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March 25, 1969 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-03-25

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Tuesday March 25,1969


Tuesay, arc 25,1969THEMICHGAN AIL

Sports Beat Sports Beat Sports Beat
By David Weir
Michigan Sports Future:
The Rise . ..
.And Fall
ITHIN FIVE YEARS, Michigan will be a center of power in col-
Jegiate sports such as it hasn't been in over twenty years.
Within ten years, however, Michigan's athletic fortunes will have
taken an irreversible turn for the worst, and intercollegiate sports
will suffer a quick but final death.
What will be the reasons for this dramatic and drastic turn-
about? They are complex, and interrelated; but ultimately they are
impilicit in the current flurry of activity on the corner of State and
Hoover streets.
Don Canham is the best athletic director in the country.
When he accepted his appointment as Fritz Crisler's succes-
sor last March, Canham said his decision was based on consider-
ations "of my whole future." Indeed they were. Canham, a very
successful businessman in sports equipment manufacturing, as
well as owner of an impressive track coaching record in Ann Ar-
bor, had to choose between business and sports.
He chose sports. As it turned out, however, he really chose busi-
ness. The Regents wanted an efficient businessman for athletic di-
rector, and they recognized Canham as their man.
Soon after Canham took over in June, he was applying the
well-learned principles of business success to his new position. He
recognized the easily-forgotten fact that money-making in sports
means filling up the stadium, week after week after week.
Canham's formula for filling up the nation's largest football sta-
dium was publicity-promotion based on winning. He reorganized his
publicity departmeint, hiring efficient and talented public relations
men, and then set about acquiring a coaching staff of "winners."
He immediately recognized the need for black men in coaching.
Burnley in track, Lee in football, and especially Snowden in basket-
ball meant big payoffs in recruiting impressionable high school stars
from the ghettoes.
Canham next turned to the top men - his head coaches ...
he got young Bill Newcomb as golf coach to replace departed Bert
Katzenmeyer and he promoted energetic Johnny Orr to head basket-
ball coach, after failing to find an ex-pro to take the job.
In football, he decided to look around. This was ultimately to
result in the hiring of Bo Schembechler from the "cradle of coaches"
- Miami University in Ohio.
All of these moves were strategic in other ways, too -most
notably, in publiety. Black coaches made good copy in the news-
papers. The departures of Strack and Elliott were carefully timed
so as to achieve maximum news play ... Strack's announced
resignation preceded by one day Orr's official acceptance.
Elliott's resignation was printed, all across the country before
Schembechler's acceptance was announced. This is news judgment at
its best . . . and it reflects Canham's excellent sense of news im-
pact. This also is in sharp contrast to the situation at many schools
and in the pros - where tloe sudden departure of a coach creates
obvious internal havoc followed by a frantic search for replacements.
Canham is a master of behind-the-scenes politics. And his poli-
ticking and policy-making will bring results:
! Within five years, Michigan will be in the Rose Bowl for foot-
ball and in the NCAA championships for basketball. High-powered
recruiting drives and scientific coaching will yield results.
O In basketball, specifically, John Orr will be gone (for lack of
results) and Fred Snowden will be coach (If another school doesn't
* snatch him first, which is a possibility.) At any rate, Michigan will
have a black coach.
" In football, Bo Schembechler will build the "fourth dynasty"
of Michigan powerhouses. Following in the tradition of Yost, Kipke,
and Crisler, he will coach Michigan to the top of the Big Ten and into
the upper ranks of the national collegiate picture. Michigan will play
Notre Dame (already on the schedule for the late 70's) in yearly
games that will attract national attention.
t The athletic department will make money, because the stadia
will be filling up. Paradoxically, however, student ticket sales will de-
This final development will signal the downfall of Canham's
well-constructed sports powerhouse. Students are going to lose
interest in intercollegiate athletics. Already the seeds of the up-
coming withdrawal of support have been sown:
(1) Athletes are becoming misfits on an increasingly politicized
(2) Many students resent the lack of concern shown by the ath-
letic department for intramurals and club sports.
(3) Some students resent the Big Business of intercollegiate ath-
(4) Athletes will come to be viewed as paid professionals, hired
for the benefit of an essentially non-university audience.
-45) Upperclassmen will repudiate their privileges and ticket pri-
orities, leaving the best seats to freshmen and sophomores.
(6) Sports will no longer be justifiable philosophically as part
of the university community.

These reasons may sound far-fetched to those who don't want to
believe college athletics is on the downswing, but consider the fact
that student ticket sales have decreased while enrollment has in-
creased in recent years. The bulk of the, athletic department's rev-
enue now comes from non-student spectators.
When this becomes a dominant trend, it will cause grave con-
cern on the part of athletic officials. Various publicity gimmicks
will be devised to enlist student support -- bigger homecomings,
pep rallies, etc. - but these will fall flat on an unresponsive stu-
dent body.
Meanwhile, an increasingly-intellectualized community will be-
gin. to question the validity of university-sponsored athletics of pro-
fessional proportions. As long as the teams are winning (during the
immediate future), these doubts will not have enough impact to off-
set public enthusiasm over the Rose Bowls and basketball champion-
As soon as ticket receipts begin to fall off from unsuccessful sea-
sons, however, big-time sports at Michigan will have had its day.
Whether de-emphasis Ivy League-style, or forced-deprofessionalism
from student pressure, sports will lose its place in Ann Arbor. The
All-Events Building will be just that.
Why all this serious talk and dire predilection about forward
passes and jump shots? Well, sports is an important part of The Uni-
versity of Michigan. Sports provide publicity. More importantly, sports
provide alumni money. And the University needs money.
During the next ten years, the spectacular rise and fall of in-
tercollegiate athletics will reflect the depth of the paradox be-
tween the University's need for money and the athletic depart-
ment's way of providing it. The loser will ultimately be the sports
In closing (since this was supposed to be a farewell column), I
* want to pinpoint several members of the athletic department - Bump
Elliott, Don Canham, Don Weir and Fritz Crisler - as individuals
and not as coaches or administrators. These men have on occasion
been friends rather than professional businessmen, and I've appre-
ciated it.
If some of the accompaning remarks seem harsh to any of them

