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December 02, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-12-02

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 2, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Shar Toas


Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.


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Sliding in the 'back door'?
0 Article wrongly indicts 'U' Athletic Department
7he University's Athletic Department, given atop agement, whichprepares students forarapidlygrow-
ranking in the nation this year by USA Today, ing field with courses in business and marketing, it
often seems beyond criticism. While the teams may is not entirely unreasonable to assume that many
be criticized, the department-under the leadership athletes -- who obviously have a keen interest in
ofAthletic Director Jack Weidenbach and the expert sports-might be interested in a career in that field.
spin control of Sports Information Director Bruce Reasoning such as that put forth in the Tribune
Madej -is rarely accused in the media of many of article assumes that student-athletes,-- particularly
the transgressions committed by college athletic those enrolled in Kinesiology- are merely looking
departments around the country, and even when it for a major that will allow them the most opportunity
does, the accusations don't stick. Yesterday's Chi- to stay on the court or on the field, requiring a
cago Tribune, however, bucked the trend. minimum of academic effort. Such reasoning is
As part of a series on athletics and higher educa- misguided. While a small fraction of student-ath-
tion, the article explored the University's Division letes are bound for a stint in professional sports, the.
of Kinesiology and, in particular, the sports manage- vast majority of them will be forced upon graduation
ment and communication program offered within from the University to find a job. These jobs require
that division. The article claims that athletes at the skills. And, as with any other University student,
University take advantage of the division's lower athletes are allowed to choose what they major in.
admission requirements and allegedly easier classes The sports management program prepares these
as a "back door" to a University degree. But, while students very well.
it is encouraging that somebody is taking an interest Furthermore, the article ignores the fact that, like
in the behind-the-scenes workings of the Athletic in any extracurricular activity, a great deal of learn-
Department, the majority of the Tribune article's ing takes place in college athletics. On and off the
claims are neither substantiated nor valid, field, coaches such as football coach Gary Moeller,
The center of the article is a perception that and softball coach Carol Hutchins have a wealth of
Michigan -supposedly unlike other Big Ten uni- knowledge that they impart on their young students
versities like Indiana and Wisconsin - "has a place - and it isn't all related to sports.
to house its student-athletes." In other words, stu- Suggestions in the article that student-athletes are
dent-athletes who either cannot or choose not to live likely to take advantage of less stringent require-
up to the academic standards most University stu- ments are misleading as well. While there are un-
dents are required to, are funneled through the doubtedly some student-athletes who do take the
University in the Kinesiology division. The article easy route, such activity is not limited to athletes.
goes on to quote former Michigan men's basketball Students seeking to coast through their time at the
Coach Bill Frieder and Ohio State football Coach University have many options, and they are not
John Cooper as evidence of this alleged wrongdo- limited to the sports management department.
ing. The Athletic Department is certainly not perfect.
However, quotes from these coaches are not In fact, allegations in the article that some incoming
ample evidence of a problem, and neither are statis- athletes are strongly encouraged to major in sports
tics that show athletes make up 30 to 40 percent of management, if true, are cause for concern. But the
the total enrollment in the sports management pro- University should not be faulted for offering an
gram. Though many athletes do opt for sports man- excellent program in an expanding field.


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Two more cents on JFK's presidency

It would not be unfair to suggest
that the televised memorials of the an-
niversary of President Kennedy's as-
reached the point
of over-saturation.
Still, as a man who
hangs a picture of
Kennedy over his
desk, I find myself
unable to resist the
temptation to
throw in two more
cents on the topic
(albeit a little late). I for one readily
admit that Kennedy fandom is not based
on rational choice; appreciation for him
is often necessarily unconscious, some-
times even reluctant.
Objectively speaking, Kennedy was
not an outstanding president. Of the
century's Democrats, I would suggest
he ranks above only one (Jimmy Carter).
On the other hand, I would also suggest
that he ranks above all the century's
Republicans, except maybe one (Will-
iam H. Taft, the only one not to do
anything that offends me). As presi-
dents go, he was a little better than
Still, mass media seems generally
unable to speak of Kennedy without
invoking images of Camelot, despite
the fruitless attempts of historians to
debunk the myth. Those who are knowl-
edgeable about the period, however,
know very well that Camelotwas mythi-
cal; that Kennedy was not a liberal
idealist at the forefront of the battle for
civil rights; that his infidelity required
the cooperation of the Secret Service
and the FBI.
American Heritage magazine pub-
lished an article by Richard Reeves

