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February 07, 2001 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-07

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 7, 2001

e lCict 'c nt ttilg

daily. letters@umich.edu

An open letter to Bill Martin



SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily

ir, it is with heavy
heart and troubled
conscience that I
write this letter, but the
embarrassment can go on
no longer. Brian Ellerbe
must go. Right now.
Bill (may I call you
Bill?), you have done a
wonderful job in your short
tenure as athletic director. The financial situa-
tion here at the the University has turned around
180 degrees and that Nike deal - concessions
and all - was a stroke of brilliance. I'm not
sure if I agree with the whole "luxury box" con-
cept in the Big House, but I understand that the
football program is this University's cash cow
and you will do what you have to.
Michigan is once again a premier athletic
university. The football team is coming off
(another) New Year's Day bowl victory and
will announce today what is arguably the best
recruiting class in the country. But we are no
longer just a football factory. No sir, this isn't
your father's Michigan.
Our hockey team is once again a national
title contender, as are the men's and women's
gymnastics teams. The swimming/diving teams
are top-ten, as always, and just handed the
hated Spartans an ass-whuppin' of Biblical pro-
portions. And to top it all off, our wrestling
team beat Iowa this weekend. Iowa, Bill. Can
you believe that? Probably the single most
dominant force in the history of any collegiate
sport was just sent packing back to Carver-
Hawkeye Arena with its tail between its legs.
Yes, these are great days to be a Michigan
Wolverine but there is a dark cloud hanging
over our collective athletic consciousness. It is a
dire shadow that troubles those of us that bleed
maize and blue to the point that sometimes

even the staunchest hearts shudder in fear and
The basketball team stinks, Bill. Bottom line
and end of story. I'm not talking about a lack of
greatness here - no, this team has delusions of
adequacy. And no, I'm not just pining away for
the "good old days" of the early '90s. I realize
that keeping this program clean is just as impor-
tant as turning it into a winner. But Brian
Ellerbe, whom I have met and is a very nice
man, is clearly not the right man for the job.
I understand we're not extremely talented,
Bill. You know as well as I do that maybe only
one person on this team could start for Michi-
gan State University - and that is a big maybe.
But I understand that and can accept it. I realize
that Ed Martin's shadow is still looming over
this program in the form of possible NCAA
sanctions, a fact which makes recruiting
extremely difficult. I do not doubt Ellerbe's tal-
ent as a recruiter -just his coaching skill.
There is an old adage in sports: "A team
takes on the personality of it's head coach."
You can look at every sport there is and find
perfect examples of this. Look at the Dennis
Erickson-led Oregon State Beavers, who's
trash-talking, blazing speed and unsportsman-
like conduct looked eerily similar to the Dennis
Erickson-led Miami Hurricanes of the early
'90s. Look at the toughness and tenacious
defense displayed by Tom Izzo's basketball
teams. Look at tremendous work ethic and
intensity of our own grapplers, led by Joe
Taking this into account, let us turn a closer
eye towards this basketball team. The team is
inconsistent. They are disorganized. They play
terrible defense. They have a minimal amount
of heart and hustle. And when we are getting
our asses handed to us, take a look on the side-
lines and tell me what you see. You will NOT

see Coach Ellerbe yelling and getting into play-
er's faces. What you will see is coach Ellerbe
looking lost and staring at the floor with a sick-
ly smile on his face. Do you see the connection,
Bill? Is it any wonder we have no toughness
and no intensity?
For the record, I do not have a shrine dedi-
cated to Rick Pitino in my apartment. Maybe
Pitino is the right guy and maybe not, but we
won't know until season's end. What is impor-
tant is the fact that this team will not make
noticeable progress with Ellerbe at the helm, so
I ask you: What is the use of keeping him? Get
rid of the guy and promote an assistant coach
for the interim period.
Associate Head Coach Scott Trost is very
knowledgeable about X's and Q's and the play-
ers respect him. Furthermore, when I watch a
game I can actually see him coaching on the
sidelines. Perhaps Trost is not the guy - per-
haps it's Assistant Coach Terence Greene or
Assistant Coach Kurtis Townsend. Regardless,
none of them could do any worse than Ellerbe
and we might just get lucky and find a diamond
in the rough.
Bill, I don't think I'm being unrealistic here.
Like the vast majority of fans, students and
alumni, I do not expect us to beat teams like
Duke, North Carolina and Michigan State for a
few years yet - we just don't have the horses.@
All I ask is that we play hard and compete with
these teams. I don't think that's too much to ask.
Bill, we're supposed to be the Leaders and
Best, right? Then why is it I have to hang my
head every time the subject of basketball is
brought up? Please, do the right thing and help
us all walk proud again.
Branden Sanz's column runs on Wednesdays.
He can be reached via e-mail at

