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February 12, 1996 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-12

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, February 12, 1996 - 3B

Qusto & nwr* nhn atr

Former Wolverine receiver talks
about the Lions and retirement

Anthony Carter played football at Michigan from
0979-1982, wherehe was a three-time All-American. He
went on to play for the Michigan Panthers in the USFL
for three seasons before going to the NFL. There he
played for the Minnesota Vikings for most of his career,
becoming one of the premier receivers in the league.
Carter recently retired from football, finishing his
career with the Detroit Lions.
The two-time NFL All-Pro now lives in Florida with
his'wife and three daughters. Among his charitable work
is his golf tournament to support the Boys & Girls Club
Palm Beach County.
W Carter took time out over the weekend to speak with
Jiten Ghelani for the Daily.
Daily: What factors led you to end your illustrious
Carter: Basically, due to the fact that I broke my
collarbone two years ago; that didn't completely heal. It
was something that I felt I had to do, and I feel right now
that everything is looking real good for the decision that
I made. Thirteen years is a lot of years and I don't regret
the decision that I made.
D: Do you have times when you miss being able to
lay right now?
C: No, I haven't even thought about it. I had the
opportunity to watch a couple games. I didn't watch them
ight away, but in about another two, three weeks I started
watching the games, and I didn't miss it at all.
D: What did you think were your greatest assets as a
player? What did you rely on most?
C: Being a team player, being able to contribute
each and every Sunday. Just going out and giving it my
all, and that's basically how I would like to be remem-
D: What made you choose Michigan when you could
have stayed in Florida?
C: Florida, Florida State and Miami, those teams
weren't the powerhouses that they are today. Basically,
I wanted tojust getaway, to get out ofthe state ofFlorida.
A lot of people don't realize that I wasn't that highly
reeruited coming out of high school. I definitely was
recruited by all the schools in-state, but out of state, not
that many schools.
D: I heard a story that you came real close to leaving
Michigan in the beginning. Can you tell us what hap-
ned and why you changed your mind?
C: I thought about transferring. I hadn't had an
opportunity to get away from home. I got a little
homesick, came home for about three days, realized
that if I wanted to make something out of myself I had
to go back. The decision that I made is one that I will
never regret.
D: What are your thoughts on the way the college
game has changed with all the endorsements and the
recruiting violations and the entire issue of money?
C: It was something that I thought needed to be done.
bn ow when I was there, once we got our little monthly
eck and paid rent and bought food, we didn't have
anything else left. I don't see anything wrong with giving
a guy a couple dollars, let him have a nice job and doing

the things to make some extra cash. With the endorse-
ments and things like that, it has basically turned into a
professional instead of college ballclub. You have to
watch yourself with the certain things you allow an
athlete to get. I think that the NCAA is really looking into
something now where they can really help the the ath-
letes out.
D: What are some of the differences you found in your
transitions from college to the USFL and finally to the
NFL? Where did you enjoy playing most?
C: Just strictly business, No. 1. I think when the USFL
came about, it was a real fun league. I think it was
exciting; they had lots oftalent there, especially with the
Michigan Panthers. You know, winning the champion-
ship, even though it wasn't the Super Bowl - it was
D: The media has been quick to criticize Lions' coach
Wayne Fontes. What did you think of him as a coach as
opposed to other coaches, including Bo?
C: He's a nice coach; he's a winning coach. He
knows how to motivate the players. He knows how to
get themin the right condition. In the latter part of the
season when everyone is basically worn down, the
guys won seven in a row. I think he needs to come out
of the gate and win some ball games there, maybe the
first four games. Go 3-1 or even 4-0 or something like
that because you know they are going to win in the
latter part of the season. I like coach Fontes, I was