detailing the personal cruelty of which
Kennedy was capable. Reeves ended
the piece, however, admitting that de-
spite all that, he liked the man. That
presents the real question. How can
Kennedy's appeal survive even when
his character flaws are so well known?
In truth, one need not rank Kennedy
above all other presidents to appreciate
him; nor must one believe in Camelot.
Those who appreciate Kennedy do so
because he, to this day, inspires many
to work for the common good, not for
the accumulation of personal wealth.
He campaigned in 1960 on sacrifice, a
strategy we have rarely since seen.
Kennedy described his program at the
1960 convention: "The New Frontier
is not a set of promises; it is a set of
challenges. It sums up not what I intend
to offer the American people, but what
I intend to ask of them."
The consequence of Kennedy's
rhetoric are easily visible today. Thou-
sands of Americans are still answering
Kennedy's call to service by serving in
the Peace Corps. Bill Clinton, Paul
Tsongas, Gary Hart, and countless oth-
ers entered politics convinced by
Kennedy of their ability to affect
Vietnam, Watergate, and the sav-
ings and loan scandal, however, have
left the profession hated. Congress is
the most self-hating institution in
American history, its member deriding
each other for living off the dole. Pub-
lic service is no longer viewed as a
noble profession. That, in my view, is
a great tragedy.
Norman Mailer, I learned in a phi-
losophy course, called Kennedy the
first modernist president, describing
him with the Greek word aret, mean-
ing courageous and masculine. But arete

is just a Greek word in the vocabulary
of Camelot. Kennedy's value lies not
in his masculinity, but in his commit-
ment to public service. President
Kennedy was not critical of those who
chose to enter the public arena, rather
he and his brother extolled the virtuesM
of public service, "the most noble pro-
Moreover, Kennedy represented a
progressive president, free from the
hindering trappings of ideology. The
consummate politician, Kennedy chose
to make progress through the political
system, not moral intransigence. When
told by economic adviser Paul
Samuelson that even if he lost the fight
for a tax cut, Kennedy would have
"fought the good fight." The president
retorted, "That's vanity, not politics."
According to Irving Bernstein of
UCLA, Kennedy's skilled politicking
would have resulted in success. By
November 1963, Kennedy had already
completed most of the footwork for the
Civil Rights Act and medical insur-
ance for the aged.
It is from the glamour that Kennedy
gave to public service and his prag-,
matic progressiveness that I draw in-
spiration. Those of us, who admire
Kennedy to some degree know that he
brings out the best in us: patriotism,
altruism, and purpose.
I was not alive to experience the
period of innocence and hope, though
I doubt either existed in any general
sense. But I can look back today to
Kennedy - past Ronald Reagan and*
George Bush's tiresome rhetoric of the
evil's of government - and under-
stand that wanting to change society
for the better is an admirable goal, and
doing it through public service is a
noble achievement.

Canadian government unfairly restricts press

ewspaper distributors removing the front sec-
tions of their papers in order to avoid arrest.
Readers reduced to traveling out of the country to
obtain copies, only to be stopped by police and
forced to hand over their contraband publications.
Does this sound like "1984"?
Unfortunately, these are not events out of an
Orwell novel. Rather, they are true - and they
occurred this weekend in Windsor, Ontario.
The issue centers around a Canadian court case
involving a couple accused of kidnapping, sexually
molesting, torturing and killing teenage girls. Ontario
Justice Francis Kovacs, the judge presiding over the
case, has restricted the coverage of the media in his
attempt to ensure a fair trial. This weekend, the
Detroit News carried a story about the case and the
upcoming trial, based on interviews and what limited
press reports were available. Canadian distributors,
mindful of the ban, refused to sell the Detroit papers,
and Canadians who bought papers in Detroit and
attempted to take them home were stopped by border
police and forced to hand over their copies.
It must first be acknowledged that Justice Kovacs's
actions were perfectly legal. Under Canadian law,
judges are permittedto order virtual media blackouts
if they feel it necessary for the interests of a fair trial.

