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September 11, 1986 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-11

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Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 11, 1986

ND'S
By MARTY STRASEN
Notre Dame senior inside
linebacker Mike Kovaleski has
thrived on hard work in earning
his position as the backbone of the
Notre Dame linebacking core.
When the New Castle, Ind.
native was elected sole captain of
the 1986 football squad by the
players at the end of spring
workouts, Kovaleski realized his
work had just begun.
"THERE'S a lot of
responsibility," Kovaleski said.
"There's a lot of individual work
you have to do with every guy on
the team. There are different
speaking engagements and
things they always want the
captain of the team to be at."
Don't get Kovaleski
wrong,though. Playing football
has never really been a chore for
the 6-2, 218 pounder.
"I'm more excited than I've
ever been for an opening game,"
he said. "I think the team is
confident even though we've

Kovaleski leads cocky

Irish

i

never run an offense or a defense
in a real game under the new
coaches yet. "
FOR KOVALESKI to say he is
looking forward to this season
more than any other is saying
something. He started in his first
game as a freshmen for the Irish,
and has started no less than nine
games per season in each of his
three previous years.
This season, however, the
additions of new head coach Lou
Holtz and defensive coodinator
Foge Fazio have given Kovaleski
and the rest of the seniors some
renewed optimism.
"This season means a lot to
me," Kovaleski said. "We
haven't had a real successful
team since I've been here. We
haven't had a team that's gone to
a major bowl and that's important
to us. That's why we came here
and that's what we're shooting
for.
"THE NEW coaching staff
adds something to it just because
of them being different for us.
They're bringing a whole new
philosophy in and it's a re-
learning time for us , but we're
ready. God help us if we

weren't."
And while Kovaleski raves
about the contribution Fazio is
making to the Irish defense,
Fazio is quick to return the
compliments to his linebacker.
"We're very fortunate to have a
guy like Mike Kovaleski," Fazio
said. "Getting the chance to coach
a guy like that is an honor.
"HE'S NOT only a leader
athletically, but as a person he's
just a fine guy.
It seems -Kovaleski has always
been ready to do the job. Not only
did he step in to start in his first
career game as at freshman
(Mike Larkin was injured), but
he went on to lead the team in
tackles as a sophomore and
finished second last season with
95, behind only Tony Furjanic.
Beginning Saturday,
Kovaleski hopes to make his
senior season his best.
"I WOULDN'T put a
prediction on what kind of season
we're going to have in terms of
wins and losses," he said. "I
think we're going to have a
successful year. If you ask any
guy on the team, he'll tell you
we're shooting for 11-0.
"That's the kind of season we
want to have, especially since
Notre Dame is always a big game
on every one else's schedule."
Kovaleski's election as sole

I
I

Senior linebacker Mike Kovaleski will lead the Fighting Irish defense against Michigan this Saturday in South

A

Marty Strasen writes for
Notre Dame Observer.
provided The Daily with
feature story..

The
He
this

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WINTER
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Bend.
captain marked the first time the
team has had only one captain
since Rocky Bleier filled those
shoes in 1967.
AS LEADER of this year's
team, Kovaleski assures there
are no simple answers to fielding
a winning squad. But that's not to

say he doesn't have any ideas.
"I think we have to be a little
cocky," he said. "You might even
see a little arrogance on the field
this year at Notre Dame. That's
what's going to help us be a good
team and I hope that will come
through.

"The other big thing is now
well our seniors do. We're
looking for guys to give 100
percent in practice and in games,
and I think that's what most of the
guys are doing.'
In Kovaleski's case, that's just
something to count on.

/

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Bo assails NCAA
ticket regulations

By PHIL NUSSEL
Head coach Bo Schembechler
got on his soapbox yesterday and
made the NCAA look dirty by
attacking its rules dealing with
players' passes.
"It is surprising that they
would come up with the type of'
penalties that they have .for the
misdemeanors that were
committed," he said during the
weekly Big Ten football
teleconference. "My under-
standing was that the intent of the
rule regarding tickets was to
make sure the players did not
have the opportunity to scalp the
tickets."
SCHEMBECHLER'S criticism
came after the NCAA suspended
60 Nebraska players last week
because they had supposedly used
game passes incorrectly. The
NCAA's Council Subcommittee
on Eligibility Appeals changed
the penalty to a season-long ban
on passes for the 60 players
Tuesday. None of them missed
playing time.
"I did not know that you could
not have a neighbor, or a friend,
come through the pass gate using
one of your passes,"
Schembechler said. "I think there
were a lot of coaches out there who

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did not understand that rule. I
was amazed.
"In my opinion, that's a
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shouldn't be able to dictate who
they use the tickets for."
Schembechler's squad is
preparing for its season opener
Saturday at Notre Dame.

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