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October 22, 1982 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-22

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Friday, October 22, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Page 11i



The college farm system.. .
. . _athletics above academics
2npart of a two-part series
The intense competition for the services of high school standouts puts an
enormous burden on their early collegiate lives. A freshman football
player's first real experience at the University is football practice in August.
Before he has purchased books or settled into his room, he is playing foot-
ball. Once the school year begins, this student-athlete (who is only 17 or 18
years old), must go to classes in the morning, and then attend meetings,
practices and training sessions until dinner time. After eating, he must
disregard his mental and physical fatigue and study his lessons for the next
day's classes. Fridays and Saturdays are lost for this player, as well, as he
must prepare for, play in, and recover from the week's games.
Where is the emphasis being placed here? The young student-athlete is
spending between four and six hours every day playing football, and is then
responsible for his schoolwork. That doesn't count the seven to 10 hours
spent on Saturday. The basketball player has it no easier. In fact, with the
"longers schedule and road games during the school week, they might have
more standing in the way of their completion of college. What develops is a
system that has these athletes working full-time whie supposedly going to
school full-time (practice is work, my friends).
It is easy to spot a trend developing here. Athletic departments are trying
to maximize revenues by producing successful sports programs. In order to
do this, they offer the athlete a chance at an education in return for services
rendered on the playing field. This system fails to give the athlete a complete
opportunity to pursue his education. Is this the way a respectable university
wants to operate?
Set up minor leagues
Reform is necessary. College football and basketball have become the
farm systems for their respective professional leagues. This, of course,
makes the leagues happy since they don't have to spend any money to
develop these farm systems, as baseball does. What is to be done, then?
The professional sports leagues could set up and finance a minor league
system, like in major league baseball. Here, athletes could be signed right
out of high school and brought up to the big league as soon as they are
deemed ready. There would be no need to go to college in order to play
professional sports.
Although this would diminish the number of
superstar athletes who play at a college level, and -----
lower the "quality" of football and basketball -
played at the major universities, what would be the 0A
harm? The Ivy League schools, all maintaining a - Q
de-emphasization policy toward athletics, seem to
survive quite well in the world of academia without
.. a high-powered sports program. --...'
Another possible solution would be to pay the
athletes according to the monstrous' revenues their
respective universities' athletic programs generate. These athletes are the
major reason that a football or basketball program makes any money at all.
They work full-time, so let them be adequately compensated for their labor.
This idea has already been suggested in Nebraska, where state legislatrs
have proposed to put the athletes on the state payroll. When one considers
r7 this, it is not all that preposterous. After all, these students are responsible
for millions of dollars in revenues for a state-run institution.
- -Smaller but better
The most favorable solution would just be to put a lid on the overwhelming
growth pattern that is developing in NCAA football and basketball. This
would entail more active participation by the NCAA in the policing of the
various institutions under its jurisdiction. Penalties for recruiting violations
of any sort would be drastically escalated, practices would become shorter
and limited to only a certain period of time during the year, and scholarships
based on athletic ability would become obsolete.
Of course, the most important thing that would have to occur would be a
r stricter set of admission requirements. No longer would a university be
allowed to admit a person solely on the basis of his ability to dunk from the
foul line or throw a football through a brick wall. This is not to say that all
college basketball and football players lack intelligence, but for every
Steffan Humphries or Dan Pelekoudas who excels on the athletic field and
' in the classroom, there are many who exist on campuses simply to further
the progress of the teams on which they play.
This crackdown would bring the size of the athletic departments under
control and bring athletics back into the realm of the university, instead of
estranging them from college life. The universities themselves would regain
integrity by not lowering admission standards or allowing athletes to spend
four or five years on campus to play ball. Most of all, though, the athletes
themselves would be looked at as students who make contributions to the
university in other places besides the sports stadiums.
If this were to happen, maybe today's term of student-athlete would not
mean the reverse.

For Notre Dame hockey players Kirt
Bjork and Rex Bellomy, tonight's game
against Michigan marks two different
holidays. For Bjork, a Trenton, Mich.
native, the game is a homecoming,
while for Bellomy it is New Year's Day.
Bjork calls Yost Ice Arena his
"favorite place to play," while Bellomy
was expected to be out with a knee in-
jury until the first of the year.
Together, they lead a potent Notre
Dame attack that challenges the inex-
perienced Wo)verine defense tonight
and tomorrow.
"I THINK Bellomy and Kirt Bjork
are two guys who will really test us on
defense," said Michigan coach John
Giordano. "Traditionally Notre Dame
has good speed, and they have good
forwards. Those two are no excep-
"Getting Rex back in time for the
season has to be a tremendous help for
us," added Notre Dame mentor Charles
"Lefty" Smith. 'He"is in great shape,
especially when you consider that he
missed the first two weeks of the year
and wasn't supposed to play until
But the fast recovery from the knee
operation is not Bellomy's only story.
While most top hockey prospects come
from the mid- and northwest regions of

