenda Wilson left for Newport Beach Newport Beach, residential and resort city (1990 pop. 66,643), Orange co., S Calif., on Newport Bay and the Pacific Ocean; inc. 1906. It is a popular seaside resort and yachting center. Manufactures include electrical and medical equipment, computers, boats, and adhesives. on school business when Bubb and student affairs Student affairs staff are responsible for academic advising and support services delivery at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. The chief student affairs officer at a college or university often reports directly to the chief executive of the institution. vice president Ronald Kopita announced the cuts. She was unavailable until the following day.
As a result, the community believed officials didn't care, the sports were cut haphazardly and that no alternatives were explored.
So in September - three months after canceling the sports and a month after a one-time state grant of $586,000 brought them back for a year - Wilson asked Richman to chair the Task Force on Intercollegiate in·ter·col·le·giate
Involving or representing two or more colleges.
Adj. 1. intercollegiate - used of competition between colleges or universities; "intercollegiate basketball" Athletics. Friends told him to stay away.
``A number of people advised me not do it,'' Richman said. ``They thought it was a no-win situation Noun 1. no-win situation - a situation in which a favorable outcome is impossible; you are bound to lose whatever you do
situation - a complex or critical or unusual difficulty; "the dangerous situation developed suddenly"; "that's quite a situation"; "no human . Obviously, I'm a reasonably optimistic op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
Richman took the job and made it clear that he wanted to find a way to retain all of the sports. After three months of public meetings and a community-wide forum, the task force submitted a 200-page report that emphatically em·phat·ic
1. Expressed or performed with emphasis: responded with an emphatic "no."
2. Forceful and definite in expression or action.
3. urged one thing: Keep all 20 teams.
Days after receiving the report, Wilson announced that CSUN CSUN California State University Northridge is committed to maintaining a broad-based program - as long as resources allow that.
The longterm fate of CSUN sports remains in doubt.
But for now, the state of California is wealthier by billions, and the economic windfall likely will stretch over the next century. For the 1998-99 fiscal year, the Cal State University system expects to receive $2.3 billion from the state, $293.2 million more than 1996-97. That financial surge has prompted Bubb to ask Northridge for double the $1.5 million general fund allocation it received last year.
Wilson has yet to approve the university's overall budget, but Bubb is optimistic.
``I feel very good about the budget process,'' Bubb said. ``Enrollment may also go up, so we may get more money from (student fees). Our spring fund drive went well, and with some of the contests we have scheduled, our gate receipts should be good next year.
``Whether we get $3 million or (the task force-recommended) $2.6 from the general fund, we'll work with what we have and move forward.''
And moving forward means something.
For the first time since 1994, Northridge has drafted plans for the long term. Early this year, Bubb assembled a five-year budget forecast to be updated annually, so the athletic department is always looking five years ahead. The plan includes hiring a women's water polo water polo, swimming game encompassing features of soccer, football, basketball, and hockey. The object of the game is to maneuver, by head, feet, or hand, a leather-covered ball 27 to 28 in. coach by this year and the addition of that sport plus men's tennis by fall 1999.
Another women's sport - likely to be lacrosse lacrosse (ləkrôs`), ball and goal game usually played outdoors by two teams of 10 players each on a field 60 to 70 yd (54.86 to 64.01 m) wide by 110 yd (100.58 m) long. Two goals face each other 80 yd (73. , for which the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is a college athletic conference whose member teams are located in the western United States. The conference participates in the NCAA's Division I. sponsors - will compete by 2000. The forecast also shows, beginning this fall, each women's team will receive the NCAA-maximum number of scholarships.
But the plan only works if the general fund keeps giving CSUN sports $3 million, if the school's Instructional Related Activities fund and University Corporation continue to award them $600,000 each, student fees generate at least $1.6 million per year and athletic revenues - estimated at $1.1 million for the coming school year - make a steady rise.
These figures must remain constant or improve until Northridge develops the kind of private support needed to maintain a viable Division I athletic program - the kind that gave Fresno State $7.1 million to spend in 1998-99.
Northridge is nearly $7 million away from that.
Fund-raising results vary
At last count, CSUN's annual fund drive raised $200,000, with a potential to grow by $50,000 by the end of the fiscal year. A spring fund drive has raked in at least $78,000. But booster support was nonexistent non·ex·is·tence
1. The condition of not existing.
2. Something that does not exist.
non in four sports - men's golf, men's volleyball, women's tennis and women's volleyball.
Not counting the money raised this past weekend, administrators, coaches and development staff this spring raised nearly $15,000 for the football team, yet volunteers brought in just $50. For women's soccer and the track and field/cross country program, boosters raised $100 per team.
That's not the case with every sport.
