The Cal State Northridge football team, which opened camp two weeks ago with six returning starters, lost at least one of them Tuesday and probably will be without another.
Joe Pierro, a senior linebacker, was declared academically ineligible because he didn’t earn a high enough grade in a summer-school class.
Senior David Romines, the American West Conference leader in touchdown catches and receiving yards last year, might be forced to use his redshirt year this season because of a recurring shoulder injury.
First-year Northridge Coach Dave Baldwin said he and Romines will decide next Tuesday if the receiver should sit out the season.
“It’s disappointing,” Romines said. “This is my senior year. I’m supposed to be performing at my best and I’m performing at my worst.”
Romines said he sustained a dislocated left shoulder several years ago and aggravated the injury last spring. He said it has been getting worse.
“It’s been messing with my head lately,” he said. “All I would think is one hit and [my shoulder] is out.”
Romines had been playing gingerly since practice opened. On Monday he took off his pads and did not participate in contact drills. Tuesday, he saw the doctor and was told that he will need surgery if another week of rest doesn’t help the injury.
Romines, a 5-foot-10, 167-pound graduate of Simi Valley High, has played three years at Northridge. His best season was last year, when he caught 44 passes for 870 yards and seven touchdowns.
The loss of Pierro is also a serious one for Northridge, which is left with two returning full-time starters on defense--safeties Jim Rose and James Woods.
Pierro (6-1, 215) came to Northridge last season after playing at Clovis West High and Fresno City College.
He was fifth on the team with 53 tackles, including 35 solo for the Matadors last season.
Senior receiver Chris Love returned to practice Tuesday after missing a week because of a strained knee tendon. Love (6-4, 210) figures to be one of the Matadors’ most important receivers, particularly with the potential loss of Romines.
“He had one great practice, phenomenal, probably the best practice anyone has had out here, and we saw some great things in him,” Baldwin said. " He’s a big-time receiver and we need him to make things happen.”
Freshman Seth Morrison (5-10, 166) has been moved from fullback to cornerback. . . . Northridge has scheduled its second intrasquad scrimmage for Friday, eight days before the opener Sept. 9 against Menlo College.