The Michigan Daily-Friday, February 6, 1981-Page9
Machemer to sue over ineligibility ruling
By STEVE SCHAUMBERGER
Copyright'1981, The Michigan Daily
Former Michigan diver Kevin
Machemer will file suit against the Big
Ten and thus open another chapter in
the wild maze of events which has
characterized his battle for eligibility.
Machemer, who transferred from
Michigan State prior to the 1978-79
season, and in accordance with NCAA
rules sat out that season, competed
during 1979-80 but was ruled ineligible
~or the 1980-81 season just a week before
e Wolverines were to swim in their
FOR THE PAST year, the Big Ten
Eligibility Committee has been em-
broiled in a conflict over Machemer's
competitive status. The dispute in-
volves Conference Rule 7, Section 4E1,
which states that a student-athlete
who has accepted a scholarship from
one Big Ten school cannot receive any
form of scholarship from another con-
According to Big Ten associate com-
issioner John Dewey, Machemer was
in violation of the rule when he accep-
ted a grant from Michigan after having
competed under scholarship while he
was at MSU. Yet athletic department
officials who were contacted by the,
Daily yesterday, could not explain the
reasons why Machemer was offered
Machemer, a member of the 1980 U.S.
Olympic diving team, explained that
the conflict started "when (Michigan
diving) Coach (Dick) Kimball wanted
to give me a scholarship. I trusted him.
I asked if it was all right, and I assumed
everything was all right. They told me
it was waived, and I assumed that it
BUT A BIG Ten rule which runs con-
trary to NCAA regulations spelled
trouble for Machemer. Although the
NCAA rule states that an athlete can
transfer to another school and still
compete under scholarship, the con-
ference rule does not allow grants to be
awarded under these conditions, accor-
ding to Kimball.
Kimball added that "there is a lot of
inequality, a lot of reverse
discrimination" in the conference rule.
When the University informed the
Big Ten before the 1978-79 season that it
had awarded Machemer a scholarship,
the conference was slow in giving its
response, said Dewey. He explained
that it was not until the final month of
the 1979-80 season that the conference
even discovered that the University
was in violation of conference rules.
IT WAS AT this time that the
Eligibility Committee called an
emergency meeting, which Prof.
William Ferguson, Illinois' Big Ten
faculty representative, described as
"almost instantaneous, with no
"We weren't fully briefed," said
Ferguson. "It was a telephone con-
ference call, maybe 10 or 15 minutes,
with insufficient time for full con-
sideration of the matter."
The committee ruled on
Machemer's behalf and allowed the
Wolverine diver to finish the 1979-80
campaign. Machemer responded by
finishing third in the Big Ten cham-
pionships in both the one- and three-
meter diving events.
BUT THE COMMITTEE reversed its
original decision when it met just prior
to the start of Michigan's season.
Ferguson said the committee met in a
more organized fashion and voted to
declare Machemer ineligible for fur-
ther Big Ten competition.
"In retrospect, the committee's
(original) decision was an erroneous
one," said Ferguson. "Once he was of-
fered and signed the tender, he was in-
violation of conference rules, regar-
dless of what happens thereafter. It is a
very clear rule in the conference that
when a second institution extends aid,
the athlete loses all further eligibility.
He signed a tender. It was certainly a
mistake by the University of Michigan
in the first place."
Lynn Schecter, a Southfield-based at-
torney who is handling Machemer's
impending lawsuit, said she could not
discuss the complications of the case
until the suit was filed in court.
"OBVIOUSLY, WE believe he was
wronged," said Schecter by telephone
from a legal ethics conference in
Houston. "It appears that he was the
victim of a misimplication of rules
which might not even exist."
According to a ranking Big Ten of-
ficial who asked not to be identified, the
committee may have felt it could not
excuse even an accidental violation of
"It's very likely that everyone was
innocent in the matter," said the of-
ficial. "It was a subtle matter, very
touchy. Basically, it's the principle of
the thing - you can't have a rule if you
allow it to be overrun. I don't think the
committee would feel that even paying
the money back would make up for the
The committee's decision came as a
total shock to Machemer, who worked
during the summer and a good portion
of the fall to repay the grant the
University had given him.
I have a feeling I got the short end of
the stick. There are people who work at
Michigan specifically to do a job, and
somebody screwed up. Way the hell
back in September (1978) they should
... filing suit
NOMINATE OUTSTANDING TEACHERS, RESEARCHERS,
AND COUNSELORS FOR A FACULTY AWARD:
ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: For Associate and Full Pro-
'M' out to ice Irish
By DAN CONLIN
The Michigan icers begin their final
campaign for WCHA playoffs in a home
series with Notre Dame this weekend.
Just four weeks remain in regular
season play giving the Wolverines the
opportunity to cripple the Irish's chan-
ces for a playoff berth and to boost
themselves closer to post-season play.
Coach John Giordano's icers would
serve not only themselves but Colorado
J4I1ollege and Minnesota-Duluth by
wee ping the Notre Dame series and all
but send the Irish through the ice for
Michigan ranks tied for sixth place
now in the WCHA and is log jammed
with CC and Duluth, all with 19 points.
As it stands, the Wolverines are within
the top eight division of the conference
which receives invitations to the league
Notre Dame is the only team
threatening the top eight in any way
with a total of 13 points at present in the
standings and with 16 possible points
"This is a key weekend for both
Michigan and us," said ND Coach Left
Smith. "If we drop two games to
Michigan it won't look good for us at
"There are 16 points left and if we
could get four this weekend it would
certainly help. But our magic number
Os eight points."
Smith may be over zealous to think
that .500 hockey will get his team to the
playoffs, but none of the four teams in-
volved in the jockeying for the top eight
have an easier rode than Notre Dame.
Michigan's schedule only gets
tougher in coming weeks as they travel
to play Duluth and host Denver - tied
for first and Michigan Tech, alone in fif-
Colorado College has contenders
ech and Wisconsin yet to play, while
Duluth confronts Minnesota and North
Notre Dame breezes to East Lansing
next weekend for a favorable series
with Michigan State. Then the Irish
closes the season with home games
against CC and Wisconsin.
Notre Dame split a series with Duluth
last week to remain stagnant in ninth
place. Left wing Kevin Humphreys
collected his second career hat trick in
a victory which had center Dave
Poulin, of the same line, score one goal
and pick up three assists. During that
weekend, the line produced 15 points.
The third member of that line is a
localstar from University Liggett High
School, Jeff Logan. Logan, a junior
winger, as a senior at Liggett set school
records for most goals in a season with
52 and most points in a game with nine.
Since being in South Bend he set a
record as a freshman by scoring two
goals in six seconds.
Injuries willhurt the Irish as they
leave behind goalie Dave Laurion who
injured his knee last weekend. Bob
McNamara, 4-9-2 overall, will replace
Slobbs '60 46, Rumsey Gold 24
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Poindexters 35, Slaon's Clones 29
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Army ROTC 37, Poster Children 8
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RECOGNITION AWARD: For Assistant,
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ALL NOMINATIONS DUE: FEBRUARY 20, 1981
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