10 - MTh Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday -.odyecme ,1994
Saban to replace Perles
as coach of Michigan St.
,EAST LANSING (AP) - If
its intensity Michigan State wants
- nits football program, the Spar-
tan aparetlyfound it in Nick
Saban, defensive coordinator of
the Cleveland Browns, was an-
nounced as the Spartans' new coach
Saturday. replacing George Perles.
who was fired three weeks ago.
* The appointment still needs the
approval of the Board of Trustees
batt meeting Friday, but that will
beaformality, according to Michi-
gan State president Peter
"I will recommend a tested and
proven coach who has broad-based
experiences at both the college and
professional levels, including a
record of excellence at this univer-
sity," said McPherson while pre-
senting Saban at a news confer-
SSaban, 43, was secondary coach
and defensive coordinator for Perles
from 1983-87. His "Gang Green"
defense helped the Spartans win the
1987 Big Ten championship and de-
feat Southern California in the Rose
During that stay in East Lansing,
Saban proved an able recruiter by
bringing to Michigan State such play-
ers as Percy Snow, Travis Davis and
Tony Mandarich. McPherson said
-that was one of Saban's strongest
"Nick Saban knows how to win,
that is obvious," McPherson said.
But it is even more important to us
that Nick shares our commitment to
academic achievement ... and strict
compliance with NCAA rules and
Saban left Michigan State over
Perles' objections in 1988 to be sec-
ondary coach for the Houston Oilers.
In 1990, he was head coach at To-
ledo, leading the Rockets to a 9-2
record and the Mid-American Con-
The Browns hired him away the
following year. This season Cleve-
land is 9-4, and Saban's defense is the
best in the NFL with the lowest yield
of any team this season. He will re-
main with the Browns through the
completion of this season, including
"We feel like we're coming
home." Saban said. "It's a place we
loved when we were here."
Saban inherits a team that fin-
ished a disappointing 5-6 this season.
He said he will review the entire
program from top to bottom. -That
probably means few, if any, of Perles'
assistants will be retained.
"We have to hire an aggressive
recruiting staff," Saban said. "We
want not only good athletes, but good
people. We're going to work very
hard to have the type of program here
everybody can be proud of."
His two biggest challenges will
be pulling the many factions at Michi-
gan State together and beating Michi-
gan. It was something Perles was
unable to do with any consistency in
his 12 seasons.
Perles was especially unhappy
with his inability to defeat his instate
rival from Ann Arbor. He defeated
Salary arbitration, a rookie salary
cap and free agency are words be-0
coming as common in hockey "he
shoots ... he scores."
When NHL labor negotiations re-
sume Monday in Chicago, those issues
will once again be front and center.
Stalemated talks broke offI Fri-
day. Owners and players agreed to
take the weekend to canvass their
constituents before resenting them-
selves at at the bargaining table.
While both sides have agreed to
concepts, the gap is considerable
when it comes down to the fine print.
"The focus has been how a player
moves through the system of issues -
how he comes in as an entry-level player.
what happens after that and what hap-
pens at the end of his career,' says
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
"And there are a whole host of other
issues that have to be discussed but we
have not been able to come to agree-
ment on the three basic fundamental
ones and that is discouraging."
There are two thoughts on the
deadline. Some general managers feel
a deal has to be done by the end of the
week while, others believe they have
until Christmas to work things out.
For months, the NHLPA said there
would not be a rookie salary cap but
the union has given in and the stick-
ing point is level of pay.
The NHLPA feels the ceiling
should be $1.25 million for first-round
picks. and NHL sources have men-
Cleveland Browns assistant coach Nick Saban was announced Saturday as the new head coach at Michigan State.
He replaces George Perles who spent 12 seasons as the coach of the Spartans, who finished this season at 5-6.
Michigan only four times and it be-
came a distraction both to himself
and the entire program.
Saban acknowledged as much.
"I never ascribed to the theory at
Ohio State where- Woody (Hayes)
used to say, If we're good enough to
beat Michianr, we'll be good enough
to take on the rest of them,"' Saban
said. "I think this is one of the top 20-
25 programs in the countryc."
Saban also tried to put aside fears
that he would stay at Michigan State
only long enough to carve out a win-
ning record, then return to the NFL.
