Harbaugh dazzles and
speaks at Markley
by John Niyo
Daily Sports Writer
"Jim Harbaugh is downstairs right now!"-
s . Sure he is. And Michael Jordan is just down the hall
using one of our urinals. Give me a break.
Well, I spoke too soon. Wonder of wonders, Jim
Harbaugh, the quarterback for the Chicago Bears, really
was hanging out downstairs in Mary Markley Hall. And
it's a good thing we went down to see for ourselves,
because it truly was a memorable event.
I still can't believe it. There I was, in a dorm room~
full of people, chatting with an NFL quarterback about
anything we (a dozen or so students) could think of--and 10
more. For intance, how many people know that if Jim
I Harbaugh could meet anybody in history, it would be
ejither Winston Churchill or Jesus Christ? Now that's
I've got to hand it to the guy. I mean, not many
people can put up with my hailmate who is a vocal,
1Ielligerent, diehard Minnesota Viking fan who called
Harbaugh "Keith Millard's Breakfast." (A reference to Har U n
the Vikings All-Pro lineman who made quarterbacks' a U **
lives miserable this year.)
Fewer still can endure the nonstop babbling of another friend of mine, a
pesky Pittsburgh native caught up in Bubby Brister Mania. But Jim
Harbaugh survived this and much more for over four hours; he certainly
showed some willpower and a lot of humility.
In two separate conversations (the more formal one over the phone a
couple days later), Jim gave his thoughts about life with the Chicago Bears,
the Jim McMahon-Mike Ditka feud, and much more. He also reminisced a
bit on his college (and grade school) days in Ann Arbor and took the time to
play some high stakes "Guess the State Capital Game" with me. (Give him
Vermont and it's money in the bag. Trust me.)
Here's some of what he had to say.
On Bo Schembechler:
, "My relationship with him now is as a friend, a good friend, and
somebody I'look to as almost a second father-type figure. I think he has that
kind of relationship with a lot of his players.
On Gary Moeller taking over the reigns:
"I think certainly the same ethics will be here with Coach Moeller. He's
a great coach. I think this is a great opportunity for him to coach at the
University of Michigan where he's going to get a real opportunity to win. I
don't think he had that sort of chance when he was at Illinois. I talked to
some of the players and they all seem pretty calm about it. I don't think it's
going to be much of a change.
On the controversy over the starting quarterback job in Chicago:
"Right now it stands where we're (Harbaugh and Mike Tomczak) both
number one. I expect next August to be the starting quarterback, to win the
jbb outright in training camp and play the whole season and have a real
good season. I doesn't matter to me if they bring in somebody or draft
somebody. I'll have the opportunity to be the starting quarterback. What I
do with that.is up to me. I'm pretty confident that I'll be the starter.
On the fall of the Bears this season as they finished with a 6-10
Ar n*t e t sp ortt n *1s - tor' g m
Sspot4ng.. the spotin the sport!iqg
"We were definitely hurt by injuries, especially on
defense. Also, it happens that it's tough to stay on top
in the NFL for a long period of time. The better you do,
the worse you draft. The Bears, since 1984, have been
drafting right at the bottom.
"When you've got teams like Detroit, Tampa Bay,
and Green Bay that are drafting at the top every year,
they're going to build their team. We've won five
straight division championships in Chicago. We had a
bad year last year and hopefully that'll be it and we'll
get back to where we belong in the elite of the NFL.
On Jim McMahon and Mike Ditka:
"Their relationship was terrible, just terrible. They
both pretty much hated each other. I don't know why it
was or how it deteriorated so much, but they rarely
spoke and after Jim left he had some really negative
things to say about Coach Ditka and Ditka the same
On playing for two of the toughest coaches in
football, Bo Schembechler and Mike Ditka:
"It's not tough just as long as you don't let them take away what you
know you can do best. Sometimes that means standing up to them.
