Former'M' back fights
The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 15, 1983 - Page 11
By PAUL HELGREN
Right now Russell Davis is fighting
for a place on the Pittsburgh Steelers'
roster. While that may not seem
remarkable, just a few months ago it
was his life he was fighting for.
The former Michigan fullback con-
tracted Boeck's sarcoidosis, a rare lung
disease that restricts breathing and, if
not diagnosed early enough, can be
fatal. Fortunately for Davis his con-
dition was diagnosed in time. And now
through rest, conditioning and steroid
treatments Davis has recovered to the
point where he could be rejoining the
Steelers very soon.
DAVIS SPOKE confidently about his
chances of returning to the club this
season - a poignant contrast to the
very same man who last March was
lying in a hospital bed wondering if he
"I had a really bad two days in the
hospital," Davis recalled. "I was laying
play" list, first noticed something was
wrong with his health in a playoff game
against San Diego last season. He had
chills and was coughing and vomitting,
but dismissed it as a cold or virus.
It wasn't. And it wouldn't go away.
His condition steadily worsened until
finally in March teammate Greg
Hawthorne told him to go to the doctor
before it was too late. At first, doctors
were baffled why this young athlete in
the prime of his life was getting weaker
that Davis will soon reclaim his position
in the Steeler lineup as Franco Harris'
backup. The son of a career military
man, Davis responded well to treat-
ments and even reported to mini-camp
in May. He is currently working out
with the team full time, though the fact
that he is still on medication precludes
Pittsburgh trainer Ralph Berlin, who
has worked with Davis during his
reconditioning, said that tests on Davis'
lung capacity have shown significant
'All of a sudden football became very
secondary. I have a wife and a daughter. I
thought about how lucky I was ... going
through this has made me thankful for what
mination for Davis to get back in the
lineup. That, according to the man who
should know - J.T. Thomas.
"It's going to take a little more work
than normal," Thomas said. "It's not
going to be easy, believe me, I know.
He's going to have to be willing to pay
Davis knows that it won't be easy, but
moral support from friends like
Thomas make that hard road just a lit-
tle smoother. Another friend who gave
encouragement to Davis was a man he
spoke of most highly - his former
coach Bo Schembechler.
"I told Bo about it at his induction into
Michigauma," said Davis. "He said if.I
needed anything just ask. You know, I
never for one second regretted going to
Michigan. I always knew I made the
right decision. I feel like I've been very
No, not lucky. Just a fighter.
in bed just worrying. First the doctors
thought it was cancer, then they
thought it was Hodgkins disease. A lot
of things went through my mind. I was
thinking of the worst.
"All of a sudden football became very
secondary. I have a wife (Brenda) and
a one-year-old daughter (Loren). I
thought about how lucky I was. I'll
tell you, going through this has made
me thankful for what I've got."
THE 6-1, 240-POUND Davis, who is
currently on the "physically unable to
IT WAS NOT for another two weeks
that Davis' illness was diagnosed as a
rare lung disease named after the 19th
century physician who first discovered
it. It was an agonizing two weeks.
But after Davis got the bombshell an
immediate silver lining appeared on his
dark cloud. A former teammate, J.T.
Thomas,- came down with the same
disease in 1978 but returned to play
three more years in the NFL after sit-
ting out a year.
"I guess 20 percent of his lungs are
scarred and he has less lung
capacity, but he's learned how to play
over it," said Davis, who once scored
six touchdowns in the East-West Shrine
game. "And he had it worse than me.
He was out a full year. I don't plan on
being out that long."
INDEED, THERE are indications
improvement from week-to-week. In
about two weeks or so, the former 1000-
yard Michigan rusher will have his lung
capacity tested for maybe the last
time; if the results are satisfactory
Davis will have the O.K. to suit up.
Davis, who has rushed for 474 yards
on 104 carries in three seasons in the
NFL (he spent one year on the injured
reserve list), doesn't worry about the
Steelers wanting him to play. "I know
they want me back in there. Now that
I'm this close and have come this far, I
want to play pretty bad."
IT WILL TAKE that kind of deter-
Sports Information photo
Former Michigan fullback Russell Davis takes a hand-off from John
Wangler. Davis, who has been sidelined with a lung disease, hopes to rejoin
the Pittsburgh Steelers soon.
By PHIL NUSSEL
How good will the 1983-84 Michigan
ladies golf team be? Nobody, including
second year head coach Sue LeClair,
will be able to answer that question un-
til after this weekend's Lady Wolverine
nvitational meet at the University of
Michigan golf course beginning
tomorrow morning at 8:00.
Why is there a lack of answers?
3ecatise of an abundance of freshmen
on this year's starting team; three to be
texact. Two sophomores and a junior fill
ir the other three starting positions on
the squad which is seniorless.
According to LeClair, the team shot
very well in practice rounds before the
start of classes last week but since the
Iressure of studying has set in, the
scores have risen.
"Practice sessions before school
were good," LeClair said. "They got to
know each other. It made the freshmen
"SINCE CLASSES started, I've run
into a buzz saw trying to get things
organized. The scores will get better as
the season goes on."
This weekend the lady linksters will
Iso get a sample of some of Big Ten
competition with Indiana, Michigan St.,
and Purdue coming to town. Bowling
Green, Northern Illinois, and Ferris St.
round out the field.
"I don't know what to expect,"
LeClair said. "They might feel more
comfortable starting the season on
their home course. I think their concen-
tration will be better (on their home
JUNItR SANDY Barron and
Sophomore Luanne Cherney are the
only two returners from last year's
squad. Bridget Syron, also a
sophomore, joined the team this year.
