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February 05, 1981 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-02-05

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" Alan
A painful farewell.. .
.. , to athletes' dreams?
The "farewell" columns of outgoing Daily sports editors have
traditionally been self-serving exercises that were designed more to soothe
the pangs of pre-retirement sentimentality rather than make any substan-
tive statement about athletics. For the reading audience, these columns
usually constitute a waste of space, a portion of that day's paper which is
better skipped than noticed;
With that in mind, I will offer no tearful goodbyes or nostalgic'thoughts;
instead, I will write this final column in the same manner as I wrote my first
under this heading nearly one year ago: with a look beyond the gyms and
stadiums and into areas of athletics that don't normally make good conver-
sation pieces.
During the past year, we have played witness to local sports-related even-
ts that stirred public discussion of a different sort. The suspensions of five
Michigan football players last March, the October hazing incident involving
the hockey team, and the confrontation and subsequent arrest of two former
Daily editors at a University athletic board meeting are just three incidents
in that category which immediately come to mind.
In a third realm lie issues and events even the media choose to ignore. But
in a real sense, these are the issues and events that bring to bear all which
takes place in the athletic arena.
This is an especially trying time for the athletic department. A recently-
published report stated that the department is expected to incur a fiscal
deficit for the first time in recent memory. To increase revenue for fiscal
1982, football ticket prices may be raised as much as two dollars per game.
The increase is unlikely to deter more than a handful of fans from pur-
chasing tickets for next season, but perhaps we should reconsider the return
one might receive on a $72 dollar investment in one season football ticket.
Don Canham has indicated that until the causes of the deficit-rising costs
in utilities, transportation, and scholarships-are controlled, non-revenue-
producing teams will be prohibited from traveling by air to road events,
several part-time coaching positions may be eliminated, and a portion of the
full-time coaching staff may be forced to double up and coach the same sport
for the opposite sex. Canham also indicated that some "minor" sports may
have to be eliminated if the situation does not improve.
The forecast spells gloomy portents for any Michigan sports fan who
desires to see the lesser-publicized sports grow and thrive. We appear to be
headed toward a one-for-one exchange between football ticket buyer and the
athletic department; you invest $72 in a seat at Michigan Stadium, and in
return you receive football and little, if anything, else (the argument is
predicated on the most recent budget, which indicated that hockey and
basketball can combine to support themselves).
But perhaps that exchange is not incongruous with the preferences of
Maize and Blue faithful. Consider, if you will, the number of people in
regular attendance at swimming or gymnastics meets. The figure rarely ex-
ceeds more than a couple of hundred. I vividly remember attending swim
mleets at my high school in Birmingham and seeing twice as many fans sit-
ting in the bleachers. While Groves High School was a perennial powerhouse
in swimming, nobody ever labeled the Wolverine swim team a shabby outfit
- it annually gives Indiana a strong run for the Big Ten title.
The lackluster crowds which characterize nearly every minor sports event
may serve as the unconscious, unspoken message the University community
is sending its athletic department: it smacks of, "We don't give a damn about
varsity golf, swimming or gymnastics. Just give us winning football,
basketball, and hockey."
At the risk of overgeneralizing the problem, it appears that most local
sports fans are permitting the non-revenue sports to be conducted solely for
the benefit of the athletes themselves. And if Canham and his staff choose to
dissolve four sports at the lower end of the totem pole, they will face little
more than some heated, emotional protest from some individuals who were
as dedicated to their athletic pursuit as their mates who operate in a greater
Yet there lies the rub that tears at what is unquestionably a moral
judgment. How do you remove from one's life the stuff on which he or she
has built an identity? How do you explain to the man or woman who came to
the University expecting to blend athletic and academic talent into a produc-
tive, enriching college experience that the opportunity for enrichment will
no longer exist?
It is a question that extends far beyond scores and statistics. It touches a
much more sensitive area-human feeling. I hope to share the feelings of
these athletes well beyond my days as a student.
During the past year, we have attempted to cover these non-revenue spor-
ts more extensively than in previous years. We have shown you both the per-
sonal and competitive sides of athletes who normally don't receive any
media attention. Whether you were interested in these athletes and their en-
deavors, I will never know. One thing is certain: Seen or ignored, they will
continue to push themselves until they can push no longer. And that, we can
agree, is a credit to their character. They are all champions.

Competitive intramural basketball
team managers are reminded that in- CONTACT LENSES
slant scheduling for the upcoming SOFT AND HARD*
payoffs will take place today and includes all fees.
tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. *includes asecond pair of hard lenses
Managers must schedule their teams in Dr. Poal C. Uslan, Optometrist
person, or teams will not be in playoffs. 545 Church Street
Playoff action begins this Sunday.79-1222 byappointment
ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: For Associate and Full Pro-
RECOGNITION AWARD: For Assistant, Associate,
and Junior Full Professors.
ular Faculty Who Have Demonstrated Excel-

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, February 5, 1981-Page 9
racsters race o tr-meet Wif

The Michiga% women's track team
had an easy time defeating the visiting
teams from Western Michigan and
Ferris State last night, as the
Wolverines claimed 12 of the 16 events
and accumulated 143 points. Western
Michigan and Ferris State were only
allowed 110 and 63 points, respectively.
Lorrie Thornton provided early ex-
citement in the meet when she set a new

Michigan and Track and Tennis
Building record for the long jump with
a jump of 20-0. The previous record was
also held by Thorton with a mark of 19-
10. Thorton's jump last night qualified
her for the AIAW national meet at
Idaho State this March.
Thornton admitted that there was a
lack of competition last night. (The
second place finisher jumped 16-8.)
"It's like your always supposed to com-
pete against yourself, but it isn't easy to

compete when you know you're going to
win. I had a personal goal to jump twen-
ty (feet) and I still think I can do bet-
ANOTHER trackster who qualified
for the AIAW meet was Sue Frederick,
who took first place in the 1,000 yard
run with a time of 2:30.73. Frederick,
who ran the first half mile of the race in
2:12, finished four seconds under the
national qualifying time.

Coach Red Simmons called the two
performances, "the most outstanding
performances of the meet."
Michigan made another spectacular
performance in the final event, the mile
relay, when both the 'A' team and the
B' team beat the two visitors.
The victory last night brings the
Michiganrecord in tri-meets to 3-0.
Its next meet will be at home when it
faces Central Michigan and Western
Ontario on February 14.

Responsible for management and organization of campus-
wide MSA General Election for April 7 & 8, 1981.
Responsible for assisting the Election Director with the fol-
" Ballot preparation and counting.
* Hiring and scheduling poll workers.
* Preparing facilities and equipment.
" Preparing and distributing publicity.
SALARY-$100-$150 (each).
Interested students should complete applications at the

Daily Photo by DAVID HARRIS
BRENDA KAZINEC breaks the tape after anchoring the Michigan mile-
relay team in a winning time of 4:22. The Wolverines dominated the track
meet by taking first in 12 of 16 events.


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