Thbe sidirbtiau dyi
JANUARY 8, 2002
Blue seniors still have
an impressive legacy
By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Editor
Following Michigan's 45-17 defeat at
the hands of Tennessee in the Florida
Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day, it
would have been very easy to look back
on the Wolverines' 8-4 season and pro-
claim it a complete failure.
In some ways, that may be true.
When you consider that Michigan lost
to both Michigan State and Ohio State
= the latter loss cost the Wolverines the
Big Ten championship - it's hard to
consider this season much of a success.
But, if you take into account that
more than half of Michigan's offense
from last season played in the NFL this
year, then this year's up-and-down edi-
tion of the Wolverines certainly has
some things to be proud of.
"I don't think any of the disappoint-
ments they faced kept them from play-
ing hard," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said the day after the Citrus Bowl
defeat. "I think they'll be able to look
back with pride, with respect to the fact
that they played hard and they never
pointed a finger when things went bad
because that's what can destroy a team."
Ironically , one of Michigan's best
overall performances of the year came
in a loss at Washington on Sept. 8. The
Wolverines quieted the vaunted Husky
Stadium crowd and were in control of
the game until the Huskies scored on a
pair of flukish plays - a blocked field
goal which was returned for a 77-yard
score, and an interception return for a
touchdown on the very next posses-
That game was just the start of what
would become one of the more bizarre
seasons in school history. Michigan's
loss at Michigan State - remember the
phantom final second? - and victory
at Wisconsin (thank you, Brett Bell)
will be talked about for decades to
Unfortunately, thesame can be said
for Michigan's performances against
Ohio State and Tennessee to close out
the season. Those two losses will no
doubt go down as two of the worst out-
ings by a Michigan football team in
recent memory, and have tarnished the
legacy of the departing senior class.
"Most of all, I feel badly for our sen-
iors because that's a memory they're
going to have," Carr said. "As a senior,
Michigan's 45-17 Citrus Bowl loss to Tennessee was especially disappointing for senior linebacker Larry Foote.
you never get another opportunity."
Although the season may not have
ended as it would have liked, Michi-
gan's senior class made its mark during
the season. Two players stand out in
particular - wide receiver Marquise
Walker and linebacker Larry Foote.
Walker put together one of the finest
seasons ever by a Michigan receiver. He
caught 86 passes for 1,143 yards and 11
touchdowns, numbers which earned
him All-America honors from the
American Football Coaches Associa-
Meanwhile, Foote was the anchor of
a much-improved Michigan defense. A
year after posting some of the worst
defensive totals in school history, the
Wolverines led the Big Ten in scoring
defense, and Foote was a major reason
why. He was voted the Big Ten Defen-
sive Player of the Year by both the
coaches and the media for his efforts.
Following the Citrus Bowl defeat,
Foote was asked about his disappoint-
ment in the wake of such a bad loss.
"It's very tough, but I'm leaving with
my head up," he said. "It's been a rough
year, but I've learned a lot. I just thank
God that I came to Michigan."
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
Some things never change - or have
When Tommy Amaker declared both
sophomore Josh Moore and freshman
Marcus Bennett academically ineligible
prior to the Wolverines' 88-58 victory
over Eastern Michigan two weeks ago,
it exuded resemblances of the program's
Bennett, a late May pickup after the
loss of JaQuan Hart, will be the seventh
Michigan freshman in the past four
years to not even make it to his sopho-
Michigan has a dismal 19-percerit
graduation rate, according to latest
"Michigan is an educational institu-
tion," Athletic Director Bill Martin said
after the game. "And we have to protect
University Professor and NCAA Fac-
ulty Representative Percy Bates said that
Amaker is trying to remedy the situation
by both recruiting players who can han-
dle Michigan's academic standards and
cleaning out players who can't keep up.
Meanwhile, he's beefed up the academic
advising and support staff.
"I would say that it's been tightened,"
Martin said. "It's now more oversight
- day in and day out. While there are
no new programs or more staff, there's
Buckeyes' fast start a
surprise in Big Ten,
C oDssdNyYgMLVsOfHIK yUa.Y
Center Josh Moore is academically ineligible and must sit out the rest of this year.
