SAN FRANCISCO -- The University of San Francisco, restarting its once proud basketball program next season, has finished recruiting after acquiring verbal commitments from four front-line players, Coach Jim Brovelli said Thursday.
TheDons, who have won two NCAA titles and one NIT crown, disbanned their basketball program in 1982 after a play-for-pay scandal. In addition, guard Quintin Dailey, now with the Chicago Bulls, was charged with assaulting a female student midway though the 1981-82 season.
During police questioning, Dailey said he was paid by an alumnus for a job he never did. The revelation combined with past NCAA violations by the basketball staff led University President Fr. John LoShiavo to suspend the program in July 1982.
After a two-year absence, the university decided to restart the program and selected Brovelli, then the head coach at the University of San Diego, to directed the Dons.
Brovelli signed Peter Reitz, a 6-foot-10 transfer from the University of Idaho, and 6-6 freshman forward Mike Franti in his first year. Both players have been practicing along with a group of walk-ons this season.
In the fall, Brovelli signed high school seniors Robby Grisby, a 5-10 guard from San Francisco; and 6-5 swing man Anthony Mann, out of Compton, Calif. He also signed junior-college swingman Darrell Walker.
Brovelli concentrated his efforts this winter on getting verbal commitments from big men.
'Recruiting has gone exceptionally well,' he said Thursday. 'We were very pleased the response not only in Northern California, but also in Southern California.'
Brovelli said USF had received a verbal commitment from 6-8 forward Mark McCathrion, out of Oakland's respected O'Dowd High School. The three-year starter has averaged 14 points per game this season.
McCathrion said the fact that USF was restarting its program appealed to him.
'In a situation like this, with a program starting up all over again, I know I will be expected to give 100 percent all the time,' he said. 'There won't be any other experienced players around to help me along as in other established programs.'
Brovelli said Grisby, Mann and McCathrion will be the only high school players signed to letters of intent for this season. The others will be junior college transfers.
It is three of those junior college transfers that have Brovelli very excited.
'We can't announce the names of the other three players (who have given verbal commitments) yet because of NCAA rules,' Brovelli said. 'But they are all big, strong players in the Los Angeles area. Two of them are leading their conferences in rebounding.'
The names of the three will be released April 10th when national letters of intent are signed. McCathrion's name became public because the player himself made his intentions known.