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November 06, 2001 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-06

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


Jlbe £idTigan SaiI
PORTS

michigandaity.com/sports
sportsdesk@umich.edu

TUESDAY
NOVEMBER 6, 2001

8

Michigan still
searching for
explanation
By Jon Schwa rt
Daily Sports Editor
After what was arguably Michigan's toughest loss in
years, objective one for the new week is making it a
new week.
Michigan players were on their guard yesterday,
attempting to make it very clear that the controversial
loss to Michigan State was in the past, and that their
minds were already focused on
Minnesota.
"It was tough'," tight end Bill FOOTBALL
Seymour said. "It's a roller-coast- Notebook
er. But that's last week. We've got
to put it behind us."
But it was also obvious that there was plenty left to
discuss about one of the most questionable finishes
that college football has seen this season.
Coach Lloyd Carr would not directly answer ques-
tions asking if he had petitioned the Big Ten regarding
the controversial clock management that appeared to
give Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker an extra
second to spike the ball.
Generally, complaints regarding officiating are
directed to the Big Ten's coordinator of officials, Dave
Parry. Carr implied that the two had spoken, but gave
no definitive answer.
"One of the other values of intercollegiate athletics
and of our system of life here is that in most situations,
we have a system in which we can try to effect changes
that we feel are necessary," Carr said. "That's true in
the Big Ten Conference."
He then expounded on his refusal to discuss his
intentions regarding the officials' decision.
"I always take exception when people discuss con-
versations with Dave Parry. We have agreed as coaches
that we're not going to do that. So I just don't think it's
proper."
"I don't blame the officials for anything," defensive

JON
SCHWARTZ

Bizarro world: Yanks'
loss makes little sense

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
The only way Michigan State's offensive line could keep Shantee Orr away from Jeff Smoker was by holding him.

lineman Grant Bowman said. "We put ourselves in the
situation where we put the game in the hands of the
officials and it shouldn't have ever gotten there."
At least one Wolverine agreed with Bowman's
assessment of Saturday's game.
"We just weren't supposed to win that game," Sey-
mour said. "We didn't deserve to win."
To CALL OR NOT TO CALL: Watch defensive end
Shantee Orr line up before the play. Watch him react to
the center's snap. Watch an offensive lineman grab him
and hold onto him in a dire effort to protect the quarter-
back. Watch the officials look away.
It's a problem that became very evident as Saturday's
game ended. Holding is a judgment call - a flag can
be thrown for this penalty on just about any play.
Offensive linemen are always going to hold the defend-
ers if it means preventing a sack. And about 20 percent
of the time, it actually gets called.
On the last play against the Spartans, Michigan's

Larry Stevens made a great play on the line and was
charging after Smoker. He was blatantly held, leaving
Smoker free, but nothing was called.%
Obviously, it is common for officials to swallow
their whistles late in close games. Nobody wants to see
a referee decide the game's outcome. But Michigan
players weren't thrilled with the situation, which was
just another difficult thing to accept in the wake of the
loss.
"Holding is one of the sketchiest calls that there is,"
Bowman said. "You could probably throw a holding
flag on any given play and you could probably not
throw it on any plays at all. It really goes out to the
judgment of the referee and whether he wants to call it.
"As a defensive player, you always think there's a lot
more holding than ever gets called and as an offensive
player, I'm sure they never think there is holding."

