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Coaches react to BLR rejection, look forward

Track and field, soccer programs forge ahead without new stadium deal

Long+Beach+State+women%E2%80%99s+soccer+player+Kristen+Kiefer%2C+who+also+runs+hurdles+for+the+track+and+field+team%2C+is+on+the+two+teams+most+affected+by+the+rejection+of+the+Beach+Legacy+Referendum.
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Coaches react to BLR rejection, look forward

Long Beach State women’s soccer player Kristen Kiefer, who also runs hurdles for the track and field team, is on the two teams most affected by the rejection of the Beach Legacy Referendum.

Long Beach State women’s soccer player Kristen Kiefer, who also runs hurdles for the track and field team, is on the two teams most affected by the rejection of the Beach Legacy Referendum.

File photo

Long Beach State women’s soccer player Kristen Kiefer, who also runs hurdles for the track and field team, is on the two teams most affected by the rejection of the Beach Legacy Referendum.

File photo

File photo

Long Beach State women’s soccer player Kristen Kiefer, who also runs hurdles for the track and field team, is on the two teams most affected by the rejection of the Beach Legacy Referendum.

Danny Lee, Tracy McDannald

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The Beach Legacy Referendum’s defeat in a student vote last week has the 49er women’s soccer and track and field teams contemplating the future of their respective programs.

A proposed 5,000-seat, lighted soccer and track facility was part of the referendum.

“There’s just more stress on the coaches [to fundraise,]” said women’s soccer head coach Mauricio Ingrassia, who added that it would’ve been nice to play night games since George Allen Field doesn’t have any lights.

For track and field head coach Andy Sythe, that means stepping up fundraising efforts to cover operating costs while the stadium plan is put on hold indefinitely.

“We already must raise a great deal of money to produce revenue and pay part-time coaches,” Sythe said.

The 49er track team has two assistants, Cory Loebl and Dave Rodda, whose salaries are supplemented through fundraising events such as the Twilight Distance Carnival and Pyramid 5K Walk/Run.

Revenue from these fundraisers also pays for the team’s travel expenses.

“Part of having better resources is having a better facility,” Sythe said. “When you don’t, it’s a larger cost to operate. It forces us to travel to get competition.”

Sythe said the 49ers could not host the Big West Conference championship last season because the Jack Rose Track was considered unsuitable to host the competition.

Women’s soccer still manages to lure top-level competition to George Allen Field. The 49ers open their 2009 home schedule against UCLA, which ended last season with a loss in the Final Four and finished ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Ingrassia is unsure when to think about a new soccer facility again, but seemed ready to move forward.

“We’re going to continue what we’re doing and hope to continue to have success,” he said. “It would’ve been a really nice boost … but we have lots of recruiting tactics.”

One of the selling points is location, which Ingrassia added was a “desirable place to be.” The fifth-year head coach said that the local soccer community and talent should be great enough to overcome the BLR result for the time being.

Currently, the women’s soccer program issues “around 8.6 scholarships,” out of the maximum 14 teams are allowed to offer under NCAA rules, he said.

The lack of a new stadium also raises concern that recruits might bypass The Beach in favor of track and field programs at other colleges.

“Recruiting is about perception,” Sythe said. “The fact that we haven’t had a new facility, it’s easy to give recruits the impression that there’s a lack of commitment.”

The athletic department has contacted consulting firms over the possibility of refurbishing the Jack Rose Track, but no company has been willing to spearhead the renovation effort, Sythe said.

“Re-surfacing will not work,” he said. “No company will accept the job to re-furbish because of the existing surface and foundation.”

The athletic department has had negotiations with nearby Long Beach City College about using Veterans Stadium to host home meets, but have settled on Cerritos College’s Falcon Stadium until a new stadium plan is approved.

The 49ers’ only home meet this season is scheduled at the Norwalk-based community college.

“We can only go as far as the school will allow us,” Sythe said. “There are junior high schools in the area that have better bleachers than we do.”

