Saturday, September 14, 1974
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Candid Canham converses
in exclusive Daily interview
EDITOR'S NOTE-Although he has een
Michigan's Athletic Director for only six
years, Don Canham is one of the most in-
fluential ADS in the country. Prior to 1908,
Canham was Michigan's track coach for 20
years, wining 12 Big Ten championships
to one 12 year span.
During his athletic days as a Michigan
student in the early 1940's, Canham sas a
ig Ten and NCAA champion in the hih
jump. Recently, Canham and 36 others, in-
cluding Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Bob
Mahis and ob Beaon were enshrined
in theUnited States Track and Field Hall
In lat August, sports editor Marc Feld-
man and managing sports editor Roger
Rossiter talked with Canham. Here is the
teat of that interview:
DAILY-What do you think were the
real reasons that Ohio State went to
the Rose Bowl last year?
CANHAM-I think that there were an
awful lot of factors involved but the
basic reason was the Franklin injury. I
don't think there is any question about
it. The people who voted were concerned
that the Franklin injury would change
our offense. Of course, we didn't feel
that way because we knew that Larry
Cipa was a super quarterback, as he is
proving now in the pros. Our passing
game with Cipa would probably have
been a little better.
So we felt that it was not the proper
approach to consider the Franklin injury
There have been a lot of rumors about
petty jealousies and things like that but
I would frankly discount those. I think
it was pure and simply the Franklin
DAILY-In many circles, the Ath-
letic Directors' vote for Ohio State
wss considered to be a vote against
you and your influential position rather
than a vote against Michigan's foot-
ball team. What are your feelings
about these sentiments?
CANHAM-That's possible. I've read
those stories too. I don't like to think
they're true, but it's a possibility.
You know, I couldn't win a popularity
contest and maybe that was a factor. My
personal feeling is that had Franklin not
been injured, we would have had the
vote without any question.
DAILY-How successful has the
statewide ticket sales campaign been
and why are you given free postage on
the circulars as a non-profit organiza-
tion when in fact, you're not?
CANHAM-Our direct mail and adver-
tising has been extremely successful.
What most people don't realize is that
in 1967 we didn't come close to selling
out the Ohio State football game at
Michigan Stadium. The first time we
sold that out in recent years was in 1969
after we started this tremendous adver-
tising campaign. We do more promo.
tion and advertising than anyone else
in the country.
Our average attendance has jumped
something like 20 to 25 thousand a game
and our revenues have, of course, kept
WE'VE had many of the Big Ten
schools send people in here to observe
what we are doing. For instance, North-
western sent a man over for two days,
Minnesota has been here and I've talked
at great length with Elroy Hirsch at Wis-
consin. Purdue and Indiana also had
Maybe they would have arrived at that
same conclusion but I think we have
had an influence in the promotion of
amateur sports in this country. I don't
think there is any question about it.
In answer to the second part of the
question, we are non-profit, as are all
University activities, meaning we pay
no taxes. -No individual makes a profit.
If we make money, it's turned back into
paying for our utilities. In a non-profit
organization, no individual benefits,
there are no stockholders.
WE don't own any of our buildings,
the Board of Regents and the University
own all of them. Non-profit doesn't mean
that you don't make money and in that
respect, all universities are non-profit.
If we have a surplus and perhaps we
should be talking in terms of surplus
rather than profit, it is turned over to
the general funds in some schools and
in our case, we don't use general fund
money so we put it in reserve to cover
a bad year. For instance, when we
build a new fieldhouse for ice hockey
which we did this past year, we did not
go to the University and get general
fund money. We used money we had
saved for this purpose and we're to the
point now that we don't have any sur-
plus because we've spent it on the ice
rink and the new track and tennis build-
DAILY-How are ticket sales going
for th upcoming football season?
CANHAM-Extremely well. We're pro-
bably up about ten percent, and I say
probably because you just really don't
continue that, we have to have relief
from all of these other things. For in-
stance, we pay our own utilities; we
mow our own lawns; we put new roofs
on all our own buildings. That's fine, but
we can't take on all sort of other obliga-
tions and keep our program going.
IF you want to change the whole face
of athletics at Michigan and eliminate
teams, cut travel, and stop recruiting
and cut off your nose to spite your face
-sure then we can support everything.
But 1 don' think that's what the stu-
dents or the faculty want. I think they
want a viable program, and all we are
trying to do is keep the program on a
Incidentally. this year we were third
in the nation out of seven hundred sixty
schools in overall sports excellence.
Southern California, UCLA and Michi-
WHEN they built Crisler Arena, the
student fee was pledged to pay off the
debt service and the interest and the
maintenance on Crisler Arena. That
money ,does not come to us any more.
We don't even see the money, it goes
directly to the bond and debt service.
