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March 21, 2001 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-21

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________________The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 21, 2001-R-- 9

*State cuts
gymnastics
program
.or TiteX
By Swapnil Patel
Daily Sports Writer
Nothing in life is guaranteed.
The No. 6 Michigan State men's
gymnastics team currently feels the
impact of the previous statement as
it competes in its final season.
Usually when athletes commit to
a school, they assume that they are
guaranteed four years of collegiate
competition.
But the decision made by the
Michigan State athletic department
to cut a program that has existed
since 1946, leads one to believe
otherwise.
Last Friday's competition against
Michigan was perhaps one of the
last meets ever for the Spartans -
as will be this weekend's Big Ten
Championships at College Park.
Of the 11 Big Ten teams, only 6
will have a men's gymnastics team
next year.
"State losing it's program is really
sad," Michigan sophomore gymnast
Conan Parzuckowski said. "Gym-
nastics, especially men's gymnastics
isn't a popular sport. Sure you see it
every four years in the Olympics,
but otherwise it just fades away. In a
0-sport with really no professional
league, college is the last place
where an athlete can fine tune."
Initially, the athletic department
cited differences in the female ath-
lete population percentage in rela-
tion to the University's overall
female population percentage. For
example, Title IX, the federal law
: enacted in 1972, states that if
women comprise say 48% of the
, University's student body, then

'M' heads to nationals
with high expectations

BRANDON SEDLC
The Michigan State gymnastics team will not be celebrating any more wins after this season when the program is cut.

48% of all student athletes should
be women. In essence, Title IX
hopes to ensure equality for
women.
Apparently, the two percentages
did not equal each other. Of the
options that existed, to either add
more women's varsity teams or cut
some of the men's programs, Michi-
gan State chose to cut its men's
gymnastics program in order to
comply with the Title IX require-
ments.
"Title IX is a great law, but it is
poorly written and horribly (inter-
preted)," Michigan State Head
Coach Rick Atkinson said.
Michigan State junior Jonathan
Plante, who is the nation's top-
ranked gymnast on the pommel
horse, is investigating the matter
further and after doing some of his
own research, Plante proposed his
calculations of the required percent-
ages to Associate Director of Ath-
letics Shelly Appelbaum.
"Upon discussing the situation
with Shelley Appelbaum, the first
reason given was the participation
(ratio)," Plante said. "However
when I ran current participation rea-
sons by her, the reason changed to

the scholarship-funding problem."
And in a discussion with Michi-
gan State's Vice President Fred Pos-
ton, Plante was told that financial
issues led to the decision to termi-
nate the program.
"His reason was that they needed
our money (team budget, scholar-
ship, salaries) in order to fund more
scholarships for female athletics -
purely a financial reason," Plante
said. "However this was not the rea-
son expressed to other groups
involved in the decision process. So
as of this date, we have no concrete
reason for terminating the pro-
gram."
Since the law also calls for a fair
distribution of scholarships funds
available for student athletes, its
involvement in the decision making
process makes sense.
The ,Michigan State gymnasts
have responded as well as they can,
but for some, the entire situation
has been discouraging - especially
the way Michigan State's athletic
department has dealt with it.
For Instance, the University
seemed to go out of its way to keep
the football players updated of the
situation when former Michigan

State football head coach, Nick
Saban, was choosing to leave.
"When Nick Saban left the foot-
ball program, President McPherson
skipped the dinner for the graduat-
ing class to have a private meeting
with the football players," Plante
said. "As a team, we have not been
given the common courtesy of
knowing" the exact details of why
men's gymnastics was cut.
Interestingly, the decision to ter-
minate the program was actually
made prior to last season, but the
gymnasts were given a one-year
extension this season to figure out
what they were going to do individ-
ually.
Rather than staying at Michigan
State, some gymnasts are looking
into transferring to other schools.
But even that process gets compli-
cated because they may risk losing
their current scholarships. Transfer-
ring their academic credits is yet
another issue that Spartan gymnasts
encounter.
"If they maintain eligibility, the
school will hold up their end of the
bargain. The scholarships will be
intact - just that there will be no
gymnastics," Atkinson said.

