The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - November 20, 1989 - Page 3
Arizona's warmer weather
has not fried Frieder...yet
by Taylor Lincoln
Daily Basketball writer
Bill Frieder now coaches in a
new environment, but some of his
old reputations have followed him
West. He has already proven
himself as a recruiter, and he has
already found himself in a
Always recognized for his
uncanny recruiting prowess, Frieder
brought a banner class to Arizona
St. He landed five commitments
from high school seniors during the
early signing period.
Highlighting the recruiting class
is Jamal Faulkner, a 6-foot-7
forward from New York City, who
is rated a third team high school all-
America by Street and Smith
magazine. Also included is Steven
Smith, whom The Sporting News
ranks as the eighth best point guard
in the country. Ian Dale, a 6-8
forward from Houston received
honorable mention consideration
from Street & Smith. Two other
recruits were ranked among the top
ten prep players in the West by the
Long Beach Press Telegram.
Intended as a supplement to the
batch of incoming recruits was 6-6
forward Sam Mack, a transfer from
Iowa State. Mack had been acquitted
of charges of armed robbery prior to
transferring to Arizona St. last
August. Then, Nov. 8, the same
'day as the start of the early signing
date for high school players, the
ASU Newspaper, the State Press
reported that Mack had been accused
of sexual assault of an ASU
woman. The incident is presently
under investigation, but Mack, who
would have been redshirted this year
due to his transfer, has been
suspended indefinitely from the
"(Frieder) brought in a great
recruiting class and people were
happy about that," said Mark
Emmons, a columnist for the
Phoenix based Mesa Tribune, "He
brought in Sam Mack and people
weren't happy about that."
The Mack incident is symbolic
of much of the criticism which
Frieder endured at Michigan.
Though he never took a chance on a
player as risky as Mack, and he
never had a player accused of such a
serious offense as Mack has been,
he was scorned at times, both for
his recruitment of certain players
and for their off-court activities.
Frieder has not been available
for comment since the Mack
incident, but this past July he did
speak candidly about his years at
Michigan. Ironically, three of the
rplayers that caused Frieder to be
subjected to the most disapproval'
from the University community
went on to play starring roles in
Michigan's championship run:
Glen Rice, Rumeal Robinson, and
"You wouldn't believe the heat
I've taken on Glen Rice as a
freshman, a sophomore when he
Sgot into some problems," said
Frieder. "He got in a fight in a
dorm with an RA, and two, three
other things happened. People were
telling me 'why do you have a guy
like that in school?'
Bill Frieder - same guy, new look.
"All the criticism we took for
taking those prop 48 kids
(Robinson and Mills). That's kind
of interesting. The same people
who were criticizing me and the
basketball program for taking those
kids are shaking their hands and
°(saying) they're great now."
But by the time that Rice,
Robinson, and Mills had the chance
to work their magic, Bill Frieder
was no longer a Michigan coach.
His knees had buckled under the
weight of the increasing criticism
that he had been subjected to.
"I think probably the thing that
upset me most this year (1988-89),
probably in the past five years, is
when we lost a tough game up in
Madison and come back Monday
night to play Indiana and I get more
boos than Bobby Knight does in
the introductions. Here's where we
need everybody's support to bounce
back at home, in front of our home
fans, and I get more boos than
Bobby Knight...and that affected
me. That's when I started thinking
'hey I've got people out there
wanting to pay me more money to
coach at their school and they'd be
excited if I became their basketball
. "I knew that this was probably
going to be my best team at
Michigan and I figured if people
were unhappy with our recordethe
past five years then I'm tired of
listening to them."
After dealing with the criticism
of Michigan followers, Frieder was
forced to listen to the praise heaped
on current coach Steve Fisher, who
guided the team farther than Frieder
ever had. Fisher was billed as the
Dailv ile Pnoto
savior of a team whose potential
had never been realized under
Frieder refuses to let his
contributions go unspoken. "No
matter what anybody says, that's
my entire operation. I hired every
coach, I hired Fisher, I retained
Boyd. I recruited everyone of those
players, I approved all the
managers, the trainer I brought into
my system, and the secretary.
"After the Indiana game (a one-
point loss, in which Indiana
converted a three-pointer at the
buzzer), we said 'we're going to
win a national championship.'
Then we blew everybody out and
then had the one bad game against
Illinois. But we felt good going
into the tournament. It's hard to say
what would have happened the other
way around but these kids were
playing well. They had their
The Michigan players are divided
as to what would have happened the
other way around. Rumeal
Robinson, whose two free throws
culminated the championship run,
down plays the role of the coach. "I
don't think the attitude changed
with coaches. The coach can only
tell you so much. The attitude in
Atlanta was, 'this is the NCAA
tournament - you lose, you're
But Loy Vaught, who had
reportedly been in Frieder's
doghouse during much of the 1988-
89 season emphasized the
importance of Fisher's role. "The
thing that coach Fisher brought us
is that he poised us a little more
when we needed to be. There were
times when he'd come to the bench
and we'd all be excited, arguing
among ourselves. He would just
make us be quiet for five seconds
then he would say something in a
monotone, soothing type voice."