happy to play for him and he's gonna be all right.
D: What advice do you have for young receivers
in high school or college that are trying to break
C: Just hard work, listen to your coaches, always be
a team ball player and good things are gonna come to
you. Basically that's the way I look at it, and I'll be
coaching at my old high school here in the fall so I'm
looking forward to that.
D: What are you going to be coaching?
C: Coaching the receivers.
D: What did you think influenced you most as a
person and as a player?
C: Basically, my mom. No doubt about her, seeing
her raise eight kids and the struggling times that she had
to go through and we had to go through as a family. We
weren't poor or anything of that nature; food was
always on the table, clothes were always on our back. I
think seeing her raise eight kids.
D: Did you get a chance to watch the Super Bowl this
C: I was at a sports bar that I did some autograph-
signing at. And when you're doing that and dealing with
the public, you don't get a chance to watch the game.
That was a mistake. I should've stayed home or I
should've went to the game, but I didn't get a chance to
see it that much.
D: Did you get a chance to see the interception Neil
O'Donnell threw when he was checking off with Andre
C: Maybe he checked off at the line or whatever, I
have no idea. I didn't even see it. I didn't see the
D: What do you do as a receiver in those types of
situations when you are trying to pick up the blitz?
C: You got the crowd noise, No. 1. You try to give a
hand signal or something like that, something you work
on. All year and throughout the weeks, you try to get the
communications down. Unfortunately, the communi-
cations broke down somewhere. I don't know, you
don't know, only those two guys know what happened
in that situation.
D: Is there one quarterback you think you worked
best with?
C: No, not really. I mean you try to work good with
all your quarterbacks. You try to stay on the same page
each and every day and each week that you go out on and
perform. You don't want a breakdown there. Unfortu-
nately with the crowd noise, those things do happen.
D: Where do you think were the toughest places
you've ever played?
C: Definitely, being at home I know that it had to be
forotherteamsplayingin(Michigan)stadium, 105,000,
you don't get that many anywhere. But I think when
you're playing at Purdue, Purdue was pretty loud. The
fans seemed to be real close to the players.
Indiana was kind of loud. Ohio State with the horse-
shoe was definitely one of the loudest ones. I think
playing in New Orleans and in Seattle in the NFL were
the two loudest stadiums.

Puszta, Puszta,e's our
man, f lie cant doa...
When you're playing tennis and someone on a nearby court chucks his
racket after losing a match, what runs through your mind?
For starters, you hope that the racket-turned-projectile doesn't hit
you upside the head, since that might sting a little. But secondly, if you're
playing for your school's tennis team at the time, and the guy who threw the
racket was your teammate, you think about the point penalty he just earned
And now you think and feel other things, like anger, frustration, or
perhaps you feel like throwing your own racket at your teammate. Mean-
while, you begin to lose your concentration, something vitally important in
your match against the No. 4 player in the NCAA - a match that is in the
third and final set.
"I would've freaked," says Michigan tennis player Geoff Prentice.
However, it was Peter Pusztai who was faced with this situation, and
Michigan's No. 1 singles player didn't freak. Instead, he just kept doing
what he's been doing all year, which is beating the nation's top singles
Pusztai went on to win that match over South Alabama's Jan
Hermansson, extending his singles winning streak to nine. That streak
includes wins over the nation's No. 11 and No. 19 players. Though Pusztai
is currently No. 64, his coach, Brian Eisner, says that he's capable of
winning the NCAA singles title.
Pusztai hasn't always been capable of such victories, or worthy of such
praise. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior from Ann Arbor has started to
come on this year, but not because of any radical change or improvement in
his game.
"He has become, mentally and physically, a rock," Eisner says. "Nothing
bothers him. He's just in total emotional control."
That's not easy to do in tennis, which is as mentally draining a sport as
there is. If you're not hitting your shot, you can't pass to someone else; if
you don't match up well with your opponent, you can't have someone
pinch-hit for you. Unlike most any other sport besides boxing, tennis is all
So, to be in "total emotional control" is quite an accomplishment - even for
someone like Pusztai, who is more than a casual player. Moreover, he wasn't
this steady earlier in his career.
"Freshman year was rough," Pusztai says. "I lost a lot, classes didn't go
well, everything just seemed like the, world was collapsing on me.
"(But) each year I've been here I've improved, and (lately) I've just been a
lot happier on the court."
Of course, you can smile, tell jokes and have a good ol' time all you want,
but that alone won't bring victories. You need a game. Fortunately for Michi-
gan, Pusztai has several.
"It doesn't matter whether he's playing a baseliner or someone who likes to
go to the net," Eisner says. "He makes it very difficult for his opponent to beat
him because he does so many things well."
Among those things are a big forehand, a good serve and most of all, speed.
"I get to most anything," Pusztai says. "It frustrates the hell out of people."
It's like cops always say: Speed kills, baby.
But for Pusztai, that hasn't always been the case. Eisner says Pusztai has
always had the ability and the desire to win, although his record wasn't quite as
good as he had hoped.
And so coming into this season, Pusztai didn't do much differently. He
didn't play more tennis than usual in the off-season; he may have played even
less, since he had surgery on his right knee.
The difference has just been mental - getting older, getting wiser, and yes,
becoming more confident.
"A lot of it has to do with the maturation process," Pusztai says. "(Now) I
know that if I just play my best tennis, I'm the best player in the country."
And so far he's proving it, however many rackets his teammates may have
- Darren Everson can be reached over e-mail at evey@umich.edu


