Loyola's report card may hinge on Bergan's

January 05, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

The Loyola Greyhounds head into their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule with a satisfying 3-3 record, but perhaps the area's most unsettled roster.

Junior forward David Credle underwent arthroscopic knee surgery just before Christmas and probably will be lost at least for the rest of the month. Senior forward Michael Reese has just returned to the lineup after missing last season for disciplinary reasons.

The biggest blow could come next week. That's when the school's academic committee will decide the fate of senior point guard Tracy Bergan, who has sparked Loyola to an encouraging start.

Bergan, who missed all of last season for academic reasons, was suspended on Monday by athletic director Joe Boylan after failing to complete a fall semester course. He missed Monday's 77-65 loss at Delaware and will not play tonight against Iona or against Maine on Saturday.

"He [Bergan] has got some work to do and that work isn't done yet," Boylan said. "This is not a basketball decision. It's an agreement he and I have had since the beginning of the fall. Will he come back? We'll know for sure by next week."

The loss of Bergan, who could not be reached for comment, could be devastating to Loyola, which was 2-25 without him last season. His leadership has been a key. He is second in the MAAC in scoring (22.3), and he leads the conference in assists (6.0), steals (3.5) and free-throw percentage (93.3).

First-year coach Skip Prosser, who is not allowing Bergan to practice with the team, said his absence has been a distraction, not to mention costly. Last month, Bergan missed a game at American with tendinitis in his lower leg, and the Greyhounds were handled easily.

"Yes, it [Bergan's status] is disruptive, and lots of times, distractions can have a devastating effect," Prosser said.

"But I think the team has adjusted," he added. "I think they realize that Tracy might not be coming back, and that they can't keep looking over their shoulders. It's time to look forward. Life goes on."

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