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COLLEGE DIVISION / ARA NAJARIAN : Cal Poly SLO Punishes Itself for Baseball Sins

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is leaving Division II for Division I under a cloud.

The school filed its internal investigative report regarding rules violations in the baseball program with the NCAA last week.

The report--which can either be accepted or lead to further investigation by the NCAA--describes improper financial aid by Coach Steve McFarland to several players to help pay housing and registration fees over a three-year period.

According to the report, the total in extra aid was $13,701 to the athletes and $8,327 to assistant coaches who were not part of Cal Poly SLO’s payroll.

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The report was compiled by Charles Crabb, associate vice president of academic resources; Michael Wenzl, faculty athletic representative, and Vicki Stover, a school administration and finance associate.

McFarland, who left the baseball program this season so as not to interfere with the investigation, admitted the violations to school investigators, and his contract will end this month.

Seven current or former players were involved, although the report says none knew that the extra money was not part of their regular financial aid. Five current players were suspended for one game and have made restitution, thereby regaining their eligibility.

The school’s president, Warren Baker, announced four self-imposed penalties:

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--The baseball program will not be allowed to recruit off campus for one year.

--Official paid visits of baseball recruits will not be allowed for one year.

--No postseason baseball play will be permitted in 1995.

--The baseball team’s second-place finish in 1992 and its third-place finish in 1993 at the Division II World Series will be forfeited.

This was Cal Poly SLO’s last season in Division II before stepping up to Division I in 1995, so the self-imposed penalty of not playing postseason games might be irrelevant.

Had the investigation, which started in January, been concluded during the season, the penalties might have been applied to 1994. The school learned of potential infractions last September, and McFarland admitted the violations in December.

Assistant coach Steve Agler guided the team to a share of the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. title this season, but the NCAA chose not to invite the school to the NCAA regionals.

The NCAA would not comment on when the case might be closed or on whether further investigation would be conducted.

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Cal State Los Angeles’ women’s track and field team finished third in the NCAA Division II meet at North Carolina State last weekend.

The Golden Eagles, who won the CCAA title two weeks ago, finished behind Alabama A&M; and Abilene Christian.

Foremost among L.A.'s competitors was Janet Hill, who won the women’s shotput at 51 feet 3 3/4 inches. She was named Division II track and field athlete of the year by the NCAA.

Teammate Angeleta Graham was second in the women’s 400 meters in 53.85 seconds, and Marisol Pedraza was fourth in the women’s 1,500 in 4:33.40.

L.A.'s men’s team, also the CCAA champion, finished 10th in the Division II meet. Cal State Bakersfield was 13th, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 14th.

Keadrick Washington of Cal State L.A. was third in the 110 hurdles in 14.16. DeVon Edwards of Cal Poly Pomona won the 400 in 45.67.


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