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November 20, 1987 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-20

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I

Page 14--The Michigan Daily-Friday, November 20, 1987

K

Bruce's dismissal...

THE SPORTING VIEWS

Darren to be Different
BY DARREN JASEY

Dark days at OSU...
'TheGame' is off

fj 00

By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR
COLUMBUS - Everybody
should get off the save Earle band-
wagon It's too late. He needed all
you well wishers last year.
I will be the first to admit Earle
Bruce has made some bad calls.
I will even go a step further and
say, Earle has made some positively
stupid calls.
And I can't honestly say I'm
sorry to see him leave Ohio State,
because I'm not sure if he could have
ever taken the Buckeyes to a national
championship. But a man who has
been associated with Ohio State for
much of the last 40 years did not de-
serve to be terminated in the shabby
way president Edward H. Jennings
let him go.
Firing Ohio State's football
coach - no matter who he is - the
week before the Michigan game is
akin to congress impeaching Reagan
the week before a summit with Gor-
bachev.
But I'm not here to talk about
Jennings' stupidity, about how he
fired Bruce because that's been well
chronicled. I'm more interested in
something else.
Stop me if I'm wrong, but hasn't
the public been screaming for
Bruce's head for several years. Didn't
more than a few people curse when
Earle decided to stay in Columbus
rather than coach in the Arizona
desert.
Didn't Jennings show what kind
of support he had for Earle last Jan-
uary when he refused to give him the
same type of multi-year contract he
handed to Gary Williams despite
Rick Bay's prodding.
What's that your grandmother
used to say about if you wished hard
enough...?
Several people got their wish
Monday afternoon but suddenly no-
body seems happy about it.
In the span of four days, Earle has
gone from one of the most maligned
coaches in Ohio State history to one
of the greatest coaches ever to stalk
the sideline.
And I don't understand it.
The public is outraged and every
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sports anchor in sight is saying what
a shame it is Earle got fired. Some
fans had a rally for Earle yesterday
afternoon at the new football facil-
ity. And several others have gotten
hundreds of people to sign petitions,
calling for Earle's rehiring.
Several radio and television sta-
tions have shown they have polls
showing 90 percent of the public
wants Earle back.
I don't remember hearing any
public outcries to keep Earle last
week. I don't remember any Colum-
bus sports anchors or ESPN's Chris
Berman pleading for OSU's
administration to honor Earle's con-
tract. Not too many people harped
on his 80-26-1 record - the Big
Ten's best the last nine years - be-
fore Monday.
Last week only Bay and the play-
ers stood behind Earle when it took
courage to say he deserved another
year.
"The detractors were just waiting
for another excuse and 9-3 wasn't a
big enough excuse," Bay said. "It
wasn't quite justifiable. But four
losses, including one to Wisconsin,
a poor showing against Michigan
State - with three in a row - the
detractors had their excuse."
If Jennings had shown any class
or if his PR people (I hope he's
dismissed them as abruptly as he did
Earle) had any sense and dismissed
Earle after the season - I'm inclined
to believe no one would have cared.
Oh, there would have been the
usual grumblings about any coach
who gets fired but nothing the mag-
nitude of what's been going on. I
talked to senior defensive tackle, Ray
Holliman, Sunday and he seemed to
have the best grasp of the situation.
"At Ohio State you're expected to
produce, and just like any other place
if you don't meet your expectations
you get fired," he said. "I feel real
sorry for coach Bruce right now, but
you can't fire the whole team."
Exactly. People aren't upset Earle
got fired, they're upset with Jen-
nings' methodology. And they're
upset the firing came hours after an
GRIDDE PICKS
1. Ohio State at MICHIGAN
(pick total points)
2. MSU at Wisconsin
3. Minnesota at Iowa
4. Purdue at Indiana
5. Illinois at N'western
6. Oklahoma at Nebraska
7. UCLA at USC
8. Notre Dame at Penn State
9. Wash. St. at Washington
10. Oregon St. at Oregon
11. Duke at N. Carolina
12. Clemson at S. Carolina
13. Baylor at Texas
14. Tennessee At Kentucky
15. Miss. at Miss. St.
16. Texas A&M at TCU
17. Cal at Stanford
18. Lafayette at Lehigh
19. Yale at Harvard
20. COLUMBIA at Brown

