The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 23, 1992 - Page 3
The 1976 gold medalist speaks
on the state of amatuer athletics
As an Olympic Gold medalist, the
1976 Sullivan Award winner, a
spokesman, businessman, sports-
caster, actor, race car driver, au-
thor, and father, Bruce Jenner truly
has many diverse interests. In part II
of his interview with Daily Sports
Writer Brett Forrest, Jenner con-
tinues to offer his opinions on perti-
nent issues in sport today.
Daily: How do you view pro-
fessional encroachment on the
Olympics, and in particular, the U.S.
basketball team this summer? Do
you think that is right for the
Jenner: Well, first of all, the
Olympic Games have changed,
drastically. In the early '70s, they
threw out the word "amateur." There
are no amateurs in the Olympic
Games, and there haven't been for a
long time. Probably 1976, when I
competed, was the last, sort of,
amateur kind of competition in the
sense that these guys didn't make
much money. A few guys made
money, but not much, all under the
table. And after that it changed.
D: Where does that money come
J: Oh, shoe companies, meet
promoters. It comes from them.
They pay cash and that's the extent
of it. So there was a little bit of
money in the sport, but nothing
compared to what there is now. The
roles had to change. Here you have a
billion-dollar show - the Olympic
Games. Just the rights for American
television alone was $401 million.
All of these people are making
money off the Olympic Games -
the Olympic committee is making
money off the Games, everybody is
O making money off the Games - ex-
cept the actors, the guys, the show.
Times have changed throughout the
world, and the Olympic Games, for-
tunately, are changing, too.
So, I think every country should
send their best athletes, whether Carl
Lewis is making $2 million a year
and still competing as what we con-
sider an Olympian, and a hockey
player who makes $500,000 a year
playing hockey. What's the differ-
ence? You have to open it up. You
just got to open it up. And the
Games have done that.
I have mixed feelings about bas-
ketball. I have two feelings. I sort of
enjoyed us having our own national
team, let's say, made up of a bunch
of guys who we had not seen before,
besides a little bit in college, getting
together - young, aggressive guys.
That was our Olympic team and they
went out there and they took on the
world. That was sort of fun, because
we hadn't seen these guys before.
But we've learned in the last
couple of Olympic Games that bas-
ketball throughout'the world is a lot
more competitive than we think.
And we realize that we can't go with
a team like that and win the Games.
They opened it up.
I have seen Michael Jordan play
basketball. I watch him twice every
week. I've seen Magic Johnson play
basketball. I've seen all these guys
do this. And so, for me, it's a little
bit unspectacular to watch these
guys who you see all the time any-
way. I'd like to see some new faces
in there. But, on the other hand, I
think every country should send
their best athletes.
Certainly, this will be the best
team this country can put together.
So in that case, I think it's probably
right. We've got to go to that.
D: How do you feel about the
fact that there are many young play-
ers in college or just out of college
who will not get their shot at the
Olympics because of this?
J: For Michael Jordan to go play
in the Olympic Games - first of all,
he's already won a gold medal, and
he's making $20 million a year, and
he really doesn't care, so to him it's
nothing. It's like, "I won this little
medal - how pretty." For a young
college student who has been play-
ing basketball for his whole life, all
of a sudden here is his opportunity.
This is a big deal before he goes to
the pros, to win an Olympic gold
* medal. In a way, I think it takes
Qnmethina awav frnm it
J: True, but nobody is going to
go one-on-one with Michael Jordan
and hold up. In that case, I would not
be surprised if our team had a little
bit more trouble than you think.
First of all, you have a lot of egos
involved here. You've got a bunch
of individuals who are making mil-
lions of dollars they can use 365
days out of the year. These guys
have seen it all. They're not going to
be as enthusiastic as some other
people might be.
And international basketball is
very good. There are a lot of very
good teams. This also means that
pros from other countries can play.
Vlade Divac is going to play for his
country. There are a lot of pros who
are going to be in there. The Italian
basketball league is a good league.
