The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988- Page 3
At first he said 'No,' but in
the end it was bound to be...
Retiring AD Don Canham leaves Bo an
economically successful department.
On-field description is
BY STEVE BLONDER
He is usually seen prowling the sidelines with an
angry growl on his face, haranguing an official, or
throwing his headset to the turf in disgust after his
team turns over the ball.
This caricature only captures one side of Michigan
football coach and Athletic Director Bo Schembechler
- his desire to win. It's a desire so strong that
Schembechler wouldn't accept the University's Board
of Regents' offer to be athletic director until they also
agreed to let him keep coaching.
But behind those trademark mirror sunglasses sits a
different person. One whom associates call warm, car-
ing, and greatly concerned about those around him.
"BO IS SOMEBODY that everyone would like
to be. People say 'Wow - what a neat guy!' He talks
to you man-to-man and lets you know what is going
on. I respect that in a person," said Ann Arbor Police
Sgt. Jan Suomala, who has escorted the football team
to Michigan Stadium before home games for many
Part of what his co-workers find so interesting is
Schembechler's genuine concern about people.
"In addition to being a very competitive guy, Bo is
very compassionate. For example, last night we were
at the Special Olympics dinner in Fenton. Bo believes
a person in his position should be involved in these
types of things. Everything he does, though, he does
quietly," Associate Athletic Director Don Lund said.
"I'VE ALWAYS enjoyed a fun, relaxed relation-
ship with Bo. Everyone sees how excitable he is, but
he's got a heart as big as an elephant," Iowa football
coach Hayden Fry said. "If I had a son playing football,
I wouldn't hesitate letting him play for Bo."
Schembechler's concern for his players often takes
precedence over other aspects of his job. Most impor-
tant to Schembechler, he remains friends with many
players years after they graduate.
"My life is geared to young people, and I know
them well. I enjoy having something to do with what
happens to them," Schembechler said. "The guys who
I've coached most places are my friends, and you've got
to be rather reluctant to give that up."
SEVERAL PEOPLE recalled incidents over the
years when Schembechler had worked to help a student
get "back on the right track."
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) mentioned an
incident that occurred about ten years ago when a
Schembechler player had legal problems and ended up
incarcerated. Baker said Schembechler worked with the
player, visited him in jail every week, and helped him
continue his education.
Schembechler gets results from his players and
those around him through firm, and somewhat notori-
"BO NEVER varies from the right path. If a guy
deviates - Bam!- Bo'll say 'Come here,' and
straighten him out right then," Lund said. "He's a fair,
square, honest guy with a lot of compassion. He sets a
tough standard, but when your general is leading you
properly, you rise to the occasion."
"Players as individuals and as a team are Bo's num-
ber one priorities, along with honesty and running a
clean program," said Michigan Assistant Athletic Di-
rector Will Perry. "He was brought up that there is
only one way to do things - the right way."
This desire to do things "the right way" contributes
to the tremendous respect Schembechler is given both
at Michigan and throughout the country.
"I ADMIRE the man as a human being. I don't
think Bo Schembechler would even think about doing
something unethical. He's a man's man," Fry said.
"He's very opinionated. If you ask Bo a question, he's
got an answer. He doesn't hee-haw about and he calls it
like he sees it."
"Sure Bo's competitive. When he plays in a contest,
he wants to win, though not at any cost," Lund added.
Publicly, Schembechler has refused to discuss how
many more years he will coach, but privately he has
commented that he will give himself another five years
to improve his mark as Michigan's all-time winningest
coach. With new Associate Athletic Director Jack
Weidenbach to assist him in the office, Interim
University President Robben Fleming and the regents
feel the new AD will be able to handle both jobs.
"ONE THING about Bo that everyone pays lip
service to is that his fondness, attachment, and interest
in kids is unbelievable," Perry said.
Everyone has seen the volatile Schembechler on
television, but that's not the Bo Schembechler he
wants them to know or remember.
