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March 14, 1994 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-14

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 14, 1994 - 7

W

ad scene for team
ob Young is a memory now, a relic from back when
Michigan had a men's gymnastics program. Those
days appear to have ended Saturday night with the
Wolverines' victory at the Michigan Invitational. Young, a
sophomore, will probably never compete for Michigan again.
The men's gymnastics team is being cut after this season.
The Wolverines have never received much press, and they
never seemed to care. Now they are suddenly clamoring for
support, fighting for their competitive
lives. It is a fight the athletic department
seems intent on seeing them lose.
Twenty years old and already a has-
been. That is Young's fate.
He does not deserve this, of course.
Bob Young is that rare individual who
has worked for his whole life to achieve
MICHAEL certain goals - and, rarer still, he has
ROSENBERG achieved them. He is ranked sixth in the
oses are nation in the still rings and 14th in the
ead all-around.He has an outstanding chance
of making All-American this season.
Today, this counts for nothing.
Years from now, he will return to Ann Arbor, and he will
try to impress with tales of his glory days.
"I used to be a star for the men's gymnastics team," he will
say.
"Men's gymnastics?" someone will ask. "Michigan
doesn't even have men's gymnastics team."
* "Yes, but ..." he will say, and his voice will trail off,
because what can he do? It is difficult to change the mind of
someone who thinks your past never happened.
0
There are still the Big Ten and national championship
meets to come, but those are competitions in distant locales.
As far as the Michigan athletic campus is concerned, Bob

as athletic department forces farewell

0

Young has checked out.
There is an undeniable sadness here. For 50 years men's
gymnastics teams have competed for Michigan. There will be
no 51st..
The Wolverines' team score of 281.80 Saturday was their
highest ever at home. Last week at Ohio State, Michigan scored a
282.25, a school record. After 50 years, the team is better than
ever. After 50 years, the team is peaking at the right time.
"It's ridiculous if it ends," said Merrick Horn, a Michigan
gymnast from the early 1980s who returned for Saturday night's
meet. "It's sad if it ends. Hopefully, it's not their last meet."
000
Future generations will stare at the Michigan sports
memorabilia, and there will be no photos of Young.
"I should be up there," he will say.
"You?" someone will ask. "Who are you? I don't even
know who you are."
"Yes, but .."
Mt0
The team is being cut because of gender equity. Or maybe it
is financial restraints. Or maybe it is the lack of participation in
the sport at the high school level. The gymnasts have been given
all of these reasons, at one time or another, by the athletic
department. They do not believe any of them.
"Every reason they have given has been taken back or
retracted," captain Seth Rubin said. "It's very irritating and
it's upsetting. We have shown we are one of the top five
teams in the country."
Someday, as football players prepare for battle, their
coaches will invoke the name of the legendary Tom Harmon.
Basketball players will be inspired by the great Cazzie
Russell. No one will talk about Bob Young.
Wolverine fans will read books chronicling the careers of
all the great athletes who competed in Ann Arbor.
"Tom Harmon. Now he was a true Michigan man,"

someone will say.
"I am a Michigan man, too," Young will say.
"Really?" someone will ask. "How come I have never
heard of you? You aren't even in this book."
"Yes, but ..."
These are student-athletes. They are not here to move on to
a higher level, because this is the highest level. They work 25
or more hours a week for the honor of competing for
Michigan. At least, they used to.
The team is ranked fifth in the nation, but this is about
more than wins and losses. This is about developing a work
ethic, bonding with friends and the love of what they are
doing. These are the things college sports used to be about.
These are the things college used to be about.
"We're all best friends," Young said. "We see each other
pretty much all day. We spend four hours a day together in
practice, and we are in a lot of the same classes, and we live
together. About 16 of us live in a house, and almost all of us
are gymnasts."
When Young was in high school, there were several
colleges that offered him scholarships. He chose Michigan.
"I came here with the intention of competing for four
years," Young said. "If I had known they were going to cut
the team after two years I would have considered it, but I had
offers from other schools. I probably would have gone
somewhere else."
Bob Young signed a letter of intent with Michigan. When
he did, he promised to spend four years of his life competing
as a Wolverine. He promised to attend practices, go to the
meets and give the team his best effort. Essentially, he
promised to do Michigan proud. In exchange, Michigan
promised to provide him with the facilities and the support he
needed to compete for four years. There were two sides
making commitments when Bob Young signed his letter of
intent. One of them has been fulfilled.

