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January 29, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-29

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2B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, January 29, 1996
Often overlooked,
Brown takes MVP :1h

The Associated Press
TEMPE, Ariz. - Twice, Larry
Brown waited in the Dallas second-
ary with the Cowboys needing a break.
And twice he provided it with game-
turning interceptions that made him
the Super Bowl MVP in the 27-17
victory over Pittsburgh last night.
Larry Brown?
On a team bulging with big name
stars like Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith,
Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders,
Brown was an unlikely hero, a mostly
anonymous guy working in the sec-
Brown was an NFL longshot right
from the start, a 12th-round draft
choice out of Texas Christian in 1991,
the 57th defensive back chosen that
year. He was only a two-year starter
at TCU but earned some attention
with 75 tackles and 10 passes de-
fended in his senior year. When he
was MVP of the Blue-Gray game, it
made him a prospect.
Twelfth-rounders don't usually
stick around very long. Brown not
only stuck but by the fourth game of
his rookie year, he was a starter on a
rebuilding Dallas team. And he's been
in place ever since, there when the
Cowboys won two, Super Bowls un-
der Jimmy Johnson and still there last
night when they captured their third
in four years.
During the season, Brown tied for
the team lead with six interceptions,
pushing his career total to 13.
He added a big one in the NFC
championship game, when his late
pickoff of Brett Favre helped seal the
Dallas victory.
None, though, will be remembered
as well as the two he made last night.
With Dallas leading 13-7 in the
third quarter, the Steelers started from
their own 36 and were near midfield,
facing a third-and-9. Neil O'Donnell
went into a shotgun formation and
threw the ball straight at Brown, sta-
tioned at the Dallas 38.
"I think he just had a bad read,"
Brown said.
The Cowboys defender returned the
pass 44 yards before being pushed out
of bounds at the Pittsburgh 18. Two
plays later, Dallas was in the end

zone, extending its lead to 20-7.
The Steelers simply wouldn't go
away. though. They cut the lead to 20-
10 on a 46-yard field goal by Norm
Johnson, then recovered an onside
kick and drove to another touchdown
to trail 20-17.
The Cowboys seemed to be reeling.
With 4:15 left to play, Pittsburgh took
over again at its own 32. On second
down, O'Donnell, working on a string
of I1 completions in 12 attempts, went
to the shotgun again, throwing this,
time for Corey Holliday.
Again, though, he found Brown,
this time at the Steelers' 39. The
cornerback brought the ball back to
the Steelers' 6-yard line.
"They had been running slants at
me and I got the jump on it and made
a play and took it as far as I could,"
Brown said. Two plays later, Smith
was in the end zone and the Cowboys'
victory was safe.
Brown became the first defensive
player to win the MVP award since
Richard Dent of the Chicago Bears
did it 10 years ago.
Brown knew he was an unlikely
MVP. "We've got so many stars, I
just want to go out and play hard," he
said. "My career has always been
based on one or two plays."
This time they weren't just plays.
They were game-turning intercep-
Continued from Page 18
his yards came on the third play of the
But it was the defense that did it, led
by Brown.
"We were prepared for overtime. It's
fortunate we won in regulation," said
the man who prevented that from hap-
The defense registered four sacks,
one by Charles Haley, who was playing
his first game since undergoing back
surgery seven weeks ago. Haley, who
was on two champions in San Fran-
cisco, became the first player ever to
win five Super Bowl rings.
That rush, plus some slippery footing
may have been responsible for

Emmitt Smith celebrates Dallas' 27-17 win over Pittsburgh - the Cowboys third Super Bowl win in four years.

O'Donnell's problems. He finished 28
of 49 for 239 yards and three intercep-
tions, the last on the game's final play.
"Neil got us here. Without Neil
O'Donnell we wouldn't be playing at
the last of January," coach Bill Cowher
said. "Look at the big picture. Don't
look at the small picture. He had a heck
of a year."
Heck of a year or not, the Steelers
probably would have gotten to what
Cowher called "the top of the moun-.
tain" had O'Donnell not thrown those
two balls to Brown.
Dallas, 13 1/2-point favorites, con-
trolled the first half, with help from
O'Donnell, who was high and outside
most of the time.
But while they scored on their first
three possessions, they could convert

those only into 13 points, leaving the
Steelers within striking range, even with
O'Donnell struggling so much.
Then the Steelers, as they have so
often, scored in the last two minutes, to
make it 13-7 at halftime.
But while the Dallas offense fizzled,
the defense didn't, particularly Brown,
whojoined M iami's Jake Scott 23 years
ago as the only other defensive back to
win a Super Bowl MVP trophy. And
that was enough for the Cowboys to
join San Francisco as only teams to win
five Super Bowls.
Pittsburgh, which won four Super
Bowls during the 1970s, lost for the
first time in five appearances.
Dallas' victory also bailed out Switzer,
who took over from Jimmy Johnson last
season after Johnson and Jones had their

well-publicized divorce. Switzer thus
joined Johnson as the only coaches to win
both college and pro championships de-
spite a season of gaffes that left him
labeled "Bozo the Coach."
Pittsburgh, which scored with 13 sec-
onds left in the first half to cut it to 13-
7, came right back in the second half
and reached the Dallas 33. But on fourth
and 8, Cowher elected to punt and Rohn
Stark's kick carried into the end zone,
giving Dallas the ball on the 20.
Dallas didn't move on offense, but
then the defense turned the game.
On a third and nine from the Pitts-
burgh 48, Dallas' Bill Bates blitzed,
both Steelers receivers turned inside,
and O'Donnell threw outside, right to
Brown. He returned it 44 yards to the
Pittsburgh 18.

