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April 03, 1976 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-04-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Saturday, April 3, 1976
PRETZEL LOGIC
By RICK BONINO
Foot ball play-offs ...
. . 'whose decision?'
WHILE MICHIGAN'S basketball players w e r e busy tinting
Philadelphia's fan-filled Spectrum Maize and Blue, a group
of their somewhat bulkier peers remained occupied with the
earthier colors of pale grass and pigskins as they worked to-
ward their own goals in seculsion.
Though some may question the difference between football
and basketball Big Ten-style (just ask Phil Sellers), there is-
an important distinction. In addition to their on-field perform-
ances, the Wolverine gridders will have to rely on those much-
maligned men known as the pollsters for national honors.
To football die-hards, the image of sedate, ill-informed
newsmen naming the country's front-runners curdles the
blood.. Many even distrust the UPI's board of college coaches
to make accurate judgments regarding teams they haven't
seen or played.
But while the pollsters may not be flawless, a playoff sys-
tem would not prove much better, particularly in light of the
problems it would cause for athletes and administrators alike.
Despite all the furor, the NCAA has yet to devise a feasible
tournament blueprint. Most recently, a special committee toiled
for over a year on a proposal for last January's convention, but
the player backers decided to punt the plan right off the podium
in the face of 'stiff opposition.
The mechanics of tournament scheduling provide complex
if not unsolvable complications. The NCAA committee's plan
would have matched the four major bowl winners in a two-week
playoff, further lengthening an already strenuous schedule and
arousing the ire of those who feel the bowls would suffer.
Still, the dilemma doesn't seem totally hopeless, par-
ticularly if profits are involved. Perhaps the playoffs could
be held before the bowls, with the Rose and Orange bowls
hosting the finals and consolation. Or the college game might
expand on an NFL idea and send the top teams' dominant
linemen to a championship arm-wrestling tourney (games
are won in the pits, aren't they?).
But even if a serious, workable scheduling solution could
be found, there remains a far more formidable problem. The
main objection to a football playoff is that it would "rip up the
academic schedule," according to Marcus Plant, Michigan's Big
Ten faculty representative and former NCAA president.
Indeed, both pre- and post-bowl playoff plans would catch
most athletes during the exam crunch. Not only do athletics
require much game, travel and practice time, but the resulting
fatigue can make concentration on academic endeavors extremely,
difficult.
While a college education may no longer open all doors, it
certainly can't hurt the vast majority of student-athletes who'll
.*eer get a shot atthepros.
So, without making even more of a farce out of our
academic system, we're stuck with the pollsters. But if the
basketball raters' recent performances serve as any indi-
cation of overall poll quality, things may still be better than
they seem.
Over the past 15 years, the AP writer-rater's season-ending
poll favorite has survived the NCAA tourney unscathed a,
respectable nine times. Their second choice has taken four titles,
with the other two crowns going to No. 3 picks.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Seven

ALSO OBTAIN HOLTZMAN

Birs

drab

Jack son

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311 S. STATE STREET

By The Associated Press
MESA, Ariz. - The Oakland
A's traded superstar outfielder
Reggie Jackson and pitcher Ken
Holtzman to t h e Baltimore
Orioles for outfielder Don Bay-
lor and pitcher Mike Torrez in;
a six-player deal yesterday.
In addition to the two big-
name players, the A's sent
pitcher Bill Van Bommel to the
Orioles for pitcher Paul Mit-
chell.
FINLEY SAID it was a
"straight three-for-three trade
with no money involved."

Jackson and Holtzman were
among nine A's regulars who}
hadn't signed their contracts.
But Finley denied that any ill
feeling figured in the deal.
"None whatsoever," he said
in reply to a reporter's ques-
tion. "This trade was made be-{
cause I feel this deal will lead
us to another world champion-
ship. I feel that Baylor is the
equal of Reggie Jackson. I
don't mean this out of disre-
spect to Jackson. I think Baylor
is outstanding and will be even
more outstanding in the next
few years."

ASKED HOW Jackson and
Holtzman had received news of
the trade, Finley said: "They
were very nice about it."
Finley made the announce-
ment in a conference call to
baseball writers in the San
Francisco Bay area. The origi-
nal reaction of the writers was
stunned disbelief, but Finley in-
sisted, "I think under thecir-
cumstances it will turn out to
be one of the best trades weI
have ever made.
"There's no question about it,
Jackson and Holtzman are two
proven ballplayers. We are go-
ing to naturally miss both of
them. However, I do firmly be-
lieve that the trade of these
three will help us considerably
over-all.
"WE FEEL that we needed
another starting pitcher. We
feel that Paul Mitchell is one
of the coming stars. He's very
outstanding. I am quite certain

that he will be one of our start-
ing pitchers."
He said he has been "trying
to consummate this deal for the:
past two months. I think get-
ting Mitchell along with Torrez
will mean the end of our pitch-
ing problem."
Jackson batted a dismal .253,'
but slammed 36 home runs and I
knocked in 104 runs, last year,
compared to Baylor's .252 aver-
age, 25 home runs and 76.
RBI's.
Holtzman notched an 18-14
record with a 3.05 ERA. Torrezj
had an excellent 20-9 season,~
due to a 3.06 ERA.
The definite key to the trade,
however, was Paul Mitchell.
Last year in the International
League, Mitchell was 10-1 with
a 2.07 ERA for Rochester. Van
Bommel was not nearly as suc-
cessful in the minors last year.
He was 7-9 with a 2.90 ERA at
Birmingham, along with 0-4 at
Tucson thanks to a 9.00 ERA.

