Page 8-- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 11, 1987
Higgins gets wish: Michigan
LOS ANGELES (AP) - "I had
to do this for me," Los Angeles
high school basketball star Sean
Higgins says of the family struggle
and collegiate investigation that has
opened the way for him to play at
Michigan instead of UCLA.
Higgins, a highly recruited
senior at Fairfax High, was released
from his national letter of intent to
play at UCLA because he signed
under duress, the Collegiate
Commissioners Association ruled
The ruling clears the way for
Higgins to sign a letter of intent
;with the University of Michigan,
which he plans to do next month.
"Michigan was always my first
choice," Higgins said. "It's the
place I always wanted to go. UCLA
was never my decision. I hope there
aren't any hard feelings there
because I had to do this for me."
As soon as he heard of the
ruling, Higgins contacted Michigan
coach Bill Frieder.
"Well, Sean called me on
Monday evening to indicate to me
that the Pac-10 and the National
Letter of Intent Steering Committee
has released him from him his
letter, and that he was free to go to
school anywhere that he pleased and
he was available to play next
season," Frieder said.
"His question to me is do I have
a scholarship for him? I said yes.
He said he would be announcing on
Tuesday that he would definitely be
coming to the University of
Michigan. So we're excited about
of he ich~igan 13aiIQ
The ruling gives Higgins, who
led undefeated Fairfax to the Los
Angeles 4A basketball title two
weeks ago, four years of eligibility
at Michigan. Had he not been
released, Higgins would have had to
forfeit one year of eligibility if he
reneged on the agreement in order to
play for the Wolverines.
"My first reaction was
happiness," Higgins said. "I was
silent for a minute because it was
hard to believe. I'm just very happy
to be released."
Higgins had claimed in a Sports
Illustrated article last month that
his stepfather had threatened him
with a baseball bat and slapped him
when he said he wanted to go to
Michigan to be near his natural
father, Earle Higgins of Southfield.
The prep star said he signed the
UCLA letter of intent under
coercion the same morning.
The younger Higgins, who
moved out of his mother's home a
short time after the baseball bat
incident and has been living with
relatives of his father, also told the
magazine that UCLA alum Steven
Antebi offered him a car, an
apartment, and a summer job that
would be made available to him if
he signed with UCLA. Antebi has
denied making any such offers.
After signing the UCLA letter in
November, Higgins retained a
lawyer through his natural father
and asked UCLA to release him
from the agreement. School
administrators notified Pacific-10
Conference officials, who began
investigating the matter.
Pac-10 officials provided the
Association with information from
its investigation, which did not
connect UCLA with the incident.
Pac-10 Associate Commissioner
David Price eventually will report
to the CCA and the NCAA on any
possible violations UCLA or
school boosters committed in the
recruiting of Higgins. Price
conducted the investigation on
behalf of both organizations.
A spokesperson for UCLA said
school officials would not comment
on the incident.
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Defending heavyweight champion Mike Tyson gets his stomach pounded by a medicine ball prior to last
Saturday's fight. He defeated James "Bonecrusher" Smith in a unanimous decision.
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Tyson fight example
of boxing's decline
BY DOUGLAS VOLAN
The sport of boxing is
deteriorating at a rapid pace.
Saturday night's supposed
thriller, pitting Mike Tyson against
James "Bonecrusher" Smith, serves
as a fine example.
Smith, who realized that he
didn't stand a chance after Tyson's
first punch, decided to make a
mockery of the sport. Acting hardly
like a "Bonecrusher," Smith just
stood around and taunted Tyson.
Although many observers insist
that Smith just wanted to go the
distance, I truly believe that Smith
., ~ ti
tried to win. His strategy: taunt
Tyson enough to get him to do
something stupid, such as throw
punches after the bell, and get
EVEN WORSE, Smith
decided to drop his gloves when he
voiced his expletives.
It looked like something out of
Rocky III, when Sylvester Stallone
shouted at Mr. T, "You ain't so
And it worked - Tyson threw a
punch after the bell three times!
Unfortunately for Smith, Tyson
was not only allowed to continue,
but didn't lose any points either.
Smith, on the other hand, lost
points for merely holding Tyson.
Try and figure this one out.
For a brief moment Tyson
became so frustrated that he too
dropped his gloves, and the two of
them just stood there shouting at
each other. The fans, who payed
$750 for ringside tickets, were
THE MOST amusing part of
the whole farce was when Smith
dropped his gloves and Tyson went
after him. Good ol' "Bonecrusher"
took off to the other side of the ring
with his hands moving up and
down at his sides, prompting
HBO's announcers to name a new
dance after him - the "Choo Choo
The most appalling part of this
whole charade was that each
"fighter" took in over a million
dollars for this masterpiece.
One can't really knock Tyson
though - it wasn't his fault. After
all, he landed almost as many
punches as Smith threw. Every
time Tyson came inside, Smith
grabbed onto him, and the referee
had to separate them.
This has happened to Tyson
before. In a recent fight against
Mitch Green, Green too came away
standing after pulling the same trick
You would think these guys had
more pride in themselves. What's
the point of getting into a ring with
a guy, if you're not going to try
I guess a million dollars is
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