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Big Ten Team Will Train at Citrus After 5-Year Dry Spell

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Citrus College, which served as the Big Ten practice site for 11 Rose Bowls but none since the 1986 game, will be Michigan’s training base for the New Year’s Day college football game.

“We’re really pleased they’re coming back here,” Citrus College President Louis Zellers said. “It’s not only an honor, but a testimony to the excellent facilities we have here.”

Zellers said he does not expect the Glendora school to receive “any profit, so to speak” from the Wolverines’ stay.

“We have an agreement that we will recover all of our out-of-pocket costs,” Zellers said. “We have a (fee) schedule for use of the stadium, and they’ll pay that, plus any out-of-pocket costs for security.”

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Last year, when Pacific 10 champion Washington trained at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, the school received “a significant amount of money, . . . between $1,000 and $10,000" for use of its facilities, Athletic Director Tom Hermstad said. The money was used to supplement the football team’s equipment and supply budget.

Zellers said Citrus College will not have to spend much to prepare for Michigan’s stay.

“We’ve spruced up the dressing rooms a little bit and put a paint job on them,” he said. “We want to it to be a pleasant and appealing facility for them. They have asked for some extra attention to the field with regard to striping, and we plan to accommodate them.”

Skip Claprood, Citrus College’s athletic director, said security was a factor in Michigan’s selection. The practices, which are scheduled to begin Dec. 26 and continue through New Year’s Eve, will be closed to the public.

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“We have a stadium that is secure, and they can practice in private,” Claprood said.

Michigan’s decision to practice at Citrus College is the second example of the San Gabriel Valley’s renewed role in pre-Rose Bowl game activities.

Under an agreement concluded this summer among the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Assn. and the Big Ten and Pacific 10 conference, one team each year will stay at Pasadena’s Doubletree Hotel. The Big Ten champion Wolverines will stay there this year.

Iowa was the last Big Ten team to train at Citrus College. After the Hawkeyes’ 45-28 loss to UCLA on Jan. 1, 1986, the conference’s teams decided to move out of the San Gabriel Valley, with its distracting festivities before the Rose Bowl game and on New Year’s Eve. Instead, they have stayed at Orange County hotels and practiced at UC Irvine and Cal State Long Beach.

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Michigan practiced at Citrus College for the ’77, ’78, ’79 and ’83 games. The Wolverines lost all four of those games.

Pacific 10 champion Washington will stay at the Anaheim Marriott and practice at Rams Park, the Los Angeles Rams’ Anaheim headquarters.


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