"The things they already know are that he's a tough,
hard, demanding guy. If ever they have a chance to deal
with that guy, they'll know exactly where they stand."
Bo chuckles with Interim President Robben Fleming at the press conference naming him AD.
Fundhig, wome's sorths top
-new A thk tic Director's agenda
BY STEVE BLONDER
Michigan Athletic Department
insiders say Bo Schembechler will
inherit a program from Don Canham
that is in good shape financially and
academically - and ready to
concentrate on its fundraising and
promotion of women's athletics.
"There aren't any loose ends. Ev-
erything is pretty well in place, and
we're not facing any crisis right
now," Assistant Athletic Director
Will Perry said.
"The Michigan athletic depart-
ment is not a struggling operation.
It is recognized throughout the na-
tion as a leading athletic depart-
ALTHOUGH the budget is al-
ready in place for next year, Schem-
bechler's biggest task will involve
"I think the new athletic director
is going to have the same problems
all athletic directors have, including
rising costs and liabilities. He will
have to go into fundraising. These
are the problems he will face, but
everyone's facing these," said Mich-
igan Sports Information Director
The athletic department currently
has its personnel scattered among
several buildings because no single
facility exists that is sufficient for
the department's needs.
"People are scattered all around.
Swimming, gymnastics... and the
ticket office are all in different
buildings. It would be good if we
could have consolidated," Perry
added. "We don't have the constant
contact we need to have because we
don't have the space."
"F A C I IT Y wise, we have
some work to do. Our football
facilities are not up to snuff and
we're going to change that as quick-
ly as we can," Schembechler said.
The athletic department currently
does not have the money it needs to
build these new buildings. Football
ticket prices recently were raised two
dollars per game - from seven to
nine - in an effort to increase rev-
enues. More revenue is needed be-
cause of the increase in tuition costs
'I would hope that the new
athletic director will con-
tinue to support and in-
crease current support for
women's athletics. The
plans are on the drawing
board, and I just hope they
will be completed.'
-Phyllis Ocker, the as-
sociate athletic director in
charge of women's athlet-
ics at Michigan.
the department pays for athletes.
Athletic department Business
Manager Bob DeCarolis explained
this increase. "Scholarship costs
keep increasing by double-digit per-
cents, and we pay the going rate for
general students. Whatever inflation
does, costs rise, and there's got to be
something to cover this."
Perry said, "With tuition going
up, and expenses increasing, we need
to raise money some place." He
added that Michigan's tuition is
higher than all the other Big Ten
schools except Northwestern.
REGENT Philip Power (D-Ann
Arbor) sees this need to raise money
as both a "health and a disease."
"It's a health because the athletic
department can afford to provide
more scholarships, but it's a disease
because when athletic departments
raise money and have pools of cash
at hand, there are often abuses and
cheating," he said.
The athletic department brings in
a sizable amount of money from the
television contracts the conference
holds for football and basketball.
Schembechler said he is concerned
about the tremendous amount of
coverage Michigan receives.
"With the overexposure of foot-
ball and basketball, I feel we must
guard against it having an adverse
effect. A couple of bad seasons could
cause problems. College football is
overexposed on television. The most
important people are the ones at the
game," he said.
partment is also developing new
plans to ensure the flourish of
women's athletics at Michigan.
Phyllis Ocker, the associate ath-
letic director in charge of women's
athletics, says Michigan is on the
verge of fielding championship
teams in almost every women's
"I would hope that the new ath-
letic director will continue to sup-
port and increase current support for
women's athletics," she said. "The
plans are on the drawing board, and I
just hope they will be completed."
"Women's athletics are in a de-
velopmental stage and will need the
interest, support, guidance, and un-
derstanding of the athletic director,"
Interim University President Robben
See Director, Page 7
B didn'twant to
he's entering his
be AD if he couldn't coach;
20th Michigan season;-
*Get Excited " Get Energized " Get Exercised.
" Intramural Sports
. Sports Clubs
- Outdoor Recreation Center
- and much, much more!
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