itbord Eg Tracking 'M' teams
MAJOR LEAGUE BALTIMORE 13. COLORADO 7 The Michigan volleyball team vaulted four spots to
BASEBALL AthletCS6 New York 2 21 in this week's USA Today/AVCA Division I Coa
Arwiea.Lague SetileS5 HOUSTON 12,
Deti 7TAMPA BAY Phi a 2 Poll. The Wolverines' next match is Friday at 7 p.m.
CHICAOO New Yak 10, Milwaukee 4 when they visit South Carolina for the Carolina Clas
Aeaheim B TORONTO 6 ST. LOUIS 1
KANSAS CITY 6 ARIZONA 2,
Bosten 12, National League Pi ttsburgh 1 Wednesday
CLEVELAND 3 CHICAGO 4 September 15, 1999
Cincinnati 3Setme15199 \JJ
New schedule, same prices for hocke
Daily Sports Writer
Heading into the 1999-2000 season, col-
lege hockey's most dominant conference
will look somewhat different. The addition
of a new team and major scheduling
changes will affect the way business is
But though things may have changed in
the grand scheme of the CCHA, Michigan
hockey fans will notice one similarity to
last season. Season ticket prices for stu-
dents have remained the same.
When today's 5 p.m. purchasing deadline
passes, it'll become clear whether students
will return to purchase hockey tickets after
last season's sharp decline. The drop in stu-
dent buyers in 1998 resulted from the
University's decision to almost double the
season ticket price to $160.
Students who are the essence of the
team's fan base comprising the largest and
loudest majority won't have to suffer from
an increase this season. The student price
per game remains just less than nine dollars.
"I think people understand that this pro-
gram needs their support to survive,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "Last
year the prices went up because the increase
was long overdue, but it's still a bargain to
come to a hockey game."
Prior to the start of the 1998-99 season,
hockey ticket prices averaged around five
dollars per ticket - one of the lowest
prices in the country for a major Division I
After the Wolverines won the NCAA
Championship in March 1998, the
Michigan Athletic Department evaluated
ticket prices which resulted in a sharp
increase over the previous year. Individual
game ticket prices jumped from five-dollars
to almost nine-dollars.
Added into that price was a $2 surcharge
per ticket that was to go toward scheduled
renovations of Yost Ice Arena.
But the results were positive for the
Athletic Department. For the first time in
its history, the Michigan hockey program
turned a profit.
"There are several programs in the coun-
try that make money including Wisconsin
and Michigan State," Berenson said. "And
last year, we were unequivocably in the
black. (To turn a profit) was one of my
goals when I first took over the program
fifteen years ago.
"When I played here, we paid our own
Though players are no longer paying
their own ways, the costs of maintaining a
championship contending program like
Michigan's has been continuously increas-
This year the two-dollar surcharge has
been left on the ticket prices, but will go
toward the program's general fund.
But this season, though ticket prices did-
n't change, the schedule looks completely
different. For several years now, there has
been a trend in the conference towar
scheduling weekend series against the sam
In the past, for example, the Wolverine
may have taken on Ohio State on Friday an
Michigan State on Saturday. Now, th
CCHA has instituted a policy whic
requires teams to play both weekend gae
against the same opponent.
Though the league is in favor of the net
scheduling methods, Berenson isn't thrille
with the idea.
"I haven't been a proponent of the tw
game series," Berenson said. "You're goin
to play those teams anyway, and it doesn
See TICKETS, Page 2
With the expansion of the CCHA, the
conference has divided into three group-
ings for easier scheduling.
Michigan, Bowling Green,
Miami (OH), Ohio State
Lake Superior State, Northern
Michigan, Ferris State,
Western Michigan *
Omaha, Michigan State,
n order to see Josh Blackburn and the rest of the Wolverines in action this season, fans must pay $160
brseason tickets - the same price as last year
Smith busy rehabilitating knee after offseason surgery.
