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September 07, 1990 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-07

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 7, 1990 Page 24
New league name Andy Gottesma
isn't child's play ___y_____ot _


at skill PC


- The Big Ten Conference is experiencing a prob
smilar to that of a grammar-school student. JustI
every kid pleads with mom and dad to change his or'
name just this once because the other kids make fun
it, the Big Ten is afraid of getting laughed at.
Because it now has 11 teams.
With the official addition of Penn State in June,
cpnference grew by one. And now many people
saying it would be foolish to keep the same name.
"We don't want to make it into a joke," Big Z
Commissioner Jim Delany said.
Instead of second-graders taunting a peer w
"Matt's fat, Matt's fat," Delany is afraid ev(
sportswriter in the country will be too tempted to re,
pot-shots like "That Big Ten is such an acadei
conference -- they can't even count to 11."
So Jim is scared, just like fat
little Matt. But instead of turning to
parents, Delany has asked his mar-
keting and promotions committee to
find a new name. The committee is
collecting ideas from various sources
and will make recommendations later
this month.
However, Delany said the final
decision may not be made until 1991
when Penn State actually begins
conference competition -- by the
douncil of Ten, the league's
governing board of presidents and
"This is a pretty important
thing," said Christine Voelz, Min-
nesota's women's athletic director
and a committee member. "It's 'We don'1
something that's near and dear to all make ti
of us.
But maybe the Big Ten is going .I
about this in the wrong way. If Big T'
something is so near and dear, you
don't send it to a marketing and promotions commit
- A group comprising 11 institutions of hig
education should go to a library. Unfortunately,i
library doesn't have any books about renaming y
athletic conference, so I took out the next best thing:
Nothing is nearer or dearer than naming a baby. A
the library had plenty of books about that - with1
of good suggestions for Delany. Specifically, "Wha
Name Your Baby, From Adam to Zoe," givest
The sounds should be harmonious and the rhytl
pleasing. That kind of negates the effectiveness
names like "The Big Rose Bowl Choke Conferen
Not rhythmic, or pleasing. Of course, "Big Te
Penn" is harmonious, but we're not going to use t
Don't be difficult. This puts simple ideasl
Be a Daily

"The Bigger Ten" into front-running position. Scratch
"The Five of One, Half Dozen of Another Conference."
Too much thought involved.
Don't be fanciful. I guess we can forget "The
Elite Eleven" or "The Essence of Eleven." Too
Beware of Acronyms. Scrap "Great Expansive and
Eleven Conference." Heard that one was close, too.
Don't be funny. Ah, now we're back to Delany's
real problem. We can eliminate a whole bunch of
possibilities in this category. Goodbye "The Big Ten +
Northwestern," or all Northwestern jokes for that
matter. No jokes about being close to Notre Dame, or
how cold it gets in Big Ten country. And absolutely,
positively no funny stuff about addition. Shame on

by Eric Lemont
Daily Football Writer
Pick up most newspapers or;
sports magazines and the Wolverines
are the overwhelming pick to repeat1
as Big Ten football champions. But,l
as of today, not everything is set for
a third straight conference title.
Michigan football coach Gary
Moeller provided an update Thursday
on some positions that need to be
cemented before the season opener1
against Notre Dame next Saturday.
"I think we're making progress
every day. The uncertainty again is
that I couldn't tell you who I'd start
at tailback today if I had to start
one," Moeller said.
With Tony Boles unavailable to
play this season, three players -
Allen Jefferson, Jon Vaughn and
Dennis Washington - are vying for;

substantial playing time in the back-
field. While Vaughn rushed for 165
yards in April's Spring Game,
Moeller said Jefferson has recently
been getting most of the snaps in
According to Moeller, his nam-
ing a starter could occur tomorrow,
in a few days, or next week.
Equally uncertain is who will
start at tight end. "It's up in the air
between (Tony) McGee and (Dave)
Diebolt," he said.
The last major source of competi-
tion is at linebacker. Erick Ander-
son, who led the Wolverines with
105 tackles last year, and John Mil-
ligan will hold down the inside. But
both outside positions are currently
Although junior Alex Marshall
led the team in tackles for losses (11

