The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - April 2, 1990 - Page 3
The former football god and coach
* talks about his new lfe with the Tigers
Bo did football. Last year, Bo did
basketball. Now Bo wants to try
Former Michigan football coach
and athletic director Bo
Schembechler is presently in
Lakeland, Florida as the President of
* the Detroit Tigers. Schembechler
coached the Wolverines for 21 years
before retiring this past January.
Daily sports writer Theodore Cox
caught up with Schembechler this
past Saturday to find out how he's
handling life without spring football
practice in Ann Arbor.
Daily: First of all, give us an
update of what you have been up to
down there in Lakeland?
Schembechler: Well, for a long
time, I spent most of my time with
the minor leagues, because the major
team was not in here. See, we
moved the whole operation down
here. Everything that has anything
to do with baseball, other than the
stadium operations and promotions,
we moved down here. So, I've just
been functioning out of the offices
'A coach retiring is no
different than any
other guy on the
campus that decides
to hang it up.... Slowly
but surely I'm fading
into the woodwork.'
D: I noticed Thursday, the Tigers
decided to eliminate low-alcohol beer
(about 1.9 percent alcohol) at Tiger
Stadium and replace it with light
beer (about 3 percent alcohol). You
were quoted as saying that the team
was forced to make the change. Were
you in favor of the new policy?
S: I think the thing that is most
you've already noticed several things
that you would like to change, but
you're going to hold back this year
and work with retiring President Jim
Cambell. Is that true, are you
noticing a lot of changes that need to
S: Well, I don't know about that.
I don't think that if you start a job
March 1st and you go into spring
practice, there aren't a lot of changes
you can make until after the season.
These would only be organizational
things and emphasis maybe, things
Right now I'm spending almost
all of my time with general manager
Bill Lajoie and Joe McDonald
because I'm very much interested in
the scouting: how we scout, how we
recruit, how we sign players, how
we develop them, what kind of
coaching staffs and facilities we have
in the minor leagues, because I
know something about that.
That's the most important thing
to having a good team. I think in
order to build a strong foundation,
you have to do it through the
scouting and the minor league
system. So that's where I'm
spending a lot of time.
D: After last season, the Tigers
obviously have to rebuild. Do you
see the organization putting more
emphasis on the minor league
S: I promise you that, but you
don't do that over night. For
example, I think we have the 2nd
pick in the June draft, and we don't
draft again until 58 of 59. It's tough
to say you're going to do it. It takes
time to make sure you're making the
right selections and so forth.
I think from time to time you'll
have to plug holes. You can't be
sure because you could have a
systbm that produces a lot of
pitchers and not a lot of hitters or
your system may not produce a
catcher, so you have to go out and
get a catcher.
You can't be sure that you can
always produce what you need out of
your minor league system. But
you're allowed to trade; you've got
other ways to do things. If you're
overloading in some positions and
weak in others, you got that chance.
We could never do that in college,
whatever you recruit you got.
D: Do you work with the major
league players at all?
S: Oh yeah, I talk with them,
individually. I'm not in the locker
room, no. I may stop in' once and
awhile, but not often. I gave my
whistle to Mo'.
D: Here's a question that I have
to ask you about. I was watching the
news and I saw Tiger manager
Sparky Anderson taking over the
Lakeland stadium in order to do a
Wheaties commercial. And, I
thought, Bo would never do
something like that at the start of
the football season.
S: Well, he took it over and I
think he finished it at about two
o'clock in the morning. I'm anxious
to see it. No, but I wouldn't do that
I don't think.
D: Do you miss spring football
S: Yeah, I've called up there to
find out what's going on and to find
out who's doing what and how
thing's are going. I think the real
test will be September when they're
ready to kick it off. That will be the
true test depending on what the
Tigers have done in the baseball
season. Maybe we'll be in a race, I
D: Looking back at your
retirement, were you surprised at
how much attention you received?
S: Yeah, a coach retiring is no
different than any other guy on the
campus that decides to hang it up.
But you know, that's the way it's
been ever since I've been there. So,
I've learned to accept that, but
slowly but surely I'm fading into the
woodwork, except when guys like
you still call me.
D: You're still receiving praise
three months later. I noticed Friday
you received the 1990 Robert R.
Neyland Award which is given to
someone who just retired that has
made a significant contribution to
S: Yeah, Robert Neyland is one
of the great coaches of all time from
Tennessee. He was the guy who said
you can win games with the kicking
game. He was a great proponent of
the kicking game. In the south he
was one of the great coaches of all
time. So, I was quite honored.
D: Let me ask you about the
Michigan State steroid ordeal. Do
you think if your team was using
steroids, do you feel as a coach, you
would notice those wrong-doings?
S: Well, I don't know, because
we would random test. We probably
tested, average out, about 30 guys a
month. If we had any suspicion of
rapid weight gain or behavior patters
that were not what the guy was
really like, he'd become random.
I still say the only sure way is to
test. You can accuse and do all those
other things, but the only positive
way, and the greatest deterrent is still
to test. I think that's been great for
us and we haven't had significant
problems with drugs, and that's the
reason. It isn't anything other than
D: Michigan State President Dr.
John DiBiaggio came out and said
this is exactly why he's against
having the football coach double as
athletic director, because now the fox
is in the hen house. Do you think
that poses a problem?
S: No, I don't particularly think
that's the problem. I mean, and I
say, you have to believe and commit
to random testing. Once you do that,
then you will resolve your drug
problems, but you must commit. If
you do that, you don't have to worry
about people accusing you.