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor
Illinois coach Bill Self said that few
coaches are happier starting the new
year than Ohio State's Jim O' Brien.
And who could blame him?
The Buckeyes, after receiving few
preseason accolades, are 10-2 overall
in the Big Ten, as BASKETBALL
they share the Nobok
top spot with otebook
Michigan. Ohio State is coming off a
stunning upset over then-No. 7 Iowa
in Columbus last Saturday, and
O'Brien said that in the first half his
Buckeyes played the best they had all
"I think collectively we're doing a
better job on the defensive end,"
O'Brien said. "Our shot selection,
how we're shooting (51-percent aver-
age from the floor), and how we've
adjusted defensively are things I'm
most happy about"
After losing two-time Big Ten
Defensive Player of the Year Ken
Johnson, few expected the Buckeyes
to make their presence felt in the con-
"We've had to make some adjust-
ments defensively - we've been
spoiled the past few years having Ken
Johnson on our team," O'Brien said.
"With his ability to block shots, guys
on the perimeter got complacent
guarding their man and we've had to
break some bad habits."
While it's still early, Ohio State has
gained the praise of many Big Ten
coaches, as Self said, they're "playing
the best of any team right now"
But Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
"Ohio State was a team I picked as
my sleeper team," Izzo said. "I just
think they have very good guards,
very good defensively and very well
O' Brien said it is too early to tell
how his team can handle the Big Ten
grind, admitting that they still have a
lot of flaws and that Iowa and Illinois
are still the best teams.
TAYLOR OUT?: After having back
spasms during warm-ups before Sat-
urday's loss at Minnesota, Michigan
State's point guard Marcus Taylor is
expected to see some action tonight
when the Spartans travel to Indiana.
Team doctors "think they've
relieved some pressure on the mus-
cle," Izzo said yesterday. "I think a
vertebrae in his lower back popped
out and they're trying to pop it back
in. The spasm, I think, was the prob-
lem. I do expect him to play some
tonight - how much, I don't know."
WITH HONORS: Both Michigan soph-
omore guard Bernard Robinson and
Ohio State senior guard Boban Sovav-
ic were named co-Big Ten Players of
the Week for the first time in their
careers yesterday. Sovavic averaged
16 points and six assists in Ohio
State's two victories last week. Robin-
son averaged 18 points in Michigan's
Senior center Chris Young says that
there's been more interaction with aca-
demic advisors this year under Amaker
than there's been in the past.
"He's got a lot of people besides our
one main academic advisor to help us,"
said Young, who's 19 credits away from
graduating. "He sets up meetings with
advisors from different departments. We
basically talk to people about our aca-
demics a ton"
In .the case of Moore, who was dis-
missed for poor grades, Bates said that
the sophomore's nagging back troubles
could have had lingering effects on other
aspects of his life including school.
"When the thing that they are given a
scholarship for doing is taken away, it
often affects them psychologically,"
Bates said. "When you get hurt, very
depressed and when you're down it has
According to team sources, Moore
won't be given a medical redshirt as
long as he's academically ineligible,
which will mean that the center will
lose a season of eligibility before his sit-
uation is re-addressed this summer.
Rumors have been swirling about
Moore transferring, and some of his
teammates are skeptical about whether
he'll return to the Wolverines. Moore
didn't address the team as a whole, but
did speak with some teammates indi-
vidually about his situation.
"I hope he comes back, but I'm not
sure," junior Gavin Groninger said. "He
told me that he had a lot to think about"
RLANDO, Fla. - Sitting in
my hotel room after the Flori-
da Citrus Bowl, I was search-
ing for a way to put a period at the
end of this Michigan sason.
I expected to spend the night recov-
ering from New Year's Eve. I wasn't
prepared to be dwelling on the worst
bowl loss in Michigan history.
Was it so long ago that Michigan
was on top of the world heading into
East Lansing? Wasn't it just a month
and a half ago that Michigan was a
home win against Ohio State away
from the Sugar Bowl? Hadn't Michi-
gan won four straight bowl games,
including two of the previous three
But when my roommates had long
since gone to sleep and staring at the
wall got boring, I thought had it fig-
ured out. This was, quite simply, the
most forgettable season of Michigan
football that I could remember. It's
not a new thought, but it was enough
to get me to sleep. Why bother
dwelling on it, right?
