The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - November 30, 1992 - Page 3
Continued from page 1
both of which she describes
herself as "just not being able to
get into", Thompson devoted all
of her efforts to volleyball at
Michigan. She entered the 1989
campaign as one of five first year
players, and today remains one of
four seniors who will graduate in
the approaching spring.
Seniors Hayley Lorenzen,
Kathy Richards, Chris White and
Thompson comprise that group;
junior Michelle Horrigan
redshirted her rookie season. By
virtue of their age similarities, as
well as through situations
requiring their undivided
comradrie, Thompson describes
her class also as a family.
"We've been through the most
changes, and we've shown
everyone that it's alright to make
those changes," Thompson said.
"When (sophomore blocker)
Aimee Smith came into the team,
she said that she didn't even know
it was a losing team. We've been
able to put that behind them."
Some of those changes
Thompson refers to include the
huge task of overcoming the many
head coaching changes which
have occurred in the volleyball
program. During the course of the
last four seasons, three coaches
have taken he reigns; most
recently former Olympic assistant
From her setter's position,
which is notably the most
vulnerable and sensitive position
to a coaching change, Thompson
has remained a pillar of
consistency in her level of play.
Under Joyce Davis, Thompson
didn't receive substantial playing
time, but was observant enough to
note the Wolverines' unrelin-
quishable suffering, derived from
a lack of leadership at the helm.
"The first year the coaching
wasn't all that great, and the team
reflected that," Thompson noted.
Peggy Bradley-Doppes, now
women's Athletic Director,
replaced Davis and the team
jumped from a 6-25 season under
Davis to a 19-12 record under
Giovanazzi, in his first season
at Michigan, now directs the
Wolverine attack, and according
to Thompson, should take
Michigan women's volleyball to
"One thing the whole team
likes about Greg is that he is
' straight forward," she said. "If he
doesn't like the way we are
o playing, he tells you, then it is
o over and out the door. At game
:.time he is so calm.
"And it is so calming for us to
look over to him when you know
: you aren't playing your best and
±. have him tell you to just play like
you do in practice. Then, it's like
'o.k., I can do that, no problem'.
b We play so much better that way."
Giovanazzi does not hesitate
issuing accolades, citing
;Thompson as invaluable and the
team's most versatile player.
"Tamisha has taken everything
* I$ave said in my first season here
with open arms, and for a setter to
do that is pretty great," Giovanazzi
said. "Her position is the most
difficult to play in the midst of
coaching changes, and she has
proven to everyone that she can
handle the job.
"And there is no doubt that she
is a big leader on this team. She
has done a super job, and has
made my job as a coach much
easier. I can't say enough about
Despite the coaching changes
not improve without some
personal sacrifices, though.
Between her junior and senior
seasons, Giovanazzi and his staff
asked Thompson to alter her
hitting technique, which frustrated
However, with the help of
assistant coach Mora Kanim, and
her family upbringing, Thompson
adjusted. "I think I was able to
adapt to everything because of my
'The transition was definitely an easy one,
because these people here are like a family to
me. We came here two weeks before school
started, and it was basically just our team on
campus. We were our own family, and coming
from a close knit family at home, I had no real
- Tarnisha Thompson
Thompson said. "One thing I
learned from my family is not to
quit. My family doesn't even
know what the word means. Even
though I didn't get much playing
time my freshman year, I was
alright, because I should have
been alright. I had to learn to
adjust to things.
"When I first came in my
freshman year, I couldn't feed off
of (coach Joyce Davis) personality
at all. I still had the personality of
my high school coach, which was
good. I think Peggy said it
correctly when she called me a
"When Greg came, he was
family. We just won't quit."
Her experiences with training
and working on her volleyball
during the summer months has
lent her an interesting insight into
the process of women's athletics
as well. And a rather timely
insight, with the increasing
prevalence of women's issues in
the athletic realm.
"While I have been here at
Michigan, I have gone through
some other changes, like gender
equity. We've got a long way to
go. But things are starting to
change for the better. I am pleased
with it as far as it has come.
"As far as money is concerned,
there is room for improvement. I
leadership role is one which seems
relatively new to Thompson.
"As the years progressed,
Peggy told me that people always
look to me for direction on the
court, and at that time, I couldn't
understand it," she said. "I thought
that because everyone was their
own individual, they shouldn't
have to look at others for
"I think finally in the spring of
my junior year I understood. Now
I can calm people down and get
the team back together, and excite
them when we are playing well."
Thompson has adopted this
role with remarkable vigor, in
leading Michigan through one of
it's most successful seasons in
history. In fact, during
Thompson's stay at Michigan, the
Wolverines completed their two
most successful seasons in school
history, last year, notching 10
conference wins, and surpassing
that this season with 11, the most
ever by a Michigan squad.
This season's unit is also vying
for its first postseason tournament
bid since 1981. And Thompson's
career assist record, a category
which in itself is based solely on
selflessness, fits her outlook
concerning her role on this team
very well, as it accurately reflects
her disposition both on and off of
In a match earlier in the year
against conference-leading Penn
State, the sparkling senior suffered
a potentially season ending
shoulder operation. Diving for an
unattended ball, Thompson
careened into a row of chairs.
After relocating her shoulder,
Thompson finished the game, but
following an examination of the
injury, she was advised to sit out
the remainder of the season.
Thompson sees her role on the
team as slightly, but not
drastically, altered. Shagging balls
and officiating matches in
practice, Thompson hopes to
remain an active member of the
"Again, the word support
comes up. Ever since the injury, I
dress in my practice gear and go to
practice. I want them to know that
I am here, and I won't give up.
That's not what a team player is.
Just because I am injured doesn't
mean I don't care."
Her teammates concur.
