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January 11, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-11

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 11, 1996

abe £irbguu & iI

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI

Street
48109

Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMES M. NASH
Editorial Page Editors

JUDITH KAFT E FINE PRINT
Mother-daughter bondbng in
theface of a careerlessfuture

II

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Athletic Dept. proposal needs more details

G ov. John Engler says all the regents care
about is getting free football tickets.
Apparently, they care about football
coaches' buyouts as well.
The Athletic Department's decision to
pay former Michigan coach Gary Moeller
$386,026 to leave the University, coupled
with a controversial contract between the
University and Nike, has spurred the Board
of:Regents to restructure the way the depart-
ment is run.
The exact changes are still unclear, and
have yet to be approved by the regents. But a
prnposal already is on the table. It would first
reduce the Board in Control of Intercolle-
gite Athletics, which is responsible for ap-
proving the department's budgets and goals,
to-an advisory role. This is clearly a step
forward. In recent years the Board in Control
has not exercised much restraint - it appar-
ently didn't occur to board members that the
Nuke deal might cause concern or that paying
almost half a million dollars to an employee
for being fired might not be within their
jurisdiction.
Second, the proposed changes would turn
over the responsibilities ofthe Board in Con-
trol to the Board of Regents - a move fraught
with potential complications. The regents
obviously don't have the time to approve
every single Athletic Department contract,
and involving them in every decision would
be a logistical nightmare. As a result, the
regents have to allow Athletic Director Joe
Roberson to make a number of decisions on
his own, without the regents' approval.
The question is, where do they draw they
line? Does Roberson have free reign unless

he deems a matter worthy of the regents'
consideration? Or does everything need to be
approved by the regents until reasonable
guidelines are set? The regents have yet to
answer these questions; in essence, they are
planning to rewrite the department's bylaws
to support a theory of management.
Such details must be worked out before a
final plan is approved. Other University de-
partments have a limited degree of autonomy,
with only major decisions going to the re-
gents. What is important for now is that the
regents have recognized the problem: Much
of the world sees the University through the
Athletic Department, andthat is not the bright-
est view. The regents should be commended
for addressing an issue of such vital impor-
tance to the image of the University.
Most significantly, the regents have sent a
message to the athletic director. Roberson,
who is largely at fault for the Moeller fiasco,
now knows where he stands. He has de-
fended his decisions in the Moeller and Nike
situations. The wisdom of those decisions
aside, it is indefensible that the regents were
not even notified of either deal before it was
done.
Roberson can no longer justify all his
decisions based on the Board in Control's
approval. The regents have shown they ques-
tion his judgment and want to hold him
directly accountable for the department's
actions.
The Athletic Department has operated
under its own umbrella for years, and the
University is getting soaked. If the proper
restructuring takes place, that will no longer
happen.

Who was it, exactly, who said that you
can never go home again? My dictio-
nary offers several definitions for the word
"home" - the place where a person (or
family) lives; a place where one likes to be;
the natural environment of an animal.
I just spent a month (yes, a full month) at
what I refer to as home, although I'm not
sure it fulfills any of these definitions - I
don't live there, I'm not sure it's where I like
to be, and although I may have spent many
years there, it hardly appears to be my natu-
ral environment. Actually, I'd have to say
that for me home is more than a place; as I re-
learned over vacation, home is an experi-
ence.
Of course, going home always involves
the pains connected with being part of a
quasi-typical dysfunctional family: We
fought over what the family movie should
be, took separate cars because no one could
stand the way everyone else drives, brought
up stories from 15 years ago in attempts to
win arguments ("This is just like the time
you ate all my glue for school!") and made
fun of each other's haircuts. And that was
just my first day back. (Picture us on Christ-
mas Eve, arguing in a Chinese restaurant
over the merits and weaknesses of the film
"Nixon" while hurriedly stuffing our faces
to make sure we got our fair share before it
was gone).
But this year, as a college senior, unsure
of what the future will bring, going home
involved some added perks. First of all,
understanding that this was the last time I'd
be home as a dependent (at least officially)
I took it upon myself to visit every doctor I
could while still covered by my parents'

insurance. I am proud to say that I will enter
the real world in May with very clean teeth
and a year's supply of contact lenses.
Also, not knowing when her next oppor-
tunity to feed me would be, my mother felt
more pressure than usual to prepare every
kind of food I would possibly like. She kept
approaching me with recipe books, asking
me to choose between three different kinds
of chicken dishes, which appeared identical
on first and second glances, but with in-
depth probing proved to call for different
amounts of paprika and/or garlic. I tried
explaining to her that after spending my last
week in Ann Arbor feeding off pots of boiled
rice and my housemates' leftover pizza, any-
thing she made was sure to taste delicious,
but that actually ended up offending my
mother.
Actually, mother-smother was something
of a problem over break. It's a phenomenon
that strikes often, I have noticed, although
my unofficial research shows that it is far
more prominent during extended vacations
than weekends or full summers. It involves
an overzealous mother wanting to spend too
much time with her somewhat reluctant, but
guilt-ridden, progeny. The results are al-
ways disastrous.
My mother actually took time off work
to be with me, which of course made me feel
all the more guilty when I'd spend the days
with friends. But then, when she started
waking me up early in the morning to try and
make plans with me before anyone else, I
stopped feeling quite so bad.
We did plan some mother-daughter out-
ings, such as going to lunch together, or
visiting the modern art museum. But these

