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November 27, 1990 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-11-27

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily -Tuesday, November 27, 1990




McMurtry goes home

by Albert Lin
Daily Sports Writer

FOXBORO, Mass. - Quiet.
That is the first thing most people notice
about Greg McMurtry. It is his most dominant
trait. According to his mother, McMurtry is no
different at home. "We don't get two words out
of him either, so don't feel bad if you're ever
talking to him. He's not being stuck up, that's
the way he is," she said. "I don't know if he's
listening and taking it in, or what the problem
is, but he never talks. He just sits there," she
McMurtry was a three-sport star in high
school, excelling at football, baseball and
basketball. Current Wolverine lineman Mike
Lewis, who like McMurtry hails from Brock-
ton, Mass., said that students were in awe of
him. "He was the superstar in high school,"
Lewis said.
But unlike other athletes, when it came
time to pick one sport to pursue in college,
McMurtry did not have an easy choice. Why?
Because he was the best football and baseball
player in Massachusetts, and probably in New
As Brockton's centerfielder, he possessed a
sharp bat, a cannon arm, and a knack for
baserunning. This total package convinced the
Boston Red Sox to gamble a first round pick
in the June, 1986 free agent draft, and
McMurtry's name was called as the 14th pick.
Why was this a risk for the BoSox?
Because McMurtry, as one of the most
recruited players in the nation, had already
committed to attend Michigan on a football
His senior year on the football team he
caught 55 passes for 1,042 yards and scored 22
touchdowns (15 receiving) in 12 games. He
was a Parade and USA Today first-team All-
American and Massachusetts' player-of-the-
year. Boston College coach Jack Bicknell,
whose school McMurtry "just wasn't inter-
ested" in, said at the time, "He's the one that
really broke my heart. He would have done
everything for us - carried it, caught it, re-
turned it. Everything."
But perhaps Boston general manager Lou
Gorman, who played baseball at Stonehill
College with, Brockton football coach Armond
Colombo, thought he knew something that no

one else did. If there was some indication that
the prospect might take the Red Sox' offer, it
would not have come from McMurtry's
McMurtry's father, Sanford, Sr., said that
he had already made the decision to go to
school, and that "he knew he wasn't going to
play for the Red Sox all along."
But surely Boston's offer, which included a
$172,000 signing bonus, was tough to resist.
Not so, McMurtry said. "It was somewhat
difficult, but the bottom line is I wanted to see
how good I could become in football," he
His parents also told him that if he was that
good at baseball in high school, in four years
he should be selected again, and with the NFL
draft as another option, he would be in an even
better bargaining position..
So away he went to play football under the
watchful eye of Bo Schembechler. "When I
sent him off with Bo, I felt like I was sending
him off with his father," his mother said. "I
didn't have to worry about anything. I just felt
comfortable with Bo."
Although the Wolverines were known for
'three yards and a cloud of dust', McMurtry
never had second thoughts about playing in
Ann Arbor. He admitted, though, that there
were times when he wished Michigan threw
more. But "we won games, and we went to the
Rose Bowl. That was the main thing. I'll
sacrifice anytime to win games," he said.
After a successful four seasons at Michigan,
McMurtry was considered by most experts to
be the second-best wide receiver entering the
1990 NFL draft, and a probable late-first, early-
second round choice. But he lasted until the end
of the third round, where the New England
Patriots were only too happy to find him.
Patriots director of player operations Joe
Mendes thought McMurtry went at the right
stage in the draft. "By definition, third round
draft choices are developmental players, and I
think it's being born out this season that that's
in essence what he is.
"He's a guy that is a good rookie, but he
has to progress and develop, because he's not
at the level he has to be at to be a successful
player in this league."
Receivers coach Richard Wood said that
McMurtry's main problem is his footwork. He

has speed, but has to develop more finesse and
perfect his route running. On the season,
McMurtry has 17 catches for 189 yards, but as
he continues to improve, he will get more
playing time, and will make more catches. And
no one doubts that will happen.
"I definitely believe he's probably one of
the most intense athletic competitors we've
had here in a long time," general manager
Patrick Sullivan said."

