SDSU Will Release Wagner for Transfer

Darrin Wagner, who quit the San Diego State football team Nov. 4 with the intent to transfer but was then told he wouldn’t be released from his scholarship, now will be released.

San Diego State Athletic Director Fred Miller said he signed the release letter Thursday.

Norman Wagner said Thursday night that SDSU Coach Al Luginbill had agreed to the release last week and that he and Darrin would pick up the letter at the campus today.

Luginbill, reached in Northern California on a recruiting trip, said he supports Miller’s decision.


Wagner was the Times’ 1987 San Diego Section high school back of the year after rushing for 1,960 yards and 22 touchdowns at Lincoln High. He did not appear in a game for San Diego State last season.

Nov. 17, 2 weeks after Wagner quit the team, former Coach Denny Stolz said he would not release him from his letter of intent. Wagner would then have been without an athletic scholarship for a year after transferring.

Wagner’s father said the decision would not change Darrin’s intention to transfer. When Luginbill replaced Stolz, he said he wanted Wagner to stay through spring drills.

“No spring drills, an immediate release,” Norman Wagner said. “The only decision we’ve made is (Darrin) won’t be playing at San Diego State. As soon as we (receive the release) we’re going to go after a couple of other colleges. We have a couple of schools in mind.”

He declined to name the schools. Wagner was recruited by Arizona, Nebraska and Washington State.

Wagner was concerned that SDSU’s offense was pass-oriented and would not provide a fair chance to showcase his talents.

“He knows he made a mistake,” Norman Wagner said. “He’s very aware of their plans, and he’s worried about his future at San Diego State.”

Luginbill will be the featured speaker at the 22nd Wildcat Coaching Clinic Saturday at 8:45 a.m. at El Camino High School.

Other speakers: John Shacklett of San Diego Section 3-A champion Morse; Craig Bell of 2-A champion Rancho Buena Vista; Jack Fogerty of Southern Section Division V champion Canyon Springs, and John Barnes of Southern Section Division III runner-up Los Alamitos.

The clinic is open to coaches from all levels. Registration is from 7:45 to 8:45; cost is $15. For information, call Herb Meyer at 757-8550 extention 450.


Chana Perry scored 32 points and Julie Evans had 14 as San Diego State defeated UC Irvine, 78-47, in a Big West Conference game at Irvine.

“We wanted to get the early lead and set the tempo of the ballgame,” San Diege State Coach Earnest Riggins said. “We came out with a press, and they played us pretty even for about 7 minutes. We switched from a man to a zone. . . . In the second half we just kind of dominated, and they couldn’t get any shots off.”

Freshman point guard Crystal Lee had 4 points and 8 assists before injuring her nose on a drive to the basket. Riggins was not sure if the injury would keep Lee out when the team travels to Santa Barbara Saturday.

San Diego State, ranked 15th nationally, is 11-0, 2-0 in Big West play. UCI is 3-10, 0-1.


Jeff Prather made a 10-foot baseline jumper with 5 seconds left to give Olivet Nazarene of Illinois an 86-84 victory over Point Loma Nazarene in the first round of the 26th PLNC Tournament at Point Loma.

PLNC (2-9) was led by Brian Thurston’s 24 points and Mark Bulgin’s 21. Prather led all scorers with 31 points for Olivet (5-7).

In the other game of the round-robin tournament, Brandle Studevan scored 16 points and Paul Horn had 12 as 9-time tournament winner Biola defeated Trevecca Nazarene, 64-60.

Trevecca (5-8) will play Olivet at 6 in tonight’s second round, and Biola (10-3) will play PLNC at 8.