prearranged allotments of quality time never
seemed to quite work out; at one point I
found myself angrily whispering that if she
didn't know why an office chair hung up-
side-down from the ceiling was considered
art, there was certainly nothing I could do to
help her.
Yet when it came to the BIG senior
question, "What are you planning to do after
you graduate?", I found I actually preferred
the company of my parents to that of my
friends. My parents, afraid that I was too
directed in life for too long, are actually
thrilled that I don't know what I want to do
with my life. Of course this doesn't stop
them from thinking that I will be gainfully
employed after I graduate: The fact that I
have made no effort to find ajob and have no
plans to do so does not seem to affect their
belief.
My friends, on the other hand, approached
the topic over vacation full force, and seemed
a little disappointed in my reluctance to
discuss the future. Apparently I am the only
one of my friends - male or female - who4
does not own an interview suit. When I
explained tothem that as a columnist I really
don't conduct many interviews, they were
not amused. They wonder what has hap-
pened to me at this "liberal school." They
hope I don't mix up my odd political views
with reality.
All in all, though, I have to say that
unpleasant as some of those moments were,
I was definitely, most certainly home. The
question is, after writing this column, can I
ever go home again?
- Judith Kafka can be reached
over e-mail atjkafka@umich.edu

ki

i

MATT WIMSATT

Mooi's Du.1flV
LANE'Djm.a1

Murky waters
Clintons should disclose Whitewater details

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NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'For the first time
In my life I felt
like a prisoner.'
4
- Jim Vanstone, a
Montreal traveler who
got stuck in New Jersey
for two days due to the
weather

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A commentator on the Public Broadcast-
ing System recently remarked that
Whitewater is "a cover-up without a crime."
The description seems particularly apt in
light of recent developments, including the
White House's release of documents last
weekthat presidential aides hadclaimed were
lost. This was another example of the White
House's inept handling of the Whitewater
affair. The president and his wife repeatedly
have denied wrongdoing, but their behavior
seems to indicate otherwise, casting a shadow
of suspicion over the entire Clinton adminis-
tration. The president, for his own sake, should
finally come clean and turn over every rel-
evant piece of information.
Whitewater has all the makings of a grand
political scandal: a president who behaves as
if he were hiding something, congressional
committees and special prosecutors who are
investigating and a press corps relentlessly
covering the sordid affair. But after nearly
four years in the public, one important ingre-
dient is still missing: There is no evidence of
criminal activity on the Clintons' part.
The term "Whitewater" has come to rep-
resent the strange relationship between the
Clintons and their friend, James McDougal.
The Clintons and McDougal bought land for
an investment in the late 1970s. Later, when
McDougal's savings and loan went bank-
rupt, Hillary Rodham Clinton helped him
with some legal matters. And this is where a
Senate committee now focuses its spotlight.
Last week, the White House released cop-
ies of documents that seem to contradict a
statement Mrs. Clinton made about the
amount of work she did for the failing say-
How To CONTACT THEM

ings and loan. She said her role was minimal,
but the documents indicate more extensive
involvement. Furthermore, in an unrelated
event, the documents were released just one
day after the White House disclosed a memo
that contradicted another of Mrs. Clinton's
statements - this time about her role in the
firing of White House Travel Office employ-
ees. And the list goes on.
Behind the mind-numbing details, a larger,
more troubling theme emerges: The erosion
of the president's credibility. Every time the
White House makes a statement about
Whitewater, every time an aide testifies, one
wonders if the truth is coming out. This has
frustrated Clinton's supporters and encour-
aged his enemies. Clinton himself seems to
be the main reason Whitewater persists.
Furthermore, the whole event is politi-
cally damaging to the president, and may
haunt him in November. While most voters
may not understand all the technical details
of the Whitewater affair, they are getting the
sense that the Clinton administration is lying
to Congress and to the public. The "slick
Willie" label that stuck to Clinton in 1992
may give way to an even more dishonorable
moniker by the next election.
It is in Clinton's interest to release all
information to the Senate special committee
and the press. The congressional committees
and special prosecutors may never be able to
indict the president or his wife for criminal
activities, but these investigations - some
dating back to the last presidential election
- are undermining his credibility. In the
end, that may be what drowns the Clintons in
the messy affair called Whitewater.

