Sottball postponed by weather
The Michigan softball team's matchup with Purdue was postponed due
to snow and cold yesterday. The doubleheader was rescheduled for
today at 1 p.m. Due to the scheduling change, today's doubleheader
against non-conference opponent Western Michigan had to be
postponed. A makeup date has not been announced.
April 17, 1996
'M' basketball under NCAA investigation
By Brent McIntosh
Daily Sports Editor
The 1996 Ford Explorer crashed
Feb. 17 by Michigan basketball player
Maurice Taylor is under investiga-
tion by the NCAA, according to a
" letter from an NCAA enforcement
representative to Michigan Director
of Athletics Joe Roberson.
The letter from Guy Troupe, dated
March 11, also informs Roberson that
the vehicle or vehicles of at least one
other Michigan basketball player are
under investigation. Which players'
vehicles are under scrutiny is speci-
fied in the letter, which The Michi-
gan Daily obtained under the Michi-
gan Freedom of Information Act, but
University officials concealed that
information from members of the
media by whiting out portions of the
Among its various inquiries, the
NCAA asked the department to re-
port whether it believes "that viola-
tions of NCAA legislation concern-
ing recruiting inducements, extra
benefits or amateurism have occurred
with any of these vehicles."
In the letter, which follows a report
by the University and preliminary
interviews conducted by the NCAA,
Troupe wrote that "It seems appro-
priate to further review this informa-
The letter went on to request that
the University provide a comprehen-
sive review of the ownership and fi-
nancing of Taylor's vehicle, along
with answering broader questions
about the Athletic Department's ve-
hicle registration program.
"(It) would be appreciated if the
institution would review Taylor's use
of the vehicle ... and arrangement for
vehicles used by other men's basket-
ball student-athletes and include the
results in a written report to the en-
forcement staff by April 12, 1996,"
Taylor crashed the Explorer in the
early morning while carrying Michi-
gan players Willie Mitchell, Louis
Bullock, Robert Traylor and Ron
Oliver, along with Flint Northern se-
nior Mateen Cleaves. The only major
injury in the one-car accident was a
broken arm suffered by Traylor. The
program quit recruiting Cleaves after
the incident; he has since said he will
play at Michigan State next year.
Taylor's vehicle belonged to his
aunt, Ford employee Sabrina Lloyd,
who , according to The Detroit News,
claimed she bought it under the "A
Plan" discount available to her. While
probable references to Lloyd are
whited out of the letter - so that her
name appears nowhere on the released
See INVESTIGATION, Page 11
The Ford Explorer driven by Maurice Taylor, with four other Wolverines and then-recruit Mateen Cleaves as passengers,
crashed Feb. 17. The NCAA will investigate the vehicles driven by Taylor and at least one other Michigan basketball player.
The University decided not to recruit Cleaves after the incident as punishment for possible recruiting violations.
By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
In a battle between two Midwestern
men's tennis powerhouses, Michigan is
truly the leader and best.
The No. 27 Wolverines swept all six
singles matches and won two out ofthree
doubles matches in pounding No. 31
Notre Dame, 7-0, at Liberty Sports Com-
Michigan, which was ranked second
,in the region behind the Fighting Irish
entering yesterday's match, extended its
winning streak to a season-high seven
"(The Wolverines) came out with fire
in their eyes and played really hard,"
Notre Dame coach Bobby Bayliss said.
"They out-competed us and out-coached
r us. It's the worst we've been beaten in
"It was a good old fashioned butt-
The win was especially satisfying for
the Michigan seniors on the squad, who
defeated Notre Dame for the first time in
their careers. Michigan's No. 1 singles
player, Peter Pusztai, who is ranked No.
a 22, won for the first time ever over No.
42 Mike Sprouse, defeating the Irish
senior in three sets.
"Mike and I are No. 1 and 2 in the
region, so I really got pumped up for the
match," Pusztai said. "I was a lot more
Fellow Michigan seniorJohn Costanzo
was also victorious, battling through in-
juries to win a three-set match over Ryan
Simme, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. The victory im-
proved Costanzo's record at No.2 singles
"I have never beaten (Notre Dame)
before today," Costanzo said, "We just
wanted to come here and win, and to
sweep them 7-0 is just unbelievable."
