'Happy' in Metro Atlantic, Loyola still listens to Midwest sales pitch

Paul McMullen

September 12, 1991|By Paul McMullen

One of the dance steps in the conference shuffle this summer was Loyola listening to the sales pitch of the Midwest Collegiate Conference.

This is Loyola's third year in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, a group of like-minded institutions the Greyhounds have been quick to praise in the past. The Midwest Collegiate Conference is in a mood to expand east, and this summer it talked to, among others, Duquesne and St. Joseph's of the Atlantic 10, and LaSalle and Loyola of the MAAC.

The MCC this year lost Marquette and St. Louis to the newly formed Great Midwest Conference. Its basketball roster for 1991-92 includes Butler, Dayton, Detroit, Evansville, Loyola of Chicago and Xavier. Notre Dame is also a member in non-revenue sports, and the Irish won five of the seven men's team titles they were eligible for last year.

"We were approached by the Midwest Collegiate Conference this summer," said Joe Boylan, the Loyola athletic director. "We're happy in the Metro Atlantic, but college athletics is in such a state of flux. We're always interested in listening to what someone has to say.

"Our president [Rev. Joseph Sellinger] is strongly inclined to stay in the Metro Atlantic, but that doesn't mean that won't change in the future. Would we leave the MAAC right now? No. Whether it would be good for us, I don't know. Any possible move like this is a long way off."

Boylan wants to keep his options open because of the oft-rumored possibility that LaSalle, Loyola's closest geographic rival in the MAAC, might leave the conference. A move to the MCC wouldn't affect the independent men's lacrosse team, but it would put the Greyhounds' soccer team back in a conference with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Among other moves, Boylan is looking into playing some basketball games at the Baltimore Arena.

* St. Francis of Brooklyn, N.Y., was expected to introduce Ron Ganulin, formerly an assistant at Nevada-Las Vegas, as its new men's basketball coach today. One of the finalists was Mark Amatucci, the Anne Arundel Community College coach who previously worked at Calvert Hall High and Loyola College.

* Last spring, Frostburg State's football fortunes were bright but some wondered if a new president would try to slow the program's growth.

Things change.

During the summer, the Bobcats lost six returning or potential starters because of academic or personal reasons. The absence of those veterans and a

lousy kicking game added up to a 37-32 loss last Saturday at Grove City, Pa., a stunning development for a team that won its first nine games in 1990.

On the administrative side, the resignation of president Herb Reinhard, a big sports booster, had some supporters worried about the entire athletic department. Those fears were heightened when Dr. Catherine Gira was named as his replacement. She was the provost when the University of Baltimore dropped athletics eight years ago.

"One of the first things I did at the University of Baltimore was recommend to the president that he drop athletics, which he did," Gira said. "That was a unique situation, and I've assured everyone that doesn't bespeak a lack of enthusiasm for intercollegiate athletics on a campus like Frostburg State.

"Two of my kids swam in college, and one doesn't grow up in southwest Pennsylvania without becoming a football enthusiast. I'm delighted to be at an institution that sponsors 17 teams."

* The Mount St. Mary's soccer team is host to the Blue Ridge Tournament in Emmitsburg this weekend. Saturday's semifinals have Navy and Shippensburg playing at 1:30 p.m., and the Mountaineers meeting UMES at 3:30. On Sunday, the consolation game is at 1 and the championship at 3.

The Mountaineers had five players make their first collegiate start in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Towson State. The most experience is in the back, where Greg Goles, a sophomore from John Carroll, plays older than his class.

* Goucher's first men's basketball team went 3-18 last winter, and coach Leonard Trevino promises better in 1991-92. He recruited nine players, and is most excited about David Clark, a 6-2 point guard from Catonsville; Joe Suarez, another guard from Haverford, Pa.; and Tom Rose, a 6-3 forward who played at South River High and Anne Arundel Community College.

Trevino also has a new assistant coach. Gordon Kaplan spent the last four seasons at Beth Tfiloh Community School.

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