A track and field facility at Coppin State was one of the victims of budget cuts and the "cost-containment" philosophy that swept through the state higher education system last year. Athletic director Ron DeSouza says that the project was delayed, not canceled.
"Our intention is to begin construction sometime in early fall," DeSouza said. "We wanted to begin it last fall, but because of cost-containment it had to be postponed. We've already gone through the bid process and designed the facility. I don't think there will be anything to stop us this year, but you have to be careful saying that."
The $800,000 project would be the latest in a series of improvements to Coppin State athletics. DeSouza said the Eagles will field a softball team next spring, and they will have men's and women's swimming teams this coming winter. All three teams participated on a club basis last year.
The centerpiece of Coppin State, of course, remains basketball. Coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell's program has come up in the world to the extent that it will play its first three games at home next season before a Dec. 7 visit to Oklahoma. Mitchell was able to line up dates with Winthrop (Nov. 26), Maine (Dec. 3) and American (Dec. 5) that will allow him to bring along a young team.
"With the inexperience we have, there's no purpose in playing all the big boys," said Mitchell, who last year played Clemson and took his team to Tulsa, New Mexico State, Texas-El Paso, Oklahoma and New Orleans. "We don't have to do that
The Coppin State women, meanwhile have signed three prospects for the coming year. Frances Doctor, a 6-foot-2 center, and Sharon Washington, a 5-7 guard, are from Tampa, and 5-7 guard Erica Ross is from Queens, N.Y.
* The UMBC baseball team ended up leading Division I in doubles, as the Retrievers pounded out 137, an average of 2.74 per game. John Burns, a sophomore shortstop from Owings Mills, was No. 2 in the nation, averaging more than a double every two games (.543 a game).
UMBC was a big-hitting, sophomore-dominated team this past spring, when it went 29-21, and coach John Jancuska hopes two newcomers will shore up the pitching staff in 1992. Kevin Loewe, an All-Metro pitcher from Perry Hall, will enter as a freshman and play alongside big brother Brian, and C. Milton Wright grad Gerald Watasick transfers in from Brevard (Fla.) Community College.
* Loyola got letters of intent from seven lacrosse players.
Defenseman Stan Ross and attackman Kevin Lutz were visible at Boys' Latin, and played against Calvert Hall midfielder Tom Welsch. North County's Tim McGeeney got rave notices in the goal, and attackman Christian Johns and defenseman Jason Foley will come down from New York. Defenseman Sean Chenworth helped Essex to the national junior college title.
* After three years as an assistant football coach and the head of the track and field team, Terry Rupert is leaving Salisbury State to take a faculty position at Eastern Michigan. The Sea Gulls are also looking to replace Dawn McCrumb, who resigned as softball coach after compiling a seven-year record of 122-74.
* Fred Wyman and Holly Bramble, the part-time tennis coaches relieved of their duties at Washington College, aren't giving up their jobs without a fight. "They [the administration] think it's going to blow over, but we're enlisting support from parents, alumni and the community," Wyman said.
* Soccer coach Steve Allison, Andover High Class of '72, is moving from Alfred (N.Y.) to Greensboro (N.C.) . . . In the same sport, Loyola is losing assistant Dennis Krupa and replacing him with Mike Mason . . . Towson State gymnast Anne Sugden was a third-team choice on the GTE Academic All-American at-large selections.