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March 13, 1986 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-13

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 13, 1986- Page 9
Five grapplers carry'M title hopes

By PETE STEINERT
P Michigan wrestling coach Dale Bahr has often
contended since last November that the entire
season revolves around the NCAA Championships.
Now is the time to see if their rigorous con-
ditioning and difficult regular season will pay
dividends. The opportunity comes at the NCAA
tournament which starts today in Iowa City and
concludes on Saturday.
THE 13th-RANKED Wolverines wrestled seven of
the current top twenty teams in the country during
the dual meet season which makes their 8-7 record
misleading.
"From the standpoint of our schedule, we've
prepared ourselves for the NCAAs by hitting a lot of
the good teams," said Bahr. "That doesn't
necessarily correlate into a good season record, but
it should correlate into a good performance in the
NCAAs.
"People remember you on how well you do in the
NCAA tournament. We really got our sights on the
INCAAs. It's the most important tournament of the
year for us."

MICHIGAN WILL be hard pressed to duplicate
last year's fifth place finish with the absence of 134-
pounder John Fisher. Nonetheless the Wolverines
will take five standout wrestlers, all of whom Bahr
feels have All-American potential. Here is a closer
look at the five that made the trip to Iowa City:
William Waters, 118 pounds - 26-12 this season,
Waters placed third in Big Ten after finishing run-
ner-up the previous year. He was named the out-
standing freshman on 1983-84 squad.
"Will has tremendous talent, but he's not always
up," Bahr said. "When he goes out and wrestles the
way he's capable of, he can go with anybody in the
country.. . The more consistent and intense Will
becomes, the tougher he is to beat."
Doug Wyland, 126 - He is only the third freshman
under Bahr to win 30 or more matches in a season
(34-12). Wyland made the transition from 118 to 126
pounds early in the dual meet season where he has a
record of 11-4. He placed fifth in the Big Ten.
"If he goes out there with the attitude that he has
everything to gain and nothing to lose, he could very
well be up there in the top eight," Bahr said of
Wyland.
Kevin Hill, 177 - The senior captain's making his
first appearance at the NCAAs with a 35-11-1 record

and a third place finish in the Big Ten. He started the
season at 167 pounds before switching to 177.
"If I go out there and wrestle like I have
throughout the year, I think I'll be fine," Hill said of
his chances. "If I go out there and let the pressure
get to me, then it's another story. I can't let that
happen."
Scott Rechsteiner, 190 - One of the most con-
sistent wrestlers on the team, Rechsteiner is second
on the team with 37 victories (10 losses) and leads
the team in pins with 16. He placed second in the Big
Ten for the third straight year.
"My definite weakness is on the bottom, trying to
get away, but I don't think there's anybody stronger
than me. . . I just hope to do my best not only for
myself but for the school," Rechsteiner said.
Kirk Trost, heavyweight - Last year's NCAA
heavyweight runner-up leads the team in wins (39-
6). He hasn't lost a match since Christmas and has
the best chance to become Michigan's first NCAA
champion since Mark.Churella in 1979.
"Kirk is agile, strong, and has great techniques,"
Bahr said. "His only drawback would be to draw a
350-pounder that he'd have a difficult time scoring
on."

OFFICIAL RUCKER ENJOYS COMPETITION:

Ref stays cool in

By DAVE ARETHA
Indiana's Assembly Hall is frantic.
The Hoosiers trail Illinois, 68-67, with
20 seconds to go, but Indiana has the
ball.
Steve Alford passes inside to to
Darryl Thomas. Thomas drives
through the crowded lane. He goes up
for the shot...
"TWEEEEEEET!"
The action stops. Assembly Hall
goes quiet. All eyes are on the official;
the call could go either way.
"Offensive foul, number 24!" he
screams.
SUDDENLY it's Assembly Hell.
The fans wail like tormented souls.

Behemoth Hoosiers have fire in their
eyes. A possessed Bob Knight plans
wicked doings with a folding chair.
All is directed at the official. The
poor official. A well-intentioned soul,
abused and tormented. He must feel
like hell.
"No, I don't believe so," said Big
Ten official Tom Rucker.
WHAT DO you mean, I don't
believe so ? Seventeen-thousand
Hoosiers want to wander over your
face.
"Fans? You don't give fans the time
of day," said Rucker, a Birmingham,
Michigan resident who has endured 14
years as a Big Ten official. "You don't

Big Ten
let it get to you. You have to have a
thick skin to be in this business."
Well, what about all the abuse after
the game? Coaches and the press can
attack officials without mercy.
(There's three things wrong with of-
ficials, Knight said earlier this year.
"They don't understand basketball.
They don't know what to look for. And
they don't know what to do out
there.")
YET UNDER Big Ten rules, of-
ficials can't talk back. They commit-
ted to a vow of silence until the season
is over. The double standard would
seem to generate frustration.
"No, absolutely not," said Rucker.
"That's the nature of the profession. I
always kid my friends and say, 'Hey,
if they put my name in the paper, I
just hope they spell it correctly."'
No hellish nightmares at all? In 25
years of officiating?
"LET ME think....No, I can't
think of any," said Rucker.