Men gymnasts display consistent effort in loss to top-ranked Buckeyes

By Chaim Hyman
Daily Sports Writer
For the Michigan men's gymnastics
arn, Saturday's meet will go down as a
oss. The Wolverines fell to Ohio State,
228.925-209.750. But what the score does
not reflect is the new consistency shown
by the Michigan gymnasts.
Coming into the meet, the Wolverines
knew Ohio State would probably win, but
they still wanted to compete at the Buck-
eyes' level of competition - something
Michigan has found hard to do in previ-
ous meets.
"We wanted to develop a consistency
in the athletes," said Michigan coach Bob
Darden. "The confidence shown by our
athleteshas establishedthis consistency."
Ohio State is rated as the top program
in the country. Buckeye coach Peter
Krmann is the U.S. Olympic coach for
gynnastics, and many on his team will
compete for the national team. With this
in mind, the Wolverines realized they had
little chance of winning.
"This was a mentally tough meet,"
arden said. "We knew we were compet-
ing against what will probably be the next
national championship team of 1996 in
Despite its loss, Michigan is pleased
with its performance and improvement.
"Our goal as a team is to improve,"
Darden said. "This improvementmay not

be reflected in the score, but it is reflected
in the attitude and aggressiveness of our
Perhaps the most impressive Michigan
performance came from Flavio Martins.
In the all-around competition, Martins
scored a 54.3, an average of more than
nine points in each event. Martins hit all
of his sets without a break and is the first
Wolverine to do so on the pommel horse
this season.
"It's all about consistency," Martins
said. "We have to make sure we keep

growing in maturity and hit all our sets."
A surprise for Michigan was freshman
Randy D'Amura's performance on the
vault. D'Amura was not originally slated
to compete on the vault, but was asked to
do so after sophomore Tim Lauring suf-
fered an ankle injury during practice.
D'Amura posted the highest score for
Michigan on the vault with an 8.9.
"Randy D'Amura has shown substan-
tial improvement over his past competi-
tions," Darden said. "The scores do not
reflect his level ofconfidence and aggres-

Sophomore Jin Bin Im also improved
his performance for Michigan. Im scored
a 9.3 on the horizontal, tying him for
fourth place with teammate Jason
MacDonald in that competition. Im at-
tributes his success to training.
"I've been spending a good amount of
time in the gym, and I'm really starting to
get back into the swing," Im said.
Darden is optimistic about Im's future.
"I hope that Jin's training and strength

will develop into the caliber that he has
shown he is capable of," Darden said.
Michigan's top event score was the
high bar. The Wolverines went 6-for-6on
their high bar routines, giving the them
four counting scores built on hit sets.
While Michigan's score is slightly than

its previous meets, Darden believes his
team performed better at Ohio State.
"Our performances were much better
and we probably would have gotten a
higher score elsewhere," Darden said.
"Thejudges had a lot more sharp pencils,
but they work hard."

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