The conference could go back to
its inception. It's official name is
the Intercollegiate Conference of
Faculty Representatives, commonly
known as the Western Conference.
Only problem is the first name
should probably get zapped by the
"too difficult" rule - and the West-
ern Conference was adopted before
the turn of the century. The Big Ten
states are hardly Western anymore -
-especially with Penn State.
Even the'names which might be
seriously considered, like the Great
Lakes Conference, have problems.
Not only do two existing confer-
ences use those words, but who
wants to be named after a body of
water? Only the surfers in the Pac-10
do that.
I -guess we don't have much to
choose from, really. But maybe
Delany and the Council of Soon to

for 62 yards) last season, he finds
himself in a struggle to retain his
starting role. At the other outside
linebacker position, junior Brian
Townsend and sophomore Martin
Davis are jockeying for first team
"With Townsend and Davis, 9
will probably be Townsend, but
that's a close matchup as is Marshalt
and (Neil) Simpson on the other side
at outside linebacker," Moeller said.
"Right now it's a tussle back thee;
as far as who's going to play.
There's a lot of competition."
Chris Stapleton would have been
the Wolverines' starting punter but
he will be out for at least the Noi@
Dame game with a broken foot he
suffered several weeks ago. In his
place will be Eduardo Azcona.
main at

Paterno says he'll r

PSU for Lios Big Ten debut,
by Mike Gill
Daily Football Writer

t want to
into a joke'
-- Jim Delany
An Commissioner

tee. be Eleven can learn something from fat little Matt. His
;her parents surely won't change his name, and eventually
the he'll get over the taunting. One day, he'll probably even
our be an inside linebacker for Iowa.
. The Big Ten's name means more than just how
And many schools it includes. It means tradition and memo-
lots ries. Millions of people consider themselves Big Ten
t to graduates, not just Michigan or Ohio St. graduates.
this The league should harden itself against dumb jokes
for awhile; eventually sportswriters will start picking on
hm somebody else.
of But if Delany gets really desperate, maybe he could
Qce" ask the government if he could use the machine that
n + churns out random names for military operations. It
hat, might even come up with "Operation Eleven.".
like You've got to admit: It's rhythmic.
Ats Staffer...

Penn State's entry into the Big
Ten has created a new lease on Joe
Paterno's coaching life.
The legendary coach of the Nit-
tany Lions said at the Big Ten meet-
ings that when he surprisingly heard
Penn State had been accepted into
the conference, he reevaluated his
coachingestatus. Paterno, 63, says he
would like to extend his 41-year ca-
reer until he is 70.
"It's exciting to be here, to share
the camaraderie, and I can best sum
this up by telling you I had set pa-
rameters on how long I wanted to
coach," Paterno said. "Now, I've
made up my mind to try to coach for
another six or seven years. I'm 63
and in pretty good health - and I'd
love to coach in the Rose Bowl.
"Our women's basketball coach
said it pretty well when she said it's
like getting a new job and not hav-
ing to move."
Now that the Nittany Lions are,
official members of the conference,
becoming participating members is
the next step. Paterno's presence at
the July meetings in Chicago was a.
sign of the movement, and also a

step to heal some wounds. The Penn
State acceptance caused a rift be-
tween Big Ten teams because of
what some said was the sly manner
in which Penn State was offered ad-
mittance to the conference.

hours, sitting with the coaches, I felt
"We have the same type of insti-
tution. This is where we wantedI tq
be, but quite frankly, I thought it
would be a long shot. I was Sur-
prised it happened so quickly."
Penn State joining the Big; Te
was discussed on and off for a nun.
ber of years. Paterno said he envi.
sions problems for schools who re
main independent - with the excefr
tion of Notre Dame. - 1
Paterno also mentioned that h0*
had a chance to coach the Wolverines:
- back in 1969, before the job was
accepted by a man named Glenn E.
Schembechler. "Michigan is the
only other school I ever considered,*
Paterno said. "(Former Michigan.
Athletic Director) Don Canham,
talked to me in Pittsburgh. I very se-,
riously thought about it. But I don't,
know how close I was (in deciding
to go to Michigan). I've never beeoi
to Ann Arbor."
Paterno said Canham later asked
him for his opinion of Schcmbech-
ler, then the coach at Miami 'of


Paterno acknowledged that when
he arrived in Chicago for meetings
with the other Big Ten coaches, he
was not sure what to expect. "I came
out here with some trepidation," Pa-
terno said. "But'after a couple of


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