But you have to admit, the coaches
are not always angels.
"They know how far they can go,"
Rucker said. "Many times coaches
say things out of frustration. But then
you see them after the games and
they can't even remember what they
said."
STATISTICS show that Big Ten of-
ficials really do keep their cool, even in
the most hellish of moments. Knight,
for example, supposedly has officials
under his thumb, yet over the last two
seasons Indiana has just ten less fouls
than its opponents (1165-1175).
"Coaches may bring our attention
to something," said Rucker, "but they
don't help us determine whether a call
is going to be made."
The officials composure is com-
mendable, especially since much of
the criticism against them is unjust.
"MOST OF the criticism comes from
people who don't know much about
basketball," said Tom Hammill,
editor of Referee magazine. "Some
criticism leveled against them may
be just, but few are accurate.

inferno
"Officials do an excellent job
overall. The majority are certainly
qualified."
Indeed, a typical Big Ten official
has labored more than a decade in the
high school, junior college, and small
college ranks. Conference officials
are expected to watch game films
throughout the course of the year. And
an official's performance is evaluated
each game by a former official, who
then files a written report to Bob Wor-
tman, the supervisor of Big Ten of-
ficials.
Big Ten officials may be qualified,
but that doesn't mean they're
flawless. Perfect officiating is im-
possible when there's ten energized
athletes zipping around a crowded
court.
"IT'S NOT like football where
everything is spread out," Hammill
said. "There's more fast action -
more continuous action. Officials
probably make mistakes every
game."
The subjectiveness of the rules
makes the officials job even more dif-
ficult.
"I can blow the whistle any time I
want," said Rucker. "That's what
distinguishes the top officials from the
average ones. The top official knows
when to blow the whistle.
"THE KEY that officials try to use
is this: When you blow the whistle,
you blow it because one player has
placed another player at a disadvan-
tage within the intent and purpose of
the rules. This means you have to
have a working knowledge as to the
intent of the rule.
"The average fan, the average
sports writer, the average commen-
tator doesn't understand this."
Misunderstanding. Written
criticism. Verbal abuse. Ambiguous
rules. Dizzy action. High pressure.
It's enough to make a weaker soul
grieve. But Rucker shrugs it off.
"I've always been a competitor,"
Rucker said, comparing officiating to
playing baseball and running track in
high school. "I just love the com-
petition. It's been a continuous
positive experience for me."

From staff reports
Special to the Daily
WINTER PARK, Fla. - It was a
close call for the Wolverines yester-
day, but they continued their roll
through the Rollins Baseball Week
Tournament. Michigan defeated
South Carolina 6-4 to keep its tour-
nament record a perfect 3-0.
Outfielder Casey Close cracked a
two out, two run homer in the bottom
of the ninth to win the game. Close's

thington, OH native started a rally
with a single. He eventually scored
when Eddie Woolwine hit into a
fielder's choice to tie the contest.
The Gamecocks scored all four of
their runs in the top of the sixth off
Wolverine starter Scott Kamieniecki.
Greg Everson worked four innings in
relief for his first win of the season.
The victory raised Michigan's
record to 5-2 on the season. South
Carolina, ranked sixth preseason in
the nation, falls to 10-4 and 1-2 in the
Rollins tournament. The Wolverines
face host Rollins tonight.
CONSIDERING AN ABORTION?
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529 N. Hewitt, Ypsilanti
Call: 434-3088 (any time)

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Freshman 126-pounder Doug Wyland braces for an Ohio State opponent in
action earlier in the season. Wyland and four Wolverine teammates will
lead Michigan into the NCAA tournament this weekend.
Batsmen beat 'Cocks, 64;
Close leads Blue victor

Close
... closing in on record

last inning heroics completed his four One Rockefeller Plaza
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With Michigan trailing 4-3 in the
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A UAC Production of the

Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Officials are often abused unmercifully in Big Ten arenas. However, much
-of this abuse, according to Big Ten official Tom Rucker, comes from
"people who don't know much about basketball."
Join us at
CREATING CAREERS:
WORKING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
A Career Fair
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whose work is making a difference

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