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December 10, 1998 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-10

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 10, 1998 - 15A

New bill designed to protect
athletes from meddling agents

By David Miller
The State News (Michigan State University)
LANSING (U-WIRE) - Sports agents
could be held responsible for the damage
they cause to university athletic programs if
Gov. John Engler signs a bill sent to his desk
By a 95-5 vote, the state House quickly
passed the bill, which was approved by the
Senate last week with minor revisions:
Under the legislation, anyone interfering
with university athletic programs would have
to pay for damage they cause.
For example, a sports agent who persuades
an athlete to leave a school would be forced
to pay back any scholarship money the
school gave the student..
The university also can force a person
accused of interfering with athletic programs
to testify in court and recover any legal fees
incurred in the process.
"Right now, the only people not subject to
legal action are those that are most culpable,

the sports agents and athletic boosters," said
state Rep. Kirk Profit, D-Ypsilanti, who
sponsored the bill. "This legislation is the
first of its kind in Michigan and the strongest
in the country."
Profit cited the suspension of University of
Michigan football player Marcus Ray and the
case of booster Ed Martin as examples for
why the legislation is needed.
"Ed Martin was accused of interfering with
the University of Michigan basketball pro-
gram and getting (former head basketball
coach) Steve Fisher fired," he said. "Under
this bill, (Martin) could be ordered to testify."
Alvin Arens, a member of a Michigan
State faculty committee that deals with ath-
lete-agent relations, said the bill looks
"It seems reasonable to me since it's
already a violation of NCAA rules," Arens
."It's a real problem and something the ath-
letic department has been trying hard to edu-

cate the athletes about."
But support for the bill was not unani-
mous. State Rep. Judith Scranton, R-
Brighton, who voted against the bill, said it is
"If someone presents a problem to the uni-
versity, they have a right to get a prosecutor,'
Scranton said. "The universities need to tako
care of themselves, we don't need to givo
them a cop-out."
Scranton said the bill absolves athletes of
"If the athletes muck up, they ought to lose
their scholarship and leave the athletic pro-
gram," she said.
The bill also poses a threat to free speech,
Scranton said.
"They'll be able to keep people off cam-
pus," she said.
"They can push off whoever they want. If
I'm trying to persuade someone to go to
another college, they could call me a lobbyist
and threaten me."

10fth year senior
and cocaptain
Marcus Ray suf-
fered a seven
tgain suspension
for accepting
gifts froma
sports agent.

iakes his
return to
ii Jainy Elsenberg
lpdependent Florida Alligator
Pfen though it was 32 years ago,
Saeve Spurner remembers the game
wgll. It wad Jan. 1, 1967, and Spurrier
was a senior quarterback for the
Otorida was playing Georgia Tech in
the Orange Bowl, and Spurrier was
&"ming off a Heisman Trophy-win-
4lng season. The game was far from
purrier's best, but it was enough for
thb unranked Gators to upset No. 8
41orgia Tech 27-12.
'l played so-so," said Spurrier, who
}has 14 of 30 for 160 yards and one
ipterception. "It wasn't anything spec-
tacular, but it was a good, solid victo-
*or us. I think it was the first major
l$owI game Florida had ever won up to
thiat point. It was exciting."
"The win was Florida's first major
b4Wl victory, as the Gators only had
won three Gator Bowls prior to that
Orange Bowl game. Thirty-two years
later, No. 7 Florida is playing in the
Orange Bowl again on Jan. 2.
This time the opponent is No. 18
acuse. The Orangemen have
ed in only two Orange Bowls, los-
ing against Alabama in 1953 and
against Oklahoma in 1959. Syracuse
coach Paul Pasqualoni never has taken
his team to the Orange Bowl but said
that has always been his goal.
Miami was usually in the way. But
after beating the Hurricanes 66-13 on
Nov. 28, Syracuse won the Big East
and earned its chance.
"Everyone here in central New York
i -xtremely excited to play in this
Wtigious bowl," Pasqualoni said.
"Our team has worked over the years
to try and get back to the Orange
Bowl. Over the years, we haven't been
able to get that done. I feel fortunate to
be coming there now."
Florida and Syracuse also have a lit-
tle, history. The Gators beat Syracuse
16-0 in Gainesville in 1984, and
Pasqualoni's team won against
rriers at Syracuse in 1991.
purrier also. remembered that
gane well. He said Florida was com-
ing off a 35-0 win against Alabama the
week before and was slightly overcon-
fident. It was the only regular-season
loss for the Gators that year.
"We got clobbered up there,"
Spurrier said. "We're still smarting
about that. No, they played extremely
"We got full of ourselves the week
bore, and we thought we were hot
stuff down here like sometimes we do.
;Syracuse just flat beat us every way.
I'm going to try my best to get 1-1
with Paul Pasqualoni."
We practice
safe course

t. 4

Dat's impressive

- Nguyen wins

Michigan Governor John Engler must wear Arkansas paraphenalla if the
Razorbacks defeat Michigan In the Citrus Bowl, the result of a bet made
with Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
Engler backsc Blue
i friendly wager
Michigan governor banking on history