Men's soccer, whose booster club A booster club is an organization that is formed to contribute money to an associated club, sports team, or organization. Booster clubs are popular in American schools at the high school and university level. actively participated in task-force meetings, raised the most money with $6,455; women's basketball Women's basketball is one of the few games which developed in tandem with men's. It became popular, spreading from the east coast of the United States to the west coast, in large part via women's colleges. came in second with $5,825. Baseball raised $2,250, but the figure comes from only two gifts.
``This year, many of the coaches didn't have solid ideas of who could lead their booster clubs,'' said Michael Rehm, first-year development director and former assistant at Montana. ``A lot of them are still learning how to be Division I coaches, learning that the public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most and fund-raising aspects are part of their jobs.''
Students, faculty, staff, community members and alumni scraped and clawed claw
1. A sharp, curved, horny structure at the end of a toe of a mammal, reptile, or bird.
a. A chela or similar pincerlike structure on the end of a limb of a crustacean or other arthropod.
b. to revive their teams, yet after the fight many disappeared.
Attendance for men's volleyball improved by just 17, attracting an average 433 fans at home this past season. In 1996, men's soccer pulled a crowd of 605 per game; in 1997, the number climbed to 659. The most surprising, however, is baseball, whose cancellation sent many Valley residents reeling. The 1997 season attracted 273 per home game. This year, an average of 216 showed up.
``Attendance was average,'' said men's volleyball coach Jeff Campbell Jeff Campbell (Born August 25, 1979) is a New Zealand soccer player who has represented his country at U20, U23 and senior levels.
The attacking midfielder made his debut for the All Whites against Jamaica in January 2000 and collected 13 caps (5 goals). , ``but we definitely have more financial support than before.''
Keeping it afloat
Institutional dollars can't keep feeding athletics. Somewhere down the line, if Northridge wants to graduate from affordable to healthy, the teams must move toward self-sufficiency. Community outrage was not solely responsible for keeping CSUN at 20 sports. Wilson admitted budget problems have dissipated dis·si·pat·ed
1. Intemperate in the pursuit of pleasure; dissolute.
2. Wasted or squandered.
3. Irreversibly lost. Used of energy. for the 1998-99 school year mainly because the state could spare Northridge extra money.
``I believe we can be OK, but (the goal is) for athletics funding not to rely on additional state funds,'' Wilson said. ``If we did not have the generosity of the state budget, clearly there would be a problem. The (state's) $4.2 billion blip this year is a first. Frankly, I'm nervous about what the next year will bring.
``People want sports,'' Wilson said. ``But do they understand that sports cost money that could be used for our primary mission, which is academics? My regret is that beyond the outcry, we have not achieved increased public support (in game attendance and monetary donations).''
So how does Northridge survive in the long run?
Rehm's hiring is one step. Previously, Northridge athletics lacked a development officer for two years.
As for football's lack of volunteer support, first-year head coach Ron Ponciano looks to erase that problem by next year. In May, he began a search for Northridge football alumni dating back to 1962. He found 1,210 names, including nine who coach at local high schools. He hopes to entice them into joining the athletic association.
But no matter how hard fund-raisers work, private support ultimately depends on the university's commitment - as a whole - to its athletic program. Dropping four sports wounded Northridge's development capacities in 1997; the scars haven't disappeared.
This year has raised some new doubts. When Wilson decided to temporarily delete a new football stadium from the university's master plan, saying the university has not yet approved a site or design, proponents were angered while opponents balked balk
v. balked, balk·ing, balks
1. To stop short and refuse to go on: The horse balked at the jump.
2. at the word ``temporarily.''
``I always get the question, `What's going on What's Going On is a record by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. Released on May 21, 1971 (see 1971 in music), What's Going On reflected the beginning of a new trend in soul music. with this football stadium? How can you ask for my money if you keep going back and forth?' '' Rehm said.
The answer, for now, is a committee Wilson plans to appoint. The group will analyze CSUN's options for a stadium and look at how existing facilities could improve. Until then, until the money begins to roll in - or at least becomes easier to bait - Northridge will have to rely on the efforts of coaches and players.
Or positive thinking like that of soccer player Mike Preis, who said his team will bring home a conference championship. Or desire and perseverance like that of baseball player Mike McNeely, one of just five returners on the 1998 squad.
``We just wanted to play. We didn't care where, who against and how we did it. We just wanted to play.''
NORTHRIDGE SPRING FUND DRIVE RESULTS
Figures reflect money raised through volunteer effort from April 15 through May 29.
Men's Soccer $6,455
Women's Basketball $5,825
Men's Basketball $4,475
Softball softball, variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. Invented (1888) in Chicago as an indoor game, it was at various times called indoor baseball, mush ball, playground ball, kitten ball, and, because it was also played by women, ladies' $850
Women's Golf $500
Women's Soccer $100
Track/Cross Country $100
Men's Golf $0
Men's Volleyball $0
Women's Tennis $0
Women's Volleyball $0
Unrestricted funds raised by Keith Richman, chair of the spring drive $5,900
Box: NORTHRIDGE SPRING FUND DRIVE RESULTS (See Text)