Fair trials are an important objective, and judges are
responsible for ensuring they take place by placing
acceptable restrictions on publicity about the case.
However, imposing a total media blackout goes
beyond the acceptable restrictions. To bar papers
from writing anything about a case -even informa-
tion not gained from the courtroom itself - is
censorship, plain and simple.
Furthermore, once a story is printed, to prohibit
its distribution is simply ridiculous. The idea of
police confiscating newspapers from readers is a
very scary one - it calls up the image of the all-
controlling government, with the power to make
decisions over every facet of citizens' lives. If we
subscribe to the idea of an open society, where ideas
are given free rein for debate, we must allow infor-
mation to reach the public. To restrain the press, to
decide what citizens can and cannot read, is detri-
mental to the existence of a free society.
The Canadian law, allowing judges to impose
media blackouts, is a bad one. The Canadian
government's actions, confiscating papers and pro-
hibiting their sale, are even worse. If we are to hold
to our ideals of freedom, we must condemn censor-
ship in any form - including from a "democratic"

College Roundup
Mniorn exrss at ndan U

Americans should
heed words of Bible
To the Daly:
I am a spirit-filled Christian and
would probably consider myself a
Republican. I am not, however,
personally involved with the College
Republicans here at the University. I
think what the College Republicans
were trying to get across during
AIDS Awareness Week was that
Americans have turned their backs
on God and any morals or
convictions that are specifically
explained in the Bible. I believe that
AIDS is a disease resulting from
immorality and I pray daily for those
in our country who are caught up in
this web of sin. All the Republicans
were saying was that in order to stop
the spread of this unmerciful disease,
Americans need to change their
moral values in life, like abstinence,
don't use drugs, and don't commit
the act of homosexuality.
All of these ideas come back to
whether people believe in God, Jesus
Christ, and the Bible. Jesus said "I
am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;
nobody comes to the Father but
through Me." Americans should
beware of Satan and Hell and fear for
their eternal lives. Those who don't
believe in Jesus will be thrown into
the fiery pit, but those who do
believe will have eternal life with
Jesus and God in perfect Heaven.

promote a two-state solution to the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict,
recognizing the right of both sides to
live in peace and security.
Most studentstat the University
are unaware that there exists a "left-
wing" Jewish voice on this campus.
As Zionists, we feel a strong
commitment to the State of Israel.
However, we also recognize our right
to be critical of its policies and
practices. Israel's future depends on
peace, and peace can only come
about through a two-state solution.
We are excited about the recent
developments in the negotiations for
peace in the Middle East, and we
hope that the progress towards peace
continues. The diplomatic gains are
not enough. Compromise at the
negotiating table must be
complemented by a grassroots effort
to build trust. Otherwise there is no
chance that the agreements will bring
peace and co-existence to the streets.
We look forward to the day when
Palestinians will be able to celebrate
their official Declaration of
Independence. e
for the Progressive Zionist Caucus
End oppression of
To the Daily:
As representatives of the Ann
Arbor Area Association of Coalitions

Balander's comment is typical of a
society that persists in cruelly '
exploiting construction materials and
then making jest at their expense.
Further evidence of this not-so-
subtle prejudice is in common
sayings such as "He's dumb as a
brick" (obviously demeaning the
intelligence of all bricks even though
they are individuals) and "That Joe
Basketball player keeps throwing up
bricks" (implying that bricks are
somehow equated with a lack of
athletic prowess - a common
misconception as offensive as white
men can't jump). One only need
stand in the Diag to witness the
extremes to which bricks are
exploited. Accordingly, we call on all'
agitators of conscience to action to
stop this part of our culture.
The brick, often hurled at cops,
nazi/fascists/free-speech-types, and
others equally offensiveis the friend
of all who resist capitalist oppression.
We MUST unite with our clay
brethren! There will be rally on the
Diag at noon followed by a march to
the Colonial Brick Company. Bring
a brick and a friend to smash the
contractor oppressors and those who
conspire with them to defame our
loyal comrades!
LSA seniors

The Indiana University Racial Inci-
dents Team (RIT) handed down its
decision recently. The comments made
by four IU Student Association sena-
tors were racially motivated, or at least
that's what the RIT wants you to be-
Although not wielding the power to
discipline, the RIT has made its deci-
sion in the case and will now forward
its finding to the university administra-
tion. This ought to raise some serious
questions in the minds of students.
The RIT is a low-profile organiza-

his book"1984." While not employing
secret agents or using video cameras,
the RIT does in a sense monitor thought
by invading the minds of students.
For most of the cases reported to
the RIT, the decisions are made behind
the scenes with little public comment.
The RIT's recommendations to the
University administration often go
unnoticed by anyone but those in-
volved. But the IUSA incident has
garnered so much press, the RIT has
been thrust onto center stage, exposing
their activities and their decisions.

But it is when these decisions begin to
involve thoughts and words that the
RIT's purpose comes into question.
No one but the four senators in-
volved in the incident will ever know if
the comments made at the now-infa-
mous IUSA meeting were racially
motivated. But it seems as if the RIT
has assumed the role of mind reader in
this case. By some indefinite wisdom,
they have found a way to determine
what does and does not constitute ra-
cially motivated speech.
The university experience is sup-


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