They are going to put together their
best team. The caliber of basketball
is going to go up. A lot of these
teams have been playing together for
a lot longer than our U.S. team.
The U.S. team is going to get to-
gether for a month. They're going to
go out and throw the ball around a,
little bit. It's like a summer workout
Yeah, sure, they're gonna win the
Games. I don't see any reason why
they wouldn't win the Olympic gold
medal. But don't be surprised if they
have some real tough games in there.
D: Some people feel that if an
athlete tests positive for drug use,
Is it tough? Yeah! Is it almost im-
possible? Yeah! But the worst that is
going to happen is that they will get
themselves in pretty good shape.
D: What do you think Ben
Johnson has done to the sport of
track and field?
J: Oh he hurt the sport terribly,
terribly. If you notice, not one ath-
lete did a major commercial after the
1988 Olympic Games, not one ath-
lete. You can't name one. Flo-Jo
(Florence Griffith-Joyner) didn't do
any majors, a couple little dinky
things. You never saw her again.
Carl (Lewis) didn't do any. Greg
Louganis didn't do any. Who did
something after '88 - nobody, zero.
Why? All because of Ben Johnson.
It shed a negative light on the
Games, what happened there.
The biggest story to come out of
the '88 Olympic Games was a drug
scandal with Ben Johnson. It is un-
fortunate to me because there were
some great performances there.
There were great competitions.
There were some great athletes.
Only a couple of athletes got caught
using drugs. Unfortunately, there
was one who had probably the great-
est performance in Olympic history
in that 100 meters.
It really hurt the Games. It had a
major, major impact on it. Madison
Avenue stayed away from the
Games because of Ben Johnson. He
hurt more than just himself. He hurt
even get nominated. And he had four
jumps over 29 feet. He had a better
performance, Mike Powell had one
Some people were overlooked
and some people had great perfor-
mances. But, hey, Mike Powell de-
serves it. That was history there.
That was history for many, many
years. Who's gonna break it? Who's
gonna break it? Everybody thought
Carl would. Well here comes this
guy Mike Powell, who has been
jumping great the last few years, and
he finally breaks it.
D: Do you think he should thank
Carl Lewis for making the race for
'I think every country
should send their best
athletes, whether Carl
Lewis is making $2
million a year and still
competing as what we
consider an Olympian,
and a hockey player
who makes $500,000 a
year playing hockey.
What's the difference?'
the record so popular over the last
J: Absolutely. Well Carl Lewis
has done a lot for track and field, not
just here in the United States, but
throughout the world. Carl Lewis is
the most recognized athlete in the
world. I have read it in a few differ-
ent places. Track and field, through-
out the world, is a big, big sport.
Here in the United States, it is a
That's why Carl doesn't do any-
thing here. He does commercials in
other parts of the world. But if you
took Carl Lewis and Michael Jordan
and walk them down the street in
Japan, they won't know who Jordan
is. They will know who Carl Lewis
D: Why did you want to become
J: Because it was the most chal-
lenging thing I could ever find. I ran
my first decathlon in 1970. But I was
in track and field for many years. I
had pole-vaulted and done things in
high school and then into college.
Then in my sophomore year in col-
lege, I ran the decathlon. But I
played football and I went to college
to play football. I also played bas-
I wound up getting involved with
the decathlon there and in my senior
year, I made the Olympic team in
'72. I just enjoyed it. It was so chal-
lenging. It had great history to the
event. I'd heard of guys like Jim
Thorpe and Bob Mathiason, all these
guys who had run the event. It was
just intriguing to me. It is the most
difficult thing you could try to do.
So in that way it became a really big
D: You are really an American
icon. However, fewer and fewer
people will remember what you did
as the event gets dated. Younger
people growing up will have no
recollection of the event or of people
talking about it. How do you view
the short span of fame for an athlete
in general and an Olympian in par-
ticular? Mickey Mantle will live on
forever, but not Matt Biondi.