MSA disregards
students' concerns
on campaigning
I believe that the point of a student gov-
ernment is to represent the student body and
to support and stand firmly behind what
they want and need. The Michigan Student
Assembly has claimed that they want to be
an involved and important part of not only
the University but also the world that we
live in. But on Jan. 30 they showed their
true colors by rejecting the proposal to pun-
ish their candidates violating University
Housing policy. MSA representatives are
voted into office with the trust of the student
body and are then held responsible to repre-
sent student beliefs and ideas. They are cho-
sen because of their strong sense of
commitment and their passion for fighting
for what they believe is right and just.
I find it very offensive that they are able
to blatantly disregard the concerns of almost
10,000 members of their student body and
reject a proposal that is obviously important
to many. Residents have expressed their dis-
content with status quo and MSA candidates
inability to adhere to already set forth rules.
When many resident doors have been posted
with "no solicitation" signs and the cry has
been heard for years to end the constant
knocking and badgering, MSA will still not
stop and listen to what their students are try-
ing to tell them. What kind of student gov-
ernment ignores the cry of their peers and is
even unable to abide by set university rules?
MSA needs to start with their own campus
and the needs of their own students before
they reach out to solve other problems.
LSA sophomore
Buster Poindexter
portrayal was
I couldn't tell if Chris Kula's and Christ-
ian Hoard's article/list titled "Afro-
Caribbean inspired pop songs rule during

MWI t 1romp(Amm I
."-CIE 1F1.tS 1t VG UP t
k' Y '[ is OW ITS AY,

80's" in the Feb. 5 Daily was hi
not. Either way it lacked some
Buster Poindexter, whose song'
Hot" was number ten on the list.
Buster Poindexter is the al
David Johansen. And Johansen's
been nothing short of prolific. H
known as the lead vocalist in N
early '70s proto-punk band, the
Dolls. The Dolls' influence oz
It wasn't so much putting his
list, it was referring to hi
"Scrooged" as what he is best
without mentioning the releva
entire music career. I can appre
and Hoard's attempt at humor an
article, but wit fails when it apl
misinformed. Whether Kula
were aware of this misrepresenta
it was inappropriate.
Art and
efforts to reduc
emissions inade
The Daily's article on Fe
"Alumni ask for reduced gasc
fails to mention a key point: The
tion has not indicated any will
agree to reduce its greenhouse ga
to "7 percent below its estimated

umorous or by the year 2012," as requested by the
details on Michigan Alumni for Global Warming
"Hot, Hot, Action. The Sustainable University of
Michigan Team, a student-led initiative to
ter-ego of move the University toward increased envi-
career has ronmental and social responsibility, has been
e is mostly asking administrators to join leading univer-
ew York's sities by agreeing to these reductions for
New York more than two years.
n music is The standard responses have ranged from
"we don't know out 1990 emissions" to "it's
song on the too expensive" to "our campus has grown so
s role in much that its impossible." However, a grow-
known for ing number of countries, cities, companies
nce of his and universities have moved beyond excuses
ciate Kula and into action, by committing to these seri-
d wit in the ous greenhouse gas emissions reductions. *
pears to be Students, staff, faculty and now alumni
and Hoard have made it clear that the University has the
tion or not, responsibility and ability to reduce our cam-
pus' contribution to global warming. Yet the
LRON NEMEC administration has failed to respond on such
Design senior basic issues as providing free bus passes to
students (faculty and staff already receive
this) and including the Medical and Athletic
campuses in energy efficient programs. The
'U' Daily's article leads readers to believe that@
the University is doing all that it can to
quate reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is not
true. While the efforts the Daily cites have
merit, they fall far short of a comprehensive,
b. 1 titled committed effort to reduce emissions. Our
emissions" campus deserves more.

[ingness to
s emissions
[990 levels

Visibility Week: Let's all celebrate

Picture this: University of Michigan -
February 7th to 16th, 2001 - Visibility
Week - a marvelous celebration of the
wonderful diversity of this great university.
As this year's annual Visibility Week, a
time of celebration of and for the Universi-
ty's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgen-
der community is upon us, I'd like to reflect
on what this week and this community mean
to me. This week presents us with a special
opportunity to support each other and cele-
brate our humanity. Our society does not
make it easv for L GRT individuals to move

"but, this is incompatible with my religion."
But, is it really? All religions with which I
am familiar support love and respect for
humankind, with which I equate justice,
peace and equality. It seems to me com-
pletely plausible that one could hold person-
al beliefs that run counter to homosexuality
or gender variance, yet still support the civil
rights of those who are different. I certainly
disagree with the religious interpretations of
many, yet I support their rights to hold those
beliefs and their right not to be discriminat-
ed against for holding such views.
Some will say, "but it's not natural." We
don't really know with certainty if homosex-
uality or sender variance is innate. Howev-

SNRE graduate student
The writer submitted the letter on behalf
of The Sustainable University of
Michigan Team, of which he is a member.
Finally, as an African-American gay
man, I'd like especially to call on fellow
people of color to support the LGBT com-
munity. My experiences with other people
of color in the University of Michigan com-
munity have been extremely positive, per-
haps because, we, as people of color, have a
deep and abiding understanding of oppres-
sion and the importance of visibility to our
liberation. While visibility is costly, it is
absolutely necessary in order for us to be
heard and to claim our space. No oppressed
group has ever achieved freedom through
silence, for it does, not protect. It is only by
being visible and, dare I say, forthright, that
iustice for minorities has ever been attained.

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