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March 25, 2002 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-25

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 25, 2002 - 3B

WRESTLING

CHAMPIONSHIPS

ALBANY, N.Y.

APHAEL
OODSTEIN

Disappointments abound for Michigan
No. 1 ranked and three-time All-American Olson falls in semifinals, places fifth
By E& CI=~
Dail Sports Writer______________

ALBANY, N.Y. - Coming into the
NCAA Wrestling Championships,
Michigan had the highest of expecta-
tions. After a disappointing third-place
finish at Big Ten Championships, the
Wolverines were hoping to rebound
with a strong showing at nationals. It
wasn't to be, though, as Michigan fin-
ished in a dismal ninth after coming in
as the No. 3 team in the nation. Top-
ranked Minnesota captured the NCAA
title for the second straight year.
"Obviously I'm disappointed. We
came in with high expectations, and we
didn't meet them," Michigan coach Joe
McFarland said. "We didn't wrestle the
kind of NCAA tournament we want-
ed."
Michigan's downfall came on the
second day of the tournament. With
five wrestlers in the quarterfinals, it
looked as though the Wolverines would
be contending for a top-three finish.
But everything came apart as Michigan
lost nine of the 12 matches wrestled on
that day.
The Wolverines didn't send a single
wrestler to the finals or even the conso-
lation finals. The highest finish came
from 174-pound senior Otto Olson,
who ended in fifth-place. Olson entered
the tournament undefeated as the No. 1
seed, but he failed to come through for
the national title in his last season at
Michigan. The now three-time All-
American advanced to the semi-finals
but was upset by the No. 4 seed, Prince-
ton's Greg Parker, 12-8. Parker, who
became the first All-American from
Princeton since 142-pounder John Orr
in 1985, looked up at the scoreboard at
the end of the match and looked
shocked that he had just upset the top-
seeded Olson.
"I was the underdog out there, and
the crowd was really behind me;' Park-
Bottoming out
Michigan finished in a disappointing
ninth place, but the Big Ten was
still well represented, with five
teams in the top 10. Here are the
final standings.
Tem Points
1. Minnesota 126.50
2. Iowa State 104.00
3. Oklahoma 101.50
4. Iowa 89.00
5. Oklahoma State 82.50
6. Ohio State 64.50
7. Lehigh 61.00
8. Nebraska 54.00
9. Michigan 51.00
10. Illinois 47.50

NCAA isforc
some difficuL
ne year ago, I ate lunch with 1
a prominent player from the
Michigan basketball teams ;
of the early and mid-'90s and got +
into a discussion about Eddie L. I
Martin. He told me a story about a +
conversation that he had with a
teammate regarding Ed Martin.
Before they knew it, they were talk-1
ing about what would happen if 7
Martin offered them money. How
would they react?
Would they tell Maybe the NCA
anyone? players money.
Would they take NCAA allows pl
the money? out a loan, at le
When the con-
versation was over, moderate what
the two agreed that-
if offered, they probably would have
taken the money.
Martin's indictment taints the
legacy of the Fab Five and the other
Michigan teams of the mid-'90s,
one of the most successful times in
Michigan's storied history. It's pos-
sible that victories will now turn
into forfeiture, and banners will be
brought down - just as they
should be.
But ultimately, the NCAA needs
to decide how it is going to prevent
what happened at Michigan from
happening at other programs.
Because it does happen. Ed Martin
had an influence at more schools
than just the University of Michi-
gan. And to believe that there aren't
other Ed Martins at other schools is
naive.
So what is the NCAA to do?
Is making an example out of
Michigan going to deter other play-
ers from taking money? The NCAA
making an example out of Michigan
would only hurt people who are not
related to Ed Martin. Tommy Amak-
er had nothing to do with Ed Mar-
tin. And if the NCAA is looking for
justice, why not go after Steve Fish-
er at San Diego State? At this point,
so many years, coaches and losses
later, hitting Michigan with serious
sanctions shouldn't be a viable
option. Athletic Director Bill Mar-
tin is right when he says that Michi-
gan has been on de facto probation
for years.
Also, the NCAA realizes that
whenever a program the size and
stature of Michigan commits such
egregious acts, it reflects poorly on
more than just the university. It also
reflects poorly on the NCAA.
So what's the NCAA to do? Pay

