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October 25, 1981 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-10-25

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

~{

PINION
Page4 Sunday, October 25, 1981 The Michigan Daily

S

M ichigan football: Provider,

p

By Barry Witt
A crisis situation exists, and the
University of Michigan is right in the
middle of it. -
Big Ten football is in an uproar. No
team can maintain control of the con-
ference. The Midwest is in peril.
FOR THE FIRST time since the 60s,
Michigan and Ohio State are not the
only contenders in the "predictable"
Big Ten.a
And, except for a few die-hard'
Wolverine and Buckeye fans, that's a
blessing for all of us.
Some spark-whatever it may
be-has ignited the 'formerly helpless
football teams, exploded the once un-
stoppable powers, and generated real
football excitement across the con-
ference.
AND AS THE spirit, which at one
time only Columbus and Ann Arbor
could rightfully display, spreads across
the Midwest, we may see football put
back in its place at Wolverine and
Buckeye Corporate headquarters.
True, with four games remaining
there's still a possibility Ohio State or
Michigan will emerge on top, but at
least this season has seen the end of the
two football powers' impenetrable
superiority. Now Michigan must

struggle for victories, national
recognition, bowl bids, television
coverage, and a packed football
stadium as do most other colleges and
universities-so maybe now football
might return to the game.
Everywhere, traditional football
powers are falling on hard times. Notre
Dame, UCLA, and Oklahoma, to name
a few, are being pushed around as if
they were Northwestern.
PERHAPS THIS SEASON is
signalling the end of an era when
money-not sport-was the driving for-
ce behind college football.
The University's athletic depar-
tment, an independent corporation it-
self; is perhaps the foremost example in
the country in which the dollar sign has
superceded sportsmanship as the
primary directive.
It 'seemed strange last year, in the
midst of the University's .most severe
financial crisis, that the athletic depar-
tment could afford to open a $1.6 million
indoor football arena. That money,
however, was made available by foot-
ball profits, and one can't argue that
the athletic department should be
prevented from spending its hard-
earned money wherever it pleases.
BUT THAT'S the problem. The
football team is making such huge
profits.
"What do you mean? Football profits

provide funds for women's and minor
sports."
Right. But should college football be
the provider for the meek?
At this university and others, football
is not just a game; it's also a business.
It's a business similar to professional
sports, only it has a few extra bases to
cover.
FOR ONE, the owners can't sell if
they hit financial hard times. So
keeping Michigan on top becomes very
impotant.
ut fiancial concerns shouldn't
dominate our attitudes toward the foot-
ball team. Our love of the game should.
Don't get me wrong. I'm just as "Go
Blue" as the next guy, but if we're not
the best, that's fine too.-
Sure it's depressing to see the home
team lose. I've been a Chicago Bears
fan all my life, and-up until my senior
year-my high school football team
was,the Northwestern of Illinois' Cen-
tral Suburban League.}
FANS WON'T LOSE their love of,
football just because Michigan can't
guarantee a winner. All of the lesser
football schools have survived.
Sure it's fun to be a winner. But does
this school and a host of others across
the country need to devote so much of
their resources toward being winners?

Illuter
Leave that sort of business to the
pros. Take college football out of the
cor rate establishmen and bring it
bac~k to the fans.
OF COURSE, nothing like this will
happen. But there is;hope that if
Michigan should become just another
face in the crowd of college football
teams, such a resul will follow
naturally.
But I rather doubt the athletic depar-
tment would stand for that. We surely
will see zealous recruiting efforts and
other resources devoted to the team, in
order to protect the Wolverines' foot-
ball (and economic) power.
And as other schools compete more
vigorously to establish or reestablish
strong football programs, the problems
will escalate.
We can only hope this University will
somehow break away from this cycle.
Bo Schembechler, in an irrational
frenzy after the loss to Iowa, said bowl
games don't matter. Now let's see
Schembechleri and the rest of the
athletic department put that policy to
work.
Or perhaps football coaches only
make sense when they're irrational.

4

I0

Witt is a Daily staff writer.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

yol. XCII, No. 40

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Doily's Eiditorial Board

Tobacco subsidies remain

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0NCE AGAIN, the U.S. House of
Representatives has snatched
defeat from the jaws of victory.
Only two weeks ago, it seemed like
the costly tobacco subsidy program
was dead-the victim of conservatives
concerned about excessive federal in-
tervention in the marketplace and
liberals concerned about the harmful
effects of tobacco smoking.
The House, however, was not willing
to allow the program to sink into
oblivion. Instead, they chose to bow to
political pressure, abruptly reversed
themselves, and restored full funding
to the boofidoggle.
Of course it is not particularly. sur-
prising that most, of the members of
the House are willing to put their own
political futures above the interests of
the nation; what is so surprising is how
blatant their display of political
selfishness was.
The fact remains that there really
are no good reasons to continue the
tobacco subsidy program, and that it is
certainly less deserving of support
than were the sugar and peanut sub-
sidies the House voted to kill last week.
Tobacco smoking is injurious to
human health and should not be en-
couraged by the government. As one
Ā§pokesperson for the American Lung
Association said after the vote to

