Rules More Stringent for Division II Athletes to Maintain Eligibility

Delegates from National Collegiate Athletic Assn. Division II schools Wednesday approved legislation intended to assure "satisfactory progress" for athletes already enrolled so that they can maintain eligibility.

Under Proposition 39, which takes effect Aug. 1, 1989, Division II athletes will need a 1.6 cumulative grade-point average, based on a 4.0 scale, after their first season of competition to remain eligible. The standard increases to 1.8 after the second season and 2.0 after the third.

The rule has no impact for either Cal State Northridge or Cal Lutheran, which have tougher standards than the one adopted by the NCAA.

Division I representatives passed the same proposal during a morning session but reversed their vote in the afternoon. Division II schools voted for the new rule on both occasions.

"It was not very encouraging academically to watch Division I vacillate around with that all afternoon," said Bob Hiegert, Northridge athletic director, in a telephone interview from the NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tenn. "It is unbelievable that someone can play four years with some of the grade-point averages that were quoted in discussion. Staying eligible with a 1.4 or 1.2 grade-point average is not progressing toward a degree."

Opponents of the new rule said it would discriminate against athletes who are willing to enroll in more difficult courses.

Add NCAA: Delegates also directed the NCAA Council to create a third football division, Division I-AAA, to be voted on at next year's convention.

Division I-AAA would be designed for schools with Division I athletic programs but lower-division football teams. Hiegert said the idea for the new division was born of the frustration felt by "pure" Division III schools that had to contend with larger schools dropping down to their division to play football.

Should the new division be created, it could affect Santa Clara, a member of the Division II Western Football Conference along with Northridge and Cal Lutheran. Santa Clara is Division I in all sports but football.

The rule might also have an impact on Northridge in the future should it decide to go Division I in other sports. Northridge administrators are considering such a move.

Conference call: The Cal Lutheran men's basketball team struggled to a 5-9 record in nonconference games, but Coach Larry Lopez is convinced that his team's performance will improve in Golden State Athletic Conference games.

"We feel like we are going to surprise people in our conference and district," Lopez said.

Cal Lutheran has been hurt by the loss of 6-3 forward Darren Ranck, who was sidelined for the past four nonconference games because of a virus. Ranck returned to practice Tuesday but is not expected to be at full strength until next weekend.

"It hurts us a lot on rebounding with him out of the lineup," Lopez said.

The Kingsmen play three of their next four games on the road beginning Saturday at Southern California College in Costa Mesa.

Honor roll: Angela Brinton, the NCAA Division II player of the year, was the first Cal State Northridge volleyball player to be nominated for the Broderick Cup, awarded to the nation's outstanding collegiate female athlete.

Brinton was the only Division II volleyball player to be nominated for the 1987-88 award. The two-time All-American setter led Northridge to its first NCAA title in four years and was the CCAA's most valuable player.

Valley rally: After winning only 3 of 17 nonconference basketball games, Valley won two games in the first week of Southern California Conference games.

The Monarchs routed Victor Valley, 95-65, last Thursday and Antelope Valley, 90-52, Saturday.

Freshman forward Steve Ward, who scored 27 against Victor Valley and 31 against Antelope Valley, is the leading scorer in the conference with a 24.6 point average.

Mr. Clutch: Moorpark lost its conference opener to Glendale by one point, 70-69, last Thursday, so Coach Al Nordquist was not about to let the same thing happen in last Saturday's 69-67 come-from-behind win over Canyons.

With Moorpark trailing, 31-29, at halftime, Nordquist took aside guard Tom Neumayr. The All-Western State Conference sophomore had not been seeking his shot as aggressively as the coach would have liked.

"I told him, 'You have to go in there and make it happen,' " Nordquist said.

Neumayr responded with a game-high 20 points, including six in a row during a key stretch of the second half.

Moorpark (11-6, 1-1) travels to Santa Monica (14-7, 1-1), which is ranked 13th in Southern California by the JC Athletic Bureau.

A real steal: Karina Hardman, who leads the Moorpark women's basketball team in steals with 80, has made the most of the Lady Raiders' full-court press. But that's not all she can do.

"She's a great all-around player," Coach Gary Abraham said. "Hardman is doing everything for us."

Everything? Well, just about.

The sophomore forward leads the team in scoring (24.2 avg.), assists (78) and free-throw shooting (82.8%). She is also second in rebounding with an average of 7.2.

Hardman's strong overall play helped Moorpark win its first two Western State Conference games. The Lady Raiders were 10-2 in the WSC last season, losing twice to Ventura.

No regal streak: Cal Lutheran women's basketball team will have to wait until Saturday for another chance to snap its losing streak.

The Regals have lost eight consecutive games to drop to 1-10, 0-2 in NAIA District III play. Cal Lutheran lost to Biola on Monday, 68-46, and to Cal State Los Angeles on Friday in its first games after nearly a month's layoff.

Cal Lutheran plays at Southern California College on Saturday.

Staff writers Mike Hiserman, Gary Klein and Ralph Nichols contributed to this notebook.

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