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Sneed Says He’s Ironing Things Out With Team : Titans: Basketball coach meets with players who reportedly had sought his dismissal. He says situation was blown out of proportion.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Cal State Fullerton basketball Coach John Sneed held individual meetings with team members Thursday in an effort to resolve conflicts with his players.

“There’s been some very positive progress,” said Sneed, who met with all but one team member. “At this point, I think our problems can be ironed out. I feel much better about things today.”

Sneed had not previously commented on reports that as many as eight players, unhappy about several incidents that occurred during their 14-14 season, were seeking the dismissal of the third-year coach.

Players have cited inconsistent discipline patterns and negative motivational tactics as a few of Sneed’s shortcomings. Two players questioned Sneed’s play-calling and personnel decisions after last Friday’s 74-67 loss to Pacific in the Big West Conference Tournament.

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Nine players met with Athletic Director Steve DiTolla for two hours Wednesday to discuss their complaints.

But Thursday, in a prepared statement released by the athletic department, Sneed came to his own defense.

“To put it mildly, the past few days have been very frustrating for me as a coach,” Sneed said. “Frankly, I’ve never felt the media is the proper place to air differences with players. This entire situation has been blown out of proportion and many of the accusations are unfounded. There are two sides to every story.

“Yes, I am demanding as a coach and I will be the first to admit it. Also, I care about the team’s success on the court and the players’ image outside of basketball. As a coach, I don’t feel any of the standards I set for this team are unreasonable.”

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Sneed, in the second year of a three-year contract, reiterated that he has no intention of resigning. He said his main objective during player meetings is to “try to get a better line of communication right now. If there are problems, we need to talk to each other and find out what they are.”

Players declined comment Thursday, but Sneed said that “not one I’ve talked to has mentioned leaving.” Sneed said he will meet with school President Milton A. Gordon soon, but he wouldn’t say when.

“Until I determine the facts, there’s not much to say except I’m sorry this all happened,” Gordon said.


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