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March 23, 1999 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-23

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 23, 1999

Recent success will pay off for gymnasts.

By Stephen L.Rom
Daily Sports Writer
As the sun shines on another
inevitable spring day in Ann Arbor,
raised are the hopes of all who inhabit its
environment.
The most hopeful are the ones who
have been working diligently all
throughout it's just-
as-guaranteed long GYMNASTICS
and frigid winter.C
And it is they who Comentaty
have the best -----------------
chance of making their dreams come
true.
Case in point: The Michigan women's
gymnastics team.
And in light of the recent achievement
of the Michigan hockey team - who
plays only a half block from Cliff Keen
Arena - inspiration in Ann Arbor is
currently running high.
Now the Wolverines have something
that can keep company with their recent
team scores, which have also been run-
ning high.
This has been the case ever since
spring break, when the Bulldogs of
Georgia packed their ferocious bite and
brought it to Crisler Arena. Their goal
was to show the up-and-coming

Wolverines exactly who were the queens
of the women's gymnastics ranks.
They did show who was the more elite
by winning the battle, but the Wolverines
showed that they weren't going to be
intimidated. They also put forth an effort
that would help them later in the post-
season, when they will be met with noth-
ing but the best.
Consequently, the Wolverines should
know that it is somewhat necessary to
begin preparing early. And what better
time to start than against the No. 1 team
in the land?
Later, against other quality opponents,
Michigan began surpassing its highest
team scores of the season. After a team
high score against Arizona, Michigan
proved to coach Bev Plocki that it was no
fluke. Just the following week it matched
the feat against UCLA.
Soon the season finale with Michigan
State came. But with a high ranking in
the postseason already solidified, the
visit with their neighbors to the west
became a mere token appearance.
The primary goal became to just stay
healthy, as well as to get acclimated with
the surroundings (Michigan State will be
hosting the Big Ten Championships in
only a week's time).

So, the Wolverines began their hoped-
to-be uneventful evening with a ginger
walk into the Jenison Fieldhouse. They
might have heard that Rod Stewart was
performing just down the road at the
Breslin Center. This would have
explained any extra levity that accompa-
nied them into the building.
Notwithstanding, Michigan was soon
awakened by the fight the Spartans-
brought.
In the end, Michigan State ran out of
gas, and it was the Wolverines who were
left standing - with one Spartan by
their side.
As the two teams congregated on the
floor exercise and sat waiting patiently
for the public address announcer to call
the names of all the award winners of the
night, they heard 14 of the 15 names
prefaced with, "From the University of
Michigan..."
Soon, the last and most important
announcement - the final team scores
- came, and were met with the same
incredulous reaction from the Michigan
State friends and family who came out
for Senior Day.
The discrepancy of 15.500 points
between the two team scores is unheard
of in gymnastics. All the Spartans could

do was look at each other with raised
eyebrows and a slight shake of the head.
Don't feel sorry for them. Michigan
State has lots of young, enthusiastic
gymnasts and it will be back. Besides,
many of its gymnasts are friends of the
Wolverines. This will come in handy, as
Michigan will need all the support it can
get next week at the Big Tens.
No. 5 Penn State is currently packing
its bags for East Lansing. The Nittany
Lions jumped ahead of the Wolverines in
the polls earlier in the season. Since then,
No. 6 Michigan hasn't had a sniff of the
fifth spot in the RQS rankings.
Rest assured, Penn State won't care in
the least that the Wolverines have
climbed from the pit of inconsistency -
and lack of confidence - they were vic-
tim to earlier in the season, to the pinna-
cle of assertiveness where they currently
dwell.
But the Wolverines do.
If things stay true to form, Michigan
will continue what it has been doing for
the last six weeks. Their success will
help the Wolverines visualize what they
must do against their opponent from the
east - as well as those from the north,
south and west.
Well, maybe not the north.

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Facing top notch competition will help the Michigan women's gymnastics team as
they flip into the postseason.

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Minnesota president wants to talk to Haskins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - University
of Minnesota President Mark Yudof
said he wants to talk to basketball
coach Clem Haskins about allegations
that Haskins gave cash to a former
player before kicking him off the team.
"I do want to talk to him myself
because of the gravity of the allega-
tions," Yudof said Sunday. "These are
extremely serious charges. If there is
any bright line in the NCAA rules, it's
payments to athletes, but I don't know
that Clem did it."
Cash payments could bring severe
National Collegiate Athletic
Association penalties for Haskins as
well as the basketball program.
Haskins did not return several phone
messages left for him Sunday. He has
denied any knowledge of academic
misconduct.
Former player Russ Archambault's
allegation against Haskins will become
part of the overall investigation begin-
ning today into academic fraud allega-
tions in the men's basketball program,
a university spokeswoman said.
"I don't have any information about
this claim," said Sandra Gardebring,
vice president for institutional relations
at the university. "We will treat it like
all the other claims and turn it over to
the team investigating the charges.
They will interview all witnesses and
gather related evidence."

The university has hired a
Minneapolis lawyer and the Kansas
law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King
to investigate.
The Star Tribune reported on
Saturday that Haskins gave
Archambault cash - $200 to $300 at a
time - while he was a member of the
team from 1996 through February of
1998, when he was dismissed by
Haskins for leaving his hotel after cur-
few the night before a Big Ten game at
Illinois.
Archambault said he specifically
remembered receiving two payments
during the Christmas seasons of 1996
and 1997. One of those occasions was
confirmed in part by his former tutor
Jeanne Payer, who said she drove
Archambault to a Twin Cities mall
after he told her he received one of the
payments.
Payer is a sister of Jan Gangelhoff,
whose claims that she wrote - papers
and did course work for at least 20 cur-
rent and former Golden Gopher play-
ers triggered an investigation into aca-
demic fraud at the university. Payer
said Saturday that she also helped with
course work for three Gophers players.
Archambault's mother, Charlotte, of
Fort Yates, N.D., confirmed that her
son bought her jeans and boots for
Christmas in 1997.
She said her son didn't say where he
got the money, but she learned recent-
ly about alleged payments from
Haskins.
Archambault, 22, is attending
Oglala Lakota College on the Pine
Ridge Reservation near Rapid City,
S.D. He's trying to make up credits to
be eligible to play Division I basketball
next season.

I

40000000***

LOUS BUWIN/ Dily
The Minnesota basketball program Is In a state of turmoil after allegations of aca-
demic fraud among current and former players surfaced March 10.

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