By Kristen Fidh
Daily Sports Writer
The buck stops here.
"This is why we train six months
out of the year," assistant men's
swimming coach Eric Namesnik
said.
This weekend, eight swimmers
and one diver from the No. 9 Michi-
gan men's swimming and diving
team will travel to College Station,
Texas for the NCAA Tournament.
After claiming the runner-up posi-
tion behind No. 8 Minnesota a
month ago at the Big Ten Champi-
onship, the Wolverines have set a
realistic goal - they want a top-10
national finish.
According to Michigan's coaches,
the title will most likely go to either
No.1 Texas or No.2 Stanford -both
of which the Wolverines have met,
and lost to, this season.
"It should be a good dual meet
between Texas and Stanford for the
top spot, with the rest of us fighting
underneath them," Michigan coach
Jon Urbanchek said. "We will meet
Minnesota again, and, based on what
they showed at Big Tens, they
should definitely be in the top four
or five."
Michigan's goal could very well
be accomplished with 12 races and
one relay posing top-20 seeds -
along with diver Jason Coben
adding points.
"If they gave out medals based on
seedings, we would have a couple
and walk away happy," Urbanchek
said. "But the point of all of this is
to show it in the pool."
HANG ON TIGHT: Junior Tim Sicil-
iano is the defending champion in
the 400-yard individual medley.
With a No.2 seed and a qualifying
time that broke the Big Ten record,
he is in a good position to take the
crown again after a full recovery
from his early-season shoulder
injury.
WELCOME FRESHMAN: Seeded

first in the 200 freestyle because of
his record-tying performance at .the
conference championships, Big Ten
Freshman of the Year Dan Ketchum
is on the road to stardom. In addi-
tion, he is seeded fifth in the 500
free and 15th in the 1,650 free.:
AWESOME FOURSOME: Michigan's
800-freestyle relay is a top con-
tender for the crown with a three
seed. The quartet of Jordan Watland,
Ketchum, Chris Thompson and Gar-
rett Mangieri took the conference
title and wouldn't mind a matching
national plaque.
DUE TIME: Thompson has an
Olympic bronze medal but not an
NCAA title - he has placed second
in the 1,650 freestyle for the past
three years.
"I sure would get tired of second
place after three years," Urbanchek
said.
An impressive finishing time is
not nearly as significant to the
senior as a win for his final race as a
Wolverine.
LAST HURRAH: Senior captain
Scott Werner will also represent
Michigan for his last time, swim-
ming in three individual races. As an
All-American in the highly-competi-
tive breaststroke, he is expeoted to
place in the top eight in they 200.
Points could also come from good
times in the 100 breast and 200 indi-
vidual medley.
DIVING SAVES THE DAY: A cpuple
good scores for Coben would give
Michigan the points needed for the
finish it hopes for - provided the
freshman's elbow is pain-free.
Other races for which the Wolver-
ines qualified include the 200 back-
stroke, 100 backstroke, 100
freestyle, 200-medley relay, 400-
medley relay and 400-freestyle relay.
"All of our guys are seasoned
swimmers with experience compet-
ing at a very high level," Namesnik
said. "Now it's just a matter of tak-
ing care of business - defending
our positions."

Louisville, KFC try
to land Grizzlies
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The
owner of the Vancouver Grizzlies has
been offered $100 million from the
parent company of KFC to bring his
franchise to Louisville, two local law-
makers said.
Heisley wants to move his team out
of Canada, where he's losing millions.
Louisville is one of the cities in the
running to land the NBA team. Ana-
heim, Calif.; New Orleans and Mem-
phis, Tenn. are the others.
Louisville-based Tricon Global
Restaurants would pay Grizzlies owner
Michael Heisley $5 million a year for
20 years, according to Reps. Larry
Clark and Mary Lou Marzian.
KFC would contribute millions in
exchange for naming rights.
Company officials want to call the
arena the KFC Bucket and the team
the Kentucky Colonels, the name of
Louisville's former ABA franchise.
Tennessee hoops
@ coach Green axed
KNOXVILLE, Tenn (AP) - Ten-
nessee men's basketball coach Jerry
Green resigned yesterday following a
22-11 season and a trip to the NCAA
Tournament.
Green, who led Tennessee to four
consecutive NCAA Tournament
appearances, agreed to a $1.25 million
buyout.
Green was 89-36 in four seasons,
the best winning percentage since Ray
Mears, who coached from 1962-77.
The Vols were 20-9 in Green's first
season and have won at least 20 games
each year he coached. Tennessee had
not posted consecutive 20-win season
since Don DeVoe from 1981-85.
Tennessee went to the round of 16 last
season for the first time in school history.
Tennessee will pursue Rick Pitino,
Illinois coach Bill Self, Mississippi
coach Rod Barnes and Tim Floyd of
the NBA's Chicago Bulls.

