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October 14, 1999 - Image 18

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-14

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18A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 14, 1999

Early results bode well for'
inexperienced 'M' tennis.,

By Brian Galvin
For the Daily
With the main draw of the
Reebok/ITA All-American
Championships scheduled to begin play
this weekend, the Nike-affiliated-
Wolverines have advanced one of their
eight players - senior Matt Wright -
to the prestigious round of 64.
Wright advanced to the final draw
after being seeded directly into the qual-
ifying round. Wright, ranked 71st in the
nation, can use these individual touma-.
ments as a springboard to national suc-
cess.
In the closest of matches, senior John
Long lost a tiebreaker in the final set to
fall in the finals of the qualifying round
(7-6, 6-7, 7-6). Long won four match-
es in the pre-q'ualifying round, losing
only one set in the process.
Overall, the Wolverines posted a 16-
5 record in prequalifying play, with six
players winning their first two matches.
"We did an awful lot of winning,"

said Michigan coach Mark Mees.
The Wolverines' strong showing in
the tournament is a good sign for the
young Wolverines, a group looking to
win its first Big Ten title since,1996.
With the dual-meet season still three
months away, Michigan remains confi-
dent that it can continue to improve on
these solid performances.
"Our improvement has been dramatic
from our first tournament." Mees said.
"Coach Mees was really happy with
the way we played," freshman Zachary
Held said. "We weren't sure what to
expect, but we did pretty well."
Held won his first two matches
before falling to Northwestern's Brad
Erickson.
While losing to a conference foe left
Held with a sour taste in his mouth, he
and the Wolverines still believe they can
contend for a conference championship.
"Our goal is to win the Big Ten, and
we have the team to do it," Held said.
"We just have to work hard and take

care of business."
Though the early-season touns
aren't scored for team standini
Wolverines are nonetheless c
together as a unit. The younger I
have a chance to feel out the cc
tion during the individual tourn
and experience the tribulations o
ing for a top-flight program in pr
"Our four seniors really push
one.' Held said. "Even when the,
es aren't around, they make si
don't let up. "We get a strong se
being on a team."
After completing the main d
the All-American Championshi
weekend, the Wolverines will se
sights on the Rolex Re
Championships in Madison on I
Team competition begins ft
Wolverines on Jan. 23 at home
Western Michigan.
If the early season results a
indication, the Wolverines sho
ready.

Michigan senior
Matt Wright has
advanced to the
round of 64 at
the Reebok/ITA
Aii-American
Championships in
Austin, Texas.
DHANI JONES/Daily

Warick's Heisman candidacy falters

z,,

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Hours before Florida
State risked its No. I ranking against Miami, a car
pulled out of the parking lot of a Tallahassee hotel with
a message painted on the rear window:
"Hilfiger or Heisman? U make the call."
Less than a week ago, the call was simple: Peter
Warrick, the Seminoles' sensational wide receiver, was
the clear favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, college
football's grandest individual prize.
The choice is not so easy anymore. Warrick was sus-
pended indefinitely last week following his arrest for
felony theft - underpaying for designer clothes at a
Tallahassee Dillard's department store. He missed
Florida State's 31-21 win over Miami, Fla. and is
expected to sit out Saturday's game against Wake Forest.
And as he waits for his lawyer to sort out his legal
mess, Warrick's Heisman chances have all but slipped
away.
A sampling of several dozen Heisman voters nation-
wide indicate Warrick has little or no chance to win the
award presented by New York's Downtown Athletic
Club on Dec. 11.
"Peter Warrick is out of it, in my mind," voter Steve
Kirk of the Birmingham (Ala.) News said. "And not
because of the moral issues. He missed a big game and
there's only I11 of them. You can't miss a big game."
Ron Bracken, sports editor ofthe Centre Daily Times,
in State College, said he would have a tough time vot-
ing for Warrick because "you want that guy standing up
there getting that trophy to be somebody that can be
looked up at and admired and a youngster can say, 'I
want to be like him."'

Warrick may be the nation's best player whether he
misses one, two or more games, but Heisman voter
Bruce Hooley of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer adds, "I
also think the Heisman stands for something more than
what he stood for at Dillard's."
By winning the Heisman, a player is guaranteed life-
long recognition by football fans everywhere. Now,
Warrick is likely to be remembered as the first player to
lose it because of his misadventures in a mall.
With Warrick on the sideline, the leading Heisman
contender might be Georgia Tech's Joe Hamilton, the
nation's top-rated passer with 1,347 yards and 12 touch-
downs. He's also run for 321 yards and six touchdowns
for the eighth-ranked Yellow Jackets, whose only loss
came against Warrick and the Seminoles.
Also moving up on voters' ballots is Alabama's
Shaun Alexander, who averages 203.6 all-purpose yards
- second in the nation - and has 14 scores. Others
still being considered by the 921 Heisman voters are
Purdue quarterback Drew Brees, Wisconsin running
back Ron Dayne and Warrick's teammate, quarterback
Chris Weinke.
"Everyone seems to think Warrick being out has
automatically given the award to Joe Hamilton," said
Heisman voter Andrew Bagnato of the Chicago
Tfibune, "butI don't think that's a given just yet."
Warrick may be the first to lose the Heisman because
of felony theft - Florida State policy calls for an auto-
matic suspension if an athlete is chat'ed with a felony
- but at least one player has won the award without
playing every game.
In 1957, TexasA&M's John David Crow missed three