So I have this theory: I am fully
convinced that things generally
happen for the simple purpose of
pissing me off. (Don't even get me start-
ed on the Michigan loss this past week-
end.)
This theory generally applies to
sports. I mean, the Lakers, the Spartans,
Bobby Bowden - sooner or later, you
have to just assume responsibility for the
ills of the world.
I believe it is because of this that the
Yankees have continually qualified for
the World Series. It is for this reason that
they usually win. I don't know what I
did, who I bothered or when I screwed
up, but I'm certain that this whole Yan-
kees dynasty is, in many ways, my fault.
It was why I, a very big baseball
fan, had very little interest in this
year's Series. As I saw it, watching
and cheering for the Diamondbacks
would have been like watching "The
Godfather" and hoping that Sonny
doesn't die. You believe that Byung-
Hyun Kim can hold a ninth-inning
lead, but sooner or later, Carlo's going
to hit Connie and Sonny's going to get
shot on the causeway.
And then, like that, it's gone.
Let me explain my absolute glee at
watching Luis Gonzalez drive in the
winning run. No, not proper for mass-
production. But trust me, I was ecstatic.
Could it have really happened? Could a
team that I was hoping would win actu-
ally do it?
So I got to thinking. I'm from a sub-
urb of New York City (read: New Jersey)
and there's no doubt that a Yankees win
would have benefited the city. Maybe,
deep down, I wouldn't have minded so
much this year if the Yankees won it.
Nope - that's absurd. It would have
bothered me as much as eyer.
So my stream of consciousness led
me to another solution. Maybe, just
maybe, I realized that a Yankees win
would guarantee that the team would
break up. You know, like the 1998 Bulls.

They'd lose Paul O'Neill, Scott Brosius,
and a whole slew of pitifully average
players who only seem to succeed
because they wear pinstripes (see:
Chuck Knoblauch and Jorge Posada.)
Nah, that's ridiculous also.
I guess I just have to accept the fact
that something that I wanted actually
happened. Which is hard.
It's funny, though. I love how I can
cheer for a team like the Diamondbacks,
one that I'm far more used to making
fun of: People, they have a pool in center
field - does this seem like a city that
needs a baseball team or a waterpark?
I've always spoken out against expan-
sion. Baseball does not need more
teams; it needs far fewer. There are plen-
ty of convenience stores that are run far
more effectively than the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays or the Montreal Expos. I can
find a whole lot of people on death row
who have a better chance of being elect-
ed President than the Florida Marlins
have of ever making the playoffs again.
And yet here I am, thrilled that one of
my least favorite organizations in the
sporting world just won the World
Series.
And then I remember how I felt when
the Marlins won the Series four years
ago. I was thrilled - here was proof that
mid-market teams could win big.
And then like that, they were gone.
So now I'm concerned that the Dia-
mondbacks are going to be broken up
during the offseason.
It's going to have to happen sooner or
later. Randy Johnson's old. So is Curt
Schilling. Homegrown talent? Such
things don't exist in Phoenix.
This team was in it to win it. And
hopefully this one will stay in the game.
But I don't think they will. Why?
Because sooner or later, something
about this Series has to piss me off.

0

Legendary 'M' diving
coach Kimball retiring

By Jon Schwartz
Daily Sports Editor

Dick Kimball, who has coached
Michigan's diving programs for the
past 43 years, announced his resigna-
tion yesterday, effective at the end of
the 2001-2002 athletic season.
"I just felt like it was the right
time," Kimball said.
Kimball is the last remaining mem-
ber of Michigan's athletic department
who was hired by former Athletic
Director Fritz Crisler, who left the
position in 1968.
"We're a very close family at the
pool and Dick has talked on and off
over the last couple of years about his
future and what he wants to have hap-
pen and when," Michigan women's
swimming coach Jim Richardson
said. "So this decision was made
known to all of us some time ago."
In discussing his decision, Kimball
noted several factors which led him to
leave the University. First and fore-
most, he noted how much more diffi-
cult the recruiting process has
become in recent years. Whereas in
the past, he would sign many walk-
ons who attended his camps, recruit-
ing has now become a year-long
struggle.
"I still enjoy the coaching part very
much," Kimball said, but he noted
that "it's a lot more difficult than it
used to be."
During his career, Kimball coached
nine swimmers to Olympic medals
and served as an assistant coach for
the U.S. National Team five times. He
also received numerous honors from
the Big Ten and NCAA for his work,
which included five NCAA champi-

