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November 03, 1997 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

This time,
'may help
Mark Snyder
Taily Sports Writer
When Michigan tips off its season
lonight at Crisler Arena, prayer may be
n the mindq of many.
Michigan fans, concerned with the
possibility of another
year without an NCAA New e
-Aurnament berth will be
crossing their fingers for What: Michi
a return to the success of in Action (E
the early '90s. When: 7:30
Crisler officials,
unsure of the damage
Robert Traylor may The Wolverin
inflict on their back- avenge last
boards, will hope for a loss to Athle
shatter-free opening
Michigan guard Robbie Reid, 120
days removed from a Mormon mission
through Greece, will pray to regain the
rhythm of college basketball - a game
he hasn't played in more than two years.
But when it comes time to connect
with an omnipotent being, it is
Michigan's exhibition opponent, Athletes
in Action, who will be preaching the
AIA, a traveling amateur team, has
spent the last 30 years playing games
against Division I opponents, winning
more than 60 percent of those contests.
But, as the group purports, "of even
greater significance, AIA's (teams) use
the platform of basketball to bring the
message of Christ to hundreds of thou-
sands of fans each fall"
s Intended to be a tune-up for
Michigan's grueling regular season, last
season's game against AIA left the
Wolverines begging for mercy.
In a 104-96 embarrassment, AlA
scorched the nets at a 68 percent clip and
at Easter
By David DenHerder
Daily Sports Writer
YPSILANTI - It was a briefly
,ark, but none-too-scary Halloween
.night for the Michigan men's swim-
ining and diving team this year at
Eastern Michigan.
The Wolverines opened their dual
meet season Friday in Ypsilanti
with a powerful 170-73 victory over
the Eagles - and other than a
short-lived blackout moments
{ before the start of the 1,000-yard
freestyle, everything went accord-
ing to plan.
Michigan won 12 of 13 events
Friday in what proved to be an
excellent first look at the
Wolverines, despite the absence of
Coaeh Jon Urbanchek and swimmer
Tom Malchow.
Both were fulfilling U.S. National
Team commitments at Auburn over
4he weekend.
"You don't always know what to
expect in the first meet of the sea-
son," assistant coach Eric Namesnik
said. "We had some good swims and

we had some that were a little bit
Namesnik said that the meet was a
good opportunity to get some of the
~swimmers on the clock and to gauge
the lineup for upcoming meets.
"To this point we've just been
swimming against each other, so it's
good to get up and swim against
another team - even if it is only
seven miles down the road,"
* Namesnik said.
Particularly impressive were
Michigan's true freshmen Chris

The Michigan Daily --SPORTSMonday - November 3, 1997 - 3B

'M' hoops


The Bronx Bomber


sent the Wolverines to their owvn locker-
room with its heads hung.
As uncertainty surrounds the current
crop of Wolverines, co-captain Travis
Conlan is just as anxious as the fans to
see the Wolverines in action.
"We're practicing
a begins hard," he said. "And
all we need is good
an vs. Athletes effort. We'll find out
ibition) how we can execute
.m against Athletes in
Arena If the shiner under
s try to Conlan's right eye is
ear's 104-96 any indication, that
es in Action. intensity is already in
full force.
"Maceo (Baston)
elbowed me in practice," he said. The
practices "are heated. (But) we can't have
any injuries. If we stay healthy, we'll be
And entering their first contest, all of
the Wolverines are excited to get into
game action after only facing each other
for the last two weeks.
"We're going to play a more aggres-
sive zone and trap a little more" Conlan
said. "Everyone wants to run, but it's
hard in practice because we've only got
nine guys."
While this will be Michigan's first
game of the season, AIA has already
spread its religious message three times.
After opening with a 105-68 victory
over Malone College on'Oct. 29, the AIA
road show hit Georgia and Bradley on its
way to Ann Arbor.
Religious or not, Conlan is looking for
a victory to boost team morale.
"I think it's important to get off to a
fast start,"he said. "Not just for everyone
around us, but (also) for our team."

Michigan's Robert Traylor goes up for the shot against Athletes in Action last
year. The Wolverines lost, 104-96, to a traveling amateur team that has won more
than 60 percent of its games in the past 30 years. While AIA concentrates on
winning on the court, it also goes to campuses to preach its religious beliefs.

