In the wake of Cal State Long Beach's decision Tuesday to drop football, Northridge Coach Bob Burt said he will attempt to recruit former 49er players. Because Long Beach no longer has a program, any transfers would become eligible immediately upon enrolling at CSUN.
"We'll be interested in some of their athletes and hopefully they'll be interested in us," said Burt, whose team lost to Long Beach, 25-24, in 1990. "I'm sure some of them will be looking for scholarships, which in our case is limited. But we'll try to give an opportunity to these young men, particularly if there are people from the Valley who want to come home."
Joe Smigiel, Mike Salka and Kent Richter are all former area high school players on the 49er roster.
Smigiel, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound redshirt freshman, was a 1989 Times' All-Ventura County selection from Newbury Park High. Salka, a junior offensive lineman, is from Nordhoff High. Richter, from Oak Park High, is a redshirt freshman wide receiver.
"It's a crying shame," Burt said of the Long Beach program being terminated. "I feel badly for the coaches and players."
Burt will turn his attention to Long Beach players after scouring the junior colleges in anticipation of next week's national letter-of-intent signing period for junior college players. Those players, who have six weeks to sign, are eligible to transfer next month and can participate in spring drills.