J: Well I think a Bruce Jenner
will live on forever. Whether the
younger generations remember your
performance or not, they know you
from different places, because of
your work in the media world.
They know you because you did
"CHiPs," not ever knowing you
were an athlete. "I saw you on that
commercial. I saw you do this. I saw
you host that show." That's where
they know you from. They don't
know me from what I accomplished
I mean, my kids weren't around
when I competed. But because of the
nature of the event and that you have
moved on and done other things, you
still stay out there. Do I live with
that one performance? No. My life
has gone on. That, to me, is another
NCAA study shouldn't
make 'M' complacent
By the numbers, the Michigan Athletic Department deserves praise
for its progress in the advancement of women's athletics. But like in the
sports the athletic department funds, statistics aren't everything.
The NCAA just relaeased its 1991 Gender-Equity Study, a compila-
tion of questionnaire data from schools nationwide regarding expendi-
tures for women's and men's athletic programs.
The survey follows the movement established in 1972 by the Title IX
legislation, which requires proportionate funding and equal benefits for
men's and women's sports.
What the study does is provide figures against which schools can mea-
sure their own programs. But Michigan need not, and should not, be one
of these schools.
Michigan must set its standards higher than any national average.
Many schools around the country have made little progress in equalizing
women's sports; therefore, being above average still is not enough.
For instance, women's programs at Michigan receive 100 percent
scholarship funding - the NCAA maximum number of grants. The
study indicates that Division I schools fund, on average, 57 percent of the
But the study provides no data about things like meal money on road
trips. Nothing about practice facilities, or new uniforms.
And most importantly, it says nothing about differing attitudes to-
ward men's and women's sports.
Michigan strives to be at the forefront of collegiate athletics. Its
teams must succeed. Its student-athletes must graduate. Its facilities
must be state-of-the-art.
But this was only the case for men's sports, until very recently.
The athletic department didn't fund the maximum scholarships for
each sport until last year. It didn't start hiring competent coaches for
some women's sports until three years ago. It didn't even come close to
providing adequate facilities for women's teams until two years ago.
This doesn't sound like the same priority scale the athletic depart-
ment had been using for men's sports.
Frankly, the athletic. department only began improving women's
sports because the federal government, Title IX, said it had to.
Only in the last year or two has Michigan committed itself to build-
ing women's programs as a moral - not legal - imperative. The ath-
letic administration seems to care whether men and women athletes are
really treated equally, beyond what Title IX mandates.
One area of improvement has been promotion. At volleyball matches,
the athletic department sponsored a "Dash for Cash" contest, where fans
could win up to $2,000. And women's basketball spectators had a chance
to win a new car this season.
Of course, such promotions are in the best interests of the athletic de-
partment, which benefits from increased fan attendance. But so do the
Another area of improvement is personnel. Women's coaches are no
longer ill-qualified chaperones who are paid minimal salaries to drive
the van and wash the uniforms on road trips. They are skilled, experi-
enced teachers who deserve to hold head coaching jobs at Michigan.
But one reason for the great improvement in women's programs is
that there is so much room for improvement.
Now that women's basketball coach Bud VanDeWege has resigned,
the athletic department can hire a woman for the position. After all,
only 60 percent of Division I women's basketball teams are coached by
women, according to the study.
There's an example of how the athletic department might benefit
from reading the study. It's a rare example, because compared to the
mediocre national averages, Michigan seems quite progressive.
But it still needs progress.
Mennetters aced by
opposition in Houston
by Todd Schoenhaus
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis team
traveled to Houston this weekend
hoping to extend a three match win
streak. Not only did the Wolverines
fail to extend the streak, they failed
to win in three attempts.
On Saturday morning Michigan
(3-1 Big Ten, 3-7 overall) con-
fronted national powerhouse Tenn-
essee and was defeated, 4-0. Unfor-
tunately -rain threw off the con-
tinuity of play, forcing matches that
began outside to be moved indoors.
