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March 17, 2003 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 17, 2003 - 3B

'M' goes into spring with pieces in place


By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr is "fired up."
While he readily admitted that his excitement
regarding the 2003-04 football season is no differ-
ent than in any other year, Carr has plenty to be
fired up about.
The Wolverines participated in the first of 15
spring practices Saturday morning, and for the first
time since spring practice of 1989, they return their
top passer (John Navarre), top rusher (Chris Perry)
and top receiver (Braylon
The Wolverines also boast an ,
experienced, proven offensive 4i~
line for the first time since the
graduation of Michigan's NFL-
caliber line of 2000-01, as seven
linemen with significant playing
experience return. All-Big Ten performers Tony
Pape and David Baas, along with young stalwarts
Matt Lentz and Adam Stenavich, should give the
Wolverines a solid base to build around.
But who will be the featured back when offensive
coordinator Terry Malone calls the fullback screen?
Who will Navarre count on when confronted with a
tough third-down conversion? Without B.J. Askew
and Bennie Joppru, these are questions the Wolver-
ines must begin to answer during spring practice.
The incumbent at fullback entering spring prac-
tice is junior Sean Sanderson, but Carr continued

to be non-committal about whether Sanderson is
his guy.
Former blue-chip wide receiver Tim Massaquoi,
who made the switch to tight end last season, should
be Carr's best option at tight end. While Mas-
saquoi's 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame is smaller than a
traditional tight end, his speed (4.5 second 40-yard
dash) and added agility will contribute to a Michi-
gan offense that has the ability to stretch the field.
Carr said that his first priority with Massaquoi will
be helping him learn the tight end position, but once
Massaquoi is comfortable, Carr would consider
using him as a fullback or "H-back," much like for-
mer fullback Aaron Shea.
There aren't many holes in Michigan's first-string
skill positions, but finding some dependable depth
is a huge concern for Carr and his staff. Juniors
David Underwood and Tim Bracken will have first
dibs on the back-up positions behind Perry, but Carr
is planning to take a long look at redshirt freshmen
Pierre Rembert and Darnell Hood.
Edwards has established himself as the No. 1
receiving option, and as of Saturday, he has the jer-
sey to back it up. Edwards asked for the No. 1 jer-
sey, and Carr rewarded the junior accordingly. But
who will be Navarre's No. 2 option? Sophomore
Jason Avant has a good chance at winning the start-
ing role, but seniors Tyrece Butler and Calvin Bell,
junior Jermaine Gonzales and redshirt freshmen
Steve Breaston and Carl Tabb will all have a chance
to earn playing time at receiver.
A YOUTH MOVEMENT: Michigan senior linebackers

Carl Diggs and Zach Kaufman will not participate
in spring practice due to nagging knee injuries. Carr
said that neither injuries should be career-threaten-
ing and that both should be ready for fall practice.
While the two returning starters from last season
will sit out, sophomore Lawrence Reid and junior
Roy Manning, who missed all of last season, will
get a great chance to get back in the swing of things.
But the main question at linebacker is how will
sophomore Pierre Woods, formerly a defensive end,
adjust to his move to the SAM linebacker position?
Woods, one of the best athletes on the team, was one
of the Wolverines' top special teamers last season.
Michigan defensive coordinator Jim Hermann said
after the Outback Bowl that he and his staff would
have to make an effort to get Woods on the field,
and it looks like Woods will have every chance to
earn a starting role next season.
SAFETY FIRST: The Wolverines lost three safeties
(Cato June, Charles Drake and Julius Curry) to
graduation, making the competition at safety one
of the most important things to watch at spring
New defensive backs' coach Ron English will be
counting on sophomore Ernest Shazor to take con-
trol at one spot, while the second spot will be up for
grabs between senior Jon Shaw, sophomore Jacob
Stewart and redshirt freshman Willis Barringer.
Carr indicated that the pecking order at safety
could change once freshmen blue-chippers Ryan
Mundy, who was watching practice Saturday, and
Prescott Burgess arrive on campus in the fall.