1
fe
f

to answer

questions
players? Personally, I think it would
be a sad day to see a university sign
a high school recruit to a million
dollar contract. This would ulti-
mately make college sports the
equivalent of what Major League
Baseball is, where the teams that
will pay the most will get the best
players. The NCAA realizes this is
not in its best interest, so it's doubt-
ful this will ever happen.
Would a
M should loan stipend help? This
... If the is what the player
Layers to take with whom I ate
esItcoutake lunch with sug-
last It could gested. But I tend
's going on. to doubt that it
_ - would help a
whole lot. If Chris Webber felt like
everyone was making money off of
him - from Nike to Mr. Spot's -
while he didn't have enough money
to go out at night, it's likely that he
still would have taken Ed Martin's
money. So while giving a stipend
would probably help players to an
extent, it probably wouldn't prevent
players from taking a large sum of
money when the opportunity comes
along.
Maybe the NCAA should loan
players money. After all, the NCAA
allows for certain players to take
out a $1,000,000 insurance policy,
which is ultimately paid back. Isn't
that a loan? And if the NCAA
allows players to take out a loan, at
least it could then moderate what is
going on.
So how will this end for Michi-
gan? My guess is it will get off,
relatively speaking. The NCAA
probably won't damage Michigan's
future, since it did everything it
could to rid itself of Martin. What
happened Thursday isn't really
even much of a black eye for
Michigan. That black eye came five
rounds ago. Everyone has known
for years that Ed Martin was paying
these players.
But regardless of what the NCAA
does to Michigan, the NCAA needs
to realize that somewhere there are
two basketball players asking each
other if they should take dirty
money. And the NCAA needs to
figure out what it's going to do to
prevent these players from taking
the money.
Raphael Goodstein can be reached at
raphaelg@umich.edu.

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Despite his No. 1 seed, sixth-year senior Otto Olsen finished the NCAA Championships in sixth place with a 4-2 record.

er said. "I just wrestled as hard as I
could, and it worked out for me. To beat
a guy from a Big Ten school like
Michigan really gives our small pro-
gram some credibility. The competition
level in our wrestling room just gets
better every day."
In the consolation bracket, Olson lost
to defending national champion Josh
Koscheck of Edinboro, who Olson had
beaten before. Olson rebounded in the
fifth-place match against Rick Spring-
man of Penn. In the final match of his
illustrious college wrestling career,
Olson pulled off a close 5-4 victory
over Springman.
None of the nine Michigan wrestlers
who qualified for the NCAA tourna-
ment finished at or above his seed
except for sixth-seeded 157-pound
Ryan Bertin, who finished sixth. The
redshirt freshman claimed his All-
America status by mechanically
wrestling through the tournament, not
upsetting any higher seeds or being
upset in the process.
"It felt good, but I knew I just had to
keep wrestling to go after third place,"
Bertin said of his win over Ohio State's
Josh Janson to become an All-Ameri-
can.
Senior Andy Hrovat and redshirt jun-

ior Kyle Smith each finished in sev-
enth-place to claim All-America status.
For both wrestlers though, the All-
America title was no consolation prize
for the team's poor finish.
"Yeah sure, maybe when I'm old
and I look back on it, it (being an All-
American) will be nice, but not now,
"Hrovat said. "Right now, I'm just dis-
appointed in how I finished."
A.J. Grant and Mike Kulczycki -
both All-Americans last year - were
unable to make it past the second day
of competition. In an ironic twist of
fate, Grant wrestled former Michigan
wrestler and current North Carolina
standout Chris Rodrigues. Rodrigues,
the nation's top recruit in 2000, came
to Michigan with hopes of starting for
the Wolverines in his first year. But-
Grant had different ideas as he beat
out Rodrigues for the 125-pound spot.
Realizing he wouldn't be able to com-
pete at Michigan for the next two
years, Rodrigues transferred to North
Carolina, where he immediately
became the team's star wrestler.
Grant jumped out on Rodrigues
early in the match and was winning in
the second period, but Rodrigues
caught him on his back and pinned
him. The loss eliminated Grant from

the tournament and prevented the jun-
ior from improving on his fourth-place
finish at last year's NCAA Tourna-
ment. Rodrigues went on to become an
All-American by finishing in eighth
place.
"I'm really happy for (Rodrigues).
He's a great wrestler, and he proved
that round after round," McFarland
said. "It's not a sore spot for me. I'm
real-proud of him."
Individual NCAA champions were
Fresno State's Stephen Abas, Okla-
homa State's Johnny Thompson, Iowa
State's Aaron Holker, Minnesota's
Jared Lawrence and Luke Becker,
Iowa State's Joe Heskett, West Vir-
ginia's Greg Jones, Lehigh's Rob
Rohn, Iowa State's Cael Sanderson
and Ohio State's Tommy Rowlands
from 125 pounds to heavyweight,
respectively.
The best match of the tournament
came from Lehigh's Rohn in the
finals, when down 14-5 to Oklahoma's
Josh Lambrecht in the third period, he
hit a front headlock roll, a move Rohn
calls "the Special" to put Lambrecht to
his back. With 17 seconds left in the
match, the pin was called and the
14,000 fans in attendance exploded to
their feet in applause.

