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April 01, 1994 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-01

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 1, 1994

'M' rugby looks to
send Nomads' packing

By RAVI GOPAL
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The Michigan men's rugby team
will get a chance to see how they stack
up against talent from "rugby coun-
try" when they take on the Toronto
Nomads tomorrow at 1 p.m. at
Mitchell Field.
The Nomads, a club team, are part
of the Tranzac (Transplanted Austra-
lians and New Zealanders) Sports
Club of Toronto. The team sports a
cast of experienced rugby players,
since rugby enjoys wide-spread popu-
larity in both New Zealand and
Austrailia.
In addition, rugby is gaining popu-
larity in Canada. The combination of
the Nomads' personnel and their lo-
cation make them a top-notch pro-
gram, according to Michigan's Achal
Kapoor.
"They're a solid team," Kapoor
said. "We try to make them a feature
on our schedule."
Michigan Rugby Club President
Tom Warburton said that in order to
compete with the Nomads, the Wol-
verines must control the tempo.
Warburton emphasized that his squad
must adapt to the Nomads' ball-con-
trol offense.

"They're a good possession team,
and the only way to beat a team like
thatis to beatthem attheirown game,"
Warburton said.
The Wolverine youngsters must
also step up if they are to compete
with Toronto. Many freshmen and
sophomore players on the collegiate
squad played competitive rugby for
the first time only two weeks ago at
the St. Patrick's Day Invitational in
Washington, D.C. The squad, which
will play Toronto's Club B team,
looks to have a tough battle on its
hands.
"(The freshmen and sophomores)
definitely have to play if they want to
compete with the Club B team," said
Warburton.
Michigan compensates for its lack
of experience with an advantage in
quickness, due to its youth. Warburton
noted that speed and mobility are the
Wolverines' strong points, and stated
that these traits should make for "a
close game."
Michigan could be shorthanded
for the weekend matchup. Warburton
has a sprained ankle, and his status is
questionable. Mark Nemec, a leader
on the Wolverines' club team, is out
of town.

FIRINGS
Continued from page 1
just isn't enough. I feel our program
as a whole is in a downward spiral,
and we need to stem the tide."
In the past year, basketball players
Ray Jackson, Jimmy King and Chris
Fields were arrested for stealing beer
from a local convenience store.
Berenson was arrested forpublic urina-
tion and driving while under the influ-
ence of alcohol. The Drug Enforcement
Agency also ran across basketball player
Jalen Rose during an investigation of a
known drug dealer.
"I understand why Joe would want
this change," Berenson said. "I feel
like I let my team down, let my school
down. It was a classic mistake."
All coaches at Michigan are actu-
ally employed on a year-by-year basis.
The University is not technically firing
the coaches; itjust will notre-hire them.
Roberson also mentioned the in-
ability of the two teams to capture
national championships in the recent
past as further cause for his decision.
"This coming fall will be the first
one for this department under my lead-
ership," Roberson said. "I want a clean
slate, a new beginning. Michigan needs
coaches who can bring national cham-
pionships to Ann Arbor.
"The scandals off the field are
unacceptable. If we were winning
national championships, we could
look past them. But we're not."
Fisher, who was relaxing at his
cottage in Marquette when notified of
the decision by the Daily, said he was
utterly shocked. The coach led the
basketball team to its only national
title in 1989.
"I just cannot believe Joe would
make such a move," Fisher said. "I

mean, gee whiz. The off-court prob-
lems have been an embarrassment for
the University, for sure. But we have
built a solid program. I have been com-
pletely dedicated to Michigan, and I
will continue to be so regardless."
Fisher led Michigan to three Final
Four appearances in five NCAA tour-
naments. This season the Wolverines
finished second in the Big Ten and
advanced to the round of eight in the
NCAAs. Fisher leaves Michigan as
the leading active coach in NCAA
tournament winning percentage.
Fisher's players were divided on
the issue.
"I think he had it coming," point
guard Dugan Fife said. "Frankly, I'm
glad. He always had those beady eyes
on the bench. It kind of freaked me out."
"The guy got a bum deal. Really,
he did," center Juwan Howard said.
"He didn't mean to tell (former Wol-
verine Chris) Webber to call timeout.
It just slipped out at the wrong time."
Fisher is rumored to be headed to
the Los Angeles Lakers as an assis-
tant to head coach Magic Johnson.
Webber, currently a Golden State
Warrior, also expressed an interest in
having Fisher behind his bench.
"I've played for Fish. I know how
his mind works," Webber said in a
teleconference yesterday. "He's a
mastermind. He's made for the NBA."
Berenson returned to Michigan in
1984 after earning All-American hon-
ors as a Wolverine in 1962. He led the
program back to respectability, culmi-
nating with two NCAA semifinal ap-
pearances (1992, 1993) and a CCHA
tournament championship (1994).
Although new coaches are not ex-
pected to be announced for several
weeks, the frontrunner to replace
Berenson is former Los Angeles King
Wayne Gretzky, who retired yesterday.

"

EVAN PETRIE/Daily
"Say it ain't so, Joe!" former head coach Steve Fisher must have thought, as he
received word that Athletic Director Joe Roberson had given him the axe.

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WO MEN
Continued from page 1
still too early to make any Big Ten
predictions, the team's performance
will denote its strengths and weak-
nesses to the competition.
"There are good schools in this tour-
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Teichert said. "It is way too early to tell,
but this tournament will give a good
indication of what we are up against."
Although Sunday consists of the
normal one round of 18 holes,
Saturday's play features an increased
36 holes.
"It is hard to hold up under 36
holes in one round," Teichert said.
"We were successful in doing it at
Wisconsin in the fall, so it shouldn't
be too big of a problem here."
"Our goal is to improve our course
averages, both team and individual."

MEN
Continued from page 11
played in Ann Arbor - the Badgers
again finished first (along with Ohio
State), beating the Wolverines by more
than 30.
"They're very strong," said Klum.
"They have to be looked at as poten-
tial Big Ten champs. Northwestern
and Illinois are here, too, and they're
both pretty good, although Illinois is
an unknown quantity."
The rest of the field includes Illi-
nois State, Northern Illinois, Kent
State, Miami (Ohio), Xavier and
Youngstown State, along with Ar-
kansas and host Southern Methodist.
Michigan starts the spring season
in hopes of building on their encour-
aging fall season performance. In the
'92 season, the club played in 11
tournaments and managed to finish

'The play of the
freshmen has been a
real pleasant surprise.'
- Ed Kium
Assistant golf coach
among the top five teams in only one
event.
However, despite low tempera-
tures and a high number of freshmen,
the Wolverines have two such fin-
ishes already - and the season isn't
even half over yet.
Because of the Wolverines' im-
proving cold weather play, no one
could blame them for singing let it
snow, let it snow, let it snow.

DAILY SPORTS
We're all that.

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