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September 19, 1985 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-19

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4

Page 8- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 19, 1985
BA RB'S
ARBS
By Barb McQuade

Football's TV blitz...
...could sack minor sports

W HEN A Supreme Court ruling lifted the
NCAA's limit on the number of times a
college football team may appear on television a
year ago last June, athletic directors around the
country licked their chops at the prospect of a
steady diet of TV revenue.
They anticipated a financial shot in the arm for
their athletic programs, but failed to consider the
losers under the unrestricted system - minor
sports teams.
Michigan's football, basketball, and hockey
programs are the only teams that generate
revenue, according to Athletic Director Don
Canham. Each of the school's 18 other sports
teams lose money annually. They've got good
programs and talented athletes, but not much fan
appeal. "The Wave" doesn't go over big on the
University golf course.
Michigan football brings in over $1 million per
game in ticket and concession revenue, enough to
pay all the Athletic Department's bills. The new
freedom with television contracts, however,
threatens to change that.
Canham fears too many TV appearances could
over-saturate the public with Michigan football,
which could eventually lead to a decline in ticket
sales, the athletic department's bread and butter.
Without that revenue you can bet it wouldn't be the
football team who would suffer. The cutbacks
would fall on minor sports.

Canham's worries may seem unfounded after 61
straight football games with more than 100,000 in
attendance. But regular appearances on television
can eventually keep fans away from the stadium
to watch the game in their living rooms or at the
local bar.
Stanford faced such a problem last year.
Televising all its home games, said Canham, at-
tendance dropped 40 percent for the Cardinal. A
similar occurance at Michigan would be a
staggering blow to the Wolverine athletic
program.
The dollars the athletic department receives
from the networks appear lucrative, but not at the
expense of ticket revenue. For the nationally-
televised Notre Dame game last week, CBS paid
out $600,000. The Irish took home half the pie, but
Michigan was left with only the crust. As part of
the Big Ten, the Wolverines must share their por-
tion of TV revenue with the other nine schools.
When that $600,000 drops down to $30,000, it loses
some of its taste.
There's where Canham's concern comes into
play. While Georgia and Oklahoma got the NCAA
to lift the limits and end what they considered
restraint of trade, Michigan's athletic director
was against it all the way. The money Michigan
takes in from TV cannot compare to the $1.4
million it picks up from tickets and concessions in
a sellout game.

Canham's actions were consistent with his wor-
ds, as he restricted Michigan's appearances this
season to two - the contests with Notre Dame and
Ohio State. His feelings on the matter - if you
want to see Michigan football, buy a ticket.
And he is not about to budge in making drastic
time changes to accommodate TV coverage.
Kickoff time for the Notre Dame game was moved
back 40 minutes, but that's where Michigan will
draw the line. No portable lights will sneak into
Michigan Stadium for night games for the benefit
of the networks.
What he cannot control, however, is the broad-
cast of away games, such as this Saturday's South
Carolina contest. Other schools with smaller
stadiums have less fear of empty seats. Most of
them receive university funding for their athletic
programs, and are not as dependent on their foot-
ball team as a money-maker as Michigan is.
Full-season coverage of Michigan football could
boost the team and the school's image, but
Canham has more of a long-term -projection in
mind. If selling out for some immediate cash
means a reduction in ticket sales, then Canham's
right in telling the networks to keep their cameras
off the playing field. Those loyal Blue fans will
have to leave their easy chairs and come out to the
stadium to support the gridiron heroes, and those
of Michigan's other sports.

