Why Pomona-Pitzer Makes Change

Pomona-Pitzer's football program will be leaving the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The conference recently granted permission for the school to remain an SCIAC member in other sports.

The Sagehens will play an SCIAC schedule next season, then go independent. Conference bylaws require that a school wait two years before leaving, but the conference athletic directors and faculty representatives waived the rule for Pomona-Pitzer.

"The nature of the Pomona Colleges makes it one of the most difficult schools in the country academically," said Curt Tong, Pomona-Pitzer's athletic director. "That said, it is very difficult to procure the number of football players we need to be competitive in football."

Pomona-Pitzer has not had a winning record in 24 seasons. Last fall, the Sagehens were 1-8.

"We don't mind losing--that's not the point--it's that people get hurt," Tong said. "In seven games we were ahead at halftime, but we didn't have the depth. We started the season with 41 players and were able to dress 27 for the last game.

"We are very happy being in the conference--the other schools are fine schools--but we want the kids to have a chance to be competitive."

A tentative 1996 schedule has been drawn that will involve one more trip than Pomona-Pitzer would have had if it had remained with the SCIAC. The cost of the extra trip was perhaps the biggest concern about leaving the conference.

But Tong and Coach Roger Caron said that the money will come from a special fund created by the office of Peter Stanley, Pomona College president. Further, they say that there will also be more funding for the school's women's programs to stay in line with Title IX.

College Division Notes

Junior guards Marcus Onezime and Bobby Davis were suspended indefinitely by Coach Pat Douglass of the Cal State Bakersfield's men's basketball team after they had a verbal exchange with him in a 58-53 victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills on Feb. 18. They sat out the last two games of the season and their status is uncertain heading into the CCAA tournament Friday and Saturday at UC Riverside.

The UC Riverside men's basketball team (21-4, 10-2) won the CCAA title for the second consecutive season. In the tournament Friday, Grand Canyon (15-10) will play Bakersfield (20-6) at 6 p.m. and Riverside will play Cal State L.A. (16-10) at 8 p.m.

Cal Poly Pomona's women's basketball team did not win at least a share of the CCAA title for the first time. The CCAA tournament starts Thursday at Cal State Dominguez Hills with UC Riverside (18-8) playing Cal State San Bernardino (12-14) at 6 p.m. and Cal State L.A. (16-10) playing Dominguez Hills (19-5) at 8 p.m.

Pomona-Pitzer (18-7, 12-2) won its second consecutive SCIAC men's basketball championship and will play host to Wisconsin Whitewater (18-7) in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs Thursday.

The Cal Lutheran women's basketball team finished its season with two losses in the final two weeks, but still won the SCIAC championship and will advance to the West Region of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Cal Lutheran had a 23-game winning streak dating to last season. Cal Lutheran (23-2) will play at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (21-4) Wednesday. . . . UC San Diego's women's basketball team was invited to the Division III playoffs for the first time. The Tritons (18-6) play host to St. Benedict of Minnesota (24-1) in the West Regional.

The Golden State Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament will start Wednesday and the women's GSAC tournament starts tonight. . . . The Master's men's basketball team (27-4) will be seeded first in the Far West Region Independents' tournament at Chapman on Friday. Western New Mexico (18-8), Bethany of Scotts Valley (16-15) and Christian Heritage of El Cajon (8-19) will also participate.

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