Devils walk


special To The Daily times, walking in the first run.'
PHOENIX-The Michigan base- Two ground-outs gave Arizona
ball team suffered its second de- State three runs on no hits in
feat of the young season at the the bottom of the first.
hands of fourth-ranked Arizona Michigan closed the gap in the
State, 19-3, in the first game of a third, narrowing the score to 3-2.
day-night doubleheader. The Sun Redmon was hit by a pitch and sot
Devils also took the nightcap, 5-3. took second on abground-out by
The Wolverines, hurt by the pro Jim Hosler. John Kraft singled
draft, lack depth in the pitching to center bringing Redmon home NIGHT EDITOR
staff. Dan Fife and John Ritter, for the tally.
both sophomores, gave up a total In the second game the Wol- BILL CUSUMANO
of fourteen walks and hit three verines were put up against the
batters. That was more than nation's number one pitcher, Larry
enough, as the Sun Devils scored Gura, now 6-0. Michigan's ace were left on base, the comebac
their 19 runs on just nine hits, Gerry Christman lost the pitching falling short.
The Wolverines got off to a duel. Both pitchers gave up only Michigan, not h a v i n g th
good start in they top of the first five hits, while Gura struck out weather advantage for workou
as Glenn Redmon continued to 11 and Christman ten. that Arizona State has had,,
be the big spark for the sluggers. Gura, boasting an ERA of 0.48, going through its "spring training
After Mike Bowen walked and gave up just two runs in five now. The team did not look as ba
Chuck Schmidt was hit, Redmon games before last night's contest. as the score may seem to indicat
singled to left to bring Bowen, The Sun Devils broke a 1-1 dead- Although Fife gave up seven run
home and put the Wolverines lock in the sixth with a four-run in four innings, he showed poten
ahead for the only time in the outburst. Bill Massarand hit a tial. Fife, like the rest of the tear
game. bases-loaded triple and then needs more practice before he ca
Fife, who started training late scored. come into his own. Between no
due to basketball, began the game The Wolverines fought back in and then the Wolverines will I
with ten straight balls. After his the ninth. John Kraft hit a two forced to traverse a rough road.
first strike he missed six more Irun double, but the tying runs The only victory this seasc
Quarry bombs Ma this itn uset

By The Associated Press

peatedly to the body and head.

NEW YORK-Underdog Jerry Quarry weighed 196.
Quarry dropped Buster Mathis in The victory probably earned the
the second round and then went blond a shot at Joe Frazier, five-
on to pound out a lopsided victory state heavyweight champion from
over the giant from Grand Rap- Philadelphia who saw the rout.
ids, Mich., in a 12-round heavy- Quarry showed complete con-
weight fight at Madison Square tempt for Mathis' punching power.
Garden last night. He walked right in and dug sear-
Spotting the 12-5 favorite ing left hooks and solid rights
weight, height and reach the 23- to Buster's belly and ribs.
year-old slugger from Bellflower, Mathis, who had advantages in
Calif., went right after his 2341/ height-6-foot-3 to 6-1 and in
pound foe and smashed him re- reach 76 inches to 72, showed ab-
C- -
Celtic rally dumps Rockets;
Royals trip 76ers 125-119

By The Associated Press
and Bailey Howell did the clutch
scoring as Boston outlasted San
Diego for a 111-107 victory in the
opener of a National Basketball
Association doubleheader at the
Spectrum last night.
Nelson made a three-point play
with 1:30 remaining to start a six-
point Boston surge that wiped
out a 103-102 San Diego lead.
Nelson's three-pointer made it
105-103. Howell then added addi-
tional baskets to build a 109-103
margin with 59 seconds left.
Trailing 84-76 entering the final
period, San Diego, sparked by Pat
Riley, tied it at 94 with 5:09.
Boston then tied the game at
99, and the score see-sawed until
Nelson started Boston's surge.

i John Havlicik scored 31 points
to lead the winners and the retir-
ing Sam Jones added 16. John
Block was high forSan Diego
with 19.
ing, Oscar Robertson and Tom
Van Arsdale combined for 61
points last night as Cincinnati
defeated Philadelphia 125-119 at
the Spectrum.
The 76ers trailed 98-97 with
8:20 remaining. Cincinnati then
reeled off six straight points to
grab a commanding 104-97 lead
with 7:15 left.
Dierking tossed 'in 21 points and
Robertson and Van Arsdale 20
apiece for the Royals.
Chet Walker led the 76ers with
28 points.

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