restore tobacco subsidy funding, "It is
unconscionable that a product that
kills 350,000 Americans each year
should continue to enjoy such
favorable status."
But the decision in the House was
ultimately concerned not with the
health of millions of Americans who
smoke tobacco products, but with the
careers of various congressional
politicos.
# The argument made by southern
Democrats was that if the Democrat-
controlled House killed the subsidy, the
Republicans would be able to
"crucify" the Democrats in southern
tobacco-growing regions.
In the end, political considerations
prevailed, and many of the same
southern conservatives who voted to
slash funds from desperately-needed
social programs voted to continue to
line the pockets of North Carolina
tobacco farmers.
In the 48 years of the program,
tobacco subsidies have cost the federal
treasury nearly $500 million. Perhaps
before another 48 years pass or another
$500 million is spent, members of
Congress will muster the courage to be,
as blatantly interested in the public
good as they are in their own careers;
perhaps Congress will someday kill the
wasteful tobacco subsidy program.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Witt closed-minded has tunnel vision"

To the Daily:
As a member of the realm of
student publications and yet an
outsider to the Daily staff, I
would like to respond to Howard
Witt's "Why are you reading the
Daily" column.
Witt's column is extremely
closed-minded and demonstrates
his "tunnel vision" regarding
student publications and students
themselves. Witt compares the
Daily with the Free Press and the
Ann Arbor News-which is like
comparing the Super Bowl and
the 1Mudbowl.,
The employees of the Free
Press and News are full-time,
fully-paid professional jour-
nalists. The Daily's reporters and
editors are students in a rigorous,
competitive university. They are
attempting to juggle deadline
responsibilities with those of
classes and, quite often, other ex-
tra-curricular activities. They
face a great deal of pressure
trying to fill a newspaper every
day.
I dedicate at least 30 hours per
week to my publication, and I
must admit that my grades are
usually in jeopardy; perhaps the
Daily editors . feel that their
grades are important investmen-

ts in their' futures. Not all the
staffers are journalism majors.
Also bear in mind that these
editors who are so "faulty" are
replaced between terms; most
have not had much experience in
running a staff, interviewing, or
editing. They are learning, that
is the idea, isn't it? Commercial
papers have full-time, permanent
editors who are consistent with
their styles and policies from
year to year.
As an editor of the yearbook, I
reside in the Student Publications
Building quite a bit. I hear the
Daily staffers frequently
criticizing their own work-they
are not oblivious to the problem.
They compare themselves with
other college
newspapers-namely the Min-
nesota Daily.
But a comparison is not exactly
in order here. Minnesota's paper
is subsidized by the Univesity and
the Journalism Department.
Many school yearbooks and
newspapers are run by the depar-
tments under the supervision of
professors and TAs. Credits are a
motivating factor. Give a student
a grade and the quality inevitably
improves.
I'm not saying that the Ensian
'and the Daily should be run by

the University. On the contrary, I
would rather be my own boss.
Knowing that I have planneA,
organized, and edited material
while guidirig other students in the
process leads me to believe that
our system is a better and more
realistic learning experience.
Yet, it is a student
newspaper-the "find the typos",
contest demonstrates that the
staff at least has a sense of humor
and admits imperfection in the
learning process. ,
Money is another reason for the
disorganization at the Daily. Of
course, there isn't the market for
this newspaper as there is for
larger, professional papers.
* When" people want hard news
they pick up the Times of the
Free Press. I guess only we un-
cultured illiterates, who are
curious about University events
and want a quick overview of the
news, pick up the Daily.
For whatever reason, the Daily
lost more than $20,000 last year.
Posing the question "why do you

pay money for the Daily" to
already-stingy college students is
counterproductive to the Daily's
purpose. Money is motivation,
and if the Daily had more, maybe
recruiting would not be such a
problem.
Another part of Witt's column
that I cannot help but criticize is.
the paragraph about the intra-
staff conflicts. Offering concrete
examples of the paper's mistakes
is one thing-hanging out dirty
linen about the editors is quite
unnecessary. I doubt that there is
one student organization on cam-
pus that doesn't have its personal -
rifts. Especially since the people
who tend to volunteer for extra-
curricular duties are often
strong-willed, "get-ahead" types.
Personalities are bound to clash
and do, Howard, but they do in
the "real world" too.
- Katherine Wandersee
Campus Life Editor,
Michiganensian
Oct. 23, 1981

MMOOM
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44
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-4

Assisting honors students

I,

,

Marcos tyrannical
To the Daily:
Philippine dictator Marcos' And he wants to update, with
possible forthcoming visit to Reagan, the strategies for con-
Washington means that our tinuing the subjugation of the
president may be giving a red Filipinos: loot and weapons.
carpet welcomq to another blood- While Marcos waterskied this

To the Daily:
Your article on the honors
thesis in the October 14 Daily
.mphasized the difficulties and
challenges. Let me share with
you the way a few departments
and programs have tried to assist
students who are beginning work
on an honors thesis.
For several years the Depar-
tment of Journalism honors
program directed by Professor

Professor Frank Beaver and-I
are carrying on this approach for
students in the newly former
Department of Communication
(Journalism and Speech-
Communication merged).
The Scandinavian Studies
program and the American
Studies Program also offert
seminars that provide the student
with library research strategies
anda research methods in the termi

- .'--*_- -_~~~~-~~~--&.ff I

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