Such flirtations with the NFL led to
some of Perles' problems with both
alumni and administrators.
"I'm committed to staying at
Michigan State for as long as it takes
to be a championship team," Saban
said. "If I wanted to be an NFL coach,
I could just as well stay where I am.
But I wanted to come back."
Saban said he still considers Perles
a friend, but hasn't spoken to his
"I wanted this job all along and
made that clear to President'
McPherson," Saban said. "I have a,
specific plan for how this program
should be run."
In addition to his own intensity.
Saban carries a little baggage from
working with Browns coach Bill
Belichick. Belichick frequently is
criticized by his players in Cleve-
land for being a poor communica-
,I think I am fair and honest,"
Saban said. "I think I'm demanding.
but I'd never degrade my players as
people. I've never had a problem deal-
ing, with players. I can't say anything
about anybody else."
Other candidates for the job in-
cluded Penn State offensive coordi-
nator Fran Ganter. Bowling Green
coach Gary 'Blackney and Colorado
offensive coordinator Rick Neuheicel.
B lackney withdrew his application
earlier in the week, and Neuheisel
was hamped to replace Bill McCartney
as coach at Colorado.
Terms and length of Saban's con-
tract weren't disclosed, but it is be-
lieved he will sign at least a five-year
deal. It will cost the university $1.3
million to buy out the remaining three
years on Perles' contract.
Ailkman-less Cowboys retain enough firwr to run past Eagles, 31-19
Even without Troy Aikman, the
IDallas Cowboys had more than
enough firepower to clinch their third
straight NFC East title.
Start with Emmitt Smith, who
-camred 25 times for 91 yards and two
Itouchdowns to lead the Cowboys over
the Philadelphia Eagles 31-19 Sun-
11Toss in Michael Irvin. who had
17 yards and a touchdown on four
receptions - including a falling-
down catch that covered 46 yards -
and it's not difficult to understand
why the Cowboys (11-2) were able to
hand the Eagles their fourth straight
loss. It was Dallas' 14th successive
NFC East victory.
The Eagles (7-6) rallied when
Randall Cunningham's second
touchdown pass of the game cut the
Dallas lead to 24-19 in the fourth
But after a 49-yard punt return by
Jeff Sydner gave Philadelphia the ball
on the Cowboys' 12, Darren Woodson
intercepted Cunningham's pass and
ran it back 94 yards for the touch-
down that sealed the victory.
Patriots 24, jets 13
Ricky Reynolds raced 11 yards
with an interception for a touchdown,
carrying New England closer to the
playoffs and stomping on New York's
hopes as the Patriots beat the Jets 24-
Tortured by turnovers this season
against the Jets, the Patriots finally
capitalized on one of their own.
Reynolds' theft gave them a 17-13
lead with 3:51 left in the third quar-
With three games left, the Pa-
triots improved to 7-6 with their
fourth straight win as they seek
their first playoff berth in eight
years. Their AFC East rival Jets
fell to 6-7 with their third loss in
Art Monk tied Steve Largent's
NFL record of 177 straight games
with at least one catch on a 7-yard
reception in the first quarter.
Buccaneers 26, Redskins 21
Craig Erickson's quarterback
sneak with 32 seconds remaining
Sunday gave the Tampa Bay Bucca-
neers a 26-21 victory over the Wash-
It was the first time Tampa Bay
won consecutive games sice Septem-
Erickson capped an I11-play. 80-
yard drive featuring the running of
Errict Rhett, who gained a Tampa
Bay rookie-record 192 yards on 40
carries, and completions of 19 yards
to Courtney Hawkins and 13 yards to
The Redskins, who used Andre
Collins' 92-yard interception return
and long scoring passes from Heath
Shuler to Desmond Howard and
Olanda Truitt to take a 21-17 lead,
squandered an opportunity to stop
the march when a potential game-
saving interception bounced off
Darryl Morrison's chest.
Tampa Bay, which beat Minne-
sota 20-17 in overtime last week.
improved to 4-9. Washington (2-11)
has lost five straight.
Erickson was 1 8-for-M5 for 251
yards and one touchdown. Rhett. who
has gained 774 yards, broke Tampa
Bay's single-game rookie rushing
record as well as the season rookie
record of 690 by Jerry Eckwood in
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