The third senior on the Wolverines,
Geoff Prentice, defeated John O'Brien in
another three-set match, 7-6, 5-7, 6-2, at
fifth singles. The win moved Prentice to
1 1-17 for the season.
"Four years ago, we never would have
imagined that we would beat Notre Dame
7-0," Prentice said. "We just worked so
hard and out-competed them this time.
It's just a great feeling."
Four years ago, when Pusztai, Costanzo
and Prentice were freshmen, Michigan
finished in eighth place in the Big Ten at
8-14. This season, the three seniors have
been integral to a team that has now
secured the top seed in the Big Ten tour-
nament for the second consecutive year.
"Just to beat them would have been an
accomplishment," Prentice said. "It feels
good for us because when we got here, we
were horrible, and now we've turned this
The Wolverines dropped to No. 27 in
the new rankings, released yesterday,
but Michigan coach Brian Eisner said
that the rating was not indicative of the
team's recent performance.
The Wolverines have now won seven
consecutive matches heading into the
final Big Ten match against Iowa on
"We're getting better and better,"
Eisner said. "I cannot think of a win in
the last 10 years I have enjoyed more
than this one."
By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
America's "Dream Team" is ready
to compete in the Atlanta Games this
summer- and we're not talking bas-
One of the United States' best op-
portunities to win a gold medal in'
could come in a sport making
Olympic debut- women's fast-pitch
. A 20-year drive to make the top
participation sport in the world an
Olympic one culminated in June of
1991 when softball was awarded full-
medal status for this year's games.
Now, players around the world, in-
cluding some current Wolverines,
have a new ultimate goal, in many
ways due to the work of the Amat
Softball Association of America.
Since the first world championship
of softball was held in 1965, Don
Porter, executive director of ASAA,
has led the drive to make softball
popular internationally and obtain
Over the past two decades, Porter
and the ASAA took coaches and play-
ers around the world, introducing soft-
ball to many of the 101,countries t*
now compete internationally.
All the while, the United States
domination of the sport has been stag-
Since 1986, the United States'
record of 110-1 in international play
has earned it 11 gold medals.
In the past three Pan American
Games, America has accumulated a
30-0 record and outscored its oppo-
In November's Pan Ameri i
Qualifier in Guatemala, the United
States went 15-0, shutting out its op-
ponents 118-0., while posting a team
ERA of 0.00.
The '96 Olympic team consists of
the 15 best players in the country, as
determined by a seven-person selec-
tion committee that spent three years
attending softball events across the
country and the world.
The search ended in Olympic try-
outs and the Olympic camp, which
was held this past September.
Although no Wolverines "made the
team, two current and two former
Michigan players were among those
who were invited to try out.
Current Michigan sophomore
pitcher Sara Griffin and junior out-
fielder Kellyn Tate, along with former
shortstop Bonnie Tholl and former
slugger Patti Benedict, made it d>
into the tryout process.
All four stayed alive until the final
cuts and are considered among the top
65-70 players in the country.
Tholl, now an assistant coach for
Michigan, was invited to the Olympic
tryouts after making a good showing
on the U.S. Pan American Games
"It was kind of like the making
dream," Tholl said. "It's one of
most exciting things I've ever done."
Tholl hopes the world will finally
understand what fast-pitch softball is
"A lot of people think (softball) is
always slow-pitch with big, fat, lazy
people playing," Tholl said. "People
don't know the action in the game."
Mike Candrea, coach of softball
powerhouse Arizona, views the Olym-
pics as a chance for the sport to
"The one thing that's always been
missing in softball is exposure,"
In an attempt to increase exposure
leading up to the Games in July, the
U.S. team will go on a pre-Olympic
tour, playing games against clubs anc
regional all-star teams in 21 cities.
The tour, which begins in Sa
mento on April 26, will take the te
across the country before ending ur
in Atlanta in July.
Although the youngest member o
the team isr18 years old, the averag
age is 26 or 27, according to ASA
director of communications Rot
Michigan's No. 1 singles player Peter Pusztal defeated Mike Sprouse of Notre Dame in three sets yesterday to lead the
Wolverines to a 7-0 sweep of the Fighting Irish. Michigan Is No. 27 in the nation and has won seven consecutive matches.
The Wolverines have one regular season match left on their schedule, this Saturday against Iowa. The Big Ten
championships begin April 25 and the NCAA regionals get underway May 3.
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