Bozeman Morgan-bound

Former coach at California to get second chance at college level

College Basketball


Morgan State will conduct a news conference tomorrow morning to name Todd Bozeman as its new men's basketball coach, sources said yesterday.

The hiring will represent a second chance for Bozeman, who was forced out of his job at California in August 1996 for making an illegal payment of $30,000 to the family of player Jelani Gardner, who later turned him in to the NCAA.

Bozeman was handed an eight-year show-cause sentence by the NCAA, meaning any school that wanted to hire him had to show reasons he should be allowed back into coaching. He has not coached at the collegiate level since. The sentence ran out last June.

He took over the California team for the 1992-93 season at age 29 and had immediate success, defeating defending NCAA champion Duke in the national tournament's Midwest Regional second round. While at California, his teams went 63-35.

In the meantime, he has done some part-time scouting for the NBA, coached at a youth level and worked as a pharmaceutical salesman.

A Prince George's county resident, Bozeman was selected from among a list of dozens of candidates that had been narrowed to three finalists. The others were Toledo assistant Michael Grant, a former coach at Central State (Ohio) and Southern (La.), and Bowie State coach Luke D'Alessio.

He will succeed Butch Beard, who resigned last month after a troubled fifth season that had the roster down to six players at one point because of academic casualties and expulsions from the team. Morgan finished with a 4-25 record.

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