, Bjork4
the country, bellomy hails from Knox-
ville, Tenn. Despite not growing up in a
hockey hotbed, an early start, three
years in a New York prep school and
great athletic ability have transformed
Bellomy into one of the CCHA's top cen-
"KNOXVILLE used to have a semi-
pro team, the Knoxville Knights, and

spark N
my neighbors took me to games when I
was three and four years old," said the
5-11, 175-pound senior. "I started
skating when I was five, and I don't
think I spent a lot of time off of skates
until I was injured.
"I had a cast for six weeks, and I got
the cast off on the first of August. The
doctors told me I wouldn't play until
January," Bellomy added, "but I just
worked my butt off. When I first star-
ted on the ice, about three weeks ago, I
felt a little behind the rest of the team.
It took about two weeks to get my wind
.back, but now I'm in good shape."
Also in good shape for the Irish is
Bjork, who was the team's second-
leading scorer last year, with 22 goals
and 22 assists. Bjork has been
preparing for this game for a long time,
since his entire family will get the
chance to see him play.
"PARENTS, grandparents, aunts,
uncles, sisters - everybody is going to
be at the games," the 5-9, 170-pound left
wing said. "Ann Arbor is my favorite
place to play, and I've played with a lot
of the guys on the Michigan team, so it
is fun. I played with Ted Speers in the
National Sports Festival, so he and I
might have a little friendly rivalry
Bjork is in the same -position as

Michigan's Speers tonight, hoping to
lead a Notre Dame team that, like
Michigan's, lost a lot of experience on
defense, and will rely on the forwards to
carry the team through, the early
"We'll be the two surprise teams in
the league, because everyone will look
down our rosters and try to exploit the
freshmen," said Bjork. "We're not as
deep as we have been in the past, but
when the players get playing time we
will get better. Our team and Michigan
are in the same boat."
. The same boat tonight and tomorrow
willbe Yost Ice Arena where Michigan
and Notre Dame will square off and try
to overcome a lack of experience. It is
also where Notre Dame's Kirt Bjork
and Rex Bellomy will try to hold
holiday celebrations.

The Michigan hockey team's con-
ference opening series against
Notre Dame begins tonight at
7:30 at Yost Ice Arena, with the
finale in Ann Arbor tomorrow.
Tickets are available at the gate
or at the Athletic Ticket Office at
the corner of State and Hoover,
for $3 and $4. All Michigan games
will be broadcast by WJJX radio,
650 AM. Broadcast time is 7:15.

... back in action quickly


National Football League
the 31st day of their strik
psychological and legal boa
from the National Labo
Board's top lawyer who
issue a complaint chargi.
NFL engaged in unfair lab
during negotiations.
William A. Lubbers, gen
of the five-member boa
complaint will be based
management's "refusal t
good faith with the uniona
give the union information
collective bargaining."
away the NFL's threat to
the season because they w
be liable for all back pa

players rec
[d (AP) - players if the season is canceled. It also
players, in means each striker has an absolute
y, received a right to. reinstatement.
Est yesterday But in response, the Management
r Relations Council said: "This complaint will, of
said he will course, shift attention from the
ing that the bargaining table to the courts and un-
or practices fortunately most likely delay any set-
neral counsel' Prior to the NLRB decision, sources
rsaid the on both sides of the negotiating table
rd, sadthe had indicated the strike could be settled
o bargain in within a week.
d failiga to MEDIATOR SAM Kagel said
and failing to negotiators were "going into each of the
n relevant to economic issues in great depth."
plaint "takes And in San Diego, the Chargers filed
p close down suit Thursday in San Diego County
o clearly Court to block 16 of their players from
woufl all the participating in the series of union-
sponsored all-star games.

eive legal boost
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Musselman quits (ยง,avs.
District of Columbia on Wednesday CLEVELAND (AP) - The Clevel
reversed a lower court ruling that had Cavaliers changed coaches yester
blocked teams from filing suit on a local for the third time in less than a y
level to block the players from playing only eight days before the start of
in the games. National Basketball Associa


As a result of that ruling, the players'
association cancelled games planned
for Sunday in Toronto and Monday
night in Atlanta.

Bill Musselman, who returned to the
Cavaliers for a second stint as head
coach in March, resinged and was
replaced by Tom Nissalke, who last
coached the Utah Jazz.


We had a big problem. It has been
tradition that each week's Griddes
champ hasreceived a small one-item
pizza from Pizza Bob's. Hoping to en-
tice more people to enter Griddes, we
asked a friend if he could get some
special topping for the winner's pizza.
So our old friend, a certain retired
auto executive, left for the west coast
and La-La land to procure some of the
mystery powder. But before he could
return to the land of Maize-and-Blue, he
was stopped by the boys in blue.
Take your best shot at out-guessing a
future convict. Bring your picks to the
Daily by midnight Friday. Include
your name, address, phone number,
and the score of the Michigan game.
Winner gets a totally legal, one-item
Pizza Bob's pizza.
1. MICHIGAN at Northwestern
(pick score)
2. Illinois at Wisconsin
3. Ohio State at Indiana

4. Purdue at Michigan State
5. Iowa at Minnesota
6. Pitt at Syracuse
7. Georgia at Kentucky
8. SMU at Texas
9. Missouri at Nebraska
10. Arkansas at Houston
11. Penn State at West Virginia
12. South Carolina at LSU
13. Harvard at Princeton
14. Maryland at Duke
15. Chattanooga at Jacksonville State
16. Colgate at Rutgers
17. Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois
18. Bowdoin at Coast Guard
19. Slippery Rock at Lock Haven State
20. DAILY LIBELS at Hopeless Hurons

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1982 1

1! 1 f7A

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