A jourt
title tin
M aryland mayI
NCAA Tour;
but I think al
a shot this year. I will*
point by connecting al
mentioning Tulsa three
ing this one) for no.go
huge, random Kevin-B
game special.
Let's start with South
Why? Well, for one thi
Fort Wagner, S.C., whi
near Wagner Universit
injured Cleveland Cava
Dajuan Wagner played
last year, but he follow
of the Cincinnati
Bearcats by not grad-
uating. Brigham
Young graduates quite
a few players that also
take part in Mormon
missions, which
apparently take place
all over the world -



the national
65 schools

have won the face. Even if it were shaped like Ver-
nament last year, mont, Brees would get more chicks than
.165 teams have Utah's coach, Rick Majerus, who after
*prove* this his most recent plate of cheese fries
. 65 teams while weighs exactly 632 pounds, which is a
times (count- few hundred more than Central Michi-
od reason. It's a gan center Chris Kaman, who always
3acon-party- faces the flag during the national
anthem. The same cannot be said for
h Carolina State. Tori Smith, who goes to school on
ng, it is close to Manhattan Island, which Indians (but
ch is nowhere not the Fightin' Illini) traded away for
y. Recently- beads. All year, she has been doing her
aliers guard impression of Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf,
for Memphis who went by the name Chris Jackson
ed the example while playing point guard at Louisiana
State. My name is also
Syracuse has ifs own College Jackson, and my grand-
father attended
of Human Services, which Creighton.
coincidentally is the major of The Bluejays join a
70 percent of the basketball strong pool of Jesuit
institutions in the field,
players at Troy State. including Xavier, St.

Some players worried
about communication

Continued from Page 1B
I am. Now if I keep telling someone to do
the same thing over and over and over,
and I am not getting the results, then (I
say), 'Are you hearing what I am saying
to you? And if you are, then show me."'
But from what a second player on the
team said about Guevara's negativity, it
appears to be a problem no matter how
the team is doing on the court.
Said this player: "A teammate once
asked me, 'Does Coach G ever tell you
good job?' And I had to think about it for
awhile and was like, 'I guess not.' " The
,player added that if she did receive posi-
tive feedback, it was said under Gue-
vara's breath and not in front of the team.
The player said Guevara was notified
by members on the team about being
too critical during the season. The play-
er claimed her coach was more positive
after being addressed, but that there was
still room for improvement.
"I don't know anything about that,"
Guevara said, referring to the notifica-
tion about being too negative.
The player said the team sometimes
just stopped listeningto Guevara in
"Some people kind of tuned her out,"
the player said. "There were days when
I tuned her out. And then there were
days when I was receptive. I'm not sure
there were days we were all receptive.
"Coach G is just a very emotional per-
son," the player explained. "She wears
her emotion on her sleeve and when we
are losing and she is frustrated, she
admittedly wears her emotions on her
sleeve. I wish sometimes she had kept a
cooler head, because I think the team
feeds off that when she gets frustrated."
Others agreed Guevara's emotions
had a negative impact on the court.
Said another player on this year's
team: "When we were having our los-
ing streak, instead of playing to win, we
would play not to lose. Instead of stay-
ing composed and weathering the run,
sometimes I feel like we would get flus-
tered and panic. I feel like you feed off
the coaches sometimes."
One of the aforementioned players
also didn't approve of how much Gue-
vara made the team run during the
team's two bye weeks at the beginning
of January, when Michigan started 0-3
in conference play. The player described
this time as Guevara's "angry phase."
"That's not one I would have taken,"
the player said about Guevara's method
of making the team run more. "From a
player's perspective, it wasn't condition-
ing that was the problem."
The player said that the running was
unnecessary because everyone was
upset about losing, not just Guevara.
She added that the team's exhaustion
during practice would carry over onto
the court, saying, "It was obvious some-
times we were tired."
Needing a closer look
Although it might have been obvious
to the player, it actually could have gone
unnoticed by Guevara. After all, accord-
ing to some of the players, Guevara is
not close with most of the team and
does not know about the problems they
are going through.
"I can't go to her with all my prob-
lems, and sometimes I wish I could
have," a player on this year's team said.
Said another: "I don't really have (a
relationship with Guevara). I feel like if
I came in there to see how her day was
going, she would be like, 'What is
going on with her? What is wrong?"'
Guevara maintains that she tries to
understand the mood of the team and

