The Colleges : DeLaveaga Weighs World of Opportunity

Steve deLaveaga, the all-time Cal Lutheran scoring leader, would have to do some globe-trotting were he to check all his job opportunities in person.

DeLaveaga already has been cut by the Lakers, but he has other options in his quest for basketball employment. He is currently exploring three possibilities: the Continental Basketball Assn., Australian basketball and Mexican basketball.

"It looks like Australia is going to be the best deal for me," deLaveaga said earlier this week. Cal Lutheran Coach Mike Dunlap "has been in contact with them and has laid the groundwork."

DeLaveaga said that he will talk to Australian officials in October but might play in Mexico in the interim. He estimated that he could earn $2,000 to $4,000 a month playing in Mexico from the beginning of September to December. He could then go to Australia and play Down Under during the winter, the Australian summer.

"I'll try to do a double deal," deLaveaga said.

In addition, the San Jose franchise of the CBA has scheduled deLaveaga for a tryout and the Santa Barbara CBA franchise also has shown interest. DeLaveaga said that he will only play in the CBA if he can remain in California.

Despite leading NAIA District 3 players in scoring the past two seasons, deLaveaga was not selected in the National Basketball Assn. draft. But Titus DeCoursey, deLaveaga's agent, reported that his client has received a tentative invitation to try out with the Boston Celtics next year.

"The Australian situation is the brightest," DeCoursey said, "but we have to cover every angle."

Save the linemen: Pads were only recently put on for the first time this season and already offensive linemen are on the endangered list at CSUN.

The Matadors, who open their season on the road with back-to-back games against Division I opponents Cal State Long Beach (Sept. 2) and Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 9), are hurting for beefy front-liners.

Mark Fernandez, Doug Gann and Tim Ayers--all linemen whom CSUN coaches expected to either start or see action as reserves--left the team for various personal reasons before contact drills began Monday.

Fernandez, a double-transfer from West Hills Junior College and Oregon State, and Ayers, a transfer from Glendale College, were considered potential mainstays. Gann, a senior, saw substantial playing time as a reserve last season.

Northridge started the week with only 11 eligible offensive linemen, but its coaching staff was scheming to add a few more by switching positions.

"We lost some guys we thought were going to be factors, but that doesn't mean we can't survive," CSUN Coach Bob Burt said. "It hurts us a little, but we'll make some adjustments. We've done it before."

Three years ago, Tony Palamara, a standout tight end in junior college, was asked to fill in at guard. He ended up a two-year starter at the position and went on to play for the L.A. Cobras of the Arena Football League.

Add CSUN: Damiean Jenkins, who saw action for CSUN at nose tackle last season, has left the football team to concentrate on track and field.

Jenkins, a 6-3, 235-pound sophomore from Saugus High, was Northridge's top discus thrower last spring. He placed second in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. meet as a freshman and his best of 157-1 placed him 12th on the school's all-time list.

Jenkins was the Southern Section 4-A Division discus champion in 1988 and placed third in the state meet.

On the rebound: Its debut in Division I is more than a year away, but the Northridge men's basketball schedule for 1990-91 already is taking shape.

CSUN Coach Pete Cassidy said that the Matadors are tentatively set to open on the road with games against Colorado, Colorado State and New Mexico State. Other road games tentatively include USC at the Sports Arena, Illinois State, Montana and Montana State.

Northridge, which initially will not have a conference affiliation, also will play home-and-home series against Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona, Idaho State, USIU, Southern Utah State and Canisius. A similar setup with Loyola Marymount also is a possibility.

Among CSUN's opponents at home will be Boise State and Virginia Commonwealth. Cassidy has scheduled 21 games. The NCAA maximum is 28.

Wrong place, wrong time: In initiating the move from the Western Football Conference to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Cal Lutheran dropped Portland State, Sacramento State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo from its schedule this year.

However, after finding only two replacement opponents, the Kingsmen were left with nine games instead of the usual 10. Portland State had difficulty filling its schedule as well, and, although both teams had terminated their WFC contract, Portland State approached Cal Lutheran about the possibility of reinstating the game.