'M' nine set for home opener,
Ralston ready for season debut

By Job Sin or
Daily Sports Writer
Last season, senior tri-captain
Bryce Ralston could only watch
from the dugout as the Michigan
baseball team struggled to a 20-32-
1 overall record and a 10-18 Big
Ten mark.
The senior right-hander from
Tacoma, Wash. suffered a season-
ending arm injury prior to the
beginning of action last year.
He underwent "Tommy John"
surgery on March 9th of last year.
Tomorrow, Ralston will again take
the ball for the Wolverines (6-8
overall) as they play host to St.
Joseph's in their home opener.
Two years ago, Ralston finished
the season 8-1 with a 3.54 ERA in
a season in which Michigan cap-
tured the Big Ten Tournament title.
"We'll find out tomorrow how he
responds," Michigan coach Geoff
Zahn said. "He is pretty much on
schedule for where we wanted
him."
However, when easing back a
pitcher from injury it is critical to
give him time. Early in the season
it makes little sense to push pitch-
ers into the late innings.
"We've got enough pitching to
finish a game," Zahn said. Ralston
"is only going to go two innings."
The two-inning limit Zahn will
be enforcing on Ralston is not
based on concern over his recovery.
"I think his arm will be pretty
close," Zahn said. "His endurance
is a bit behind."
While junior right-hander Bobby
Korecky has already thrown two
complete games, Zahn is not antici-
pating long outings from all of his
hurlers.
"Some guys who haven't pitched
lately will pitch," Zahn said.
A prime candidate to relieve Ral-
ston tomorrow will be senior Vince
Pistilli. Thus far, Pistilli has thrown
JOBS!!!
Summer Term
Apply nn
at the Law Library-
* non-Law Students
a T1 aY-1Inmc

9.1 innings, a meager amount in
contrast to Korecky's 31.2 innings.
Another major reason for limit-
ing Ralston's outing tomorrow
stems from the fact that Michigan
is scheduled to travel to Iowa for
three games with the Hawkeyes this
weekend.
Were Ralston to over-exert him-
self, he could be out of commission
for the weekend.
"If two innings is his max, we'll
use him in relief this weekend,"
Zahn said.
Ralston and the rest of the staff
will look for continued run sup-
port. The Michigan bats have been
hot lately, producing an average of
five runs in three contests over the
weekend.
The much-improved sophomore
thirdbaseman, Brock Koman, along
with outfielder Gino Lollio, direct-
ed the charge for the Wolverines.
Koman currently has 22 hits to lead
the team.
"He hit well for a good part of
last year," Zahn said. "He is doing
what he expected and what I
expected. He is also playing good
third base."
Today's meeting will be the first

ever between St. Joseph's and
Michigan.

FISHER STADIUM

Who: Michigan (6-8) vs. St. Joseph's(Ind.)
(9-7)
When:3 p.m.
Latest: Bryce Ralston is expected to take
the mound for the first time since undergo-
ing arm surgery.
Food for Thought
The US Embargo
Many accuse the US
embargo of unfairly
crippling Vietnam.
According to UNICEF,
Vietnam is the world's
largest exporter of rice,
but one-third of its
children go hungry.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors
www.garylillie.com

USE THE DAILY TO WIPE
THAT LOOK OFF YOUR FACE
Computers and the Shaping ofPublic Opinion
Deliberative Polls
...and the potential for extendinthem using computer systems
James S. Fishkin & obert C. Luskin,
University of Texas, Austin
Democratic Deliberation on the Internet
Vincent E. Price, Marsh Visiting Professor
Friday, March 23@3:00 in 6050 ISR
Reception to follow in 6080 ISR
Sponsored by Communication Studies and The Center for Political Studies

The Office of New Student Programs
is now recruiting
Fall and Internationale
Orientation Leaders
ONSP is looking for motivated undergraduate
students to help facilitate the Fall and
International Orientation Programs. Leader duties
will include running check-in and registration,
facilitating an informational meeting, leading a
walking tour, participating in social activities, and
assisting in class registration.
Pay: $65/day, $32.50/half-day (shifts vary).
International Orientation
Training: Thursday, August 23rd
Program: August 24th - August 28th
Fall Orientation
Training: Monday, August 27th
Prorm Anmuust 2Rth - August 30th

NCAA men
Yesterday's results (NIT)
PURDUE 79, Auburn 61
ALABAMA 79, Toledo 69
: MEMPHIS 90, Texas l Paso 65
Pepperdine at New Mexico, inc.
Today's games (NIT)
Detroit at Dayton, 7:30 p.m.
Tulsa at Mississippi State, 9:30 p.m.
Tomorrow's games (NCAA)
USC vs. Kentucky 7:38 p.m.
Georgetow vs. Maryland, 7:55 p.m.
UC vAus nuha 10-03 nm.

{_ . _ ,

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