at
the
U-
Computer
Showcase

Wolverines struggle to understand decision
By TONYA BARTOW evening was the possibility that it was "Why don't they come and watch, see
FOR THE DAILY the last home meet. what they're getting rid of. They don'1
Unlike using Sprint, you couldn't "It was on everybody's mind to- even give us the respect of showing
hear a pin drop. In fact, you couldn't day. I know it was on my mind," up here."
even hear a bomb drop. junior Brian Winkler said. "I've been Men's gymnastics coach Bot
The men's gymnastics team here for three years and this was pos- Darden along with his team is frus-
packed Cliff Keen Arena with over sibly my last home meet." trated with the lack of support the
1,000 screaming fans last Saturday Winkler, a former NCAA cham- team has received from the people
night for the Michigan Invitational pion, along with the rest of the team is making the decisions this year.
which was possibly the team's last upset with the University's decision "It is especially frustrating wher
ever home meet. to cut the program. the team sees some administration ai
"It was the last home meet as an "If the (administration) wants to the women's meet Friday night and
outgoing senior for me," senior Royce get rid of us," senior Ben Verrall said. Se SENIOlRS P.Pa e

e
It
9
b
e
e
n
tt
d

Toni said. "You see the fans, you see
the support, that the Athletic Depart-
ment says we don't have, but this
place was packed."
The underlying factor of the
Discrete Deivery
Check or Money Order
SAFETYGIRL249E.LibertyU
Ann Arbor, Ml 48104

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Michigan won its last home meet ever Saturday.

1-800-77>m112 ie
The world's largest student & youth travel organization STA TRAVEL

GYMNASTICS
Continued from page 1
Ten Championship March 25-26 at
Penn State.
The Wolverines will need to put the
-horizontal bar gaffe behind them now.

"I don't know if you can explain
what happened," said freshman Paul
Bischoff. "It just happened and it's
not gonna happen again."
"The team is gonna come out with
the best attitude and psyche at Big
Tens," Darden said.

The University of Michigan

Department of Recreational sports

T

1994
MICHIGAN CLASSICS
Summer Softball

I

DIVISIONS:

____j

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MANAGER'S
MEETING:
REGISTRATION/
ENTRIES
TAKEN:
ENTRY FEE:
[Due at day,
date and time
of Entry]
PLAY BEGINS:
POST SEASON
TOURNAMENT:

Mens -- C (Single game and Doubleheader leagues)
Mens -- D (Single game leagues only)
CoRec -- C (Single game leagues only)
Womens -- C/D (Single game leagues only)
(NOTE: Women's league will he formed only if six or more teams register/enterl
MANDATORY FOR ALL TEAMS - Returning and New!
Tuesday March 15, 1994 6:00 p.m.
U of M Intramural Sports Building -- IMSB (606 E. Hoover Street)
Tuesday March 15, 1994 -- Following Mandatory Manager's Meeting
All Teams ---- Returning (approximately 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
New (approximately 8:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.)
[NOTE: In order for a leam to he registered, that team must he represented at the Mandatory Mgrs Mtgj
Single Game Leagues ---- $495.00 per team
[NOTE: 10 Round Robin League games and I Playoff gamel
Doubleheader Leagues ---- $990.00 per team
[NOTE: 20 Round Robin League games and 1 Playoff game]
No Individual Player Fees! Game balls provided! Uniforms not required!
ENTRY FEES DUE AT DAY/DATE/TIME OF REGISTRATION/ENTRY!
Monday May 9, 1994 [NOTE: Ends approximately July 28, 19941
[NOTE: Practice Days/Dates: Monday May 2- Friday May 6. Sign-ups at Manager's Meetingl
Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 29, 30 and 31
[NOTE: Toumey Rain Davs/Dates -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday August 5. 6 and 71

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