Ellerbe calls junior 'ahead of schedule,' but redshirting still a possibility if reconstructive surgery is slow to hea
By Muk Aceecutti
After almost thre.e months of rehabil-
itation, Michigan forward Brandon
Smith looks on track to be back with the
Wolverines before the Big Ten season
The 6-foot-8 junior, who averaged 8.3
points and 29 minutes last season, hasn't
left Ann Arbor since he underwent
reconstructive surgery to repair a tear in
the anterior cruciate ligament in his
Smith began rehab June 24, the day
after his surgery, and has followed on a
strict five or six-day schedule ever since.
The hard work could pay off by
allowing Smith an earlier return to the
"His rehab is ahead of schedule,"
Ellerbe said. "It's still premature to
make an assessment as to if he'll play or
be redshirted. He's not a machine."
For now, the Wolverines will have to
play a three-month waiting game before
Smith and the coaching staff can assess
whether he should play or redshirt.
Trainer Steve Stricker, who exclusive-
ly worked with Smith through his rehab
said he is about seven-to-10 days away
fom running on the track and beginning
to shoot jump shots.
"He's at a stage where he's about
halfway through," Stricker said. "We've
looked for him to return at the end of
December, beginning of January all
A veturn around the start of the new
year would put Smith on track for the
Big Ten season, which begins Jan. 5 at
Minnesota. And barring a future com-
plications, Stricker expects Smith back
at practice no matter what.
"Obviously if there is a setback a red-
shirt might become a decision, but I
fully expect him to ready," Stricker said.
"Even if he and coach Ellerbe decides
that a redshirt is the right thing, he needs
THE RAGE BEGINS: With the deadline
for hockey tickets tomorrow, the basket-
ball deadline is also creeping up on stu-
Thosa who want to purchase a stu-
dent-season ticket package need to turn
in their applications along with $100 to
the Michigan Ticket Office by Friday,
Ellerbe and the Michigan staff have
worked extensively in the offseason to
turn around the decline in student ticket
sales since the Fab Five era.
Students "are the most important link,
in my estimation," Ellerbe said. "We
need to have a strong student presence."
The Maize Rage, a group of students
who come to basketball games dressed
in yellow "Maize Rage" T-shirts began
to carvea noisy niche in the student sec-
tion this past year.
"We want it to bea full force this sea-
son," Ellerbe said. "They were a real
presence at a few games last year."
Michigan will be putting the Maize
Rage information on their Website.
Students can also learn more about the
group at the Maize and Blue scrimmage
on Nov. 6.
Ellerbe said this season will also fea-
ture a new pep band director and a
dance team to assist the Michigan
cheerleaders. Students can also expect
more contests and prizes like the car
giveaway last season.
SCHEDULING SWITCH: What would a
new Michigan schedule be without
some of the games changing?
The Sunday, Nov. 14, exhibition game
against the Cuban National Team has
been replaced with Team Prestige. Cuba
has suspended participation in intema-
tional competition for an indefinite peri-
od of time. Michigan will battle
Colorado State instead of Saint Peter's
College on Sunday, Jan. 2.
NO MADNESS: Michigan has decided
to forego a Midnight Madness ceremo-
ny to celebrate the beginning of practice
on Oct. 16. Fans will get their first look
at the team at the Maize & Blue
Scrimmage, starting approximately a
half-hour after the completion of the
home football game against
Northwestern on Nov. 6.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: Michigan
women's basketball coach Sue Guevera
will join Ellerbe and Michigan players
for the Ann Arbor Memory Walk on
The ninth annual walk, will benefit
the South Central Michigan Alzheimer's
Association. All are invited to partici-
pate - call 1-800-337-3827 for more
Michigan basketball coach Brian Ellerbe and trainer Steve Stricker expect Brandon Smith to return from reconstructive ki
surgery by the Wolverines' Big Ten opener against Minnesota on Jan. 5.
1999-2000 Michigan Men's Basketball Schedule
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