D: So are you having fun down
S: Yeah, although it rained today.
Hopefully we'll be able to get the
game in today. We got Kansas City
coming in here. If the games are here
I'll go to them. I don't always go to
the road games, like I didn't go up to
'I still say the only
sure way (to detect
steroids) is to test.
You can accuse and
do all those other
things, but the only
positive way, and the
greatest deterrent is
still to test.'
Baseball City to see the game
yesterday, but I went over to the
minor league camp and saw Toledo
and I saw Lakeland play. Another
words there are five, sometimes six,
Tiger teams playing everyday right
here for me to watch.
You know Mike Gillette's down
here (former Michigan football
kicker and baseball player). He'll
play at Fayville this year. He'll be
the catcher, he should be the first
string catcher there. He's done very
well. He can throw better than
anyone they got in back of the plate.
And they like him because he's a
competitive kid. He's done a good
Some NBA predictions
to fill a sports vacuum
As March Madness fades into the sunset tonight with what promises
to be another heart-stopping finish, a tremendous sports void rears its
Usually, now is the time when baseball takes over the hearts and
minds of the general public, making us quickly forget that college
basketball ever existed.
Unfortunately, most baseball players are about as physically fit as
Rosanne Barr right now. And obese comediennes playing exhibition
games just doesn't cut it. In fact, the Tigers double play combination
looks like Trammell to Whitaker to Divine.
In addition, the players and owners continue to bicker over the roster
size; right now, it stands at 24 men per team to open the season. In order
to avoid injuries, managers will have to carry at least 12 pitchers, leaving
only three bench players who can bat. Look for some pitchers to actually
play some outfield in April.
Thus, no one will be ready for the regular season, making April look
like a docket full of exhibition games that really count. So, where can one
Forget the NHL playoffs, which perennially drag on longer than the
Winds of War. Starting this Wednesday, 16 teams will lace up the skates
for their one month oddessy towards the Stanley Cup. The Cup will be
awarded in mid-May, when the only ice left from winter will be in the
back of a Good Humor truck. In essence, the NHL playoffs are not a test
of who's the best, but of who can stand up after playing hockey for yet
Hence, the only place left to turn to would be the NBA playoffs, a
logical move considering the tournament has the old basketball juices a-
flowin'. Thus, in celebration of finally finding a sport with which to
occupy our time, I give my NBA playofff predictions.
EASTERN CONFERENCE: The question here is not who will
make the playoffs, but rather who will play the Detroit Pistons in the
conference final game. Let's not kid anybody; with All-Star guard Joe
Dumars out of the line-up until the second playoff series, the Pistons are
still one of the league's best.
Either Cleveland or Atlanta will be the eighth seed and sacrificial lamb
for the Pistons. Both the Cavs and Hawks would be better off missing the
playoffs and entering the lottery for Derrick Coleman. Regardless of the
opponent, the Pistons will advance and play the winner of the 4-5 seed,
bracket, which looks like will be the Boston Celtics versus the New York
Knick fans campus wide probably just winced, because the Knicks,
who have crumbled faster than an Oreo cookie dipped in milk, haven't
won in Boston in over four years. The Knick plunge, brought on by Mark
Jackson's whining and Charles Oakley's broken hand, have allowed the
Celtics to grab home court in this series. End of story, Celtics advance.
Behind Michael Jordan's a thousand points of basketball, the Bulls
will beat Indiana and then Philadelphia, which has had a tremendous
season. But the Chicago Jordans will end up losing to Detroit in the
conference finals - again.
WESTERN CONFERENCE: Usually the question here would be,
who's going to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference final. But,
despite the fact that five Western teams (L.A., 53; Portland, 51; Utah, 50;
Phoenix, 48; and the Spurs, 47) will win 50 games for the first time in
NBA history, the Lakers will still leave this conference victorious.
No one can stop Magic Johnson. No one can stop Magic when he
passes to two more unstoppables, James Worthy and Bryon Scott. San
Antonio is still too green to knock off the Lakers and Portland, the team
which has hounded L.A. all year, lost to Magic and Co. by 29 points
Utah might make it to the conference final this year, but, again, the:
Lakers are just too damn tough. Look for them to beat Utah here and then
beat the Pistons in seven games in June for the title. The Lakers will
have the home court advantage and thus the impetus to win the whole
Or, forget the NBA playoffs, when does indoor lacrosse season start?
important is that we are not going to
serve full-bodied beer (about 6
percent alcohol) at the stadium.
That's fundamental. The low-alcohol
beer is apparently, according to beer
manufacturers, a thing of the past.
So we decided that if that's the case,
then we'll just serve light beer.
That's not a big deal really.
D: Do you know why the Tigers
started selling low-alcohol beer in
*4 985? Was it because of problems
with the fans?
S: Yeah, but I can't give you the
whole ramifications of that. But at
that time they were serving full-
bodied beer. But now there are other
precautions that we use. After the
§eventh inning you can't buy beer.
We don't hawk it in the stands
D: I heard on a radio show that
AT THE "Y"
" The Conservatives said they could... but
: Action wants to, but do they really know
" Isn't it time for responsible leadership?
" ALEXANDER H. ISAAC, JR.
FOR MSA PRESIDENT
* DENISE BASCH
FOR MSA VICE-PRESIDENT
paid for by the committee to elect Isaac/Basch
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