not notice. I don't feel there is a great
concern for the players."
Guevara insists that even when she
does talk to her players, they aren't open
with her about their feelings.
"When I sit and talk to kids one-on-
one, I don't get that," Guevara said in ref-
erence to the player's anonymous
comments. One of the players on this
year's team conceded that Guevara could
not be solely blamed for the problem.
"It goes. both ways," the player said.
"They weren't knocking down our door,
but we weren't going to them either."
It should also be noted that some
players declined comment on the story,
some said the criticism they received
did not trouble them and a couple could
not be reached for comment.
Disturbing trend
There appears to be a history of poor
interpersonal relationships on the team,
as current players are not the only ones
to complain about a lack of a relation-
ship with Gievara. In Guevara's seven
seasons, six players have left the pro-
gram. Transferring is common in
women's basketballZ -Michigan and
Indiana both had three players transfer
in the 2000-01 season. Many of the
players that left cited a lack of playing
time as a major factor in their decision,
which is a problem at any school. But it
is alarming that many of the former
players also said poor communication
and a lack of a relationship with Gue-
vara played a big role in their decisions.
"I think in (Guevara's) case, she was
not a coach that every single player felt
comfortable going up to on or off the
court," said Michaela Leary, who
played just one year at Michigan (2000-
01) before transferring to George Wash-
ington. "As the season went on, I felt
less and less comfortable going up to
her ... There were really times when
(communication) was basically shut
down, and that really bothered me.
"I know Coach Guevara always has
good intentions, but is hard (for the
players) when you are going through a
tough experience."
Said another former player that left
the program and preferred to remain
anonymous: "I didn't really quit
because I didn't get playing time. I did-
n't think it was a friendly experience ...
"I would walk past her in the hallway
on the way to practice, and she didn't
say hi. I felt like I didn't exist."
Another former player that also
wished to remain anonymous said Gue-
vara did not even make an effort to keep
the player at Michigan when Guevara
discovered she was transferring. The
player claims Guevara pulled her into
the coach's office and handed the player
her transfer papers, which were already
signed before the player even talked to
Guevara about transferring.
"I hadn't even made up my mind," the
former player said. "I was undecided."
Mandy Stowe, who suddenly left the
program during her sophomore year
(1998-99) and later became the 2000-
01 Midwestern Collegiate Conference
Newcomer of the Year at Wisconsin-
Green Bay, had an even worse relation-
ship with Guevara than others that left.
Unlike the other players, Stowe thought
Guevara cared too much about her per-
sonal life.
"She wouldn't like it if my pants
were too tight, or I wore too much
makeup," Stowe said. "One time I went
to a tanning booth, and she said I was
more committed to tanning than basket-
ball," Stowe later added.
"I really started hating basketball,
going to the gym and being near the

including Oregon, where they can
cheer for Luke Ridnour and the Pac-10
Tournament Champion Ducks. But the
work of the Mormon church can be
undermined by all sorts of evil forces,
including the Arizona State Sun Devils,
the Duke Blue Devils and the one and
only Dukie Mouth Devil - Dick
Vitale, who runs a cancer foundation
for the late, great North Carolina State
coach Jimmy Valvano.
The state of North Carolina has no
motto, but it does have two other
schools in the field, UNC-Wilmington
and UNC-Ashville, the latter of which
will face Texas Southern in the play-in
game for the right to compete with No.
1-seed Texas. The Longhorns' alumni
association boasts a Heisman Trophy-
winning running back (Ricky Williams)
just like Pittsburgh (Tony Dorsett) and
Auburn (Bo Jackson).
Bo knows baseball, football and a
myriad of other things, but while watch-
ing at home, he doesn't have the first
clue who committed murder in the
made-for-TV mystery movie. But the
rest of us, especially those not educated
in Alabama, know that the butler did it.
Speaking of Butlers, Mark Butler is
the director of football The Estonia
operations at Tulsa,
where the Golden meansan
Hurricanes go to thunder-fil
school thousands of -
miles from the nearest Koueooaimd
ocean, much like Col- consecuti
orado State University, Take tha
which was the first

