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September 06, 2000 - Image 63

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-06

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michigandaily. com/sports
sportsdesk@umich.edu

New Student Edition
pojr ts

SECTION E
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2000

*DAVID
DEN HERDER

Look who's varsity now?

Men's

soccer

_M'sports,
more noble
than you think
Confession No. 1: 1 don't mind listening to the
Backstreet Boys. Their tunes are catchy, and ifI
" c could dance to them, 1 probably would.
And they tell me I'm larger than life.
Fortunately, I know enough of this university to realize
that's not possible. At least not here. Not in Ann Arbor.
It's relatively insane to think I could be larger than any-
thing around here.
Some scrub sports editor for a local daily paper. That's
not even enough to get me into Bollinger's "freedom of the
press" class.
Around here, even people like Tom Goss aren't larger
than life. Who is he?
More like who "was" he: Michigan's athletic director
until about six months ago. He presided over three national
titles - in football, hockey and gymnastics. He expanded
the Big House to accommodate every student that wanted a
ticket. He reclaimed Michigan Stadium as biggest in all the
land, with the two largest video screens in college to boot.
He created mgohlue.co. lie made men's soccer and
women's water polo varsity sports, although he never saw
them don the maize and blue.
Why not'? Because he wasn't bigger than Michigan. And
after a few missteps, he was forced to resign.
Perhaps simply "overseeing" success doesn't make you
'large enough around here. Maybe you have to win some-
thing for yourself.
Gary Moeller was a winner. Roses were Blue in 1993
when he guided the Wolverines to victory in Pasadena. And
he was there the year before, too - with a beloved, pose-
striking Heisman Trophy receiver - although that trip to
California left an aching in everybody's heart. Still, he had
two Big Ten titles in four seasons. Not bad, but not larger
than life. Mo got the axe because he couldn't earn his keep
in Michigan's House of the Holy, and roses couldn't save
him.
'Even so, maybe it takes more than a bowl game to really
#levate someone's status on this campus. Maybe it takes
someone who really takes care of business. How about a
man that captured Michigan's only NCAA basketball title?
How about a man like Steve Fisher, who took the
Wolverines to three Final Fours in his first four seasons?
Fisher is responsible for putting Michigan basketball on the
globe (not just the "map"). He has the best winning percent-
age in Michigan history. He was the commander of a black-
socked, baggy-shorts legion, and he led his troops to the
NCAA final two years in a row, changing the face of col-
lege basketball in the process.
* The Fab Five were legends in their own time, and Steve
Fisher was truly larger than life.
Just not larger than Michigan.
So, for better or worse, he was fired four weeks before
the 1998 season.
Fired by a man who wanted to "change the program."
Ironically, Tom Goss would find that no man was larger
than that program - not even himself.
So what should you do about this? Take a slow sigh, and
let a grin creep slowly onto your face as you exhale. Be
happy you are about to attend a university where integrity is
the unquestionable and sometimes painful rule.
It may not mean much to you now, and it will mean even
ess after an intro-level philosophy class has you questioning
whether anything really matters at all.
But any way the wind blows, your diploma will carry a
lot more weight because of the involuntary sacrifices of
Moeller, Fisher and Goss.
Believe it or not, there are universities out there that don't
care about their reputation, or how the name of their institu-
tion might look slightly soiled on resumes due to their inac-
tion.
There are universities out there with coaches who pub-
eicly embarrass them on a regular basis. Coaches who love
to dress down for any occasion, and verbally abuse co-work-
ers, athletes and the media. Out there, somewhere south of
Ann Arbor, there are coaches who can throw tantrums and
other objects all over the court on national television.
Somewhere out there, beneath the red and white, there are
coaches who are allowed say whatever they please, act in
the lockerroom however they please, detain players by the
throat whenever they please.
And when their disgraceful actions are broadcast all over
the world on ESPN, and when the wall of denial begins to
crumble, they have nothing to worry about.
Because some old boys are larger than life. Real life. And
*very time they're down, their cronies can make it right.
Every time.

