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March 05, 1959 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-03-05

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.. by Si COLEMAN

Rumirors Flyng
IT HAS BEEN SAID many times that there is nothing like a losing
season to start rumors flying. The 1958-59 sports year has certainly
provided its share of gossip material. The rumors have applied not
only to professional teams but college teams as well. Michigan athletic
squads have provided a part of this rumor material.
Perhaps the largest quantity of unfounded stories originates with
Michigan's hockey team. Unquestionably the icers have had a losing
season, and the explanation for this has stemmed from player-coach
conflicts to a lack of unity among the players themselves. Whether
these or any other rumors are true will never rally be known, but they
do serve a purpose. Whenever teams consistently lose, fan interest must
be drummed up in some way, and creating news in the form of rumors
is one of the most common methods of doing this.,
Michigan's hockey team certainly is not the only source of rumors
this year. Let's take a look at some of the rumors that have circulated
during the past year,?and see how many of them turned out to be true.
Detroit's professional teams certainly have not had successful
,seasons. The Red Wings are headed for their worst record in 20 years.
This professional hockey team thus has been a prime target for rumors.
The Red Wings don't know how to treat young players. They put too
much pressure on them and they don't know if they are coming or
going. It is a real break for a yourigster to be traded out of that
organization. this is the attitude that was revealed by Billy McNeill,
recently traded to Detroit's farm club at Edmonton. It certainly ap-
pears that strife exists in the internal structure of the Detroit icers.
But then again, the statements made by McNeill are echoes of a young,
man who has Just been sent down to the "minors".after a third try
with the Wings.
Rocha Out? .. .
DETROIT'S PROFESSIONAL basketball team has also had a rather
poor season. The Pistons, but for the "security" offered by Cin-
cinnati, could easily have finished in last place in their division. What
rumor has circulated about the Detroit cagers? It has been said that
owner Fred Zollner is disappointed with his team's performance and
lays most of the blam on Red Rocha, the squad's coach. If Rocha
returns next year, this rumor will be squashed.
Blaming a coach for a poor season is an age-old habit. Firing him
always seems to be an accepted policy, and a hopeful step toward
future success. The firing of coaches occurs most frequently in college
football and professional baseball. Notre Dame had a disappointing
season-Terry Brennan was fired. The Philadelphia Phillies were
fighting for the cellar in the National League in 1958-Mayo Sm(ith
got the order to leave. As long as athletic teams exist, rumors wil
continue to fly, and coaches will continue to be fired.

... two breaststroke wins ... defends three titles ... ace Wolverine diver ... sophomore flash
Michig#an To Defentd Swim Crown

Michigan's swim team will travel
to East Lansing today as guests of
Michigan State for the three-day
Western Conference Swim Meet.
The Wolverines - defending
champions -- return with many of
the same top swimmers that car-
ried them to victory.
Tony Tashnick, the number one
man last year, will again see much
action in the meet. Tashnick won
the 200-yd. butterfly last year and
at the same time set a new Big
Ten and NCAA record. In addition,
he set a new pool record while
winning the individual medley and
also was the top man in the
100-yd butterfly.
Another Key
Dick Hanley is another Wolver-
ine who was a key man last year.
He captured the 100- and 200-yd.
freestyle and also swam the anchor
leg on the medley relay team,
which set a new pool record.
Cy Hopkins is defending champ
in the 100-yd. breaststroke and
was second to Tashnick in the 200-
yd. butterfly.
John Smith took second place
in both the 100- and 200-yd.
backstroke, besides being a big
factor in helping the relay team
to its victory.

Carl Woolley, another point-get-
ter for the Wolverines, took sec-
onds in the 1500-meter and the
440-yd. freestyle and a third in
the 220-yd. freestyle.
Depth Is Great
Although these men were big
guns at the last Conference meet,
Michigan's depth is so great at
present that these five cannot be
considered the onlykey men.
Frank Legacki and John Urbanc-
sok in the freestyle events, Ron
Clark in the breaststroke, or Alex
Gaxiola in the backstroke could
outdo his superior in each respec-
tive event. Depending on the quali-
,fying events any of these also may
play important roles.
Others included as possible high
qualifiers for Michigan are Dave
Gillanders, Ed Pongracz, and Mike
Natelson in the butterfly; Harry
Huffaker in the individual medley;
and John McGuire or Andy Mor-
row in the freestyle relay.
Best vs. Best
This depth has been the quality
that has carried the Wolverines
through an undefeated season, but
the fact that only the best will be
competing against the best is
something that Coach Gus Stager
cannot forget.
Along with Michigan, four other

teams are potential contenders for
the number one spot-Michigan
State, Indiana, Ohio State and
Below is Stager's rundown of
what these and the other Confer-
ence teams will have to offer:
team has three of the best swim-
mers in the country. Bill Steuart
should provide top competition for
Dick Hanley in the 220- and 440-
yd. freestyle races. Steuart was
first in the\ 440 last year and sec-
ond in the 220. Also he is vying
for the 1500-meters crown for the
second year in a row. Frank Mo-
dine, who just set the national
collegiate record in the breast-
stroke against Michigan, will prob-
ably prove hard to handle. Don
Patterson completes MSU's big
three. His best event is the indi-
vidual medley.
State's strength is in the free-
style events but it has no depth
beyond these -three to make them
a major threat otherwise.
INDIANA- Frank McKinney,
American record holder in the
200-yd. backstroke, should be top
man for Indiana. Behind him is
another important contender, Bill
Barton, who has proved himself
quite capable in the butterfly and
the individual medley.
The only other potential quali-
fiers are Dick Hori and Gerry Miki,
Other than that, Indiana has no
depth and should prove to hinder
its chances greatly.
OHIO STATE - The Buckeyes
have a good medley relay team
and some-of the best divers in the
Big Ten. Freestylers Don McPhee
and George Onekea should be the
outstanding representatives at this
meet. Again there is a deficit in
OSU's depth.
IOWA-The Hawkeyes can boast
of Gary Morris. He is defending
champ in the 50-yd. freestyle and
also carries an excellent time in
the 100-yd. freestyle. Iowa's hopes
hinge on this man.
WISCONSIN - Fred Westphal
has the best time in the 50-yd.
freestyle in the Big Ten this year
(:22.3). He is also another leading


A column of incidental intelligence
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