Missy Bauer, Jan Idomir, and Val
Madill are all freshmen.
"There is no outstanding star yet,"
LeClair said. "I'll be able to tell after
the weekend. The freshmen a
Last summer, LeClair bel
having six players who could
would be a big improvement
year. Now she is confident th
four of the players can1
Without giving names, she s
three could even get into the 7
AFTER THIS weekend's
team has five more events bt
ter. In April, the season res
three more meets before th
re going to Championship in Iowa City, May 4 and
5. The players will only be able to hold
ieved that limited practices in the track and tennis
d break 90 building during the winter months.
t over last
at three or 15 golfers are presently on the varsity
break 85. roster, but only six are regulars. The
aid two or second six on the squad are scheduled
'0's. to compete as a separate team in
meet, the tomorrow's meet and will be labeled
umes with the Maize team while the first squad
e Big Ten will be the Blue team.
will be interviewing for various positions on Sunday and
Monday, September 18th and 19th. Applications are avail-
able at the LSA-SG office and are due on September 16th.
LSA COLLEGE COMMITTEES
" Admissions Committee
* Library Committee
. Joint Student-Faculty Policy Board
" Academic Judiciary
" CULS Executive Committee
LSA STUDENT GOVERNMENT
. Administrative Issues Action Group
" Curriculum and Teaching Action Group
. Minority Issues Action Group
" Publications and Communications Action Group
" LSA Student Government Executive Council
One LSA representative to the Michigan Student Assembly
For Information call 763-4799
LSA Student Govt.
4003 Michigan Union
SPOR TS OF THE DAIL Y:
US goes one up on Australia
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - For all the
talk about Australia II's winged keel,
yesterday's first race of the America's
Cup competition came down to a simple
broken pulley and just plain sailing.
And that's all Dennis Conner's Liber-
ty, the United States boat, needed to
launch the 25th defense of yachting's
most prized trophy with a one minute,
10 second victory on Rhode Island
AUSTRALIA II, closing the gap on
Liberty nearing the leeward mark
before the final leg, lost its steering
when a pulley snapped. With it went
any chance of victors.
'We were without our steering for 10
minutes," said Australian syndicate
head Alan Bond, whose boat marks his
fourth try at the Cup. "The boat speed
fell from 8 knots to 3.8 knots. We lost
one minute, 22 seconds.
Conner wasn't gloating over the
"BOTH BOATS sailed very well
today, and we got some breaks," he
said. "But one win doesn't make for a
series. Three more and we'll get ex-
Conner said he had some anxious
moments just before the Aussie mishap
because the challenger was gaining
dramatically when he tried a port gybe
that showed his boat's progress.
"The spectator fleet blanketed our
wind, and we made the wrong move,"
he explained. It was the race an-
ticipated all summer, and it lived up to
its billing even the test of the winged
"That was something." Bond said.
"Those who saw the first leg will have
something to remember for a long
Two minutes lost in
HOUSTON (AP) - Southwest Con-
ference officials are blaming a malfun-
ctioning clock and a thunderstorm for
dropping two minutes of playing time
from lasttSaturday's Rice-Minnesota
football game in Rice Stadium.
Rice Coach Ray Alborn asked the
SWC officials to investigate the missing
minutes after a play-by-play account
showed 2 minutes, 11 seconds disap-
peared from the clock following a
touchdown run by Rice's Kevin Trigg in
the second quarter.
"WE LOOKED at everything and
talked the matter over with game of-
ficials," said Ken Faulkner, Southwest
Conference supervisor of officials said.
"We can't explain the discrepancy. It
must have been a malfunction of the
"There was a severe thunderstorm in
the area at the time and that might ex-
plain it. I guess it just skipped."
Minnesota scored with 5:37 left in the
game to defeat Rice 21-17.
Alborn said a member of the
statistics crew in the press box noticed
the discrepancy while typing a play-by-
play account of the game.
"We asked the back judge to check it
but he said he didn't think there was a
discrepancy," Alborn said. "We tell our
players to give us 60 minutes a game. I
guess they only had to give 58 this
Have you checked
out the new
If you're in a hurry stop
by for an apple.
The newest restaurant concept in town
Michigan Union Food Commons
Why go anywhere else?
WE'RE HERE FOR YOU
Once again, this week marks the
beginning of the annual Daily Griddes
icks. The person who picks the most
winners each week will win a pizza
compliments of Pizza Bob's.
In order to win you must drop your
predictions either at The Michigan
Daily (located on the second floor of the
Student Publications Building on 420
Maynard Street) or at Pizza Bob's on
1. MICHIGAN at Washington (Pick
0. Michigan St. at Notre Dame
3. Ohio St. at Oklahoma
4. Stanford at Illinois
5. Indiana at Kentucky
6. Iowa at Penn St.
7. Purdue at Miami (Fla)
8. Nebraska at Minnesota
9. Missouri at Wisconsin
10. Northwestern at Syracuse
State St., or Pizza Bob's Midtown on
Be sure to include your name, ad-
dress, and phone number along with
your picks. Selections must be in by
midnight on Friday. I would strongly
recommend picking the Daily Libels
who are once again heavily favored to
continue their 20-year win streak.
11. Cameron at Angelo St.
12. Texas at Auburn
13. Boston College at Rutgers
14. Georgia at Clemson
15. Arizona St. at UCLA
16. West Virginia at Maryland
17. Air Force at Wyoming
18. Northern Michigan at Central
19. Sonoma St. at San Francisco St.
20. DAILY LIBELS at Mt. St. Helens
Handheld Computers for the
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