Now Crisler Arena was originally called
the All Events Building, which it is. It
was built for student concerts, com-
mencement, for everything else, inci-
dentally, for athletics. It was not an
athletic building per se. I don't think we
could have gotten the building built for
that particular reason. The rental on
Crisler Arena is less than any rental
arena in the country. There's no possi-
bility that it could ever pay its way with
rental revenue. The cost of Crisler Arena
in one year with debt service and main-
tenance is about a half a million dollars.
You'd have to rent the thing for three-
hundred sixty-five nights a year.
DAILY-When the Arena was built
it was obvious that the Michigan Coli-
seum needed to be replaced. Why
wasn't an ice facility included in that
CANHAM--I've had several people
from various parts of the country come
in here and ask me this question when
we built our new ice rink in Yost Field-
house. They would say they were going
to build a new basketball arena and
shouldn't they put the ice rink in there,
too. At one time I though that was the
right way to go. But I realize now that
there is no possibility that you could
have ice in Crisler Arena, and use it for
the things we're using it for. The diffi-
culties they have at Cobo Hall in De-
troit, for instance, where they can put
down ice have proven that it's impos-
THE reason for that is a simple one.
You now use the ice surface the year
around. We are keeping our ice rink go-
ing during the summer. We use the ice
rink all night long, and you would have
to slough off some of theseother events
that would be held in Crisler. It's much
better to have a separate arena, mainly
because the popularity of ice activities,
like figure skating, has grown so. I used
to feel differently, but now that I'm
managing an ice rink and an all events
building, I realize that it would have
been an impossible thing, something
wold have to give.
DAILY-With all the recruiting vio-
lations and abuses that we are now
seeing, do you think that methods of
recruiting should be changed?
CANHAM-I do think we've got to do
something immediately on restriction of
recruiting. The costs of recruiting are
astronomical. Our coaches are under
tremendous pressure, it's just not fair.
For instance, Bo Schembechler is on the
road an unbelievable amount of time.
Why? Because everybody else is. If he
doesn't go see an athlete who is inter-
ested in coming to Michigan the other'
coaches are and they say "Schembech-
ler's not interested in you, or he'd come
down and see you. So he's forced to go.
NOW I think there are several things
we can do. We could restrict the coaches
to the campus. He should never go into
a high school and pester a high school
coach. Now you can't do that sort of
thing unilaterally. It has to be done on
a national- basis. I think there is a move
toward some type of restriction on
coaches and their recruiting methods.
There are coaches and recruiters that
move into a New York City hotel for 3
weeks and contact everybody in a three
state area. They contact three to four
hundred people and just hope they get
four or five prospects out of it. The costs
are unbelievable. That kind of pressure
on kids just isn't right. There's got to be
some method of turning the clock back
WHEN I first started coaching, and
See CANDID, Page 9
Athletic director Don Canham
know until the final day of ticket sales.
Maybe they're buying earlier now than
they did last year. But our faculty tic-
kets are up and our general sales are up.
We have a feeling that our student
tickets are going to be way up. We've
put away more season tickets for stu-
dents this year than ever. We have 28,-
000 put away, thus protecting the stu-
dents for the Michigan State game. In
the past we've come close to not having
enough season tickets for students. We
didn't anticipate the increased interest
on the part of the students but this year
we have and there is no danger of any
student wanting to go and not getting a
Michigan State ticket.
DAILY-Why are you opposed to fi-
nancing intramurals with athletic de-
CANHAM-As a matter of fact I'm
not. The only problem I have is trying
to make ends meet. We're one of the few
schools in the country that don't use
general fund monies for athletics. There
are 525 schools in the National Collegiate
Athletic Association that are not bal-
ancing their budgets, and they are using
general fund money to keep their pro-
grams going. We are not doing that, and
all I'm saying is that if you want us to
gan were the top three. Now they were
tops because UCLA won in volleyball
and Southern Cal was very good in
swimming and baseball. Michigan was
great all-around. We had five teams rat-
ed in the top six nationally this year.
Well,, that's no accident. It's because we
have the facilities, and the best coaches
we could find, and if we're going to keep
it that way, we have to continue the
way we are.
DAILY-You said the athletic de-
partment does not use money from
the general fund, but what about the
debt service on Crisler Arena?
CANHAM--Well, of course you get into
a grey area there. Let me point this out
to you, before Crisler Arena was built,
we had a student fee for intercollegiate
athletics. The reason for that fee was
that we were giving the student just a
two dollar greens' fed on the golf course,
and football tickets at less than half
price. You can't possibly maintain a
golf course with a two dollar greens'
fee-you'll lose a fortune. You can't pos-
sibly field a football team with a half
price ticket. Now to compensate for
that, to a degree, universities across the
country have received what is known as
a student fee.