THE SPORTING VIEWS
Knicks front office
anything but sterling
The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 27, 1987 - Page 11
Kiepek Williams to lead Blue
tumblers in Big Ten Tourney
By DOUGLAS VOLAN
"And now for the New York
Knickerbockers... Starting at one
forward, number six, Trent Tucker.
At the other forward, number 34,
Kenny Walker. And at center,
number 45, Eddie Lee Wilkins."
Such is what one would hear if
one ventured to Madison Square
Garden during the next month.
There are two reasons why the
Knicks have degenerated to the
point where they'd have to start a
guard, a rookie, and a CBA reject
OBVIOUSLY, the injury
factor is one reason. With Bernard
King, Bill Cartwright, Patrick
Ewing, and Pat Cummings all
sidelined over the past few seasons,
Knick fans have suffered through
the era of Ron Cavenall, Ken "The
Animal" Bannister, Bob Thornton,
Ken Green, Chris McNealy, and
As former Knick coach Hubie
Brown used to say - if you take
away the starting frontline and the
back-up center off of any team, it's
going to be in trouble.
Just imagine what would happen
to the Celtics if Larry Bird, Kevin
McHale, Robert Parish, and Bill
Walton were all injured at once.
I'M NOT comparing King,
Cartwright, Ewing, and Cummings
to that fabulous foursome, but I
don't think the Celts would win too
many games if they had to field a
frontline of Greg Kite, Fred
Roberts, and Darren Daye.
Indeed, the Knicks' horrendous
record is partially due to injuries.
However, another important reason
for the team's ineptness is its front
office. The Knicks are one of the
most poorly operated franchises in
The problem lies with the
ownership, Gulf & Western Inc.
According to New York Post
columnist Peter Vescey, the Knicks
can't make a decision within a
reasonble amount of time because
any proposal must go through a
whole bureaucratic process before it
gets approved. The Knicks lack a
central decision maker.
EVERYTHING from general
manager, Scotty Stirling, to the
pretzels sold at the Garden is
-Stirling, in just over one
season, has managed to destroy the
teams' future by giving away first-
round draft picks for the
r temperamental Jawaan Oldham and
the aging Gerald Henderson.
-Half-price tickets for students
are no longer available, making it
impossible to get into the Garden
for less than eight dollars. This,
combined with the fact that guards
are now posted in the upper deck
(confining fans to the cheap seats)
has discouraged attendance
-Intent on saving money, Gulf
& Western fired long-time organist
Eddie Layton. Before this cost
saving venture, Knick management
recorded Layton's songs so they
could still play them at the games.
A real class act.
-THE ATMOSPHERE at the
Garden has deteriorated even faster
not scoring in the first half and
committing a mistake on nearly
every play the Knicks ran.
Gerald Henderson wassitting
with his head in his hands, as were
many of his teammates. It was
obvious none of them wanted to be
The worst part of the evening
By JULIE HOLLMAN
Seven teams will enter the University of
Wisconsin Fieldhouse today with a chance to reign
as the 1987 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics
Champion, but only one will leave with the
Each team will enter the competition with a
blank slate, no previous performances will influence
anyone's opportunity to return home with the
Michigan hopes to take advantage of this anyone-
can-win situation when it battles Iowa, Michigan
State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and defending
champion Ohio State for the conference title.
LAST YEAR an injury-riddled Michigan team
did not fare well at the conveted meet, coming in
sixth with a low 169.95. This year, however, the
Wolverines are healthy and boast two of the league's
Janne Klepek, the team's best competitor, ranks
seventh in the conference for the all-around with a
37.25 and Angela Williams sits at the number ten
spot with a 37.20 all-around score. Williams also
claims the fourth best score in the Big Ten on the
vault and Klepek ranks ninth on the uneven bars.
In 1986 both Klepek and Williams were hurt
during the Big Tens but Williams, a junior, will
look to recapture her 1985 floor exercise title.
AS A TEAM, Michigan posted a 10-5, 1-3
record but its highest score, 180.70, ranked as only
the sixth best score in the conference. The
Wolverines will have to surpass that mark
considerably in order to place high .
"Most of the teams are averaging around a 182,"
said women's coach Dana Kempthorn, "and we will
really have to turn in a strong performance to finish
in the top three."
The squad to beat this year is defending champion
for the past four years, Ohio State. The Buckeyes
hold the conference's highest meet score, 186.0, and
have two event winners from last year's Big Ten
competition. Julie Sommers will try to hold on to
her vault title and Mary Olsen will attempt to
protect her uneven bars throne.
MICHIGAN STATE and Minnesota should.
apply the most pressure to OSU. The Spartans sport
a 185.80 season high and the Gophers a 185.50.
Minnesota's Marie Roethlisberger and Shelley
Brown rank first and third respectively, in the all-
around scores while Michigan State places three.
gymnasts in the top ten of the all-around
Michigan's battle will probably be with Illinois
and Wisconsin for the number four slot. "The top
three is going to be a battle," said Kempthorn. "I
believe that if we hit we could possibly move up
into third. Right now we are at a good fourth if we
The Wolverines will go with the lineup of
Williams, Klepek, Jeni Hescot, Janna Jeffries, Amy
Meyer, and Wendy Comeau.
Patrick Ewing, seen here driving around ex-Wolverine Tim McCormick,
has not been able to turn the Knicks around despite leading the team in
scoring and rebounding.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -
In an abrupt turnaround, college
basketball coaches have endorsed
the three-point goal by such an
overwhelming margin that one of
the chief rulemakers says its future
"The support has been beyond
my wildest expectations. It's such a
clear mandate that there's no
question it's here to stay," said Dr.
Edward S. Steitz, the Springfield
College athletic director who has
been secretary and editor of the
college basketball rules committee
for more than 25 years.
MORE THAN 83 percent of
the 1,400 coaches and 1,000
administrators, referees, and
basketball writers who responded to
the survey at the end of the season
supported the three-pointer, Steitz
said. Eighty percent of college
than the team. Ever since the
Knicks drafted Patrick Ewing, a
flock of Long Island and New
Jersey yuppies bought up most of
the tickets, depriving the real fans
from getting good seats. These
wimps then socialize the rest of the
game, seldom bothering to take a
peek at the action on the court.
-One needs an ice pick to eat the
pretzels. The next time I hear a
Garden vendor shout "get your hot
pretzels here," I'm going to deck
I didn't realize how bad the
situation was at the Garden until I
had the unfortunate experience of
attending a February matchup
between the Knicks and Portland.
I've seen more fans at Michigan
JUST COMPARING the
two benches told the story. Despite
the absence of three of their top
eight players because of injuries,
the Trail Blazer bench was up and
cheering the whole game.
The Knick bench, however, was
a sorry sight. Jawaan Oldham was
his usual tempestuous self, sitting
at the end of the bench pouting after
was watching Patrick Ewing dog it
all night. Twice, 37-year-old
Caldwell Jones, not known for his
offensive prowess, put a head fake
on Ewing and then took it to the
hole for a monstrous jam.
If scenes such as these are to be
prevented in the future, the entire
organization will need a facelift -
something which is unlikely to
happen with the present ownership.
coaches from all levels endorsed it.
The biggest change of heart was
on the part of the coaches, 66
percent of whom had told Steitz last
spring that they didn't want the
The coaches' complaints
continued throughout the first half;
of the season, "then they started
1002 PONTIAC TR.
discovering how to use it and what
it could do for them," Steitz said.
In the absence of a clear
mandate, Steitz said the current
distance would likely be retained by'
the Rules Committee, which will
meet this week at New Orleans, site
of the NCAA tournament final.
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