Press CLIPPINGS
NCAA restructuring is really about dollars

When our forebears at the
Constitutional Convention laid
the groundwork for the federal
government, two ideas emerged:
One proposed a structure based
on equal representation for all
states, while another sought to
shift the balance of powerto those
states with the largest popula-
tions. Both ideas had their merits,
and both, of course, are present in
the current system as the two
houses of Congress.
Hope for a similar, modern-
day compromise went out the
window this week at the annual
National Collegiate Athletics
Association meetings in Dallas,
where delegates voted over-
whelmingly to put power in the
hands of big-money Division I
football and basketball powers.
Under the plan, an omnipotent
committee of 16 college presi-
This editorial ran in The Min-
nesota Daily yesterday.

dents - 12 from Division I
schools - will make budget and
policy decisions for all three
NCAA divisions. The plan may
make sense on the surface since,
after all, the cash- and player-
rich schools must be doing some-
thing right. But the worry here is
that big schools may forget the
days long ago when they, too,
were small.
Granted, presidents of smaller
schools have been promised in-
creased funding down the road.
But with the NCAA's restruc-
turing, those needs - and the
needs of the athletes themselves
- could be neglected.
What interest, for example,
does a giant like Ohio State Uni-
versity have in the success or
failure of a relatively tiny school
like Mankato State University?
They'll never meet on the field
of play, their athletic departments
are worlds apart financially, and
"making ends meet" has totally

different meanings. Class distinc-
tions are one thing; David and
Goliath are another.
Southern University athletics
director Marino Casem, and other
opponents of the plan, have good
reason to worry. In an interview
with the Baton Rouge, La., Capi-
tal City Press, Casem said, "(The
restructuring is) going to take
those of us who are not in the
mainstream further away from the
core of the NCAA. They say
they're giving us a voice, but all
those that have want more."
Football fans - in college
administrations and the general
public alike - may see this ac-
tion as a fresh opportunity for
another look at some sort of foot-
ball playoff system.
For that reason alone, this de-
cision will likely meet with wide-
spread support. Furthermore, ef-
ficiency will reportedly improve
within the cluttered machinations
of the NCAA. But the true mea-

sure of this plan should be what-
ever future action is taken on
issues like appropriate academic
standards, possible payment of
athletes (or at least adequate
scholarship amounts) and the
amount of attention - and
money - paid to schools in D*
visions II and III.
Legendary UCLA basketball
coach John Wooden spoke Mon-
day at a press conference before
he was honored by the NCAA
with the prestigious Theodore
Roosevelt Award. "No sport is
minor," he said. "Some are in-
come-producing." If they don't
bring in a load of money to
school, "it doesn't mean they'.
less important." The NCAA's
new executive committee would
be wise to heed Wooden's com-
ments. For an organization that
supposedly hails the unique im-
portance of amateur athletics, the
NCAA seems too attracted to the
aura of the almighty dollar.
busting has indeed "earned him a
special place in the hearts of the
city's residents," as written in the
commencement program. The
attack on the 2,600 workers hurts
their families and is a threat to the
community. Contrary to what the
administration believes, we as
graduates of the Class of 1995
will remember Neal Shine as t
antithesis of our dedication W
social and economic justice and
community service. Friends and
family in the audience joined in
peaceful protest, and 12 were ar-
rested. Some may not have un-
derstood why we interrupted the
ceremony. However, our convic-

LETTERS

'U' honored
publisher
wrongfully
To the Daily:
We participated in the action
at commencement protesting Neal
Shine's receipt of an honorary
degree. This was a ceremony to
honor us as graduates. Instead,
the University dishonored us with
its decision to honor Shine, pub-
lisher of the scab Detroit Free
Press. A University spokesper-
son told The Ann Arbor News
that the administration did not

implicitly siding with the papers'
management.
The University held Shine up
as an example of what graduates
should strive to be. We feel that
Shine is an appalling choice for a
role model. In 1989, Shine was
brought out of retirement to ex-
ecute the Joint Operating Agree-
ment that was signed to help the
two papers regain profitability.
At this time, the unions involved
agreed to painful concessions in
wages and job security. The news-
paper companies guaranteed that
once profits returned, so would
the decent wages and workplace
standards that the emnolovees had

proposed by management this
past summer demanded further
job cuts, wage cuts and
outsourcing of work to non-union
laborers. The six unions repre-
senting the 2,600 newspaper
workers decided to strike on July
13 after management refused to
bargain in good faith. In fact, the
regional National Labor Rela-
tions Board ruled that
management's negotiation tactics
qualified as an unfair labor prac-
tice. Since the beginning of the
strike, management has made it
clear that its primary goal is to
break the unions, thus attacking
the right of workers to organize

Sen. Carl Levin (D)
459 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Sen. Spencer Abraham (R)
B40 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
('0'9\ 9 A-AP/Y

i

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