to N.E.
reportedly has a clause that would allow-
him to renegotiate his contract before his
option year if he does not play baseball.
But this is not a concern of McMurtry's.
He says only that after the end of the
football season, he will look into playing
baseball to "see how the situation is."
His brother Ron said that McMurtry
does not like to talk about his plans. "He's
been real tight-lipped about it, even to me.
I give him hints, like we went to a ball
game this summer, and I bought a Detroit
Tigers hat, trying to put little hints to
So even his family can do no more than
speculate. His mother thinks that Mc-
Murtry may not be willing to devote the
time it would take over the next few years
to make himself into a big league ball-
player, because his football would suffer.
That factor might make his decision for
She explained that the family used to
talk with McMurtry about football, but
since he's been with the Patriots, that
subject is taboo. "We wouldn't want to
make him more depressed!" she said. "We
know 'there's nothing to talk about, so we
don't even bring up the subject of football.
We're just hoping for next year."
And next year, with a season under his
belt, Greg McMurtry will be a better
But don't expect to hear him say
anything about it.

Ohio St.ac
by Matt Rennie
Daily Hockey Writer

As much as he loves football, McMurtry
still has the added lure of professional baseball.
He was selected in the 28th round of this past
June's baseball draft by the Detroit Tigers.
In an irony of ironies, the man who once
lured McMurtry from playing baseball in
Boston to play football in Michigan is today
trying to do the same thing. Only now, Tigers
president Bo Schembechler has traded sports.
McMurtry's contract with the Patriots

Interested in writing for Arts?
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The Michigan hockey team has
left a distinct impression on oppos-
ing coaches all season long, a*
Ohio State coach Jerry Welsh is no
Most coaches were impressed in a
positive way. Welsh, on the other
hand, came away with a slightly dif-
ferent impression of the Wolverines.
After Friday night's 5-5 tie be-
tween the two teams in which the
officials played a pivotal role, Welsh
blasted the crew which worked
"It was definitely a biased game,"
Welsh said. "It was apparent that
they weren't going to call anything
at the end of the game. The non-calls
definitely went in Michigan's favor."
"That linesman worked a bad
game (for us) last week, too. I know
the commissioner will say that it's
better to get back on the horse, but I
don't think he deserves that muce
Welsh went on to say that the of-
ficials ignored cheap shots taken by
the Wolverines all night. In the
other lockerroom, Michigan coach
Red Berenson felt that Ohio State
had been the beneficiary of some
generous no-calls.
"I thought they could have called
twice as many penalties," Berenso
said. "They see things and don't ca
it, and then all of a sudden, it's like
there aren't any rules."
The next night, the officials
handed out penalties bulk rate, but
Welsh still wasn't pleased.
"All I can say is that I've never
been associated with a team that got
hit over the head so many times
with a stick," h said. "It wasn't the
difference tonight, but I thought th
got away with a lot. I felt they ou1-
classed us in everything except
Berenson thought that the prob-
lems on the ice originated with the
Scarlet and Gray.
"I thought that both teams were
out of control," Berenson said.
"Their team was the instigator. We
tell our players not to retalliate, but
when the referees don't call an*
thing, that's pretty difficult."
Rookie goaltender Chris Gordon
played the entire third period of Sat-
urday's 9-1 Michigan victory, but it
wasn't supposed to be that way.
Welsh replaced his starting goal-
tender, Mike Bales, with Jim Slazyk
at the beginning of the period and
took a time-out in order to giv
Slazyk a chance to warm up.
Meanwhile, Berenson sent Gor-
don out to warm up during the
break, saying that he was consider-
ing getting the newcomer some ac-
tion later in the period.
"I thought I'd give Gordon some
ice time, but I was going to wait un-
til their power play was over" Beren-
son said. "The referee thought that if
I warmed (Gordon) up, I had to sta*
him. I'm not sure if that's right."
Gordon made the most of the op-
portunity, surviving the power play
and making eleven saves as he shut
out the Buckeyes for the remainder
of the game.


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