M takes
Illnitie s
By Wit McCaMl
Daily Sports Writer
Bigger is better, as the saying goes.
And if there's one statement that has
heldtrue forthe Michigan wrestlingteam,
that one has to be it.
AlthoughtheNo. 17Wolverinespulled
off an upset of No. 8 Illinois and tied No.
18 Northwestern,the lower weight classes
often put Michigan in deep holes going
into matches at the heavier weights.
The Wolverines(l-1-1 BigTen,1-4-
overall) started off both meets losing three
ofthe first four matches. Against Illinois,
the only victory below the 150-lbs. class
belonged to freshman Corey Grant, who
scored a 3-I decision over Jason Pero.*
Going into his match at 150, sophomore
Bill Lacure found the Wolverines down
Lacure immediatelyput Michiganback
in the meet by gaining a major decision
worth four points over Scott Benson.
Fifth-ranked sophomore Jeff
Catrabone, wrestlingat 158 insteadof his
usual 167, pinned No. 3, and defending
national champion, EmestBeniontoboost
the Wolvernesintoaslim lead.Catrabone.
continued his domination of Benion, de
feating him for the third time in as many
After losses at 167 and 177, including
an unusual lossby the Wolverines'senior
captain, No. 3 Jesse Rawls Jr., senior
Lanre Olabisi pulled Michigan within a
point withadecision. Heavyweight Airron
Richardson, ranked seventh, decisioned
No.8 Seth Brady to give the team a 19-17
victory in the seesaw affair.
"We won where we shouldn't have
won and lost where we shouldn't have
lost," Michigan coach Dale Bahr said.
"(Catrabone's) was a key match for us,
and (Olabisi) put us in a position to win.
Events unfolded similarly against
Northwestern, the sole exception being a
win by freshman Chris Viola over Wild-
cat Dominic Caruso at 118. Catrabone
delivered another strong performance at
158, but losses by Josh Young and Rawls
at 167 and 177, respectively, put the
Wolverines in a tight spot once again.
With Michigandown I6-l0afterRawls
lost to No. 4 Rohan Gardner, Olabisi and
Richardson were called on to bring the
Wolverines back for the second consecus-
tive day.
Olabisi handily defeated Jason Case to
cut Northwestern's lead to three points,
and Richardson's overtime win over Rob-
ert Chicoine evened the score at 16, sav
ing Michigan from dropping below .50'
in conference competition.
The Wolverines will have only three
days to rest up before facing their big-
gest conference test so far, as No. 4
Michigan State comes to town Wednes-
day night.
Becker takes
Aussie title

over Chang,--.
The Associated Press
MELBOURNE, Australia - As far-
fetched as it may have seemeda few year
ago, and as much of a longshot as it map
be even now, Boris Becker truly believes
he has a chance at a Grand Slam this year.
He is the only man who can do it after
winning the first major of the year, the
Australian Open, beating Michael Chang
6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in the final Sunday.
Up next are the French Open,
Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
"It's a dream of mine," he said. "It
depends on many things. At the French,
you need a good draw, you need goo4
weather, you need certain things which
happen your way. I'm going to chase
Monica Seles, the women's champion,
might have a better chance of achieving a
sweep of the four majors that has been
accomplished only twice in the Open era
- by Rod Laver in 1969 and by Steffi
Graf in 1988.
Seles doesn't want to think that fa
ahead, but Becker doesn't mind fantasiz
ing a bit.
"I do know that I'm able to play great
in Grand Slams again," he said afterwin-
ninghis first major in fiveyears. "I proved
it last year, and I've proved it now. So the
confidence level is so much higher going

