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January 15, 1992 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-15

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age 10 -The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, January 15, 1992

GRADES
Continued from page 9
selection Patrick Neaton (4, 12), honorable mention
pick David Harlock (1, 3) and the No. 5 pick in the
NHL draft, Aaron Ward (2, 5). To go along with this
trio are veterans Doug Evans (1, 2) and Chris Tamer (2,
7), and rookies Tim Hogan (0, 3) and Al Sinclair (0, 2).
However, this has probably been the weak point for
the Wolverines thus far. Point production has dropped
from the blueline partly because Berenson often plays
Roberts and Stiver at the points during power plays,
but also because of the defensemen's own struggles.
But the defense's biggest problem this season has
been its play in its own zone. Michigan has struggled
moving the puck out of the zone and has made too many
costly turnovers inside its blueline. Also, the defense-
men have not stayed with their men enough, allowing
too many scoring opportunities off rebounds.
Grade: B-
GOALTENDING: On the whole, goaltenders Chris
Gordon (4-1-1, 4.73 goals against average) and Steve
Shields (11-2-2, 2.67) have done the job for Michigan.
Except for a few bad periods, both netminders have
kept the Wolverines in the game and come up with big
saves when necessary.
The only awful performance came in the 10-0 shel-
lacking at Lake Superior, but the goalies cannot take
full blame for that debacle. While both Shields and
Gordon have done commendable jobs, neither is a fran-
chise goalie.
Grade: B+
SPECIAL TEAMS: While the power play (.280 ef-
ficiency) has been one of the top in the nation, the
Wolverines have struggled shorthanded (.780). Mich-
igan's first unit of Wiseman, Felsner, Oliver, Neaton
and Roberts is one of the most prolific in the country.
However, the Wolverines need more production from
their second unit.

Although Michigan has scored 42 power-play goals,
it has allowed 35 for its opponents, down from a plus
15 at this point last season. The biggest problems have
been unnecessary penalties and play inside the defensive
zone. The Wolverines have been forced to kill too many
man-advantages, and seem to tire when shorthanded.
Many goals have come in the final seconds of the
opposition's power play. Most of the problems within
the zone are similar to those the defense has as a whole.
Grade: B
COACHING: Berenson's juggling of the lines has
been successful, but his handling of the defensive pair-
ings has not been met with the same success. The de-
fense seems to be suffering from a lack of communica-
tion or chemistry. Whether the constant changes are the
problem or an attempt at a solution, it is difficult to
determine.
Also, instead of adjusting for particuiar teams,
Berenson has relied on Michigan's superior talent to
win. While most of the time it has worked, the team
hasn't been able to make many mid-game adjustments
when this strategy fails.
Grade: B
OVERALL: Because preseason expectations were so
high, a 15-3-3 record is not as good as it should be. Too
often the Wolverines have come out flat and either
held on for a victory or lost valuable points. Michigan
has yet to put together the string of solid 60-minute
efforts which is necessary in the postseason. There are
still nine weeks to solve these problems before the
playoffs, but these deficiencies have not been addressed
during much of the first half.
Going into the season, Michigan was a national
championship contender, but the Wolverines have not
yet shown themselves worthy of that distinction.
Michigan still needs to take the step from being a very
good team to being the top team in the nation that they
should be.
Grade: B

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ADVENTURE
Continued from page 9
with a free education. The idea of
intercollegiate athletics is that the
teams represent their institutions as
true members of the student body,
not as hired hands."
The NCAA is the only organi-
zation that can adequately control
the situation because it is made up
of university presidents and ath-
letic directors. If athletes are truly
students and the athletic program
is part of the university, the presi-
dent should have ultimate control
over and responsibility for the ath-
letic department, just as he or she
would any other part of the col-
lege. Recent voting at the last two
conventions suggests that this is
the direction the NCAA is taking.
So what has changed and what
still needs to be changed?
Student-athletes must be able
to compete in the classroom. If
they can't meet the minimum aca-
demic standards the university re-
quiressof regular students, then
they should be forced to sit out
from the playing field so they can
catch up.
"It seems to me that a student
who comes in at that margin aca-
demically, for whatever reason,

needs a year to reach a level of com-
petitiveness so that they can sur-
vive in a university," Michigan
State president John DiBiaggio
said.
The new NCAA legislation,
whichtakes effect in 1995 and will
require a 2.5 grade point average in
13 core-curriculum courses, is a
step in the right direction. But en-
trance requirements should be
higher than that for schools like
Michigan, where academic re-
quirements are much higher than a
2.5 GPA and a 700 on the SAT.
Once the athlete reaches the uni-
versity, more must be done to make
sure he or she is making progress
toward a degree. The NCAA has
made strides in this area. At last
year's convention, an amendment
was passed requiring student-ath-
letes to have completed at least 50
percent of their degree require-
ments before their fourth year.
This year's convention added that
at least 75 percent of their degree
requirements be met before their
fifth year.
The NCAA has gotten over the
toughest hurdle in re-establishing
academic integrity in terms of the
student-athlete - it has begun re-
forms. But there is a lot to do be-
fore it is finished.

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