X' marks f/ic spot where
Boston U went wrong,
Calk another one up against the students. The philosophy where a university
buck comes before a diploma made its weekly appearance in Beantown.
Boston University, its football program in particular, was the target this
week. An attack was launched and it was a direct hit.
If the NCAA thought its harshest punishment for infractions, the death penalty,
was a brutal extension of the arm of discipline, then maybe it ought to take a peck
at how tPe Boston University athletic department conducts its business.
The Terriers' football program possessed as much bite as a baby on a bottle
recently. They are in the midst of 10 losing seasons in the last 12, and were witless
going into its Homecoming tilt against cross-town rival Northeastern on Oct. 25.
So after the Terriers fell to the Huskies, 28-7, for their eighth straight defeat-this
season and 30th time in the last 34 games, the university's athletic department
decided that enough was enough. After the game, the players were told that the,
football program was to be discontinued, effective at the end of the season.
Players were given the option to transfer - where they would not have to sit out
the mandatory one year that Division I schools mandate for transfer athletes -=or
remain in Boston, where their scholarships will be honored. Terriers coach Toin
Masella will receive full pay for the final two years of his contract.
But, as in most cases, the administration missed the boat here so badly that it
didn't even hit water. This was not about having the "courtesy" to honor scholar-
ships or the "integrity" to fulfill a contractual obligation to its employee, Masella.
This is about the college experience and the purpose of having intercollegiate
athletics. Apparently, the Boston University athletic department knows nothing
about either.
Intercollegiate athletics exist as a complement to the learning experience of
being an undergraduate student. Many current athletes at less-than-eruditic institu-
tions have created an image that high-revenue college sports exist simply as minor
leagues for the professionals.
But whether the values, morals, or playbook information mined from participa-
tion in intercollegiate athletics are used to catapult one to a career in professional
athletics, or simply as a way of supplying students with a competitive fire that they
can take with them into the business world, is irrelevant.
What about the multitude of so-called minor sports, the ones on which every
school takes a financial hit. Such programs are dropped across the country on a
daily basis. So what makes the situation at Boston University such a hot issue?
Sure, money is the reason why this story is getting played up in the media; but
football is different that other sports for a reason other than money. When high-
school students pursuing football scholarships are weeding through offers froi-col-
leges, they choose the one with the pigskin program that would most benefit theta
from an athletic point of view.
Academics are also a concern, but football is paramount for these high-school-
ers. The opportunity to play at the Division I level is what they long for. In fact, for
many, an athletic scholarship is their ticket to a college education, especially 'at a
ritzy private institution like Boston University. If it were not for football, these stu-
dents would be stuck at some small, local or perhaps community college, with no
chance of benefitting from the college experience.
This is not the case for non-revenue sports. The average moderately talented
high-school gymnast, tennis player or field hockey player does not decide on a col-
lege based on the stability of the respective programs. If an athlete in one of those
particular sports is not the average athlete and is so immensely talented, he or sho
will then choose a college where one of those typically non-revenue programs is
held in high regard by the athletic department.
We are happy to report, though, that the former Terriers did not go down quietly
this time. In fact, their protest probably cost the university bureaucracy a victory in
this ugly confrontation.
In Saturday's 45-7 loss at Connecticut, the Terriers shunned the schools scarlet
uniforms and opted to sport plain white jerseys with black lettering that read
"University X." There was no reference to Boston University and the adminfstra-
tion that hung these student-athletes out to dry.
And by doing that, the players exhibited that they learned a few of the funda-
mental principles gained from intercollegiate athletics -teamwork and loyalty.
Unfortunately, there will never be an opportunity for future Boston University
football players to learn that.
-Alan Goldenbach can be reached via e-mail at agotd@umich.edu.

blackout doesn't scare M' tankers
despite absence of Urbanchek

Thompson and Scott Werner.
Thompson beat out Eastern's
Mark Leonard in both the 500- and
1,000-free to become a two-event
winner his in first NCAA competi-
Werner also notched his first two
collegiate wins with impressive vic-
tories in the 200 breastroke and the
individual medley.
Werner's victory in the breast-
stroke capped off a Michigan sweep
in the event, with Francisco Suriano
and Scott Meyer providing a 2-3
punch for the Wolverines.
Michigan also swept the 200-free
with the trifecta of Owen von
Richter, Joe Palmer and Steve
Eastern Michigan coach Peter
Linn said that although he expected
the sweep in the 200 free, he was a
bit surprised by Michigan's domi-
nance of the breastroke event.

"We're going to
be good and we'll
be competitive.
- Eric Namesnik
Michigan assistant swimming
"In the breaststroke I thought we
had a shot at being second," Linn
said. "It's just that (Eastern's Bryson
Tan) probably didn't swim it in the
most strategic method he could
Another strong performer for
Michigan was senior Ryan Papa,
who won both the 50-free and 200
backstroke. Michigan's Josh Trexler
and Al Flemming also combined to
give the Wolverines one-two finish-
es in both the one-and three-meter

And while Michigan enjoyed
most of the treats Halloween night,
it was Eastern that provided the
final trick, winning the last relay by
.8 seconds thereby dashing
Michigan's chances of a perfect
This weekend Urbanchek and
Malchow return as the Wolverines
head to Texas, where they will take
on the defending NCAA champions
in a two-day meet.
Namesnik said that the results of
the Eastern meet could have some
effect on the lineup, but for the most
part, it will remain unaltered.
"We'll change around some things
for Texas, but I don't see a great
deal of things changing," Namesnik
said. "We're going to be good and
we'll be competitive. I don't know
if we can beat them, but we're look-
ing forward to racing real hard."





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