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September 08, 1999 - Image 51

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

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Section E
September 8, 1999

www .michigandaily com



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People give many reasons for choosing the University
of Michigan as their college. The top-ranked
Business School, the diversity of the student body,
and the beauty of the campus are the reasons cited by most
incoming students.
But those students are lying.
The business school is good and all, but for those of us
who could care less about business - or don't quite have
the necessary grades to be a B-school kid - there is
*ther reason to come to Michigan.
Yes, I know your parents wouldn't be pleased if they
knew that the Michigan Athletic Department was the main
reason for attending this school.
But your parents aren't here anymore. They are sitting at
home, dreading the tuition bills that will soon come.
You're in Ann Arbor, so this is your chance to come clean.
Honestly, what would you rather do here at Michigan?
Would you rather sit in a Math 115 class listening to
some recently graduated student explain theorems at
r would you rather be among 110,000 psychotic fans
screaming for some Ohio State blood at Michigan Stadium
in late November?
It's OK. You don't have to pretend to be a bookworm
geek. You can admit that the first
thing that drew you to Michigan were T.J.
the winged helmets and the Fab Five,
not bluebook exams or the Law Berka
I have already come clean.
# eck, I didn't know that Michigan
eMn had a business school until the
second month of my freshman year.
The Fab Five, winged helmets, and
Yost ee Arena put Michigan in front
of potential schools such as
Northwestern. and Penn.
I only applied to Northwestern _ _ _
because they went to the Rose Bowl
when I was a senior in high school.
So basically, Michigan's greatest appeal is its football,
b sketball, and hockey teams. But behind those teams is a
a p of programs which may not be as publicized but are
equally as successful.
True, the "big three" sports hold up their end of the bar-
gain. The football team, fresh off a national championship
in 1997, provided a respectable encore, going 10-3 with a
45-31 victory over Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl.
As with every year in Michigan Stadium, the expecta-
tions are high. The Wolverines have two skilled quarter-
backs in Tom Brady and Drew Henson, a bull at running
bak in Anthony Thomas, and a defense ranked among the
n ion's best.
.ese factors, including a home schedule that features
itter rivals Notre Dame and Ohio State - along with an
xciting Purdue team - make football a big recruiting
The basketball team also is a big selling point for
Michigan this year.
Don't laugh. I know the Wolverines lost to traditional
asketball powers Ball State and Florida International last
eason. I also know that Ed Martin seems intent on killing
he program with his birthday cakes and gambling debts.
There are five reasons to stick with basketball, though.
Vell Blanchard, Kevin Gaines, Jamal Crawford, Leland
erson and Gavin Groninger represent one of the coun-
ry's best recruiting classes and evoke distant memories of
he Fab Five.
This team won't go to the Final Four this year. But they
ill be young, energetic, and a team to watch grow
hroughout your "academic" careers.
And then there is Yost.
Possibly the craziest college arena in the nation, Yost
ills to the brim with some of the loudest, most loyal peo-
le you will ever deal with in your life.
here has been a lot for them to cheer about: Two
fnal championships in four seasons tend to have that
ffect. And Red Berenson's crew should inspire even more
ooniness this season.

Goaltender Josh Blackburn had a stellar freshman sea-
on, almost singlehandedly taking the Wolverines to the
CAA Tournament "Frozen Four." Blackburn, along with
coring stars Mike Comrie and Josh Langfeld, should keep
Gost rocking.
The so-called "minor" sports should be the spark neces-
ary to convert those stubborn fools still singing the prais-
s of the B-school from the dark side.
* ichigan men's gymnastics is considered a minor sport,
don 't tell them -- or the rest of the nation- that.
The men's gymnastics team pulled the ultimate rags-to-
iches story, going from the verge of extincton to the top
f the world in three years. And with everybody but Randy
'Amura returning, the team should be a national power
or years to come.
The women's gymnastics team is solid, too. Last year,
hey came three-tenths of a point from joining the men as
ational champions.
Michigan also has nationally renowned programs in
's and women's swimming, softball, baseball,
estling, rowing, etc.
The reason you came to this school was not because of
cademics, but because of sports. Which is more enjoy-
ble, watching a Michigan sports event or writing a 10-
>age paper?
If I have to answer that question for ya, you need more
hefn than I can nrovide.

Michigan squeezes 10-win
season out of Citrus Bowl

By Jim Rose
Daily Sports Writer
ORLANDO, Fla. - Rob Renes
called it "a microcosm of the entire
season," and a close look at
Michigan's Jan. I Citrus Bowl game
against Arkansas would seem to back
him up.
The Wolverines got themselves
into trouble with turnovers and
penalties, but eventually came back
with a strong fourth quarter and won,
45-31, before 63,584 fans.
The victory was the 10th in II
games for Michigan, which finished
10-3 after starting the season 0-2. To
many players, it meant the difference
between a great season and a forget-
table one.
"There was a huge difference
between 9-4 and 10-3." Rob Renes
said. "Anytime you have 10 wins,
that makes for a great team."