HOUSTON (AP) - The smallest
guy on the dais walked off with the big
Linebacker Dat Nguyen, Texas
A&M's career tackles leader despite his
5-foot-11, 221-pound size, was named
winner Tuesday night of the 29th annu-
al Lombardi Award as the nation's top
collegiate lineman.
Nguyen beat Ohio State linebacker
Andy Katzenmoyer (6-4, 265),
Wisconsin tackle Aaron Gibson (6-7,
370) and Georgia tackle Matt
Stinchcomb (6-6, 295) for the honor.
"You take all the positive adjectives
used to describe a person and they all fit
Dat Nguyen," Texas A&M coach R.C.
Slocum said. "What he' has done in
football and how he has handled the
success is amazing."
Nguyen, the smallest of the finalists,
had 517 career tackles with the Aggies,
including 17 in last week's 36-33 upset
of Kansas State in the Big 12 champi-
onship game.
"Dat plays the game at such a high
level because of his desire and
instincts," Slocum said. "He has an
uncanny eye to know where the ball is
going. He's not a player who has a good
game this week and not next. He has
great games every week."
Nguyen will play his final college
game Jan. 1 against Katzenmoyer and
Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl in New
"It's an honor to be here and repre-
sent my school and my teammates,"
Nguyen said. "I don't like to be singled
out. I came to A&M because of the
Wrecking Crew defense. I didn't do this
by myself."
Nguyen was disenchanted when he
first arrived at A&M because he didn't
get to play immediately. But once he

Dat Nguyen won the Lombardi Award for the nation's best linebacker, probably
because he has the coolest name of all of the finalists.

got on the field, the Aggies knew thev
had a player.
"To be honest we didn't know how
good he was," Slocum said. "We knew
he was good because we gave him a
scholarship but early that first year we
put him in a game and figured that this
guy is pretty good."
Nguyen has had to overcome more
obstacles than his smallish frame.
Dat's parents fled Vietnam in 1975
with his five brothers and sisters and
Dat, the sixth child, on the way.
Nguyen was born in a refugee camp
in Arkansas before the family moved to
Texas and Nguyen gave up soccer to
play football.
"I do a lot of work with kids now, try-
ing to give back because everyone was

so helOful to my parents when they
came to this country,' Nguyen said. "I
think that is what you are supposed to
Gibson, among the nation's biggest
linemen,' holds Wisconsin weight room
records with a 745-pound squat.
Katzenmoyer was a finalist for the
Lombardi last year as a sophomore.
He's been a mainstay this season for the
Buckeyes, who were ranked No. 1 most
of the season until beaten by Michigan
Stinchcomb missed the dinner
because he was in New York for the
Hall of Fame dinner to accept an
$18,000 postgraduate scholarship. He
carried a 3.94 grade-point average into
his senior season.

governors of Arkansas and Michigan
are placing their personal appear-
ances on the line in a bet on the Citrus
Arkansas and Michigan are to
meet in the bowl on New Year's Day,
and it will be the first-ever matchup
between the two teams. Arkansas (9-
2) is ranked No. 11, and Michigan (9-
3) is ranked No. 15.
If Michigan wins,.Arkansas Gov.
Mike Huckabee must wear a
Wolverine sweatshirt and hat the next
If Arkansas wins, Michigan Gov.
John Engler must wear a Razorback
sweatshirt and Hog hat the next day,
which happens to be filled with inau-
gural events.
Huckabee spokesman Jim Harris
said Engler agreed to wear the Hog
outfit at one of his inaugural recep-
tions, if Engler loses the bet.
But Engler spokesman John
Truscott said Huckabee should
beware - Engler has taken such

challenges in the past and come out
on top. Ohio Gov. George Voinovich
had to wear a Michigan jersey after
Michigan defeated Ohio State, and
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge had to
ride the Zamboni around Joe Louis
wearing a Red Wings jersey after
Detroit beat Philadelphia in the
Stanley Cup finals.
"So we have a long and distin-
guished history of beating up on
other governors and look forward to
extending that record," Truscott said.
Huckabee issued the challenge
Tuesday, and Engler accepted, Harris
said. Both are Republicans.
Huckabee said he also is sending
Engler a Christmas gift of Petit Jean
peppered ham, a hickory-smoked
bacon from Morrilton, plus a sack of
lemons in honor of the Citrus Bowl
and "to prepare him for the bitter
taste of defeat."
Truscott said Engler has only one
package planned- "a blue and gold
sweatshirt and hat. We'd overnight
that if we had to."


Friday, December 11th
7:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the door.
$5 Adults
$3 Youth 18 and under /Adults 55 and over
I LAA CSrants Fra Mi in

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