Those are the red sweater-wearing boys that will continue
to sit behind microphones in the Crisler press lounge, ironi-
cally scolding Michigan fans for "their" inappropriate
screaming, calling "their" behavior "bullshit."
One phrase you'll be sick of by the time you leave here is
the Athletic Department's famous jingle (to be read in a
deep, mock-authoritative voice): At Michigan, we hold our-
selves to a higher standard.
I don't know if it is the "highest" standard, or if Michigan
is somehow the "last man standing" on the moral front. For
heaven's sake, Ohio State even fired Woody Hayes. But I
am confident that the standard here is higher than most.
At the end of the day, that's worth a pat on the back. On
your diploma, it's priceless.
David Den herder can be reached at
A dden(a)umich.edu.

finally hits
the big time
By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
For decades, soccer has been the
most popular sport on the planet.
From Mexico to Morocco, Chile to
Cameroon, people of all ages and
all ethnicities have played "foot-
ball," whether in the streets or in
packed stadiums.
In addition, soccer fans the
world over have gained notoriety
for their unparalleled devotion to
their favorite teams. For proof, one

Women's water polo
enters the main pool

By Arun Gopal
Daily,Sports X nter
Next year, Michigan
welcomes two new teams
to the varsity sports family.
One of the newly-minted
varsity programs - imen's
soccer - should be famil-
iar to virtually all sports
fans at this university. Most
everyone has seen part of a
World Cup game on televi-
sion or has at least heard of
legendary clubs like
Manchester United and

Real Madrid.
But, the other new varsi-
ty team does not enjoy
nearly as much familiarity
with the fans. This program
has toiled in relative obscu-
rity, even by club standards,
for several years. This is
certainly unfortunate,
because this particular
team has had a run of suc-
cess that is unmatched by
any other sport at this
school.
Still wondering what
See WATER POLO, Page 9E

Going
all
DANNY KAUCK/Dady
A fan favorite - the Michigan
hockey team could be preseason
No. 1 and have its best shot at a
national championship in years.
Inside: Recap of the 1999-2000
season, Geoff Gagnon's column,
plus five reasons why hockey will
win it all. Page 5E

Courtesy Michigan men's soccer club
The Michigan men's soccer team
will play at Elbel Field this season.
need look no further than the
World Cup --over a billion people
See SOCCER, Page 9E

c I

The schedule

non

nie

the

Sept. 2
Sept. 9
Sept. 16
Sept. 23
Sept. 30
Oct. 7
Oct. 14
Oct. 21
Oct. 28
Nov. 4
Nov. 11
Nov. 18

Bowling Green
Rice
at UCLA
at Illinois
Wisconsin
at Purdue
Indiana
Michigan State
Bye
at Northwestern
Penn State
at Ohio State

12:10 ESPN
TBA
TBA
5:30, ESPN2
TBA
TBA
3:30, ABC
3:30, ABC
TBA
TBA
Noon, ABC

train
Football has the schedule to
go the distance this' season

y- ,

By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Editor
For a freshman coming to Michigan. find-
ing the right classes is important for the
future. Getting to know that complete
stranger of a roommate is vital to a happy
dorm campaign;
But football - well why come to school if
the football team is going to suck?
But thankfully for the latest incoming class
of freshmen, the Michigan football team will
not embarrass itself.
One of the lightest nonconference sched-
ules in years combined with a rebuilding Big
Ten could create a path for the Wolverines to
cruise through its 11-game schedule.
Penn State lost its defense, Minnesota had
its one Cinderella season per decade,
Michigan State is now a basketball school
and Ohio State is still refueling.

So who's left'? Upstart Illinois and Drew
Brees-led Purdue - each could reach the
Top 15 preseason AP and both are road
games on Michigan's schedule.
Probably the easiest schedule in years
doesnt necessarily mean perfect success.
Several questions still revolve around the
prospects of the 20C0 season.
Will Drew Henson shine? He signed a
multi-million dollar contract with the
Yankees. Will he stay? He's got a talent
level not seen in a Michigan quarterback in
years, but the Yankees are serious in their
claim to the Golden Boy. And what if he
gets hurt?
Which leads to the question of Henson's
backup. With no prior game experience
behind them, 6-4, 225-pound Andy Mignery
and 6-6, 220-pound John Navarre will battle
it out.
With the loss of senior linebackers Dhani

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Anthony Thomas, also known as the "A Train,' returns for
his senior season. This time, though, he should have some
help in the backfield from Justin Fargas, who comes back
from last year's season-ending injury.