"We definitely look to her for
motivation, as well as with all of
the seniors," junior JoAnna
Collias said. "She is an
inspiration, since she's been
injured we have tried to play well
And when asked of Michigan's
Thompson's eyes light up.
"If we get postseason play, I
will not miss it. I've gone through
too much with the team to miss it.
The way I look at it is that I will
have a lifetime to heal."
Thompson will graduate in the
spring with a double degree in
sports management and
communications, and is aspiring
towards a joint degree in law and
business. She hopes to attend
either Michigan or Wayne State
for graduate school, and pursue a
career as a sports agent. Again, not
too far from her families.
Racists like Schott
should go to the dogs
Baseball, when you stop and think about it, had a fairly decent year
in 1992. When all was said and done, when the last pitch had been
thrown, it came out looking not much worse for the wear. All the
problems - with free agency, with the commissioner who was run out
of town, with two cities fighting over the Giants organization -just
seemed to disappear, fading into the background like a bad memory.
In a way, baseball did what it has always done. It soothed. It provided
an escape, an outlet - only this time baseball did it for itself.
Baseball made everyone sit back and enjoy this thing we call our
national pastime, for better or for worse. Extra innings. One-run games.
Plays at the plate. Old heroes. New heroes.
And a manager named Cito Gaston, a man who happened to be a
Black man as well as a terrific coach, gave Canada its first ever World
Series ring - all with a quiet smile.
But the cheers in Toronto are just a distant echo now as December
ushers in the winter.
And we have gone from Cito Gaston in the limelight, as humble and
deserving a man as there ever was, to Marge Schott, the owner of the
Cincinnati Reds who refuses to hire "niggers' and keeps a Nazi armband
Time can be a rather nasty antagonist sometimes.
Now, nobody has ever pegged Marge Schott as any sort of saint. Or
hardly even a decent person, for that matter.
No, mostly what she has been is an awful eyesore for the game. A
woman with a lot of cash (too much, probably) and a very skewed take
on reality. A woman whose players have always been second-class
citizens to her monstrous St. Bernard dog, Schottzie, who seems to have
the run of the place around Riverfront Stadium.
Players have been traded away because they didn't like the dog, or
because they said something they shouldn't have to the media about the
dog. Love the dog, or you're history, pal.
Schottzie gets a kennel that seats 60,000, Marge gets a cigar and a
nice box seat, and the players get to clean doggie doo-doo from their
spikes while the guys in the other dugout laugh and point.
'Who cares if you guys won the World Series a couple of years ago?
At least we don't have to work for her.'
In that way, it was kind of comical until now. But the laughter
stopped last week and turned to gasps of disbelief when the story finally
broke about the real Marge Schott. Next to her, Steinbrenner seems like
The revelations were rather gloomy.
They provided more evidence to support the complaints that baseball
has constantly tried to dodge in the last decade. More evidence for those
who feel that baseball has been unable to leave behind the bigotry that
once was accepted, but now is dutifully frowned upon.
Evidence that was laid out for us in all its ugliness by a woman
named Sharon Jones. Thankfully, she had the courage to speak up.
No one is naive enough to think that Marge Schott is the last bastion
of racism, or of anti-Semitism, in this sport or any other. There are
plenty of Marge Schotts to go around.
People like Sharon Jones, though, are few and far between.
Jones worked in the front office of the Oakland Athletics for 12
years, and last week told The New York Times about a telephone
conference call convened in 1988 by then-commissioner Peter Ueberroth
during which Schott allegedly had this to say:
"I wonder what the commissioner wants this time," Jones quoted
Schott as saying. "Is it this race thing again? I'm sick and tired about
talking about this race thing.
"I once had a nigger work for me. He couldn't do the job. I had to put
him in the mail room and he couldn't even handle that. I later found out
the nigger couldn't read or write."
Later, Jones said Schott added, "I would never hire another nigger.
I'd rather have a trained monkey working for me than a nigger."
Jones, who is Black, said she ran into Schott some time afterward and
reminded her she had been on the line during that part of the call.
"She said, 'OK, honey, nice seeing you,"' Jones said.
Thank you, Marge. Now everyone knows you're a bigot.
Some examples: Of the Reds' 45 front-office employees, only one is
Black. Schott often referred to two of her players, Dave Parker and Eric
Davis, as her "million-dollar niggers." In a deposition released last
week, she admits she keeps a Nazi armband, swastika and all, at home as
some sort of twisted relic.
Schott took control of the Reds in 1984. Certainly she didn't feel any
different about minorities then than she does now. And certainly, Sharon
Jones isn't the first person who has ever heard Marge Schott say
something so outlandish. So why has it taken this long?
See NIYO, Page 7
Tarnisha Thompson shows that her game isn't one-dimensional
as she tips the ball over two blockers.
at Michigan, Thompson feels her
level of play has improved, in fact,
and she attributes much of her
success and court presence to her
coaches, specifically Giovanazzi.
"Actually, I think I have
become a better player,"
more of a calm person, and I
adopted that kind of personality.
When we are down now, I stay
calm, whereas before I would
become frantic and excited. I think
that helps my play, and the team's
Thompson's level of play did
think in order to have a successful
women's program, you have to
pay to keep your players here over
This season has been
somewhat of a trial for Thompson,
in the sense that she has naturally
taken on additional responsibility
to the team, as well as to herself.
Elected co-captain along with
Lorenzen, Thompson has suddenly
been thrust into the position of
guiding the Wolverines
throughout the Big Ten's
tumultuous schedule. And this
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It took Galileo 16 years to master the universe.
You have one night.
It seems unfair. The genius had all that time. While you have a few
short hours to learn your sun snots from vour satellites before the
... R r
. - I