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January 11, 1990 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-01-11

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Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 11, 1990

Continued from page 1
"I didn't want to remain in the
athletic department and be looking
over the shoulder of (new football
coach) Gary Moeller," Schembechler
His experience as a football coach
and athletic director has prepared
Schembechler for his new role, even
if he's getting involved in a whole
new ball game.
"I've had 37 years in athletics,"
Schembechler noted. "The difference
between baseball and football - its
all competition. The business aspect
of running a major league ball club
can't be too much different than
what I was doing as athletic director
at Michigan."
Schembechler became the Ath-
letic Director on July 1, 1988, but
the day-to-day operations of the de-
partment have been handled by Wei-
denbach. Schembechler's talents as
ambassador have been the key to his
success in his brief stint as Athletic
Director, during which he became
one of the nations' best-known fig-
ures in college athletics.

Schembechler the athletic director
may be best remembered for his han-
dling of basketball coach Bill
Frieder's departure to Arizona State
University. When Frieder joined the
Sun Devils, he intended to coach the
Michigan team through the NCAA
tournament. Schembechler an-
nounced that assistant coach Steve
Fisher would lead the team in the
"I don't want an Arizona State
man coaching Michigan," Schem-
bechler said at the time. "A Michi-
gan man will coach Michigan."
Schembechler criss-crossed the
country to support Fisher and the
basketball team, while still coaching
his own football team through
spring practice. The basketball team
went on to win the national title.
For the next year, Schembechler
will be tutored by outgoing Tiger
president Jim Campbell, the Tigers
president since 1978.
"I'm a reasonably intelligent guy,
not the brightest, but I've got the
advantage of having perhaps the best
executive in baseball to be my men-
tor. That's one of the things that en-
ticed me to come here."


Can anyone fill the
void left by Bo?

Bo Schembechler spent much of they don't need to be protected," said
this last week cleaning out his office associate athletic director Fritz
in the Michigan Athletic Department, Seyferth, who is rumored to be the
taking his coaching trophies, photos top candidate to fill the the AD job
and personal belongings with him. permanently. "That's not (Bo's)
"They'll probably stick me in mission, his mission is to get good
some cubbyhole somewhere," the people in good places and then get
outgoing Michigan athletic direc- them to do the best that they can for
tor/football coach said about moving the best of Michigan."
That cubbyhole may hold Bo's New football coach Gary Moeller
trophies, but it is empty without his added: "There is a lot of stability and
presence. Bo takes some of the char- a lot of honesty left in this program.
acter of the department found at the Bo isn't going to be here, but a lot
corner of State and Hoover with of his program is still in tact."
him. Associate athletic director Jack
Who can replace him, and in Weidenbach stepped into Schem-
essence, become Michigan athletics bechler's AD position on an
- as many perceive Bo to be? Bo 'interim' basis. He already managed
leaves replacements who will at least the day-to-day operations of the de-
ensure that the athletic department partment, while Schembechler served
still opens its doors every morning, as the department's ambassador
even if they are exposed to the cruel within the athletic community.
world that Schembechler had shel- "Everything that's gone on in the
tered them from. athletic department, Jack has been a
"If the people are worth anything, part of it," Seyferth said. "Since

they've been a team, they've done
everything together."
Few doubt Weidenbach's skill as
an executive, but can he balance the
sometimes contradictory demands of
both University administrators and
interested alumni and boosters?
Schembechler's popularity helped
him escape the scrutiny that Wei-
denbach will certainly face.
Weidenbach's handling of Michi-
gan's factions effects Moeller. Some
fans doubt a coach who only won
six games in three seasons, as
Moeller did at Illinois. Quick wins
will be expected from Moeller, who
should have a strong team next sea-
son. An endorsement from Schem-
bechler would certainly quiet anxious
fans, if Moeller starts slowly.
Bear Bryant may have been able
to shelter his replacements, Ray
Perkins and Bill Curry, better than
the University of Alabama adminis-

trators who weakened to the cries oo
fans. Woody Hayes' support could
have quieted the Ohio State faithful
that demanded for Earle Bruce's fir-
. Moeller claims that he is ready to
face the world, even if Schembechler
can't hold his hand.
"We've got to run a football pro-
gram, and a Gary Moeller footbal
program, I'm looking forward td
that," Moeller said. "He will be vis-
ible at times when he is needed."
Yet the Michigan athletic de-
partment is suddenly suffering from
a spiritual void. As Schembechler
leaves, the personality cult that he
had assembled over his 21 years at
Michigan anxiously awaits to find i
this gang of three - Weidenbach,
Seyferth, and Moeller - can create
a similar fervor for Michigan athlet-


