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Abraham Receives 18-Month Sentence on Cocaine Charge

From Staff and Wire Reports

Michael Abraham, former Northridge women’s basketball coach, received the lightest sentence of anyone involved in a crack-cocaine conspiracy and will spend 18 months in a federal prison.

Abraham was sentenced Friday after he pleaded guilty in July to a conspiracy charge. He admitted introducing a California drug supplier to a dealer in Omaha, Neb.

“You were a facilitator--putting a willing buyer and seller together,” U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon said during his ruling in Omaha.

Abraham’s attorney, Steve Houze of Portland, Ore., said his client helped the buyer and seller meet, sometimes in Abraham’s house, fewer than four times.

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Abraham received a user quantity of the drug as payment, Houze said. After the introduction, the deals continued even though Abraham was not involved, he said.

Abraham, who began coaching at Northridge in 1995, was arrested Oct. 27, 1998, at the campus gymnasium by FBI agents, who had been conducting a two-year investigation of cocaine trafficking in Omaha. More than 20 people were arrested in the probe by an FBI task force and the Omaha police street gang unit, and Abraham was charged with conspiring to distribute at least 50 grams of crack cocaine.

FOOTBALL

* Running back James Bethea of Cleveland, quarterback Jason Winn of Granada Hills and quarterback Brandon Hance of Taft were selected tri-players of the year in the West Valley League.

Running back Matthew Hicks of North Hollywood was chosen offensive player of the year and lineman Kevin Baird of Verdugo Hills was selected defensive player of the year in the Sunset Six League.

* Mike Kramer, football coach at Eastern Washington the last six seasons, was hired as Montana State’s coach Friday.

Kramer, 45, a former Montana State assistant, replaces Cliff Hysell, who retired after eight seasons. Kramer was 37-32 at Eastern Washington, including a 7-4 mark this season and 30-17 record in four years. The Eagles were 12-2 in 1997, won the Big Sky Conference title, and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.

SOCCER

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* Santa Clara University has reached the NCAA men’s quarterfinals helped by several players from the region.

Senior defender Adam Eyre from Agoura High was selected West Coast Conference defender of the year.

* Joe Agoston has resigned as men’s coach at Glendale College. He won seven Western State Conference titles and was the WSC coach of the year seven times in his 13-year tenure.

GOLF

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* Greg Frederick of Oakmont Country Club in Glendale will be sworn in as president of the Southern California PGA at the organization’s annual meeting Monday night at Yorba Linda Country Club.

Frederick, who takes over from Bill Hulbert of Yorba Linda, will serve a two-year term.

* The Kokon Open, named in the memory of sportswriter Pete Kokon, is Feb. 14 at Woodland Hills Country Club to benefit the Pierce College baseball program and the Pete Kokon Scholarship. Cost is $125.

Information: (818) 716-8850.

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HONORS

* Soccer player Mike Preis and swimmer Lisa Andrade have been selected Cal State Northridge athletes of the month.

Preis, a senior forward, finished his Matador career by scoring two goals in Loyola Marymount on Nov. 7. He is sixth in school history with 35 goals in his career.

Andrade, a junior, was undefeated in November, winning the 200 individual medley and 200 breaststroke against Pepperdine on Nov. 5.

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