11 Comments

11 Responses to “Coaches react to BLR rejection, look forward”

  1. Your name on March 17th, 2009 12:07 pm

    what about the women’s crew team??? i’ve only heard them mentioned once or twice throughout this whole ordeal. doesn’t anyone know what this would’ve meant for them? how much they spend a year on dues and races??? they would’ve directly benefited from the BLR, yet nobody wants to report on them.

    fyi- did you know they did very well at the first national club championship last year? a few of their boats came in first place.. and not one mention in the paper about it. these girls wake up at 5am every morning to go to practice, go to school, race on weekends, and do it all over again. If you ask me, that’s pretty dedicated.

  2. Your name on March 18th, 2009 12:44 pm

    i agree. this is a sad day for crew as well. it’s too bad that students are shortsighted and got fooled by all the bs and sob stories. if people don’t like athletics, go to csudh.

  3. Your name on March 18th, 2009 9:05 pm

    Alexander is a gutless weenie if he doesn’t implement the fee himself.

  4. Your name on March 19th, 2009 3:11 am

    So we should tax 36,000 students so a crew team can maybe have a remote chance to win a national championship? Do you guys even listen to your own brains talking? Waking up and doing all of that is self-dedication to a sport that THEY want to participate in. Why should everybody on campus foot the bill. Let them fundraise to pay for this stuff. When we wanted to go to the Reno Jazz Festival as high school musicians, we did car washes and sold candy on top of fulfilling our classroom obligations. I’m tired of having to pay for pampering student athletes while I have to pay my own way for the things that I’m DEDICATED to.

  5. Your name on March 19th, 2009 3:15 am

    Alexander is a gutless weenie if he panders to athletics and DOES “implement the fee himself.” He will lose total respect throughout the CSU system if he barters away his integrity.

  6. Your name on March 19th, 2009 3:21 am

    It’s completely fine to make the sacrifices for what one is dedicated to, whether it’s soccer, swimming, baseball or dominoes. If you make that commitment, it shouldn’t come with a welfare check entitlement that everybody else will support your chosen lifestyle. Nobody that I can remember from the women’s water polo team has ever come out to an event to support AB 540 student education, even though they receive no entitlement or financial aid. When do student athletes actually give back to the student community if it isn’t when they have their hands out? Let THEM pay for their college educations the same way I do. That will “enhance the value of THEIR degrees.” It’s called tough love. The rest of us actually have to earn our degrees in the classrooms; the grunt work of college.

  7. Your name on March 19th, 2009 3:24 am

    P.S. If Sythe needs better bleachers to make athletes perform better, he should be teaching at a “junior high school.”

  8. BLRhatersJustDontGetHowNCAASportsOperates on March 19th, 2009 10:46 am

    P.S. If Sythe needs better bleachers to make athletes perform better, he should be teaching at a “junior high school.”
    ——————————
    Read the article. If potential recruits see deteriorating stadiums, they take it that the school is not committed to the program. Therefore, they choose other schools besides CSULB.

  9. Your name on March 19th, 2009 5:48 pm

    If making student-athletes pay for their schooling is the issue, then why don’t we revoke the President’s Scholars program and all other academic scholarships that are offered by the University and government and make those students PAY for THEIR scholarships too.

    Just because you’re a dolt and didn’t get a scholly and have to pay per class to paint some exciting water color pictures in the art department, don’t be a hater.

  10. Your name on June 25th, 2009 1:33 pm

    Alexander is a wimp if he doesn’t impose this fee. Everybody that disagrees can go to Cal State Dominguez Hills or Northridge or Cal State LA if they don’t like sports. Anyway you idiots, you’ll probably end up spending more on tuition at those schools you morons.

  11. sam on June 25th, 2009 1:34 pm

    Alexander is a wimp if he doesn’t impose this fee. Everybody that disagrees can go to Cal State Dominguez Hills or Northridge or Cal State LA if they don’t like sports. Anyway you idiots, you’ll probably end up spending more on tuition at those schools you morons.

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