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January 13, 2000 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-13

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Thursday, January 13, 2000 - The Michigan Daily - 13A

SperesBRIEFS
Who- mas trying to
bring CBA home
DETROIT (AP) - Former Detroit
Pistons star Isiah Thomas, who owns
the Continental Basketball Association,
said he expects to meet with Detroit
Mayor Dennis Archer to start discus-
sions to bring an expansion CBA team
*the city.
"I've been busy in Gary, Ind., and
Flint," two of eight additional -cities
where the nine-team CBA will be
expanded, Thomas said,
He hopes to have Flint and Detroit
teams playing by November.
In Detroit, Thomas has set his sites
on Cobo Arena, Wayne State
University or "the possibility of build-
ing our own downsized arena."
okau~k:Offensive
Player of the Year
The Marshall Plan couldn't have
worked any better.
When the St. Louis Rams acquired
running back Marshall Faulk from
Indianapolis last April, it was with the
intention of building their offense
ound him. That offense became pro-
ic, and 'catapulted Faulk to The
Associated Press NFL offensive player
of the year award, announced
Wednesday.
Faulk became only the second player
in league history to gain 1,000 yards
rushing and 1,000 receiving in the
same season. He ran 253 times for
1,381 yards and seven touchdowns, and
had 87 receptions for 1,048 yards and
five TDs. The combined yardage of
'429 was an NFL record, breaking
rry Sanders' mark of 2,358.
"That's cool," said Faulk, who
became the Rams' second individual
award winner for the 1999 season,
Quarterback Kurt Warner was voted
the NFL Most Valuable Player last
week.
"It's great to be recognized," Faulk
said. "Not everyone can. 'But we all
deserve something. To put up the num-
rs we did and do what we did is spe-
cial."
The Rams went from 4-12 to 13-3,
the best record in the NFC. They scored
526 points and ranked first in passing,
fifth in rushing and first overall offen-
sively. Warner, Faulk and tackle
Orlando Pace made the All-Pro team.'
"He's a special player," Warner said
of Faulk. "Without him, we wouldn't
be the same team and wouldn't have the
me explosiveness."'
WFaulk was a dynamic player in five
years with the Colts. But he also was
plagued by injuries and generally was
surrounded by a mediocre cast.

Swimmers tangle with Michigan
natives who bolted to Stanford

. K .f

By Benjamin Singer
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek had
a simple response when asked why Ann
Arbor native Adam Messner chose to
attend Stanford over Michigan.
"Who wouldn't?" Urbanchek said.
As a school, Stanford is ranked sixth
in the nation by U.S. News and World
Report. More important for Messner,.
Stanford is ranked second in men's
swimming.
Stanford was No. I at the start of the
season, but lost to current No. 1 Texas
in its first meet.
If the Wolverines feel slighted when
the Cardinal comes to town, they are
entitled to.
Both Messner, a junior who went to
Dexter High School and senior Kurt
Spenser, who attended Ann Arbor
Pioneer, bolted for Stanford over
Michigan. Their decisions were no-
brainers in Urbanchek's eyes.
Though No. 9 Michigan has a claim
to being one of the elite swimming pro-
grams of the '90s, with six Big Ten

titles and a national championship in
1995. Stanford's record is even more
impressive - 10 Pac-10 titles and four
national titles.
Stanford leads the all-time dual meet
series between the schools, 6-4, and has
won the last five encounters - includ-
ing the most recent competition at
Stanford in 1997.
In order for Michigan to return the
favor, it will have to pull off plenty of
upsets. Stanford is favored in 12 of the
13 events scheduled for Saturday's
meet.
The only race that Michigan is sup-
posed to win is the 800-yard freestyle,
with junior Chris Thompson predicted
to finish first.
Last weekend, Thompson set a Mona
Plummer Aquatic Center record at
Arizona State in the 1,000-yard
freestyle with a time of 8:57.56,
"Obviously, we don't swim on
paper," Urbanchek said of Stanford's
superior times. "The rest is going to be
done in the water."
The Wolverines get their first taste of

competition against Stanford on Friday
at 6 p.m. in an exhibition meet.
The nine events won't count towards
the scoring in the dual meet. The exhi-
bition simply is used as practice for the
events the teams won't be swimming on
Saturday.
Senior tri-captain and two-time Big
Ten diver of the week Josh Trexler said
that if the team does not win on Friday,
they won't get down for the real meet.
But if the Wolverines do well, Trexler
said perhaps "it (will) boost morale for
Saturday."
To assist in Michigan's emotional
boost, it will be parents' weekend for
the swim team and most families will
be represented. Only a handful of par-
ents from the West Coast will not be
witnessing the match.
This meet was chosen for parents'
weekend because it is the premier
matchup of the year for the
Wolverines.
The '90s are over and this is a chance
for Michigan to start its own decade of
dominance over the Cardinal.

