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September 08, 1999 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-08

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20A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 8,:1999

Woof! Browns rekindle love affair with Cleveland


CLEVELAND (AP) - Walking
off the 18th green one day this sum-
mer, Ty Detmer got his first taste of
what it was like to be the Cleveland
Browns' starting quarterback.
"These guys looked like they had
had a few," said Detmer, "and they
just started barking at me. My dad
looked over and said, "Now I know
why you wanted to play here."'
A love affair which began in the
i940s has been renewed in this foot-
ball-mad town. The Browns are back
in the NFL following a three-year
exile, and as far as Clevelanders are
concerned, all is right with the world
When coach Chris Palmer leads
the Browns back on the field Sunday
night for their opener in the new,
73,000-seat Cleveland Browns
Stadium against the hated Pittsburgh
Steelers, a national TV audience will
join Cleveland in celebrating the
Browns' rebirth.
"I don't know what I'll do,"
Cleveland president Carmen Policy,
said a few weeks ago. "I think there
will be lots of hugs and lots of tears.
It's going to be a truly memorable
and emotional moment."
It's a moment Cleveland has been
counting down to since the NFL
awarded it an expansion franchise
last year. Maybe former owner Art
Modell's decision to take his team to
Baltimore in 1996 was the best thing
that ever happened here.
In the frugal Modell's place is Al
Lerner, a local billionaire banker
who plunked down $530 million in
cash to buy the Browns. Lerner
brought in Policy, who was part of
the San Francisco dynasty that won
five Super Bowls, and in less than a
year Policy has given the Browns a

distinctive West Coast design.
In fact, these Browns could be
called the Cleveland 99ers.
Dwight Clark, Cleveland's direc-
tor of football operations, was the
first of the San Francisco arrivals.
When the Browns offense takes its
first snap against the Steelers, the
starting backfield - Detmer, run-
ning back Terry Kirby, fullback
Marc Edwards - will consist entire-
ly of ex-Niners.
Detmer was acquired in a trade to
start and to serve as a mentor for
rookie Tim Couch, the No. 1 overall
pick in April's college draft.
Detmer's ability to improvise will be
a big plus for the Browns, who are
thin at the skill positions and certain
to have trouble scoring.
"I know Tim is the guy for the
future, but I can't worry about that
right now," Detmer said. "That's not
why I came here. I came to start. A
player can never look over his shoul-
After weeks of uncertainty, and
with Cleveland fans divided over
who should be the team's top pick,
the Browns went with Couch, who
rewrote NCAA and school passing
marks at Kentucky.
Palmer, Jacksonville's offensive
coordinator last year and a quarter-
backs guru, had the final call on
Couch, who during the preseason
showed he might not need the
grooming Cleveland had originally
"At this stage, Ty's ahead of Tim,
but I don't think there's a gap that's
three miles long," Palmer said. "If
something happens to Ty or Ty is
struggling and we wanted to make a
change, we would make a change
and feel very comfortable with that."

Don't be surprised to see Couch at
least take some snaps against the
"I'll be ready whenever I'm called
upon," said Couch, who signed a
seven-year, S48 million contract
before the draft.
Unlike Carolina and Jacksonville,
who both had two years to build,
Cleveland had less than a year to get
And since '95, NFL free agency
has changed dramatically, with
teams signing their players to longer
contracts, thus denying the Browns a
chance to lure many.
Oh, they got a few - linebacker
Jamir Miller, punter Chris Gardocki,
Kirby, wide receiver Leslie
Shepherd, center Dave Wohlabaugh
- but nearly half of Cleveland's ros-
ter consists of players the Browns
took in February's expansion draft
(14) and rookies (12).
Wohlabaugh will anchor an expe-
rienced offensive line, the Browns'
strongest unit.
There aren't many teams who can
match the tackle tandem of Lomas
Brown, a 15-year vet, and Orlando
Brown, who played with the old
Kirby has been a third-down spe-
cialist throughout his career, and
will now have to endure the pound-
ing of carrying the ball 25 times a
"I'm ready, my body's ready," said
Kirby, who will be backed up by
Sedrick Shaw.
Shepherd, slowed by a groin
injury during the preseason, caught
eight TD passes for Washington and
will be the No. I target. Rookie
wideout Kevin Johnson showed big-
play potential with three preseason
h Ckeyfaces

Palmer knows points will be tough
to come by, though fortunately, the
Browns will have the easiest sched-
ule in the league.
"Offensively, we're going to have
to work," he said. "We're going to
have to be blue-collar and go down
the field and execute. And if we're
not executing, we could have a long
That's not too comforting for the
Browns defense, which lost its heart
and soul last week when Chris
Spielman retired because of a neck
injury. Rookie Wali Rainer tries to
fill Spielman's shoes.
Still, the Browns have some good
players on defense, the best of whom
is Miller.
The 25-year-old still doesn't
understand why teams were reluc-
tant to sign him after he led Arizona
in tackles despite playing the final
14 games with a dislocated left
"It's my time to show them all
they made a mistake," he said.
Winning four games would be a
good first year for the new Browns,
but as Detmer has already learned,
Cleveland fans are hungry for a win-
A few weeks after his golf outing,
Detmer was signing autographs for
fans who had come to see
Cleveland's first training camp prac-
tice in three years.
He noticed a change in attitude.
"At first," he said. "They were
like, 'We're glad to have you back.
Just beat Baltimore and we'll be
happy,' to "You're going to lead us
to the playoffs.' There's really never
a grace period in the NFL."