National criticism against
Frieder reached a crescendo during
the tournament in reaction to his
accepting the Arizona St. job just
before the tournament began. "On
the day that I knew I was going to
Arizona St. at the end of the
season," Frieder responds, "All I
could see is that the word was
going to leak out and there was
going to be chaos in Atlanta. So
the best thing to do was be honest.
"When I thought about
(coaching Michigan through the
tournament) I didn't see anything
wrong with that. C.M. Newton was
going to Kentucky as AD, he
coached (Vanderbilt) all year. And
there's been other situations,
especially in football, when coaches
leave but go on to coach their team
in the bowl game."
Though Frieder maintains he
does not have any animosity
towards Athletic Director Bo
Schembechler, his words also
reflect a certain amount of
bitterness over Schembechler's
decision to put Fisher in charge for
"He asked me why I would make
the decision at that time and I asked
him why he would give Arizona St.
permission to talk to me during the
regular season. He didn't answer
me...All he had to do was say,
'hey, yeah, you can talk to him -
after the season.' "
Frieder maintains that the
reaction of coaches around the
country was supportive of him. "If
you check with coaches around the
country, you can't believe the
number of letters and phone calls I
got from those people who said that
I should have gone ahead and
coached my team anyway. But then
he (Schembechler) would have gone
out and had me arrested or had
security carry me off the floor. But
then they said, 'that would have
made you the hero then and him the
bad guy.' That's the consensus of
what other coaches have said."
At Arizona St., Frieder will not
be burdened by high expectations
from his team's followers. The
Sun Devils top returning scorer
from last year's team, which
finished seventh in the Pac 10, is
Tarence Wheeler, who is out until
at least January with a knee injury.
The rest of their talent is sparse,
and the team is expected to finish in
the lower division of the
In fact, Sports Illustrated
writes, "At least Bill Frieder won't
be accused of squandering talent
with this team."
Frieder is optimistic. "I know
that if I get the job done there,
they're going to be ecstatic. They're
building up the hiring of Bill
Frieder...they're saying that two
great things have happened in the
history of the athletic department:
beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl
two years ago, and hiring Bill
Wings, Probert cross
the border of decency
Every time I come back from a night full of joy in Windsor, there's
always some drunken idiot in the back of the car that wants to have some
Like clockwork, this inebriated idiot always thinks that drunken fun
translates into fooling around with the Border Police at the Detroit-
Windsor Tunnel. Why can't these people just pass out in the car?
Unfortunately, bed spins are at least an hour away; so as the car
slowly pulls into the line at the Tunnel, this drunkard brilliantly reaches
for the power window button, ready to mess with the U.S. Border Patrol.
Of course, the reality of having someone search through your orifices
with a flashlight all night finally sets in and the drunken fool calms
down when the car finally reaches the border.
Because the last thing you want is to get in trouble with the Border
Unless, of course, you are former Red Wing and malcontent Bob
Probert. You see, if you have that enviable goon-like talent, that knack
to shove people around the ice like a bully searching for milk money,
then you don't have to worry about such a flimsy thing like the Border
Police. Even though you have a police record a mile long.
On March 2 of this year, Probert decided to pack a little more than
usual into his Fruit of the Looms. Like the rocket scientist that he
obviously is, Probert placed half an ounce of cocaine in his underwear.
Then, he proceeded from his native Canada toward Detroit where he had
already been busted for drunk driving more than once.
But those nasty, gruff and tough Border Police busted Probert and two
days later NHL president John Ziegler kicked him out of the league,
stating that "players involved with illegal drugs will lose their privilege
to play... we do not accept excuses."
Well, Ziegler really stuck to his guns on that one - for all of nine
months. Just last week, Ziegler said that Probert could be reinstated as
early as March 4 when he finishes his prison sentence.
The NHL's drug policy used to be the best in sports, stating that if
you mess with drugs you are history. The drug policy used to be the only
thing separating the NHL and all its fighting from a three-ring circus.
Not anymore. For some reason, Ziegler has made an exception for
Probert. And I say the Detroit Red Wings are the ones that have pressured
Ziegler into making that exception. The Red Wings are the ones that
have protected Probert throughout this whole affair with the intention of
returning him to the ice as soon as possible, regardless of his problems.
The Wings did not state last March that they wanted Probert back.
However, they did provide fine character witnesses at his trial. They did
provide the opportunity to return Probert to the game at breakneck speed,
despite his drug and alcohol offenses.
Thanks to the Wings, Probert is serving only three months for his
border gaffe. Let's talk about this for a moment or two. Let's say that
you have been busted for drunken driving a few times. Let's say that you
then try and sneak illegal narcotics over the U.S. Border.