M-PACT gives student-athletes chance to help out

By Susan Dann
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan students areknown forkeep-
ing busy schedules. Looking around any
lecture hall, it is not hard to catch sight of
students pulling out Franklin Planners to
organize their lives.
Classes, meetings, appointments, even
mealsare recorded-penciled in, though,
just in case something else comes up.
While every student juggles obliga-
tions, some students on campus hardly
havetime to think ofwhattheirday holds,
let alone write it down in an organized
manner. A large chunk of their day is
permanent, what most of us would con-
sider a "penned-in" obligation.
Student-athletes at the University bal-
ance the same academic and social obli-
gations as other students. However, add
tothe already short day, practice, training
tables, travel and games.
A few student-athletes are pushing the
limits of the 24-hour day. They are dedi-
cating part oftheir time to a peer advising
and community service program.
The Michigan Athletic Department and
the University's Counseling and Psycho-

logical Services have combined their ef-
forts to provide athletes an opportunity
for involvement, while at the same time
providing a valuable resource extending
beyond those of the Athletic Department
and the University.
"There was an unbelievable number
of student-athletes who were involved
in (Students Against Drunk Driving)
and other programs in their high
schools," Michigan Athletic Depart-
ment special adviser Greg Harden said.
"We realized there was no vehicle in
college for those student- athletes. As
we started to research it, we began to
identify that these students were not
M-PACT (Michigan Peer Advisors
Creating Trust) was developed to meet
the unique needs of the University of
"I was part of a peer-counseling group
in high school and it was a big success,"
said golfer and M-PACT member Shan-
non McDonald. "I know the athletic com-
munity needs the support of other ath-
letes. These programs are a good way to
meet other people and learn from others."

The program took form last year when
members of the Athletic Department
and student-athletes attended a seminar
in Palo Alto, Calif. The Apple Program
conference provided models for devel-
oping a program specific to the needs of
Wolverine student-athletes.
The resulting M-PACT program of-
fers student-athletes two ways to be-
come involved. The Peer Support Team
has allowed students to develop their
skills as peer advisors for other ath-
letes. M-PACT Squads provide yet an-
other avenue through which student-
athletes can serve the athletic and gen-
eral communities.
Program participants undergo a rigor-
ous training process. All M-PACT mem-
bers attended two basic-training sessions
informing them of University resources,
such as Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center. Members of the Peer
Support Team have continued their train-
ing by attending frequent meetings on
more specialized peer advising skills.
"In developing the Peer Support Pro-
gram, we didn't want to limit (M-PACT)
to alcohol and drug abuse," Counseling
and Psychological Services staff member
Vicki Hays said.
The Peer Support Team has worked on
developing confidentiality and listening
skills in a series of presentations by coun-
seling professionals.
Student-athletes seeking help from the
Peer Support Team can approach mem-
bers for referrals or, if they feel more
comfortable, call the team's voice mail.
"We've learned about signs of depres-

sion and the things we can do to help,"
said Peter Pusztai, a tennis player and
member of the Peer Support Team.
"We've learned how to be comforting
and show respect."
The team has also become educated on
the services offered by the University.
"We've had presentations from
SAPAC, Career Planning and Place-
ment and other campus organizations,"
Hays said. "If (the Peer Support Team)
can't handle the student-athlete's prob-
lem, we can share our knowledge of
University services with.them. We are
trying to extend services to a popula-
tion that hasn't used them much in the
Though well trained, the peer advisers
have yet to truly test their skills.
"We monitor the voice mail on a daily
basis, but we really haven't had a re-
sponse yet," Hays said. "We just think
that the athletes still don't know a lot
about our services. We hope that this will
spread within the teams. We are still
getting around to the teams, working on
getting people involved."
Student involvement makes the pro-
gram attractive to other athletes.
"it is easier to talk with (members of
the Peer Support Team) because we are
all athletes, so you are talking to people
you have something in common with,"
Pusztai said.
Harden agreed that at the heart of the
advising program is peer counseling.
"We have great administration and
coaching available for these students, but
(the administrators and coaches) really

don't know what's going on (in the lives
of the student athletes)," Harden said.
"We hope those closest to the athletes,
their peers, will add another layer of sup-
Hays indicated that the Support Team
members, though qualified, are not pro-
"They are not counselors, but some-
body who knows about what the other
student-athletes are goingthrough," Hays
The M-PACT Squads are focused on
three themes. Student-athletes can par-
ticipate in education, public service or
The specialized squads promote inter-
nal education among Michigan athletic
teams, promoting M-PACT programs,
Peer Support Team services and Univer-
sity resources.
Public service activities, such as read-
ing to elementary school children and
alcohol-free activities for University stu-
dents, allow Squad members opportuni-
ties to create a positive image of Michi-
gan athletics to the community.
The two-fold purpose of the M-PACT
program is fulfilling the needs of busy
Despite a slow start to the program's
pilot activities, both Harden and Hays
predict M-PACT will make an impact on
the lives of those involved and those the
program can help.
As student-athletes have proven, time
can be an enemy. And although they are
especially pressed for time, student-ath-
letes at the University find extra time to
become involved.
"We knew we could trust the athletes
that if we gave them a door, they would
open the door and see the new land-
scape," Harden said. "It's just a matter of
time. Over time, the student population
will be aware of another resource, an-
other layer of support, a safety net."
The Peer Support Team voice mail can
be reached at 764-8200 or by e-mail at
mpact-pst@umich.edu. Student-athletes
wishing to apply for NI-PACT should
contact Greg Harden through the Athletic

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