Saturday, 3 p.m. (Ch. 2)
No.2 men gymnasts take on Ilini
iream hopes ranking and continued success will help save program
By AARON BURNS
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The Michigan men's gymnas-
tics team has hoped for some sort of
miracle ever since the announce-
ment that the program will be dis-
continued next year.
Petitions have been signed and pleas
ave been made in a determined effort
change the University's mind.
But now, four meets into the sea-
son, the team's determination in the
gym has brought it something that just
might serve as ammunition in the fight
to avoid extinction - a No. 2 national
The Wolverines earned that dis-
tinction when they posted the second
highest team score of the season in last
aturday'svictory over Western Michi-
They will put their ranking on the
line Saturday night at Illinois at 7 p.m.
Senior Seth Rubin hopes the team's
sudden rise to the top will change some
minds at the administrative level.
"I don't even know if they (the
Regents and Athletic Director Jack
Weidenbach) know how good we are,"
Rubin said. "We're saying, 'We are
good, there is interest and you've gotta
think twice about this."'
One challenge the Wolverines may
face as the season progresses is not to
let the fate of their sport become a
"It's in the back of our minds,"
Rubin said. "ButIdon'tthinkit'schang-
ing our training."
The only change coach Bob Darden
introduced to training this week was an
increased focus on rings. In all other
events against Western Michigan, the
Wolverines had at least four men earn
a score of nine or better. But on rings,
only Ben Verrall and Bob Young did
There is added pressure to improve
on rings because the Illini feature Chris
Kobylinski, the rings champion at the
Windy City Invitational.
If Michigan has another letdown on
rings, Darden knows he can rely on the
floor exercise and parallel bar to pick
up the slack. The Wolverines are No. I
in the country in those two events.
"Our hard work on those has really
paid off," Rubin said.
Just how much has it paid off?
Michigan's success at the Western
Michigan meet says it all.
Junior Rich Dopp led the team on
the high bar, recording a new career
high of 9.75.
Junior Brian Winkler, not to be
outdone, led on the parallel bar with a
new career high of his own, 9.7.
The team amassed scores of 47.25
on the high and 47.2 on the parallel.
In their other strong suit, the floor
exercise, the Wolverines maintained
this level of excellence with a 47.25.
The only question is whether this
team can improve enough in the other
three events to become a threat at the
Big Ten and NCAA meets.
That may sound strange given
Michigan's No.2 ranking, but remem-
ber the unconventional way in which
gymnastics teams are ranked.
The top ten is based on the top ten
'We're all banking on
the hope that we can
save the program.'
- Seth Rubin
team scores of the year, not on an
opinion poll of the "best" team in
So the Wolverines may point to
their ranking as another good reason to
keep men's gymnastics alive, but they'll
also be the first to tell you that it means
very little in their long and winding
"It's nice to say we're No. 2,"Rubin
said, "But nothing really matters until
Big Ten and NCAA Championships."
On the other hand, posting the sec-
ond best score in the nation thus far is
a pretty good sign that this Wolverine
team is for real.
"We're all banking on the hope that
we can save the program," Rubin said.
The men's gymnastics team leads the nation+
on the parallel bars.
.Women tumblers return
to take on Chippewas
THE SPORTING VIEWS:
NCAA off the mark on
eligibility rule change
By TOM BAUSANO
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The women's gymnastics squad
must shift gears from enjoying the sandy
beaches in the Bahamas to surviving
Ae tundra of Mt. Pleasant when its
ces off against Central Michigan Sat-
The dual meet is the last of three
consecutive competitions away from
home. After Saturday's competition
against the Chippewas, the Wolverines
will be at home for three straight weeks.
"We have been using these first
three meets as glorified intrasquads,"
coach Bev Plocki said. "It gives us the
portunity to get some kids that have
not been in the lineup that have the
potential to compete out there."
Michigan has improved its score in
every meet since opening up the season
Jan. 15 in West Virginia. It is critical
that this improvement continues be-
cause teams that don't earn an auto-
matic bid to nationals can earn a berth
in the finals by virtue of its season
erage plus the score received at
"We are trying to get a good away
score todrop the first meet score against
West Virginia," senior Wendy
Wilkinson said. "I'm happy with where
we are at, especially after this weekend.
If someone makes a mistake the rest of
the team pulls together to make it up."
Although the Wolverines beatCen-
tral Michigan, 193.45-188.00, in last
year's dual meet, the Chippewas are a
steadily improving team that should
offer the Wolverines a challenge.