Let's say that you'd be finished. Let's talk bread and water for a few
So, thanks to the Wings and an court system obviously partial to
sports stars, Probert has slipped his way out of this one. Just last March,
Probert seemed truly finished because nobody, regardless of public
stature, messes with the Border Police. Right?
Wrong. Probert currently serves his time in the Federal Medical
Center in Rochester, Minnesota. Now, this isn't your most ferocious
penitentiary. This isn't the jail from movies like "Chained Heat" or
anything like that.
The list of Probert's fellow inmates in this prison consists of such
criminals like PTL maniac/televangelist Jim Bakker and Mr. Airport
Terminal himself, political lunatic Lyndon LaRouche. Let's just say that
Probert won't be chopping up rocks and making license plates all day.
Probert can return from this caged hell on March 4, one year to the
day that Ziegler supposedly banned the former All-Star from playing
hockey again. He can only return after he completes the terms of his
probation and if the Wings formally request an early reinstatement.
And, hey, guess what? The Wings will request that reinstatement.
"If he gets out February 7 and can play March 4, I think he could go
out and skate for three weeks and get into playing shape," Red Wings
coach Jacques Demers said at a press conference last week, probably
drooling at the opportunity to get his enforcer/goal-scorer back in the
"He can work out where he is now. It is very realistic, very realistic
that he'll be back," he said.
It seems that if Ziegler and the U.S. attorneys allowed Probert out of
his purgatory right now, Demers would tie up the laces on Probert's
Where does his rehabilitation for his drug habits fit in? Where does
any consideration for Probert as'a human being with many problems
come into play? Does the fact that the Red Wings smell much like a
slice of Limburger cheese left out on the counter have anything to do
with this early reinstatement?
At 5-13-3, the Wings need to stop the bleeding as fast as possible.
Probert would be a welcome addition to a horrible team. In this light, it
becomes obvious that Probert's well-being has not been of primary
importance in this whole affair.
Not surprisingly, the Wings have a history of recidivist alcohol
offenders. Petr Klima was busted for drunken infractions four times.
Several other players broke curfew and got loaded during a crucial playoff
series with Edmonton. Joey Kocur has been accused of beating up a
woman, shock the world, while he was drunk.
The Wings have tried to help Probert before, paying his way to the
Betty Ford Clinic and putting him on Anabuse, a medicine to help
alcoholics. And each time, Probert threw the help back in the Wings'
face, showing obvious lack of concern for his disease.
So why should we all listen intently when Demers says that "Probert
has worked very hard at his treatment. I have better feelings about Bob
Probert than ever before." Hasn't Demers learned his lesson?
Placing Probert on the ice in March will not help either party. So the
Wings have two choices.
The Wings could wait a while and actually see first-hand if Probert
has been fully rehabilitated. Show some guts and say that winning isn't
the only thing. Probert has yet to prove that he can live in society and
not break the law. Just because we haven't heard from him for a year
doesn't mean that he has changed. After all, he's been in prison, clinics
and courtrooms all this time.
Either do that or just cut him. Probert did not heed any of the Wings'
advice previous to the border incident. The Wings could be bold and say
that they've stuck their neck out too many times.
But, you see, the Wings are in last place. So, they're going to ignore
Probert's past and rush him back to the ice. Looking at his past,
recidivism is very likely for Probert. Dropping a cocaine habit is not as
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continued from page 1
The NCAA awarded automatic
bids to the top two finishing teams
in each of the eight regionals and
then gave out at-large spots to six
more schools across the nation.
Luckily for Foster and her team, the
committee decided that their
regional was tough enough to merit
four teams qualifying. Foster had
felt going into the regionals that
three teams would qualify, not four.
Needless to say, the team was
smiling when they learned the
news. There's nothing better than a
second chance. At the regional meet
they finished behind a Minnesota
team that they had beaten just two
weeks earlier at the Big Ten
But the whole team didn't show
up last Saturday morning. The
runners and the coach were puzzled
with their showing. Two rookies
ran their best. while two veterans
continued from page 1
Senior teammate Shawn Martin,
who shares the duties of captain
with Round, also looks for the
team to get better.
"I think if we can get everyone
healthy and keep everyone healthy
we should have a very productive
year," Martin said.
The Wolverines traditionally
have faced some of the finest teams
in the nation, and this year will be
no exception. Michigan begins its
schedule January 13th when it hosts
Minnesota, ranked 3rd nationally
last season, are expected to capture
the national crown this season. In
their next dual meet the young
Michigan squad will host Defending
national champion Illinois, who is
looking to repeat its title.
The rest of the schedule looks
just as challenging. Ohio State,
The NCAA surprised the women's cross country team with a bid to the
national meet. Team members shown here left to right are Traci
Babcock, Ada Udvadia, Kim Haluscsak, Carol Boyd, Jennifer McPeck,