games with an injury and won by playing in just seven
games. He ran for 562 yards and six touchdowns, threw
for five scores, caught two scoring passes and had five
interceptions.
"I don't think Warrick's out of it, but he's got to come
back and miss only two games." Tony Barnhart of the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution said. "I think that's the
magic number. The fact that hes apologized, and if he
plays well, I think enough Heisman voters will give him
a second chance."
Said Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald:
"I've suspended Warrick from my ballot."
So has Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "I
will not vote for Peter Warrick, even if he is cleared of
criminal charges and returns to play. I thought what they
did last week by putting him on TV, having him address
the team and be on the sidelines, they were trying to
make a celebrity of him, and I thought it was an out-
rage."
By Heisman rules, Warrick remains a candidate, but
William J. Dockery, president of the award, said the
receiver would become ineligible if convicted of a
felony. Should he win the Heisman and then be con-
victed, the award can be taken away.
"When he comes back I would tell him to take a very
back seat, a very back seat," Florida State coach Bobby
Bowden said. "You go out and play the best you can
play, and don't even think about the Heisman. That's
probably blown."
Warrick may ortmay not be among the small group of
candidates invited to attend the award ceremony in New F
York. H

lorida State wide receiver Peter Warrick, right, is considered a long shot
elsman trophy after sitting out last Saturday's game due to suspension.

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N : Rushing game no flu

0

STATE COLLEGE - Behind a rejig-
gered offensive line, Eric McCoo broke
out for 130 yards Saturday, giving Penn
State its first 100-yard rusher of the sea-
son and leading the way to the Nittany
Lions' first solid ground game in a
month.
So does No. 2 Penn State finally have
its running game in order in time for its
upcoming game with No. 18 Ohio State,
a team that's beaten the Nittany Lions
four times in six years? Maybe.
Saturday's 341-yard output was, after
all, against Iowa,oneofthe nation's worst
run defenses.
But after a string of anemic rushing
performances, the Lions will take it
where they can get it.
"All the backs, right after pregame, we
said, 'This is our coming-out game. This
is when we're going to show everybody

that we're a running team as well as a
passing team,"' McCoo said after the
game. "We just executed. These are
things we could've done the first five
games. Now we're just going to try to
continue doing it so people don't say it
was a fluke or anything like that."
The good news for coach Joe Paterno
is that McCoo, now midway through his
sophomore year, is proving he's no fluke,
either.
McCoo, a confident freshman from
Red Bank, N.J., stepped into the starting
job when Cordell Mitchell went down
midway through 1998 with a shoulder
injury.
His first run from scrimmage, on the
day before his 18th birthday, was a 41-
yard dash up the middle.
A slippery but tough tailback, he went
on to rush for 822 yards and score three

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touchdowns last year. He had 163 yard
and a 77-yard touchdown against Purdu
and 206 yards against Michigan State
This season, he leads the team with 31
yards at a 4.6-yard clip and four touch
downs.
As a receiver, he has caught 10 pass
for 130 yards and a score.
McCoo wouldn't have come so far s
fast had Paterno not needed backs, an
McCoo didn't get the usual redshirt *
in 1998.
Then again, he wouldn't have even
made it to Penn State if he weren't s
strong-willed.
"I had to resist a lot of temptations.
There's a lot of things out there, easy to
get in trouble,' the affable 19-year-old
said. "A lot of my friends are either in jail
or, some of them, dead. Football was my
way of getting away from all that. I m-
aged pretty well, I'd say."
That's the kind of confidence he's
showing this year, now that he's no longer
the kid just grateful to be playing.
True, Penn State is relying more on
muhiple s t and ns efficient pasing
attck. And the rushing stats aren't bad -
220 yards pr game and , 17 rushing
touchdowna. But they hide problems.
rambling quarterak Rashard Casey
is the Lions' No.2 runner with 202 yards
and receivers Eddie Drummond i
Chafie Fields have another 231 yars
reverses
ARTH QUAKE
HARITY
UNDRAISING
IGHT
Ocl e 6, 1999 *
Saturday 6PM -OPM
There will be
Taiwanese Food
Games.

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