They can't all be great, and I can
deal with that. Florida State was also
8-4 this season. Who's to say that
Michigan can't fall to that level every
once in a while. It's not like great
things were expected from this sea-
son. Most preseason predictions accu-
rate - 8-4, 9-3, somewhere in that
That worked - for a little while.
But I soon realized that I was taking
advantage of a luxury I didn't have.
Most of us get four seasons as a stu-
dent. I've used up three. I have just
I'm not going to play the game
where I get all self-righteous and
claim that I deserved better from my
team, because that's just not true.
Every team has down years; I was just
unlucky enough to get stuck with one
of them. Students from years past
have dealt with rough years, and I can
guarantee the Wolverines of the future
that they will, too.
But selfish or not, I can't deny the
attachment that I, and all the students
at Michigan feel for this team. There
are far more Michigan fans than there
are students here this semester, but
they all have a lifetime left of Michi-
gan football; I have a season left as a
It's just that this idea is what makes
college football so different from any
other sport. As a college student, you
feel a certain sort of ownership over
your team. Their trials are your trials,
their wins yours also. I know that I
have an Mcard in my wallet which
gives me the indisputable right to
cheer for Michigan, usually one of the
top teams in the country. When you
enroll here, you don't jump on the
bandwagon or become a front-runner.
The right to support is a given.
The Mets were in the World Series
at the beginning of my sophomore
year. I have been a Mets fan since I
could pick up a mitt. I live just out-
side New York, and the 2000 World
Series was the end of my first full
season away from the area. But their
success didn't mean any less to me
than it would have had I been home.
It was a bit harder to find passionate
people to watch with, but I cared just
as much. I don't tie myself to the New
York area, I tie myself to the Mets.
But if Michigan wins the national
championship in six years, it will be
different for me. Sure, I'll still be
enthusiastic and excited, but it won't
be the same. I don't see myself
going as crazy as I did when Michi-
gan beat Ohio State my freshman
year, when it won the Orange Bowl
on a missed extra point or even
when the Wolverines beat Auburn in
the Citrus Bowl last year. I tie
myself more to the University than I
do to the Wolverines.
This past football season was
extremely disappointing for everyone
who watched. But forgettable? Not a
chance. I know that I'll never forget
watching the highs and miserable
lows that this season brought.
M' gets gift from fresh man walk-on
By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan hockey team knew that
it would need players to step up in the
absence of its departed starters over
winter break. The coaches were looking
in the direction of their captains to fill
the void, but they knew that some of the
scoring slack would have to be picked
up by freshmen.
It came as no surprise when Michael
Woodford and Milan Gajic stepped up
their scoring over the break. But the
Michigan coaches did not expect fresh-
man walk-on Charlie Henderson to
provide some of the offensive firepow-
Henderson emerged over the winter
break to earn a spot on a line with veter-
ans John Shouneyia and Mark Mink.
The first sign of his potential came
against Harvard when he scored his first
career goal to give Michigan the lead in
the third period.
"I just got an opportunity to get in
there and show what I can do," said
Henderson, an East Lansing native.
Freshman forward Charlie Henderson caught his coaches' eye over the break.
"I've had some help from my team-
mates, and they help me to play. Luckily
I've been able to play well and get some
Henderson then continued to play
above expectations by notching a goal
and an assist in the GLI, putting togeth-
er a three-game point scoring streak. He
was rewarded for his effort and his hard
work when he was placed on the top
line for the Notre Dame series.
Henderson continued to display the
hard work that put him on the line
against the Fighting Irish and assisted
on Mink's game-winning goal Satur-
While it was the first time the fresh-
man has received significant playing
time, it is not his first break. When he
got his acceptance letter from Michigan,
there were no open spots on the Michi-
gan roster. But the departure of Andy
Hilbert forced the coaches to give an
open casting call for an extra forward.
Henderson's speed, grit and on-ice
awareness impressed the coaching staff
enough to award him the last spot in the
lineup. His hard work and willingness to
do the dirty work on the ice has been a
hallmark of his playing style in practice.
"It was great to see him walk onto the
team and with hard work ,show what he