Basically you have to know what makes you a good player and what got
you to where you are. If the criticism applies, then listen to it and use it,
and if it doesn't, then you don't listen to it. I don't take everything that
coach says as the absolute law. But sometimes you do deserve the criticism
and the criticism can be constructive.
On William "The Refrigerator" Perry:
"William is really good guy. I like him a lot. He just needs to lose some
weight and get back to where he was his rookie year. He needs to get to be
the kind of player his brother is too. I think he's kind of cheating himself.
But on the other hand, I think he does have a problem, psychological or
whatever. He has an eating disorder. He needs somebody to push him and
somebody to monitor his diet and his workouts. Ditka said if he's not 300
pounds he won't be a Bear next year. We'll see if that motivates him.
On college rivalries and their continuation into professional
"All that stuff carries over in a playful sort of way. It's interesting. The
guys that you were the most bitter rivals with in college, you kind of tend
to talk to them more about those games. In fact, my best friends on the
team are Jim Morissey from Michigan State and Cap Boso from Illinois.
Those guys that play for Michigan State, Ohio State, etc. are often just as
good of guys and a lot of times better guys than the ones who go to
After talking to Jim Harbaugh, I'd have to say that there weren't a lot of
"better guys" who went to Michigan. He really isn't all caught up in the
limelight of stardom, as many professional athletes are these days. It was
nice to see. I just hope Keith Millard takes it a little easier on him next
The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, January 31,1990 - Page 13
Bo waves goodbye as
Board waives soccer
by Matt Rennie
Daily Sports Writer
Bo Schembechler closed another chapter of his storied career as the
Michigan football coach and athletic director last night.
Schembechler said goodbye to the Board in Control of Intercollegiate
Athletics in a farewell speech at last night's meeting. He took the
opportunity to inform the board of the changes which loom on the horizon
for college sports.
He began his speech by stressing to the board how important a role
football plays within the athletic budget.
"As long as you're going to expect football and men's basketball to
carry the weight of this vast athletic program," he explained, "then don't
start messing with, cutting, or in some way cheapening the product, so
that we lose fans."
He feared that a loss of attendance would result in budget cuts which
could mean the deletion of current varsity sports.
Schembechler's fear was inspired by the recent cuts in spring football,
which took place at the recent NCAA convention. He scorned the recent
cuts in spring football as being significant enough to have a large effect.
"It's not like I care about five days of spring practice," he stated. "But
don't tell me that taking five days of spring practice away is going to
enhance the academic performance of the football team."
The former coach took on the tone he usually reserves for Pac-10
officials when addressing the issue of revenue-sharing within the Big Ten.
"Whoever set up this revenue-sharing in the Big Ten decided that
Michigan was going to subsidize the whole Big Ten," Schembechler said.
"That is ridiculous. This revenue-sharing is killing us."
He also cited revenue-sharing as a reason that Michigan is currently
unable to add any more varsity sports.
These comments referred to the Board's decision to reject senior Amy
Stock's plea to make women's soccer a varsity sport.
Most Board members exhibited some regret, saying that this is "just a
bad time" for such a move.
"We expected that we would get voted down for financial reasons,"
sophomore team member Sandy Najarian said. "Our only regret is that we
submitted that proposal a year ago, and they're finally dealing with it
Interim athletic director Jack Weidenbach emphasized that several
current varsity sports are being evaluated and that should any of them lose
their status, it could create the revenue necessary to add soccer.
When faced with that possibility, Najarian was apprehensive.
"We really don't want to attack another sport because that would get
them mads at us," she said.
-In other proceedings, the board voted against considering Willy the
Wolverine as an official mascot of the University. The vote was decidedly
lopsided, as most members apparently agreed with Weidenbach's
assessment that there were "no current need" to adopt a mascot.
-Weidenbach informed the board that the Big Ten was in the beginning
of the process of considering Penn State for admission into the conference.
The speculation is that the process will take eight to nine months. Both
Weidenbach and women's athletic director Phyllis Ocker are scheduled to
serve on evaluation committees.
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