Sophomore running hack Anthony,
Thomas was voted the game's most
valuable player on the strength of his
132 yards rushing and three touch-
downs, and senior Tai Streets, in his
final college game, caught seven
passes for 129 yards.
But in the fourth quarter, with the
game on the line, Michigan was pro-
pelled by the heroics of Diallo
Johnson and James Whitley. Johnson
pulled in a 21-yard touchdown pass
from Tom Brady with 2:25 left in the
game to give the Wolverines a 38-31
lead. And on Arkansas' ensuing pos-
session, Whitley sealed the deal
when he returned an interception 26
yards for a touchdown.
Michigan nearly self-destructed,
thanks to a host of penalties, two
interceptions by Brady, a fumble by
Thomas, a 36-yard pass interference
call against Whitley and a missed

field goal. A 24-10 halftime lead had
evaporated less than three minutes
into the fourth quarter, and Arkansas
went up 31-24 after quarterback
Clint Stoerner's second touchdown
pass of the afternoon. But the
Razorbacks did not score again, and
Michigan controlled the play for the
rest of the game.
"This was the way we wanted to
finish," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said after the game. "We had started
this season in a way that no one
expected. And this was a great way
to end it."
Michigan struck first in the game's
first quarter, with a 44-yard Jay
Feely field goal. On Michigan's next
drive, Drew Henson took over at
quarterback. A bit of excitement fol-
lowed - Henson threw behind the
line of scrimmage to Johnson, who
See SWEET, Page 2E

The Wolverines have begun a new habit of ten-win seasons
- which they like better than their old, four-loss seasons.


TI e
just three
years, Golder


wi>nsfirst title
By Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
LINCOLN. Neb. --As the Michigan men's gymnastics team
basked in the glory of its first national championship since 1970,
one man stood out as the proudest of all.
Kurt Golder is the one person most responsible for the revi-
talization of the men's gymnastics program at Michigan.
Although Michigan's head coach would be the first to credit his
gymnasts for winning the national championship, he would be
mistaken if he did not acknowledge what he has done for the
team in his three years in Ann Arbor.
Golder inherited a team that had fallen on misfortune after
winning 18 NCAA titles - both individual and team -
between 1963 and 1970. In that time, Wolverines were named
All-American 26 times. Since 1970, only nine Michigan gym-
nasts have gained All-American status.
When he took over the team, it had just finished a season that
saw Michigan go winless, finishing last in the Big Ten, General
consensus amongst the holdovers was that the team might have
been the worst in the country that year.
Golder, who had competed for Michigan in the 1970's; was
coaching at Iowa at the time. He had been an assistant there,
after coaching internationally.
"It was hard to see Michigan go through that, because I had
gone there;' Golder said. "The program had lost all respect
around the gymnastics community."
Legendary Michigan coach Newt Loken asked his former
gymnast to come back to Ann Arbor to help rejuvenate the sag-
ging program. The program had fallen on hard times in the
arena, and the athletic department, too.
Michigan was considering dropping the program because of
Title IX restrictions and economic losses. The program actually
lost its scholarships for a short period of time.
Once Golder joined the program, things started to change. His
first major move was convincing the Mexican national champi-
on - Lalo Haro --to attend Michigan. His first recruiting class
contained six present members of the team.
In his first year at the helm of the program, the Wolverines
were the most improved team in the country, raising their score
14 points during 1997.
"When he came in in 1997, he brought to the table what he
learned from lowa, and set out to get a national championship,"
Randy D'Amura said -the only gymnast remaining from the
pre-Golder era.After making great strides in 1997, Golder was
able to entice more people to join his crusade.
Assistant coach Mike Burns joined the program in 1998
after competing at Penn State, coaching at Iowa as well as
See GOLDER, Page 9E

Justin Toman couldn't be happier that Kurt Golder revived the Michigan men's gymnastics program - the Wolverines
won a national championship last year.

Water polo, men's soccer get varsity nod

By Jason Stoffer
Daily Staff Reporter
Years of club team dreams were realized
March 27 when the University's Board in
Control of Intercollegiate Athletics voted
unanimously to grant men's soccer and
women's water polo varsity status for the 2000-
2001 academic year.
Planning Committee Chair Phil Hanlon,
who oversaw the new sport selection process,
said revenue from rising football season ticket
prices for the upcoming season helped make
the additions possible.
"One consequence of the increase in football
nrices is that the denartment gained the flexi-

where many campuses are cutting sports
because of rising scholarship costs."
The men's soccer and women's water polo
coaches could sum up their reactions in one
word - ecstatic.
Soccer club coach Scott Burns, who has
been with the team for 12 years as a player and
a coach, said men's club soccer has been trying
to attain varsity status since 1989.
"For the past four years we've been prepar-
ing ourselves in the event this should happen,"
Burns said. "We tried this time to address all
the perceived stumbling blocks of the past:
facilities, financing and gender equity.
"Anything that'll give this much nleasure to

said he is elated and is convinced that a
Michigan women's water polo team will spur
statewide interest in the sport.
"We had been hearing rumors for a couple of
months but I wasn't sure until I heard it today,"
Russell said.
Hanlon said the planning committee also
considered adding women's lacrosse and
women's ice hockey, but decided upon soccer
and water polo after evaluating four business
plans prepared by a group of University grad-
uate students.
"We considered a number of factors includ-
ing revenues and costs, the existence of an
NCAA chamnionshin. growth of the soort in




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