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September 04, 1997 - Image 13

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-04

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 4, 1997 -13A

41student's
voice is too
italuable to
nore
A year ago, if you saw any of the
~Following, you knew that armaged-
don was approaching for Michigan
fports fans.
Lloyd Carr bringing the run-
and-shoot to Michigan football.
® A Rhodes Scholar planning to
~lay basketball for Steve Fisher.
Red Berenson screaming "Go
.3reek!" to all of his new recruits.
Students crowding around tele-
isidn sets in South Quad watching
the Michigan-Ohio State game even
though it was happening less than a
ile away.
This is not to
ay there will
ean unusually
arge number
f "ehs" and .
Waboots" at fra-'
[ly the last ALAN
art actually
appened. GODENBACH
But that was The Bronx
~nough to set a Bomber
dangerous
recedent for the athletic depart-
ent.
SAs most are aware - some via
'irst-hand .experience - 3,200 naive
'~et ,ambitious freshman football fans,
reven casual observers intent on
~xpernencing the mystique of
'vichigan football games, will not
Set :tickets to each home game. And
es,,half of those students will either
~ay sums equivalent to out-of-state
tuition for a ducat or be forced to sit
Somne and watch Michigan try and
ash Ohio State's national title hopes
ora third straight year.
SAll kidding aside, this plan is
othing short of the most ridiculous
aneuver yet pulled by an athletic
department that has scammed,
yped, and cheated its most faithful
ffans for far too long.
I t is ludicrous enough that the
University forces its own students to
ayfor tickets to see their peers,
~hei classmates, compete.
It is such a shady business tactic
o hear the athletic department justi-
ycharging students for tickets by
iving the students a discount.
tuoents have always thought that
they were getting a good deal when
~he, op of their ticket reads $13.50
bwile the guy sitting three sections

over laid out 32 bucks for his.
We can't hope for the athletic
department to ever grant students
free tickets, because the precedent
for charging students has been estab-
lished for too long. What we can
hope for is the department to re-
assess its top priority.
It was given an opportunity to do
so once a new wrinkle was added to
the fold. The athletic department
received too many requests for stu-
dent tickets. Rather than expand the
student section and decrease the
number of tickets offered to non-stu-
dents, the department issued a com-
promise far less appealing to the stu-
dents -- the split-season plan.
Senior Associate Athletic Director
Keith Molin, an honorable person
who is as a much a Michigan man as
anyone else, said, "This is the most
fair option there is. We couldn't take
tickets away from those who already
had them."
But he's wrong. It is not the most
fair option and it could lead to a sim-
ilar problem that now faces Crisler
Arena. There is no doubt the most
ardent, rambunctious, fanatical
(which is what "fan" is an abbrevia-
tion for) spectators of Michigan
sports are the students.
So what happened when the athlet-
ic department switched to split-sea-
son seating for basketball tickets
keeping the student section the same
size rather than expanding it? The
transformation of Crisler from a
riotous showplace to the "mau-
soleum," as it is now known to visit-
ing fans. It is by far the quietest
arena of any Division I program of
Michigan's magnitude.

That is why Michigan hurt itself
with this decision. Not because it is
trying to wring every possible dollar
out of the students and not because it
plays favorites with affluent alumni
and local supporters. It's because
quieting the loudest section in the
stadium will take away the home-
field advantage that the Wolverines
should not be privileged to have, but
entitled to have.
You want the fairest solution to
this problem, guarantee every student
a seat. If they don't want to buy tick-
ets, by say, March 1, then turn to
others. Michigan has packed in over
100,000 for every game for more
than 22 years. It won't be a problem.
People will buy tickets.
But now, the athletic department is
guaranteed of which people will buy
tickets, the ones paying $32 apiece
rather than $13.50. And those are the
people the department wants sitting
there. Crisler Arena is proof that
screaming fans are not what the ath-
letic department is concerned about.
It would rather have those 1,600
seats filled with people paying the
extra $18.50.
The department is implying your
dollar is worth more than your vocal
support. This is why there are split-
season tickets - $18.50 worth of
reasons.
Molin said that with the split-sea-
son plan, "no student is shut out of
the experience." You're wrong, Keith.
Sixteen-hundred students will be
shut out of the Michigan-Ohio State
experience this year, the greatest
rivalry in college football.
-Alan Goldenbach can be reached
over e-mail at agold@umich.edu

After departing Purdue, Collett
ha ound new lie wit Irish

4

The Sporting News
Jim Colletto knew there would be a lot of perks to becoming
the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Great weather in
South Bend, Ind., wasn't one of the them.
"It's a nice town and a nice place to live" Colletto says. "I'd
like to see the sun a little more often, but it's still pretty good."
Having coached Purdue the previous six seasons, Colletto
should be used to Midwestern weather. And the upgrade in tal-
ent he'll work with this fall should warm his soul and help him
ignore the blustery winds and snow flurries that can strike col-
lege football's sacred city by late October. By then we should
know if coach Bob Davie was sincere in his pledge to diversi-
fy an Irish attack that at times during the Lou Holtz era was as
staid as the Notre Dame uniforms.
Footballs won't be flying this fall under Colletto, but fans
should notice a few new wrinkles when the Irish open against
Georgia Tech on Saturday. The game marks the debut of new
and improved Notre Dame Stadium; the seating capacity has
been increased by more than 21,000, to 80,225.
"The only real difference is there will be more dropback
passing,' Colletto says. "We might throw more on first down,
but that will be dictated by the games. The only thing you'll see
differently are dropback passes and maybe a few more forma-
tions, but that's about it."

If there is one thing Colletto has proven during coaching
stops at Arizona State (assistant), Ohio State (assistant) #d
Purdue, it's that he adapts to his personnel and knows how to
run an offense. And you can bet he is going to maximize the
talents of tailback Autry Denson.
"Autry is a real good running back," Colletto says. "He's one
of these guys who makes people miss at the line of scrimmage
and turns lousy plays into good plays. No matter what type 4f
offense he's in, he's going to be a factor. The offense will allv
him to come out of the backfield and catch the ball and run tie-
ball from different positions other than just being in the 'I.' He
should like doing that."
Anyone who has seen Denson run knows he is somethi
special. It's his burst that makes him special and could set him
in motion for a huge 1997. And just think: Denson opened LV
season as a tailback/flanker. But when Randy Kinder wp
injured before the season opener, Denson stepped in and ran 19
times for 59 yards at Vanderbilt and 15 times for 66 yards and
three touchdowns against .Purdue.
A 158-yard effort at Texas kept Denson in the backfield as
he proceeded to gain 1,179 yards rushing, the fifth-highest sea-
son total in ND history. Just think of what a speedy guy like
Denson could do to juice up what appears to be a lethargic Irish
receiving corps.

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