onships.
"Not only are we losing a great div-
ing coach with the longest longevity
in the sport of collegiate diving, but
we are also losing a real good friend
of swimming," Michigan men's swim-
ming coach John Urbanchek said in a
statement released by the athletic
department. "All swimmers appreci-
ate his dedication and I'm sure they
will miss his joking personality and
presence at the pool on a daily basis."
Kimball coached just the men's
team for his first 16 years at Michi-
gan before assuming control ofMthe
women's team 27 years ago.
"If you compare what he is in div-
ing to other sports, he's the Vince
Lombardi, he's the Dean Smith, he's
the Bear Bryant in his sport,"
Richardson said. "He will go down in
history as arguably the greatest diving
coach ever.
Kimball's name is well-known
throughout the diving world. Many
coaches from programs that compete
with Michigan understand what the
sport is losing.
"Dick Kimball is the true meaning
of loyalty and giving you everything
he has in his life to offer," Florida
diving coach Donnie Craine said. "He
is the greatest inspiration in my
coaching career and only second to
my father in the inspiration of my life.
You will never find a greater man or
coach than Dick Kimball."
While Kimball may be leaving the
University, he made it very clear that
his'heart still lies with Michigan.
"I bleed blue and yellow," he said.
"It hurts me just as much to see the
football team get beat as it does any-
one else."

Jon Schwartz can be reached at
jlsz@umich.edu. *

Relationship between
Blue stars improving

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily
Jason Copen is just one of many divers who have been influenced by Dick Kimball.
JOIN DAILY SPORTS.

WE KNOW HOW TO BEAT
MICHIGAN STATE AT FOOTBALL.
DAILY 10, STATE NEWS 6.
THAT'S FIVE IN A ROW FOR US.

As Michigan's two leading scorers
this past season, junior LaVell Blan-
chard and sophomore Bernard Robin-
son formed a dynamic duo that
garnered respect from opposing defens-
es.
But the duo's problem was that they
didn't always get --
along, and the BASKETBALL
respect for each Notebook
other wasn't at its
best.
"The relationship wasn't there like
we wanted," Robinson said. "But now
it's getting better and we're working on
it."
Robinson said that the two didn't talk
very much last year and didn't get a
chance to build the chemistry they
needed to be a forceful combination on
the floor.
A mild-mannered and quiet Blan-
chard could easily have been misled by
the body language of Robinson, whose
off-the-court issues last season got in

the way of Blanchard's "team first" and
"just win" attitude.
"I think were weren't talking like we
were supposed to," Robinson said. "We
weren't speaking on another level with
each other"
Robinson said that things have
changed and that he sees a closer-knit
group of Wolverines that can translate
to a better performance on the court.
"But now everyone, including me
and LaVell, have come together and are
so close:' Robinson said. "And that's
why we've been doing so well in prac-
tice."
Blanchard agrees. He says that he
hangs out with Robinson off the court
sometimes, but mostly in a group set-
ting with his other teammates.
Robinson "is a great player and hope-
fully we can play together and get some
wins,"Blanchard said.
Robinson was suspended for last
Sunday's exhibition, and Blanchard sat
out the second half due to a nagging
-ankle injury, but Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said he expects both to
practice this week.
MAKING A POINT: Michigan's starting
lineup on Sunday was affected not only
by Robinson's absence, but also by
Amaker's assessment of each player's
performancein practice.
The Wolverines' starting five consist-
ed of Blanchard, Chris Young and Leon
Jones, along with Gavin Groninger and
fifth-year senior Mike Gotfredson at the
point - a position which Amaker said
is hotly-contested.
Gotfredson, a scrappy and defensive-
minded guard who reminds teammates
and coaches of former Duke antagonist
Steve Wojciechowski, began the game
at the point. But Avery Queen, who
started the majority of the games last
season, played 28 minutes.
"I like the fact that we've created a
competitive environment between our
practices and I think it sends a mes-
sage." Amaker said. "It's imnortant thatg&

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On November 6, 2001 @ 7:00pm
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