Continue from page 1
look like Charles Manson on a bad
day. You see, the line judge, Charles
Czubin told Schembechler he saw
Bobby Abrams block Trojan Bruce
Luizzi below the waist.
Horrendous call. Abrams wasn't
anywhere near Luizzi' s waist. To
exacerbate the situation and Schem-
bechler's ire, Czubin then reported to
the head official, Jim Kemerlin, that

Abrams was guilty of holding. Did I
say blocking below the waist? Silly
me. It was clipping.. .No, no wait a
minute...Holding? Yeah, that's it.
But, let's move on. Sour grapes
can be ugly, just as ugly as sour
play, an infraction of which the
entire Wolverine team was frequently
guilty. The defense bent - I mean
really bent - but did not break until
the last minutes of the game. The
offense was stagnant and the special
teams looked as if they were playing
Notre Dame.

And it's a testament to the
Wolverine talent that Michigan was
still in the football game at the half,
let alone the fourth quarter.
What a shame. A historic, un-
defeated Big Ten season bookended
by heartwrenching losses. Frustra-
This game had all the earmarks of
a Wolverine loss. We've all seen
these symptoms before and we know
how deadly they can be. For
instance, we saw one running play
after another snuffed out at the line
of scrimmage. Those huge, bullish



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runs by Leroy Hoard were nothing
more than a tease, an occasional
glimpse of last year's glorious Rose
Bowl victory.
We saw a blocked punt as another
Michigan demise was aided by
special teams. And we witnessed the
deadliest trait in a Michigan Rose
Bowl loss: fate, as if it was intended
for Michigan to lose.
Which brings us back to that
fated holding call: The Phantom
Penalty. But that's just Exhibit A.
How about the blocked punt? USC
coach Larry Smith said his kick
team operated in safe coverage,
meaning they had no intention of
blocking the kick. It just happened.
I present to you, Exhibit B.
After the blocked kick, the
Michigan defense performed boldly
and admirably, forcing Todd Mar-
inovich and the Trojan offense into a
tight fourth-and-inches situation.
Marinovich went under center, took
the ball and shoved towards the first
down marker. The stadium, more
than half filled with Michigan fans,
shook as it seemed Marinovich fell
short of the first down.
And then came the ball place-
ment. Wonder if Czubin was in
charge here? The Wolverine faithful
moaned. The chains fell to the
ground for the measurement.

And I give you Exhibit C. The
tip of the ball, and I mean the damn
tip, barely peeked past the tenth yard
of chain. Marinovich got the first
down by centimeters. Just two plays
later, Marinovich kept the ball on a
busted play to go in for the score.
Exhibit D. We're running out of
letters here.
Even though the cards seemed
stacked against them, Michigan still
had a chance to win it. A desperation
bomb to Desmond Howard fell in-
complete in the waning seconds of
the game. There were still two
timeouts left.
Alas, we can run through the
scenarios, replay the entire game in
our heads, and ask "Why" over and
over again. But that will do us no
good. It's just too painful a process.
Without saying a word,
linebacker Alex Marshall summed it
all up. We've seen the pictures. A 6-
foot-4, 235-pound man, tears
streaming down his face. Quite an
incongruous image, but then again
nothing really made sense that day.
"I want to apologize to Bo
Schembechler. We didn't send him
out right," Marshall hyperventilated
through the tears.
How can this have happened?
Can't we start Winter Break all over
again? After 21 years of service,

CALL 764-0557
Express yourself
in Daily Arts
Call 763-0379

Schembechler left with the scarlet
letter of "L" burnt on his chest. He
almost left with grass stains on the
seat of his pants. And now he's
completely gone, with no recourse,
no way to come back and help us#
forget. That's Gary Moeller's job
It was as if someone went into
our heads and saw our nightmares,
the things that lurked underneath our
bed when we were children. You
know, the stuff that really made us
feel alone and unprotected when all
we cared about was Bugs Bunny and
Schoolhouse Rock.
Who knew the thing buried deep
in our worst fears was the 1990
Rose Bowl?


lII 77 / l 1 u fYf I f M


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