dismally done
eloquent speech by the man with no
charisma.
Earle - with his wife Jeane at
his side - spoke with conviction
about being a Buckeye. He talked
about scarlet and gray blood coursing
through his veins and about experi-
encing the Michigan rivalry as a
player and a coach. He talked about
the meaning of the gold pants which
every player who defeats Michigan
receives and about Archie Griffin de-
livering the pep talk at the Senior
Tackle. He talked about loyalty and

The Ohio State-Michigan game
has been cancelled.
Ohio State president Edward H.
Jennings decided yesterday to hold
the Buckeye football team from its
annual blood bath with the
Wolverines. The game was to be
played at Michigan Stadium tomor-
row.
The move was made amid the
growing fear that the Buckeyes, un-
der the guidance of lame-duck head
coach Earle Bruce, would lose 'The
Game' to Michigan.

MZ\7G7
-I HI A

honesty.
But in the end, none of that mat-
tered. And it shouldn't have.
If Jennings had said, "Earle
you've proven you could take us to
the championship round and I appre-
ciate your effort, but you can't bring
home the trophy."
And then fired him.
No one could have argued.
But he didn't, and now Earle
ranks right up there with Woody.
Taylor is a Football Writer for the
Ohio State Lantern.

"The oddsmakers don't give us a
chance," Jennings said at yesterday's
press conference. "How can I go
against an overwhelming consensus
like that? This was not a personal or
a personnel decision.
"Don't you think we've had
enough punishment for one year
anyway?"
The cancellation of the game de-
stroys the 1987 debut of Buckeye
wide receiver Cris Carter, whose eli-
gibility was restored by new Athletic
Director Arthur Schlichter.

Bruce, still angry about being
fired last Monday, said that Jen-
nings' decision not to play adds in-
sult to injury.
"This is the darkest day yet," said
the beleaguered Bruce, whose morti-
cian's suit was more appropriate
than ever. "It's so dark now I can't
see.
"I thought we could win that
game," he added. "I wanted to be
carried off the field on national TV
so that I could show Ohio that I can
communicate, if not through voice,
then through hand gestures."
Bruce showed that he was still
upset with himself for coaching the
Buckeyes to a terrible 5-4-1 season
by calling himself derogatory names.
"I'm an Ohio State Buckeye," he
said repeatedly.
Michigan head coach Bo Schem-
bechler refused to believe the news
out of Columbus.
"Those suckers will do anything
to win a damn football game,"
Schembechler said. "They gave Iowa
that fourth-and-26 touchdown play.
Vince Workman jumped over that
perfect pass against Michigan State
on purpose. They probably didn't
even fire Bruce. It's all a plot to
catch us off guard."
The cancellation, though, has
been a nemesis for Ohio State stu-
dents and faculty. The creation of an
extra week between the end of foot-
ball and the beginning of basketball
season has caused them to run out of
entertainment options.
"I don't know what I'm going to
do this Saturday," Ohio State junior
Scotty Bohlen said. "I already studied
last Monday, and my cow died
Wednesday. This is worse than los-
ing to Wisconsin every year."
Rumors have spread that many
Ohio State students who can't stand
bad athletic teams are trying to
transfer before basketball season
starts.
With Grady Mateen, Michael
Graham's understudy, literally and