NO. 300 EL UDES NIEKR O A GAIN:
- Tigers trip NY

Snap
Judgments
By MIKE REDSTONE
'Cocks tough infield...
...limp in name
W HAT'S in a name?
Ah, that age-old question. Most people will tell you that names don't
mean too much these days. Well, maybe they don't, but down at the
University of South Carolina the highly-touted football team brags about
a mascot name rich with pride and tradition - the Fighting Gamecocks.
A Gamecock, for those of you who don't know, is a rooster. To be more
specific, it is the type of rooster which has been partaking in cockfights
for the past 100 years or so. Sure, a rooster is a tough little beast, but it
doesn't exude the same nastiness that a Wolverine does.
The University of South Carolina, according to its football press book, is
a fine academic institution which also happens to possess one of the best
football programs in the nafion.
I'm sure Bo Schembechler and the rest of the Michigan football team
are well aware of that fact as they head down to Columbia this Saturday
to face the Gamecocks. Those pesky 'Cocks did finish with a 10-2 record
last year, earning them a bid to the Gator Bowl.
Alright, South Carolina is a good football school. Despite that, I can't
help laughing when I see the way the South Carolina Athletic Department
has expanded on this Gamecock theme.
First of all there is the 'Roost.' This is the dorm complex where all of
the South Carolina student/athletes live. I don't know about you, but if I
was a hotshot high school football player with my pick of colleges, and
some school told me I would be living in the Roost, I'd probably tell them,
"Sorry, but living in a barn is not my idea of a good time."
Okay, so they call their dorm the Roost. I could get used to that in a
couple of years. But with their special weight club, the SC football team
has gone too far. I'll let you try and guess the name first. Think of the
crudest, most obnoxious name possible, remembering that it must con-
tain that special word - cock. I'll bet there are some pretty interesting
names going through your mind right now. Thought long enough? The
strongest players on the South Carolina team are allowed to become
members of the prestigious Iron Cocks Club. Currently, 28 players can
proudly call themselves Iron Cocks.
Come on South Carolina. I think you're taking this cock business a little
too far. I would like to know, though, do these guys wear cups during the
game? If not, I'm sure the Michigan players would love to see the list of
Iron Cocks before Saturday's game.
I'm sure students at South Carolina are used to cock being tacked onto
the end of words all the time, but I wonder how familiar they are with this
Iron Cock Club. I'd love to see the reaction when a smooth-talking 877-
pound offensive tackle approaches some girl in a bar with the line, "Hey
baby, I'm an Iron Cock." It could get ugly.
I will admit that this Iron Cocks Club is pretty funny, and I'm sure the
players get a lot of laughs with it. In fact, I think the South Carolina sports
braintrust could easily come up with a few more titles with cock in them.
For example, how about changing the name of the football stadium
from Williams-Brice Stadium (boring) to The University of South
Carolina Cock Ring. That way they could get the word cock in there while
simultaneously stirring up images of the great South Carolina pastime of
cock fighting.
With the new stadium name, something would have to be done to let the
people of America know that those Fighting Gamecocks mean business.
Of course, I am referring to the future New Year's Day classic - The
Cock Bowl. Once that becomes the most popular bowl game, a huge
plaque will be erected (pardon the expression) commemorating the
South Carolina mascot. It will read something like: "THE HOUSE THAT
THE COCK BUILT."
After all this talk, I'm really excited about Saturday's game. I think the
only suitable thing to say at this point is: Go Wolverines, whip those
'Cocks.

By ADAM MARTIN
Special to the Daily
DETROIT - Every little thing was
arranged perfectly.
Boston would pummel Toronto. The
Yankees would edge closer to the
Blue Jays, and 46-year-old Phil
Niekro would etch his place in
baseball history with win number 300.
BUT IF Niekro wanted that piece of
history and the Yankees wanted a
pennant, neither wanted it bad enough
last night at Tiger Stadium, as the
Roar of '84 returned for an evening
and the Tigers dumped the, second
place Yankees, 5-2.
Tiger pitcher Mickey Mahler, 1-2,
came on in relief of a dismal Juan
Berenguer with one out in the first in-
ning and completely miffed New York
the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, after tying the game in
the bottom of the first on back-to-back
homers by Kirk Gibson and Darrell
Evans, Detroit needed just one inning
to dispose of the hapless Yanks.

EVANS LACED his second hit of the
night to right field in the sixth, advan-
ced on a passed ball, and scored the
winning run on a Johnny Grubb up-
the-middle single.
Before the rally ended, the Tigers
made it 4-2 and iced the game in the
eighth inning on Nelson Simmons' up-
per-deck shot.
Niekro, whose career mark is now
299-249, just wasn't sharp enough. The
Yankees handed the gray haired one a
2-0 lead in the first, as Rickey Hender-
son and Ken Griffey teed off on
Berenguer. Griffey singled home
Henderson, who had tripled to open
the game, and Detroit was quickly
down 2-0 when Dave Winfield knocked
in Griffey.
But once Mahler stepped on the
mound, the Bronx Bombers fizzled.
The San Antonio native fanned six
Yankees in seven and two-thirds in-
nings, as New York could scratch but
one hit off Mahler after the first
frame.
The loss pushed Niekroas close to
300 wins as he is to 250 defeats. And
New York booted a glaring oppor-
tunity to gain ground on Toronto, as
Boston crushed the Blue Jays, 13-1.

Associated Press
Yankee hurler Phil Niekro throws a knuckleball in the first inning of last
night's 5-2 loss to the Tigers. Nilekro was unsuccessful in his bid to win his
300th career victory.

Haji-Sheik h
sidelined
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)-
The New York Giants yesterday said
that former Michigan place-kicker Ali
Haji-Sheikh has been placed on the in-
jured reserve list because of a
recurring hamstring injury in his left
leg.
The Giants signed University of
Maryland place-kicker Jess Atkinson
on Tuesday, but team officials refused
to comment on the status of Haji
Sheikh, who reinjured the hamstring
muscle and missed a 47-yard field
goal attempt late in Sunday's 23-20
National Football League loss to
Green Bay.
GIANTS Coach Bill Parcells said
Haji-Sheikh was moved to the injured
reserve list Tuesday.
"I think it was the right decision;
otherwise, I would just go on and keep
pulling it every other week," said
Haji-Sheikh who will be sidelined for
four weeks.
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