Jones, Ian Gold and James Hall, some people
point to the possibility of a lackluster
defense. But with all the talent last season,
the defense still struggled at times. Maybe an.
underrated defense will do better than an
overrated one.
Senior James Whitley and juniors Todd
Howard and Cato June will try to bolster a
"suspect" set of pass defense. As usual,
expect David Terrell to play Charles
Woodson and do double duty as wide receiv-
er and corner.

Terrell already is making headlines as a
Heisman prospect. With Henson behind the
gun, the junior wideout should have plenty of
chances to fill the ticket.
If the Wolverines beat the teams they're
supposed to beat, a 11-0 record entering the
bowl game is not out of the question. But will
an "Illinois" debacle crush Michigan's hopes
again this season?
We'll find out in September. Oh, and be
sure to grab a copy of Daily Sports Kickoff
handed out at the Rice game on Sept. 9.

'M' basketball: A tale of a tumultuous season

Fafl 1999
A quick start
Spurred by a fairly easy
nonconference schedule,
Michigan cruises to a
12-3 record entering the
Big Ten season, including
a victory over Georgia
Tech and a close loss to
national championship
contender Duke.

February 2000
The streak
With Crawford on the
bench, the Wolverines lose
seven straight games, six
by double figures. Crawford
was supposed to return Feb.
24 against Purdue, but was
instead suspended eight
more games for filing for the
NBA draft before college.

January 2000y
Scandal erupts
A Michigan student accuses
Brandon Smith of stealing
several items from her
including a palm pilot. It was
later revealed that Smith had
nothing to do with the
thefts, and instead it was
two other players involved.
Coach Ellerbe stepped in and convinced the girl not
to press charges once her items were returned.
February 1, 2000
The Jamal
Crawford
saga begins
It's the night of the Michigan State game at Crisler
and Michigan's best player doesn't appear. Crawford
is suspended for six games for receiving improper
benefits from a family friend - Barry Henthorn.
Henthorn is linked to a sports agency, and Jamal
watches Mateen Cleaves handle Michigan 82-62.

March 2000
Ellerbe safe, as 'M'
bows out of NIT
The Wolverines make first-round
exits in both the Big Ten
Tournament and the NIT. Still,
Interim Athletic Director Bill
Martin maintains Ellerbe is his
coach. Assistant coach Lorenzo
Neely bolts for Western Michigan
after a physical confrontation with
Crawford. Flint recruiter Terrence
Greene will take his place.

Excitement not
new for hoops
By Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Writer
"We're very excited about the season," Michigan coach
Brian Ellerbe said at last year's Michigan Media Day.
Unfortunately for the Maize Rage and Michigan faith-
ful, excitement turned to frustration, which turned to dis-
appointment last season.
The 1999-2000 season was a depressing one.
A promising 12-3 opening record was marred by a six-
game losing streak in which Michigan was outscored by
129 points in the last five games of the streak.
Two wins later, Michigan was taken behind the wood-
shed by rival Michigan State, losing 114-63, the worst
loss in the program's history. The 15-14 season ended
with a wimper, a 75-65 loss to Notre Dame in the first
round of the NIT. But with all of last year's ups-and-
downs, one thing overshadowed the season - the ongo-
ing saga of Jamal Crawford.
The freshman shooting guard was Michigan's best
player for the first 17 games of the season.
But before the Wolverines' game against Michigan
State, the NCAA suspended the headbanded star
because he accepted improper benefits including cash
and cars from a family friend - Barry Henthorn.
Crawford would never play for Michigan again, as an
investigation turned into a career-ending suspension.
Michigan bargained the punishment down to the rest of
last season and the first two games of this upcoming sea-
son; but the young freshman would bolt for the NBA
draft before the suspension was finished.
See HOOPS. Page 4E

Spring 2000
Spring cleaning?
Crawford announces he's
entering the NBA draft.
Kevin Gaines is fluctuating
with academic eligibility.
Recruit Avery Queen's
troubles mar another top
10 recruiting class. The Ed
Martin scandal haunts the
program again.

II

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