BUY

SELL

TRADE

BASEBALL CARDS, AUTOGRAPHS, YEARBOOKS,
TICKET STUBS, UNIFORMS, ETC.
SEE on display uniform worn by Al Kaline in his final
oame at the second Ypsilanti
SPORTS COLLECTORS CONVENTION
TO BE HELD AT THE SPAGHETTI BENDER
23 N. WASHINGTON, YPSILANTI
SUNDAY, April 4-9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission $1.00 Information 485-2450
YOU CAN KILL A FREEDOM FIGHTER
But you can't kill the desire to be free
-Fred Hampton
THE MURDER OF
FRED HAMPTON

ro

Andy nixes Yanks;
is
Kuhn near decision

A film about
Illinois Black

the life and death of the
Panther Party leader.

By The Associated Press C
NEW YORK - Andy Messer-c
smith appeared before baseballi
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for
seven hours yesterday and in-1
dicated that if the commissioner
rules against him in his dispute
with the New York Yankees heg
might sit out the 1976 season.
A spokesman for Kuhn said
yesterdaykt he dcommissioner;
would make a decision soon.
There is a possibility that the
decision may come today.
The free agent pitcher con-
tends he is not bound to the
Yankees and that they altered
the terms originally offered.
The Yankees contend that
Messersmith's agent, Herb
Osmond, acting on Messer-
smith's authority, signed a
memorandum committing the
pitcher to the Yankees.
Messersmith was asked if he
would play with the Yankees if
they changed their offer to his
satisfaction.
"They're not going to do that,"
he said. "They did say, 'Let's
try to get together.' I said, 'Not
at this point in time.'h-
Messersmith sought a no-cut

contract, similar to the one re-
ceived by Catfish Hunter, who
signed as a free agent with the
Yankees after winning his re-
lease from Oakland. Hunter
signed a five-year agreement
with the Yankees for a reported'
$3 million before the 1975 sea-
son.
Watch Out!
GARGOYLE
Is Corning!

Speaker--JEFF HAAS, attorney
Saturday, April 3-8 p.m.
Room 100 Hutchins Hall
STATE & MONROE
$1.50
Benefit for the Fred Hampton case

AP Photo
DETROIT Pistons' star Bob Lanier (16) is shown grabbing a
rebound early in the second period of the Pistons win over
New Orleans. While the win was Detroit's sixth in a row, it
was a costly vctory as Lanier suffered a back injury late
in the quarter. The extent of the injury was not known as the
big center was immediately sent to the hospital for tests.

I

LANIER SUFFERS INJURY
Pistons roll to sixth straight

DETROIT (UPI)-Star center
Bob Lanier was injured last
night as the Detroit Pistons
whipped the New Orleans Jazz,
116-102, for their sixth National'
Basketball Association victory,
to virtually wrap up a playoff
position.
Lanier, the Pistons' top scorer
and rebounder, suffered a cer-
vical spine injury when he fell
to the floor under his team's
offensive basket with 31 seconds
left in the second quarter.
LANIER w a s immediately
sent to a hospital in suburban

Warren for x-rays to determine
the extent of his injuries.
The Pistons, who hadn't won
seven games in a row since the
1973-74 season, roared from a
one-point lead with two minutes'
left in the first half to a 17-point
bulge midway in the third per-,
iod, chiefly on the hot shooting
of guards Eric Money and Chris
Ford.

A NEW ORLEANS rally,
paced by Pete Maravich, pulled
the Jazz to within six points of
a tie with six minutes left in the
last period, but an 11-2 spurt
quickly gave Detroit a 15-point
advantage with three minutes
to go.
Seven Pistons finished scor-
ing in double figures led by
Howard Porter with 19 points.

Oddly enough, the tourney embarrasses
often inthe runnerup spot. Michigan was
bridesmaid in the last ten years which had
AP's final four.

the pollsters mostI
the eighth tourney
failed to make the

r
t
't
c
l
,

'Of the 60 teams finishing in the tourney's final four over
those years, 37 were included in the AP's top five. This figure
would undoubtedly be higher if not for pre-semifinal top five
matchups like this year's Indiana-Marquette game.
Of course, the tournament finishes represent no more
"objective reality" than the ratings. The tourneys remain as
affected by luck of the draw (a la Marquette), injuries (a la
Tennessee) and off-nights as the polls are by ignorance or sub-
jectivity. These factors, coupled with the methods' high correla-I
tion, seem to indicate neither is significantly superior.

SCORES

GOING-OUT-OF-BUSINESS SALE
DAVID'S BOOKS
529 E. LIBERTY
Prints & Posters.............40% off
New Books .................40% off
Used Hardcovers........ 40 % off
Used Paperbacks ..........60% off
Calendars............... ..70% off
Shelving, etc.
ALBERT'S COPYING

NBA
Philadelphia 96, Washington 94
Boston 119, Houston 115
Buffalo 101, Atlanta. 93
New York 110, Chicago 95
ABA
San Antonio 118, Indiana 108
NHIL
Atlanta 4, Minnesota 2
Cincinnati 3. Cleveland 2
Indianapolis 3, Toronto I

I

'If

If

So the final question is whether the student-athletes prefer
to sacrifice academic opportunities to gain at best a slightly
better measure of national qual-
ity. Only the athletes themselves
can and should answer that. Fri.-Sat.-Sun.
But this raises a final problem-
do we merely poll them for their JOHN ROBE R
opinions, or then let them fight
it out? and
TIIWY RARRA

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