The verdicts are in?,
The official punishment for Maurice Williams and Jonathan Goodwin
- the two Michigan football players who recently pled guilty to felon:
charges of embezzlement involved one year of probation, restitution, and
court costs. The probation sentence, handed down under the provisions of
the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, will be expunged from the official
records of the two offensive linemen if they complete their probation suc-
The football punishment for the duo will last a football year, too - no
starts, but no full-game suspensions this season.
Demetrius Smith, whose athletic scholarship was terminated in Jun,
may still face charges, as may current linebacker Anthony Jordan.


Key Dates:

Sept. 4: Goodwin and Williams see significant playing time in
Michigan's 26-22 victory over Notre Dame - but do not start.
Aug. 26: Goodwin and Williams are sentenced in Washtenaw
County Circuit court to one year of probation, plus more than
$3,000 in restitution and court costs. The judge, David Swartz, hands
down several other probation sentences under the Holmes Act,
reminding the defendants of the opportunity they have been given
July 29: Williams and Goodwin plead guilty.
June 30: Reports that the Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputies are
investigating an undetermined number of Michigan football players
leak out. The possible charges include felony embezzlement more
than $1000.
Official punishment for the Michigan basketball program may 44"
involve probation - from the NCAA. The FBI has been working 04
gambling case against Michigan booster Ed Martin, who was banned fr c.
the basketball program in 1997. Subpoenas have determined that Maiti'4
may have illegally given cash to players, and two area newspapers have ciu
stories reporting that Martin gave cash to Louis Bullock after he va
banned. The stories were based on unidentified sources, but if true, 11ay
have serious consequences for the Michigan basketball program.The
NCAA has not yet reopened its investigation of the Michigan program., j
Key Dates:
April 1999 - present: Federal grand jury subpoenas at least five is
mer players linked to the FBI's investigation of Martin. Allegations T
cash payments from Martin to former athletes surface.
October 1997 : After a seven months investigation, the law firm
releases a 250-page report addressing the basketball program Twui
days later, Athletic Director Tom Goss announces Coach Steve Fisher
removal from the program.
March 1997 : The Michigan athletic department admits the mens'
basketball program violated two minor NCAA regulations as a result,
of contact between players and booster Ed Martin. The 'U' hires*
Kansas law firm to investigate the violations.
February 1996 : A car accident involving five University men's bas-
ketball players and one prospect sparks athletic department internal
inquiry because the vehicle was valued at an excess of $30,000
- By Rick Freeman and David Den Herder, Daily Sports Iriters
Col ora do State
students 'Speak out'
against police violence
after football victory

schedule in early season

Continued from Page 13A
of experience for the Wolverines leading up to
the inevitable conference showdowns late in
the season.
"We've got a lot of tough, physical teams
lined up in our non-conference schedule,"
Pankratz said. "We might win a couple, we
might lose a couple but we'll be ready when it
comes down to conference play."
Seven of the first ten opponents the team
faces this season are ranked in the NFHCA
"(Momentum) is a really big factor for us
right now because we're gaining confidence
and working on different areas of our game,"
Reichenbach said.
"I have every faith in our team that if we get

up for it, we can beat anybody."
The forward tandem of freshman Jessica
Rose, who tallied two of the team's four goals
Sunday, and junior Kelli Gannon provide more
than one key element to the team.
Not only do they both possess expert stick-
handling ability and rocket shots, they embody
the meshing going on between the inexperi-
enced freshman and the grizzled veterans.
This type of connection between all the
Wolverines will only improve the play of
everyone -- much like it did on Sunday.
"I think everybody on our team played awe-
some today," Reichenbach said. "At different
times, different people spark us and come up
with the big plays.
That's what's great about our team - we
don't have any giant standouts."

Michigan's field hockey team takes a stoic approach to its
off season schedule. They schedule tough non-conference
opponents so they can be ready.

By Allison Sherry
The Collegian (Colorado State)
DENVER (U-WIRE) - Using his
own experience as fuel to get some-1
thing done, Associated Students of
Colorado State University President
Eric Berglund promised Monday to
fight for Colorado State's reputation
after a bevy of jovial fans were tear
gassed at Mile High Stadium
Saturday night.
"There was no warning ahead of
time," he said, noting he was sprayed
in the eyes after the game while
cheering for the Rams. "It was hasty
judgment on the (police officers')
part. My question is: why would you
handle this differently than a
Broncos game? There are rowdy
fans there."
Berglund said he came back to
Fort Collins late Saturday night to
devise "a plan" on what Colorado
State students should do next. The
incident mars Colorado. State's repu-
tation, he said.

"We're deeply concerned beca se
this attention is overshadowing the
win we had," he said. "Our fans havy
the most class of anyone in the state
of Colorado. The majority of stv-
dents didn't do anything wrong and
we were all gassed for it."
ASCSU plans on setting up a table
today on the Plaza with phone num-
bers and e-mail addresses for offi
cials from the Denver Police an4
Denver Mayor Wellington We'
office. Also, today at noon, ,1e
Stump on the Plaza will be open fo4
a "speak out," Berglund said
"It's for people who want to vent.
Berglund said. "Alcohol was proba
bly why a few people were unruly
but banning alcohol in the stadium
isn't the solution.
"People are more likely to bring i
their own alcohol, or get even rng r
intoxicated before the game stab
just think football should be. Tf
(On Saturday) you just couldn'tgi
out of there fast enough."


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