At third singles, Mitch Ruben-
stein lost to Chris Haggard, 6-2, 6-2.
Teammates Terry London and Eric
Grand followed suit, losing 6-1, 7-6
and 6-1, 6-4 respectively. In the
closest match, Adam Wager took
the first set from Paul Robinson, 6-
1. He was leading 5-2 in both the
second and third sets, but twice lost
five straight games to go down 7-5,
"Adam started to play tenta-
tively when he was up," Michigan
coach Brian Eisner said. "He just
wasn't making the same level
Michigan was unfortunately
harmed by the new format, which
granted a team the victory as soon as
it obtained four victories in singles.
Wolverine captain David Kass was
down 3-6, 3-2 at first singles while
Dan Brakus was up 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 at
second singles. Michigan. was not
given the chance to win those two
matches and then play the normal
three doubles matches because
Tennessee had already won four
"Tennessee is a solid team," as-
sistant coach Tim Madden said. "At
this point in the season, they are just
a better team than us."
Saturday night Michigan was
forced to play Rice without David
Kass, whose forearm tendinitis
proved to be too bothersome.
Although most of the matches were
close, Michigan was defeated 4-1.
Mitch Rubenstein lost to Juan
Lavalle 6-4, 6-3 while Adam Wager
dropped a three setter to Willie
Dann 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Frosh Grady
Burnett, playing in his first match
as a Wolverine, was trounced 6-2,6-
2 as teammate Eric Grand was edged
7-6, 7-5. Terry London recorded the
lone victory, triumphing over Jose
Medrano 6-4, 6-4. Dan Brakus was
again winning when his match was
See MEN'S TENNIS, Page 8
Bruce Jenner, the last U.S. gold medal winner in the decathlon, celebrates
after winning an event during the 1976 Summer Olympics at Montreal.
that person should be banned from
the Olympics for life. What do you
J: No, not at all. What's the dif-
ference between one who gets
caught and one who doesn't get
caught? There should be suspensions
and you should lose your eligibility
for awhile and then that's it. No, not
for life. I mean, my God, some peo-
ple don't know what they are doing.
Banned for drugs for life? Come on.
I mean it's not like these people are
The drug problems in the United
States are a lot worse than a few ath-
letes who are maybe taking some
steroids. It's a small problem.
Steroids is not a hallucinogenic drug,
it's not a terrible drug. It makes peo-
ple a little bit stronger. People paint
it as a drug. Steroids are used every
day in medicine.
D: What do you think of a guy
like Mark Spitz (1972 Olympic gold
medalist in swimming), trying to
a lot of people.
D: Mike Powell, who broke won
of the longest standing world records
in one of the most wondrous track
and field events, won the Sullivan
Award recently. It was, however, his
only great achievement of the year.
There were some other great athletes
up for the award who had spectacu-
'The drug problems in
the United States are a
lot worse than a few
athletes who are
maybe taking some
steroids. It's a small
problem. Steroids is
not a hallucinogenic
drug, it's not a terrible
drug. It makes people
a little bit stronger.
People paint it as a
drug. Steroids are used
every day in medicine.'
Continued from page 1
Karen Barnes and Nicole William-
son and junior Kirsten Silvester.
Michigan -diver Lisa Cribari per-
formed well from the one-meter
board taking eighth with 391.70
points. Her performance from the
three-meter wasn't quite as solid as
she finished eighteenth with 421.95.
Cribari came back to capture the
eleventh spot from the platform with
"We were pretty psyched during
the finals," Humphrey said. "We
knew it would come down to the fi-
nal events between UCLA, Auburn,
and us. It was kind of disappointing
that we didn't have anyone compet-
ing in the last event of the meet.
That's where UCLA came out and
beat us. But we had fun competing
with them anyway."
The Wolverines began the season
shooting for a spot among the top 15
teams in the country. But after the