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December 04, 1981 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-12-04

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, December 4, 1981-Page 1$


Fish Tales
T HESE ARE trying times.
EspeEiay for Michigan students. This is the time of year when
everything starts to hit the fan-term papers, term projects, you name it-
and exams are just around the corner.
For some, especially those with time- and energy-consuming extra-
curricular activities, the pressure that comes at this time of year can get
almost too heavy.
M.C. Burton is one of those Michigan students.
Burton's extra-curricular pastime is basketball-at least it was two
weeks ago. Burton was a sophomore forward on the Michigan hoop squad.
But the pressure began to hit M.C. from all sides. For starters, he wasn't
playing ball like he wanted to play it. "I was upset with the way I was
playing," said Burton. "I started losing enthusiasm because of the way I was
Burton's subpar play didn't just gnaw at him when he was on the court.
"My not playing well started to effect my school work, and it became a con-
tinuous circle," M.C. explained. "The books hurt ball, my ball hurt my
books-I got down on myself."
"Books and ball" weren't the only things bringing Burton down. There was
also the feeling of frustration that M.C. got when he realized that what he
was doing wasn't taking him where he wanted to go. You see, Burton wants
to get into the music business, but .his classes-astronomy, physical
education, and two in sociology-aren't particularly musical.
"My life goal is to be -a writer and producer of music," said the 6-6
sophomore. "I also sing. But it got to the point where I knew the classes I was
taking were not pointing me in that direction ... I was trying to get into the
Music School, but my counselor said it was impossible with the way my
classes were. This added to my frustration."
There was something else-something which can occur only to special
people in special families. Burton happened to by playing basketball at the
same school his father had starred at over twenty years before. M.C. Burton
II, was a star hoopster for the Wolverines from 1957-59.
According to Dr. Burton, M.C. told him that Frieder would compare the
younger unfavorably to the elder Burton. " 'Whenever I make a mistake
there's a comparison between you and me,' "Dr. Burton said M.C. told him.
"'But I'm not a relic of the past. I'm a today person.' "
"M.C., being more sensitive than the average aggressive basketball
player, listened to it, went along with it, but internalized it," Dr. Burton con-
tinued. "I don't think that Frieder was being vindictive toward him. It's just
that Tony (M.C.'s nickname) is very religious, a very quiet kid. He's very

Too much pressure ...
Burton splits the scene
sensitive. And I don't think Frieder was aware he was this concerned about


The younger Burton denied that Frieder made the comparisons, however.
"No, coach didn't really compare me to Dad. That didn't really happen,"
said M.C. "I was thinking about that inside. I thought 'Wow, Dad played here
and he was really great. Now, I'm not doing the same thing.'
Whether or not Frieder ever publicly made the comparison between father
and son, the point is that it came to weigh on M.C.'s mind regardless. It ser-
ved to increase the pressure building in and around the 19-year-old hoopster.
After a frustratingly poor performance in the Windsor game, two Mondays
ago, which Burton called "the final straw," he simply got into his white Cor-
vette and drove. And drove. And didn't stop until he reached Los Angeles-
after three days on the road alone.
It sounds impulsive, and M.C. admits that it was a "hasty decision," but he
had his reasons.
For one, he needed a change badly: "I just said 'This isn't for me.' "
For another, many of his relatives live out in California. (He stayed with
the ones on his mother's side.) And finally, his uncle, Horace Walker, is in-
volved in California's music business, and M.C. wanted to check it out for
"I said 'If I can't get into what's going on in the music world out here, I
would go to California.' I'm the type of person that if I want something I'm
just going to go out and get it. So I went to California."
So that, finally, is the story of Burton's mysterious disappearance. Burton
was not absent from the Arkansas game because of "disciplinary reasons,"
as Frieder said on the day of the game.
Burton finally came back to Ann Arbor yesterday. He flew back to his
home in Grand Rapids Wednesday after leaving his car with California
relatives. The main question which now remains is whether or not he plans
to stay.
"I'm definitely coming back to school," said Burton. "I've learned a lot
from it (his California journey). My uncle helped me a lot. He told me I could
stay out there, but that the best thing I could do was get my degree and-come
back with that piece of paper."
As for returning to the basketball team, Burton said, "I'm really in-
decisive right now. That's why I'm looking forward to talking to coach."
Frieder and Burton plan to meet today to discuss the latter's future as a
WoLverine hoopster. Before the two talk, though, the coach said he wasn't
going to comment on the situation.
"I'm just going to wait and see what he has to say and take it from there,"
said Frieder. "I really don't want to say anything until we talk."

M. C. BURTON, who left the Michigan basketball team after the Windsor
game two Tuesdays ago, is shown here laying one in off the glass against
Minnesota last year. Whether Burton will return to the Wolverines squad or
not remains uncertain.




may be,
placed on

LOS ANGELES (AP)- The NCAA's investigation of
UCLA, still cloaked in secrecy but with some information ap-
parently trickling out, appears to have focused on a number
of violations involving the basketball program rather than
one blockbuster.
"If they have to go back 10 years to investigate, it must be
very, very minor things," said New Jersey Nets Coach Larry
Brown, who formerly was basketball coach at UCLA. "I have
nothing to be ashamed of in the way I ran the program, and
the people who were in charge know that. It was always a
class program and I don't think I did anything to damage it."
BROWN, WHO coached the Bruins for two years beginning
in 1979, said in an interview with ABC Radio in East Ruther-
ford, N.J.: "It was always a class program and I don't think I
did anything to damage it. That doesn't take away my
feelings of disappointment that the school may be put on
It was reported yesterday that the NCAA, which had given
UCLA the findings of its investigation earlier this week, is

going to place the school on probation for two years. The only
practical effect of- the penalty would be that the Bruin
basketball team would be banned from next spring's NCAA
tournament, but would be allowed to play in the National In-
vitation Tournament.
Brown told The Associated Press yesterday that the in-
vestigation has been going on for some time and goes back
for some time. He also said the probe dealt with the basket-
ball program and that there were 39 specific situations that
he knows of, and that he has seen documents pertaining to
them. But he would not discuss what they were.
Brown also said he had spoken with his successor as UCLA
basketball coach, Larry Farmer, about the situation but that
neither Farmer nor his assistants had been told about
"anything being done" by the NCAA.
Asked if he thought the investigation might affect the play
of the eighth-ranked Bruins, who were in East Rutherford to
play Rutgers last night, Brown replied: "t can't help. It's
something that has been hanging over their heads for
some time. I guess it has to be done."

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