The Vikings beat Cal Lutheran, 49-0, last season at Mount Clef Stadium so it was the Kingsmen's turn to travel. Portland State was attempting to add another home game to its 1989 schedule and was willing to sweeten the pot for the Kingsmen.

"We talked to them about an above-normal guarantee that would come close to covering their expenses," said Roy Love, the assistant to the president in charge of athletics at PSU. "It didn't go much beyond that."

The possibility of an essentially free trip to Portland and a 10th game did not sway the Cal Lutheran administration.

Robert Doering, Cal Lutheran's athletic director, declined comment on the financial aspects of the offer but said, "There's no amount of money where you would go and put your ballclub in a game where they're outclassed."

Portland State, the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. Division II runner-up each of the past two seasons, won each of its four WFC games against Cal Lutheran.

Changing places: While the impending ouster of football coach Bob Shoup has monopolized attention at CLU, the rest of the university's coaching staff has undergone a more quiet metamorphosis.

Four of the 15 men's and women's athletic teams will have new coaches this school year, and a fifth sport, women's soccer, is new altogether.

George Kuntz coached the men's soccer team last season and will add women's soccer to his duties this fall.

Mike Dunlap has replaced Larry Lopez at the helm of the men's basketball program. Jeff Lindgren will coach the men's golf team, replacing Mike Andonian.

John Siemens has turned the reins of the men's tennis team over to Paul Steele, and Tony Venditto has taken over the softball program from Wendy Beckemeyer.

In all, four of Cal Lutheran's 11 coaches (several head two sports) will be in their first year as head coaches at the school.

Shooting for prime time: A desire to play basketball at the Division I level was the main reason Shawn DeLaittre says he left behind a scholarship at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and transferred to Valley College.

DeLaittre, a 6-foot-5 forward from Simi Valley High, said that he was happy with neither the style of play nor the young coaching staff at San Luis Obispo, a Division II school in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. But Mustang Coach Steve Beason said that DeLaittre's decision was motivated by an urge to play at a major university.

"I think Shawn would very much like to play at the Division I level," Beason said. "And that wasn't going to happen here. . . . I hope he gets what he's looking for. He's a good ballplayer. He's got a lot of talent."

DeLaittre, who helped lead Simi Valley to the Southern Section 4-A Division title in 1988, redshirted his freshman year at San Luis Obispo. He hopes to sign with a Division I school next year after playing at Valley this season.

"That would leave me with three years of eligibility," said DeLaittre, who averaged 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds during his senior season at Simi Valley. "I don't want to sit out this season because it would put me too far behind next year."

DeLaittre said that he originally signed with San Luis Obispo because he thought he would get a chance to play immediately and because he was told that the school would be playing at the Division I level during his second season.

Beason rejected DeLaittre's claim, however.

"We discussed the possibility about going Division I in the future," Beason said. "But we never said when it would be. I'd like to see it happen, but if it does, it won't be for some time."

Missing in action: The CSUN men's and women's cross-country teams will travel to the Mammoth Lakes area for a one-week training camp at high altitude.

But Darcy Arreola--the school's most prominent runner--will not make the trip because she is scheduled to have her wisdom teeth removed.

Arreola, the school record-holder in the 1,500 meters (4 minutes, 14.15 seconds), placed second in the Division II championships and third in the Division I meet. She also finished seventh in The Athletics Congress meet in Houston.

Arreola, who placed fifth in the 1987 Division II cross-country championships, probably will not race until the San Luis Obispo invitational Oct. 14, five weeks before the Division II championships in East Stroudsburg, Pa.

"She definitely won't race in September," CSUN Coach Don Strametz said. "I don't want her coming back too quickly from the surgery."

However, Arreola is expected to take part in an elite training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., starting Sept. 23.

Add cross-country: Northridge was expected to begin its season at the UCLA Invitational on Sept. 10, but construction on the Westwood campus has forced cancellation of the meet.

Strametz said he might substitute the Sept. 9 Fullerton Invitational in place of the UCLA meet. "I'll make a decision in the next week or so," he said. "It's possible that we might blow off that week and open up at Fresno."

The Fresno Invitational is scheduled for Sept. 16.

Staff writers Brendan Healey, Mike Hiserman and John Ortega contributed to this notebook.

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