One of the worst-kept secrets in town the last few weeks has been Mark Amatucci's interest in the basketball job at St. Francis, N.Y. It's a position that would allow him to re-enter Division I, and one in which he would also be replacing one of his former assistants.
Loyola didn't renew Amatucci's contract near the end of the 1988-89 season, and he has spent the last two seasons at Anne Arundel Community College, racking up more than 50 wins. He might be waiting some time for word from St. Francis, which is still accepting applications and isn't close to interviewing candidates.
"I sent a resume, but I haven't heard from anyone at St. Francis," Amatucci said.
The irony of the situation is that the St. Francis program began to rebound the last three years under Rich Zvosec, who was a Loyola assistant to Amatucci from 1985-88. Zvosec will have a year to recruit for the new program at North Florida, a Jacksonville college that won't begin play until November 1992, and then at the Division II level.
St. Francis was 14-13 overall last winter, 8-8 in the Northeast Conference, competition Amatucci is quite familiar with from his days at Loyola.
* The East Coast Conference's decision to ban first-year member Brooklyn College from its postseason soccer tournament is a boost to the title hopes of Towson State and UMBC.
Brooklyn was suspended from NCAA play as a result of incidents after its loss to Adelphi in the Division I tournament last fall. The ECC then scratched it as the planned host for this year's league tournament, Nov. 9-10. Instead, the ECC will reward the final four to the top regular-season team.
Towson State won the last two ECC titles on its home turf, and coach Frank Olszewski wasn't looking forward to traveling north for the playoffs.
The Tigers open Sept. 7 at home against Mount St. Mary's. That same Saturday, UMBC is home against Shepherd. Loyola opens Sept. 4 at George Mason.
Towson State, by the way, could find a potential roadblock in its desired path to the North Atlantic Conference. That group will now have its presidents, and not athletic directors as in the past, handle all expansion matters.
* A pair of local products are on a Big East women's basketball all-star team that will play nine games in Canada between July 30 and Aug. 7.
Cozette Ballantine, a 6-0 senior forward for St. John's, was a first-team all-star last winter, when she averaged a conference-leading 24.3 points. She was an All-Metro at Walbrook. Former Mount Hebron star Justine Chaverini is the top returnee for Villanova, where she averaged 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds last season. She's a 5-11 guard-forward.
* Delise O'Meally is adjusting well to life at Morgan State.
A native of Jamaica, O'Meally grew up in the Queens borough of New York, getting national recognition for her tennis ability along the way. She entered Morgan State last spring, reaching the semifinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament. She's been a winner on the local circuit this summer.
* Frostburg State got a pretty good baseball career from leadoff hitter Brooks Kerr, who played his prep ball at Calvert Hall. He had a .310 career batting average, and his .485 on-base percentage was the third best in school history. He's also in the Bobcats' top 10 in career steals and walks.
Sean Warfield, a junior outfielder from Aberdeen, hit .363 for the Bobcats this spring.
* Chris Barker will coach the first soccer team at Capitol College in Laurel . . . Donna Seybold, who played at Manhattan, has joined the women's basketball staff at Loyola . . . Franklin & Marshall's Alex Hendrickson (Gilman) and Mike Ryan (Towson) were Middle Atlantic Conference lacrosse all-stars.