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September 12, 1986 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-12
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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$ Page 12-J he Miclidorvidiy --'rfday, Seo*embe 12, 1986
N , Ousted coaches Dennison and Reed
find college coachin a shak business

Awrmp--- - V's

w . w:

The Michigan Daily - Fr
Blue backfield has backs in abw

By PHIL NUSSEL
It was a typical workday last
December for the University of
Akron's head football coach Jim Den-
nison. Being in the middle of
recruiting new players for his
program, the day was not going to be
easy. But after 13 years at the
position, the veteran leader knew how
to handle the routine.

He handled it well.
WITH AN80-62-2 record (8-3 in 1985)
he was the winningest coach in the
school's history. Under him, Akron
went from bush league Division II
status to the NCAA Division I-AA,
level. It became a first class football
program.
That afternoon Akron's athletic
director, Dave Adams, fired Den-

'The dollar has started to
rule and become more
powerful than ever before
in collegiate athletics.'
-Tom Reed
'M' Assistant

nison. Despite winning, Dennison
could not fill Akron's 30,000-seat Rub-
ber Bowl. The administration felt he
didn't have the "name" to do it.
Replacing him was Gerry Faust.
Football fans in South Bend, nd. said.
he destroyed the program at Notre,
Dame. He lost the job there after
producing five straight years of.
mediocrity at the football-famous in-
stitution. His record was 30-26-1 -
"losing" by Fighting Irish Standards.
AKRON, however, liked the appeal
of Faust's name. The administration
liked the idea of having a former
Notre Dame head coach lead their
team. They wanted to get into the
more lucrative Mid-American Con-
ference and a big-name coach was the
vehicle for doing it. The ad-
ministration offered Dennison the
assistant athletic director position
and he accepted it reluctantly.
DENNISON'S case is not unusual
in the topsy-turvy world of college
football coaching. Every year,
coaches all over the country shuttle

around to new schools for any number
of reasons: a losing season, a string of
losing seasons, a war with the admin-
istration, a scandal involving players,
or maybe just a new opportunity. The
winners choose where they want to
coach. The losers go wherever there's
a job. Some just leave the game.
Today, college football coaching is a
high-risk occupation. There are no
long-term contracts until a coach
becomes an institution. Championship
glory can disappear with a losing
season. The standing ovations and
fanfare easily turn to boos and hatred.
"Win or else you're fired," is the bat-
tle cry of many administrators.
Drugs, recruiting scandals, academic
problems, and television add tothe
anxieties.
IN MANY cases, the bottom line is
money.
Former North Carolina State head
coach Tom Reed, now an assistant
coach at Michigan, sympathized with
Dennison. The two coached together
at Akron in 1978.

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"What you have (in the Dennison
case) is a shallow-minded ad-
ministrator who just doesn't under-
stand what a guy like Jim Dennison
has done," Reed said. "They think the
dollar sign rules all. But I think every
coach knows what kind of situation
he's getting into"
"WHEN YOU lose, there is always
a chance you will get released," said
Dennison. "I think most coaches can
accept this. But when you win and still
get fired, then there's cause for con-
cern in the profession. And there is
concern."
According to Reed, the occupation's
pressure is not on the coach, it is on
the players.
"What I have seen is that the dollar
has started to rule and become more
-powerful than ever before in
collegiate athletics," he said. The kids
are the same, but because of (the
dollar), we demand more of the kids'
time. We are asking more of the
student athletes."
"THE MONEY is getting impor-
tant," Dennison said. "But when it
gets too important, it shows a lack of
priorities."
"Now I don't mind that because you
only have one chance to play college
football and you want to be the best
you can be," Reed said, "BUT I don't
want to do that to the point where they
cannot pursue and obtain the quality
of education which gives him the
foundation of his next average 43
years.,,
Like Dennison, Reed also got to
know the realities of head coaching
last year. During his three-year stint
at North Carolina State (1982-85),
Reed successfully advocated
academics and as a result, the overall
reputation of the program improved,
according to Raleigh Observer foot-
ball writer Chip Alexander. But Reed
could not produce a winner and went
9-24 over those three years. Despite a
new contract, he quit in December af-
ter a long, public verbal war with the
school's chancellor, Bruce Poulton. In
one interview, he attacked Reed for
not winning and refused to give him a
vote of confidence.'
"Unfortunately, it has been very
clearly documented that a majority of
coaches have bent to win at all costs.
Now are the coaches crooked, or do
they mirror society? I think they
mirror society."~
For over a month after the
resignation, Reed thought about
leaving football. But after devoting
his life to the game for 22 years, he
decided to stay and took the position
at Michigan under Bo Schembechler.
Reed worked for Schembechler at
Miami of Ohio from 1962-69 and later
at Michigan from 1974-77.
SCHEMBECHLER, who has never
had a losing season as a head coach in
23 seasons, was one of Reed's most in-
fluential teachers. Several other head
coaches around the country - Jim
Youngat Arizona and Bill McCartney
at Colorado, for example - started
out under the Michigan boss.
Both Reed and Schembechler share
similar views about coaching respon-
sibilities. Both believe their first
priority is to the player. But because
of modern expectations, coaches have
less time to spend on their team mem-
See COACHES, page 16

OFFENSE
(TE) Jeff Brown
(ST) JOHN ELLIOTT
(SG) M. HAMMERSTEIN
(C) JOHN VITALE
(QG) MichaelDames
(QT) JERRY QUAERNA
(FL) JOHNROLESAR
(SE) PAUL JOKISCH
(QB) JIM HARBAUG1{
({B) GERALD WHITE
(TB) JAMIE MORRIS
(PK) PAT MOONS

By PHIL NUSSEL
When football coaches say they
have a lot of depth at a position, they
usually mean they have a lot of
average players.
But when Michigan running
back coach Tirrel Burton says he
has depth, he means quality depth
because this year he has one of the
top groups of running backs to ever
return to a Michigan team.
"THIS IS absolutely the first
ai1

time in 17 years that we have had
this kind of depth and this kind of
ability throughout," Burton said.
The top two returners are
tailback Jamie Morris and
fullback Gerald White. Morris, a
junior, led the team in rushing last
year with 1030 yards on 197 carries
(5.2 ydsJcarry). He also caught 33
passes for 216 yards. He scored four
touchdowns.
"I think Jamie's going to be

better," Burton said. "I would be
very disappointed and very
surprised if he didn't get better.
Right now he's a pretty good back.
He's the kind of kid who would
take his success from last year and
build on it"
MORRIS(5-7, 180 -pounds)
gained five pounds over the
summer, but has maintained his
speed - and may get quicker.
"Jamie's a young kid," Burton
ma .am "* a&

carry. He had a 65-yard

Daily Photo by MATT PETRIE
Junior tailback Jamie Morris is five pounds heavier this season at 180 pounds, but not a step slower. He led the
team in rushing last year and averaged 5.2 yards a carry.

STATI1NG

said. "He's still growing, so he's
probably going to play four or five
pounds heavier this year."
White, who also played tailback
when Morris sat, piled up 564 yards
last season and scored seven
touchdowns. He also caught 18
passes, four for touchdowns.
But the depth doesn't end there.
THE WOLVERINES have
several backups capable of starting
for most teams. Tailback Thomas
Wilcher is one example. The
Detroit native looked impressive
when he was healthy in '85
averaging five yards a carry, but
had ankle problems most of the
year. He recovered in time for
indoor track and won the NCAA 55-
meter hurdles.
Phil Webb only had 19 carries
last year and he made them all
count by averaging 7.5 yards a
carry. He had a 65-yard

CAPP Adicate

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