E TWELVETHE MICHIGAN DAILY
ETIRING SPORTS EDITOR:
Likes Giving Opinions 1)Follow
By TOM WITECKI
"The best thing I liked about
the job was that you could express
your opinion any time you felt
like it on a topic that you under-
stood and enjoyed."
Those were the words of Al
Jones, retiring sports editor, whose
column "Sport - Whys" appeared
frequently on the pages of The
Daily during the past year. It was
here that Al gave- interesting and
often controversial comments on
that vast panorama which is thej
Michigan sport scene.
Visitors to the area of the Stu-
dent Publications Building, which;
is loosely called the sports desk,'
are often taken back somewhat
with Al's frank opinions on his
Behind the Words
But before long they realize, as
most Daily staffers know, there is'
more than just idle opinion behind
Years of experience - four to
be exact -- of near-daily contact
with Michigan coaches and ath-
letes combined with an intense
love of sports have given Al a
solid background for his journal-
Former football coach Bennie
Oosterbaan, a controversial figure
last fall and the subject of several
"Sport-Whys" columns had this
to say, "Al always did a good,
thorough job in his writing. He's
been one of the best The Daily
This receipient of this high
praise settled himself into one of
The Daily's quieter corners and
gave forth, non - too - reluctantly,
with some of the frank observa-
tions that have become his char-
On college athletics: "It's nice
to win but there are more im-
On Michigan's athletic philos-
ophy: "The University can be
proud of its record of turning out
both good athletes and fine schol-
On recruiting: "Here at Michi-
gan you have to recruit harder
than anywhere else. ' The results
have been noticeable when this
hasn't- been done."
On the Big Ten: "The Confer-
ence has an athletic program and
a record of compliance to it that
other sectional groups and the
NCAA can look up to."
On dull pages: "I have always
tried to make the sports page
bright and eye - appealing. The
lack of this quality has often made
me skip the other pages in the
On space problems: "We need
more. The sports page is the most
important page on a college news-
On Michigamua (of which he is
a member): "A great organization.
It gives its members, all of whom
hold important positions on cam-
pus, an opportunity to get to-
gether and really find out what's
happening. I know it has helped
me do a better job during the past
On working at The Daily: "It
gives you a chance to talk with
the coaches, make trips with the
team and gain insights on sports
that you would never learn other-
wise. I myself was surprised to
find out how much you can learn
about sports from the inside."
On activities in general: "It
makes more out of college. There
is more to school than just study-
ing. I wouldn't trade my activities
over the last four years for a solid
4.0 in grades. (Jones is a social
science major, possessing an
amazingly high 3.1 overall.)
Jones, a self-proclaimed lover
of sports, has spent a year that
any local fan would envy. In addi-
tion to attending nearly every
varsity home contest, Al traveled
to all away football-games, to Chi-
cago to see Wilt the Stilt's pro-
fessional debut,; to Philadelphia
for the Army-Navy football game;
to the NCAA basketball regionals
at Evanston, Ill. and to Detroit
for this . . . to East Lansing for
that .. , and ... and so on down
Al's traveling fever seemed to
spread over the entire sports staff
as a record number of out of
town "Special to The Daily"
stories were recorded. Some week-
ends found as many as five out-of-
town bylines with Daily report-
ers giving on the spot coverage.
Al's love of sports has not been
confined to the press box and the
typewriter. Attending high school
in Ann Arbor he participated in
several sports and earned a letter
in tennis. At Michigan he has been
an enthusiastic participant on sev-
eral I-M teams, including The
Daily's own Printers Devils.
Not confining his activities in
the sports world to so-called spec-
tator sports, Al is also an outdoor
enthusiast. He has spent the last
10 summers canoeing and enjoy-
ing other benefits of outdoor life
at Camp Manitou in northern
Michigan. On the staff for seven
years, this year he will serve as
the Camp's Head Counselor.
In the fall Al plans to go on to
graduate school, but after that,
he is not sure. He will receive a
teacher's certificate this June
along with his diploma and he
could enter the field, but in his
typical bluntness he says "it
doesn't pay enough."
Sport staff members can expect
to see a lot of their old boss next
year, as Al will return often to
the campus news world as a newly
elected member of the Board in
Control of Student Publications.
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