4

Y C
FILE PHOTO
This weekend, Michigan and Stanford - two of college swimming's most storied
programs - will dive into competition at Canham Natatorium.
Charlotte's Bobby
Phills killed in crash

Women's swimming battles layoff

By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's swimming
and diving team has not had a race since
the first weekend in December. In fact,
the Wolverines spent their holiday break
not in the inclement gray of Ann Arbor,
but in the brilliant sun-stained paradise
that is southern Florida.
Is there a fear that the team has gotten
soft?
Michigan coach Jim Richardson said.
he doesn't think that's a concern.
"It's not in our best interest to back off
from practicing," Richardson said.
"Coaches who can't handle losing will
back down (in their practicing) to
improve their win/loss record. We prac-
tice hard all week and the dual meet on
Friday is like another day of practice."
This weekend, Michigan will make a
short trip to Rochester to face Oakland
at the Oakland Aquatic Center. No. 10
Michigan will be prepared for an
Oakland team that has the potential to
catch it by surprise.
Oakland, a team rich with European
imports who have had success across
the Atlantic, will likely take the 100- and
yard breaststroke races. Beyond those
events, the Grizzlies may be over-
matched by their in-state opponent.
The meet in Rochester will be a
homecoming for Michigan freshman

Traci Valasco, who attended Rochester
Adams High School.
Richardson is pleased with his team's
performance in practices since it
returned from Florida. But, what may
trouble the Wolverines at the Big Ten
Championship on Feb. 17, is the ques-
tion mark surrounding their relay teams.
The 800 freestyle team is consistently
being toyed with from meet to meet.
There is doubt as to that relay team-to-
be's ability to qualify for the National
.Championships. The decision regarding
who will compete in that event will be
evaluated on a meet-to-meet basis.
Another thing that may factor into the
weekend competition is the flu bug,
which is making its way around the
team. Currently, sophomores Kathleen
Gilbert and freshman Traci Valasco have
been plagued with it.
Other than that, the Wolverines are in
strong physical condition for the month
ahead, which will be filled with prepara-
tion for the Big Ten meet.
"We need to get out there and race,"
Richardson said. "We have some fresh-
men who have the potential to get good
before they're done (with the season),
and that's what the dual meets are for"
"We're just thinking of Big Tens."
junior Jennifer Crisman said. "It's a mat-
ter of staying in the water until the big
races. Everyone has been training well,

and the team environment has been
great. Right now we're at the height of
our intensity."
The intensity that Crisman referred to
is a result of the team's preparatory strat-
egy. Intensity is gradually built as the
season progresses, but tapered just
before the most important meets in the
spring.
"Our season is not won or lost on
three days in February (the Big Ten
Championship) or three days in March
(the NCAA Championship), but our
practices and dual meets give us a good
idea of how to prepare," Richardson
said.
Richardson is particularly interested
in seeing how his team reacts to differ-
ent weekly practice routines. Yesterday's
practice was light. The focus was on
starts and allowed swimmers to work on
what they saw fit. This afternoon.
Richardson will "drop the hammer;"and
increase the intensity.
It's only January, but the calendar's
shift to 2000 forces the Wolverines to
begin thinking about the post season.
Tomorrow the swimmers learn
whether or not they have escaped the
December vacation without softening.
Either way, it will mean a continual
process of meddling with practices as
the Big Ten tournament gets closer and
closer.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -
Charlotte Hornets guard Bobby Phills
was speeding in his Porsche after prac-
tice yesterday when he lost control,
crashed into a car and died instantly.
Stunned teammates and Hornets offi-
cials gathered at the accident scene less
than a mile from Charlotte Coliseum,
where minutes earlier Phills and the
other players had been practicing for last
night's game with the Chicago Bulls.
The game was postponed.
Phills, 30, was traveling at a "very
high rate of speed" when he collided
with a car headed toward the coliseum,
police spokesman Keith Bridges said. A
minivan rear-ended the other car. Two
people in those vehicles were hospital-
ized.
Witnesses said teammate David
Wesley, the Hornets' starting point
guard, also may have been driving too
fast in his own Porsche.
Phills' car, with the vanity plate
"SLAMN," left skid marks several hun-
dred feet long and came to rest in one of
the opposite lanes, Bridges said.
Firefighters had to cut his body from the
wreckage.
Phills, a 6-foot-5 defensive stopper
and a team leader, started often at shoot-

ing guard or small forward for the
Hornets, and sometimes played reserve.
He joined the Hornets in 1997 after
six years with Cleveland and was in the
third year of a seven-year, $33 million
contract. Phills averaged a career 10.9
points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists a
game at the end of last season. He was
fourth on the team in scoring this season.
"Bobby Phills was all that you would
want in a human being," Embry said. "A
family man. If there's a person you
would want to your children to be, a role
model, it's Bobby Phills."
Phills earned a bachelor's degree in
animal science from Southern
University. Ben Jobe, Phills' former
coach at Southern, said Wednesday he
tried to steer Phills away from the NBA.
"He could have been one of the fore-
most black leaders in the country," Jobe
said.
According to the NBA, there have
been three other active players who were
killed in accidents: Drazen Petrovic
(1993) and Terry Furlow (1980) in car
crashes and Nick Vanos (1987) in an air
crash.
Phills is survived by his wife, Kendall,
and two children - Bobby Ray III, 3,
and Kerstie, 1.

It also
made

the last
party
at
Phi
Gamma
EIPsilon

i

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