figuratively at Georgetown, starting
at center, and the loss of two recruits
to proposition 48, Gary Williams'
Buckeyes may only win as many
games as Bruce's gridders.
Students may even be forced to
watch more Buckeye hockey games
at dilapidated, 1,580 seat OSU Ice
Rink, the only building in worse
shape than the school's only library.
The team stars defenseman Doug
Claggett, who was traded to Ohio
State from Bowling Green (another
fine Ohio university) during the
1985-86 season for a scholar to be
named later.
The absence of Buckeye stench -
which is so strong that it can be
sensed in Indiana, Illinois, Pennsyl-
vania, and West Virginia - from
Ann Arbor this season has caused
Michiganders to rejoice.
"It usually starts Friday morning
and increases in severity as game
time nears," said Michigan senior
Rob Sider, about the smell of visi-
tors from Ohio. "I'm glad we won't
have to go through that again this
year."
"That's why it's always the last
game on the schedule," Michigan
Athletic Director Don Canham said.
"It takes almost the whole off-season
to get rid of that awful odor. If they I
don't want to come here this year,
that's okay by me. Hell, it's a
bonus."
According to Jennings, the can-
cellation of Saturday's game will al-
low him-an extra day to search for
Bruce's replacement.
, "We need someone who's larger
than life," Jennings said. "We need a
big bold man who is willing to take4
control."
The Buckeyes have reportedly set
their sights on Jay Burson, a junior
on the basketball team. The 4-foot-
6, fourth-grade look-a-like gained his
notoriety after telling Jennings that
he once met Woody Hayes.

AROUND THE BIG TEN:

I

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paint bow]
MSU at Wisconsin
Things have never looked rosier
for the Spartans as they have this
past week in East Lansing.
Eleventh-ranked MSU is headed to
Pasadena for the first time in 22
years and Lorenzo White, after last
weekend's superhuman effort, must
once again be considered a bona fide
Heisman Trophy candidate.
White is not the only Spartan
who has comeback from an early-
season slump. Head coach George
Perles, on the hot seat back in
September, is now a shoo-in to win
the Big Ten Coach of the Year
award.
On the other side of the line of
scrimmage, the outlook in Madison
is bleak and there is no reason to
expect that the situation will
improve by tomorrow. Badger
running back Marin Artley needs
only 110 yards to top 1000 for the
season but unfortunately for him,
the Spartans lead the nation in
rushing defense, permitting a paltry
57.3 yards per game. Good Luck
Marin.
Minnesota at Iowa
A late season surge has locked up
a bowl bid for the Hawkeyes.
Quarterback Chuck Hartlieb has
emerged to spark the team down the
stretch. In last weekend's contest
against Ohio State, the senior passed
for 333 yards and threw the game
winning touchdown with only six
seconds remaining.
Minnesota is a team headed in the
opposite direction. After a quick start
out of the gate, the Gophers have
1(.t

Ipicture
slipped badly in recent weeks. Still,
an upset victory in Iowa City
tomorrow would keep their slim
hopes for a bowl bid alive. -
Purdue at Indiana-
Despite last weekend's
disappointing loss to Michigan
State, the Hoosiers still figure
prominently in the post-season bowl
picture. With a 7-3 overall record
(and ranked 20th in UPI), a Peach
Bowl bid appears to be a good
possibility.
Coach Fred Akers wraps up his
first year as the Boilermakers' head
man with little to cheer about.
Except for flashes of momentary
execution against Notre Dame and
Ohio State, Purdue hasn't scared
anyone all season long. Akers is
optimistic that the team will
improve with time. He's probably
right since they can't get too much
worse.
Illinois at N'western
Illinois proved in last week's loss
to Michigan that they still don't
have what it takes to win a football
game. Controversial coach Mike
White could become the second Big
Ten coach out of a job at the end of
the season. Maybe highly-touted
transfer quarterback Jeff George can
help. Too bad he won't be eligible
until next season.
Northwestern will take their
perennial position at the bottom of
the Big Ten standings. Early season
hopes for a .500 record have long
since vanished and it looks as if the
Wildcats are in desperate need of a
major rebuilding program - again.
- LISA GILBERT

Daily Photo by SCOTT LITUCHY
Ohio State fans, shown here enjoying last year's Michigan-Ohio State
game in Columbus, may not have anything to cheer about for a long, long
time.
To D or not toD2?I

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