T!7

Iowa State's Sanderson ends
career in style with title No. 4

By Eric Cm
Daily Sports Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. - There are hundreds of All-
Americans. There are handfuls of Hall of Famers.
There is only one "greatest of all time;" and there is
only one Cael Sanderson.
At the NCAA Championships this past weekend,
Sanderson captured an unfathomable fourth straight
national title and joined Oklahoma State legend Pat
Smith as the only wrestlers ever to accomplish this
feat. Sanderson bettered Smith, though, in the fact that
Sanderson never lost - ever. The Iowa State 197-
pounder finished his career with a record of 159-0.
Sanderson was almost mechanical in his quest for
the NCAA crown. As 14,000 fans watched him -
some cheering, and some in awe - Sanderson
scored takedown after takedown on opponents
ranked in the top 20.
"I like to score as many points as possible ... work
as many of my shots as possible," Sanderson said. "I
always want to get better and better as the tournament
goes on."

Better? What's better than a pin? Sanderson won
his first two matches by fall, and his third match by
technical fall over No. 8 Jason Payne of Northern
Iowa, 23-8. The first "problem" Sanderson ran into
was Ohio State's No. 4 Nick Preston. Sanderson was
unable to pin or tech Preston and had to settle with an
18-7 major decision. Preston became just the second
wrestler all season to go a full seven-minute match
with Sanderson.
In the finals, Sanderson squared off against No. 2
Jon Trenge, a highly explosive sophomore from
Lehigh. In the first three rounds of the tournament,
Trenge managed to score three pins in a combined
time of just six minutes.
"Well, at the Midland Opens, he beat me 16-5, and
at the All-Star meet, he beat me 6-1," Trenge said
before the big matchup. "I need to find a way to score
on him offensively - which I haven't done yet - and
I also need to find a way to stop him from scoring on
me, which I also haven't done yet."
This time around, Sanderson won again 12-4. In the
history-making match, Sanderson showed nothing but
class as he stepped on the mat, wrestled, won and

DAILY SPORTS -
FOR $280 K, WE WOULD
KNOW HOW MANY TIMEOUTS
WE HAD LEFT.

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Cael Sanderson (top) handled Lehigh's Jon Trenge to
become the true undisputed champion of wrestling.
walked off. No strutting. No showboating. No dramat-
ic poses for the photographers.
As he walked towards the locker room corridor, the
crowd was on its feet and a thunderous applause filled
Pepsi Arena. The fans knew they had just witnessed
the last match of the sport's greatest.
"I don't think it's quite hit me what he's accom-
plished yet," Iowa State coach Bobby Douglas said.
"Maybe it will when I get home, sit down and have a
couple beers."

Milano

_ _

Poor defense ends streak at eight

By Duiel Brommer
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan water polo team
improved its conference win total to 13
on Saturday in Bloomington, while suf-
fering its lone conference setback of
the season on Saturday.
No. 13 Michigan (13-11 overall) bet-
tered to 13-1 in the Collegiate Water
Polo Association, after defeating No.
15 Indiana 9-7 and falling to.No. 15
Princeton 17-16.
In its morning game against Prince-
ton, Michigan jumped out to an early
. n ead behindgals from seniorl

lead over the Maize and Blue.
Michigan tied the score at 16 in the
fourth quarter, before giving up the
eventual game winner with less than
two minutes remaining.
Princeton won 17-16. The loss
snapped Michigan's eight-game win-
ning streak.
"(The girls) were probably more
angry about it than anything," Drury-
Pinto said about the loss. "We played
such poor defense."
Going into their second game against
host Indiana, Michigan was anxious to
recover from the morning's defeat.
"It made us want it just a little bit

things and it worked."
After trailing 2-1 against Indiana, the
Wolverines rallied to score three of the
next four goals and take a 4-3 halftime
lead.
The Hoosiers scored two quick goals
in the second half before the teams
traded goals back and forth. The
Wolverines were down 7-6 with less
than a minute to go when junior Julie
Nisbit netted the game-tying goal to
send the game to overtime.
"I was very excited that someone
stepped up," Drury-Pinto said. "To
have Julie step up was incredible."
The first overtime oeriod was all

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