"Lastyearthey were tough," Plocki
said. "I haven't really heard much about
them this year, but they were a pretty
The Michigan gymnasts are more
concerned with their own progression
than with the level of the competition.
"I think our team is progressing
better than I expected," junior Li Li
Leung said. "I can see in the gym that
things are falling into place."
Despite the loss of sophomore May
May Leung to a ruptured Achilles ten-
don, the Wolverines are in good health.
Plocki has taken great care to guard
against further injuries.
"We have been resting people be-
cause we don't want aggravations to
develop into full blown problems,"
"Bev (Plocki) tailors the workout to
each individual," Wilkinson said. "With
the depth we have we will rotate people
to give them breaks when they need it."
By MATT GOLDFINE
FOR THE DAILY
The Dallas Mavericks are once
again the worst team in the NBA.
Unfortunately, new arrivals Jamal
Mashburn and coach Quinn Buckner
have not been able to help the team
improve at all from last year, as its
record is now 2-37. The Mavs are once
again hoping to get the only positive
that can come out of being this bad -
the No. 1 pick in this summer's draft.
If, through the draft lottery, Dallas is
lucky enough to draft first, scouts say
the Mavs will pick Purdue forward
Glenn Robinson if he comes out early.
A few weeks ago, though, the
NCAA announced that after the draft,
any player who comes out of college
early has a month to decide if he would
like to go back to college, whatever the
reason may be.
So, if Robinson foregoes his final
year of college eligibility, gets drafted
by the Mavs, he can decide that Dallas
is not right for him and return to school.
This decision by aplayer would put
an already bad NBA team in a horrible
position. The only way that a team like
the Mavericks in the NBA can get any
better is through the draft. This is why
they make trades to get more draft picks.
But, if it was to lose its No. I pick
one year, the team would have trouble
becoming competitive again in the NBA
for along time. Any general manager in
the position to take an underclassmen
would have to think twice about doing
so because he could lose the pick.
This decision would only tarnish
the image of the NCAA. Players would
be using a college education as an es-
Also, it is inevitable that some sort
of shady dealings will go on as a result
of this decision. Once a player decides
to go pro, one of the first things he does
is gets an agent.
Having representation as a college
player is illegal. So, if these players
have an agent, and then decide to go
back to school, what happens?
Everybody makes choices on im-
portant things, and even if those are the
wrong choices, there is no going back in
time to change things.
This recent rule passage givds un-
derclassmen the power to do this. The
NCAA's decision to allow this to hap-
pen will wind up hurting the system by
giving hardship collegiate athletes the
power to ruin an NBA franchise.
Robinson could be drafted in the NBA and still play college.
Wolverine swimmer Borges
up for World Trophy Award
By CHARLIE BREITROSE
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
Michigan's GustavoBorges has won
some hardware during his swimming
career - a silver medal in the 100-
meter freestyle at the 1992 Olympics,
All-American honors 12 times and the
1992 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
ward. The Barbosa, Brazil native has
n nominated. for another award -
the World Trophy Award.
The World Trophy is given to the
foremost athletes of the world for their
exceptional accomplishments and per-
formances in any sport, including the
31 Olympic sports. An athlete from
each of six regions of the world -
Africa, Asia, Europe, North America,
Oceana and South America - is pre-
*nted the award. Borges has been
nominated in the South American re-
gion by the Amateur Athletic Founda-
tion of Los Angeles.
Michigan head men's swimming
coach Jon Urbanchek thinks Borges is
a perfect candidate for the award.
"Gustavo would be an outstanding
ambassador for Brazil, and in general
South America," Urbanchek said. "He's
probably the best athlete in South
"He got second place in the Olym-
pics, won three (individual) NCAA
titles here, being an outstanding stu-
dent-athlete. He's well deserving of
Currently ranked 15th in the world
in the 100-meter freestyle, Borges is
also amemberofBrazil's world-record-
holding 400-meter freestyle (short
course) relay team and has won NCAA
titles in the 100-yard freestyle (twice),
the 200 freestyle and the 800 free relay.
Borges is renowned in Brazil.
"He's kind of like a celebrity at
home," Urbanchek said.
The AAF receives nominations
from National Olympic Committees,
International Olympic Federations and
international sports authorities. The
Selection Committees are made up of
members of international sports au-
thorities and the media. The winners
will be announced in February.
University of Michigan
Tuesday, February 1, 1994
Pendleton Room, 2nd floor Michigan Union
For more information, call:
Doing the Wing Thin
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