Joseph's, Marquette,
Gonzaga and Holy Cross - alma mater
of Bill Simmons, the self-proclaimed
Sports Guy of ESPN.com's Page2. Sim-
mons wrote a column this time last year
about his boys' 2001 near shocker
against Kentucky, which is actually the
birthplace of Austin Peay IV
The Blue Grass State was also the
home of a teenage Tom Cruise, who is
one of the leaders of the Church of Sci-
entology just like Earthlink Chairman
Sky Dayton, who has most likely never
seen the Dayton basketball team play
against Utah State given that those two
teams didn't face each other this year.
The Flyers also didn't play Syracuse,
which has its very own College of
Human Services, which coincidentally
is the major of 70 percent of the basket-
ball players at Troy State. The Trojans
are much better known for their football
team, which has a scheduled game
against the Florida Gators on Sept. 8,
2007. The state of Florida is home to
the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, who have absolutely noth-
ing to do with the East Tennessee State
But then again, that last sentence has
even less to do with Western Kentucky,

Sue Guevara and Steve Fisher were riding high in 1996, her first year as head coach.

assistant Yvette Harris, who was on
staff for Guevara's first season, and
stayed until she was fired after the
2000-01 season. According to Harris,
Guevara said she was unhappy with
recruiting. At the time, Michigan had
just reached the second round of the
NCAA Tournament for the second time
in school history and successfully
recruited current sophomore Tabitha
Pool a Miss Basketball Award winner
for the state of Michigan.
All interviewed players coached by
Harris approved of the former assistant.
None foresaw her termination.
"I thought Yvette was great. She was
very friendly," one of the former players
said. "Yvette was the only one that
made me feel welcome. I was kind of
surprised that Yvette got fired. I just
didn't understand it at all."
Said Leary: "All I saw Coach Harris
contribute to that program was positive.
She was a big part of me going there in
the recruiting process." Leary also
described Harris as a mother figure.
Just months after her dismissal, Har-
ris filed a $20-million lawsuit against
the University for racial discrimination,
age discrimination, defamation and
wrongful discharge. Harris, an African
American, claims in the lawsuit that she
was offered the position of head coach
by Oakland University in 1997. The
lawsuit also claims Harris stayed at
Michigan because Guevara "requested
and induced (Harris) to reject the offer
by giving (Harris) a raise." According to
the lawsuit, Guevara also "advised and
assured (Harris) repeatedly, on several
occasions, that her employment with
the University was secure, and as long
as (Guevara) was head coach, (Harris)
would be employed as the Assistant
Coach Recruiting Coordinator."
Harris claims Eileen Shea-Hilliard
- who is younger and white - took
over many of Harris' duties. Ironically,
Shea-Hilliard became the head coach of
Oakland University earlier this year.
Harris is now the head coach at Cen-

tral Connecticut State. Harris maintains
she is happy at her new school, but
described the firing as a "setback."
"I am 43 years old, and I have
worked in this business for 18 years,
and I'm not sure I can outlive the dam-
age done to my reputation," said Harris,
who also said being called a bad
recruiter is "the kiss of death."
Guevara declined comment on the
lawsuit because it is still in litigation.
The future
Despite the six transfers and the law-
suit, Athletic Director Bill Martin has
continued to openly support Guevara -
who does not have a contract - because
Guevara's players have consistently won
in the classroom, in the community and
on the court during her career.
Martin said that he will sit down
with Guevara and others in the athletic
department to discuss the team's prob-
lems, adding that he will know more
about the players' complaints in a
month. In the coming weeks, the ath-
letic department will conduct exit
interviews with the seniors and have
the rest of the team fill out written
evaluations, as it does with all pro-
grams. Martin did say, though, that
interpersonal relationships are impor-
tant in athletics.
Martin isn't the only one planning on
getting feedback from the players. Gue-
vara plans on sitting down one-on-one
with her players this week to give them
a "clear vision of what they have to do
to make us better," adding that she has
already decided to approach this offsea-
son differently than last year's.
"This year, I didn't want to talk about
last year. That was over and done with.
Well, you know what? I am certainly
going to talk about (this season) and
address it now."
The success of Guevara's program
not only depends on how the players
react to their coach this offseason, but
also how Guevara reacts to her players.

an word that
ticipation of
led night,"
us, has eight
ve vowels.

which is south and east
of the Madison and Mil-
waukee campuses of the
University of Wisconsin.
PETA is trying to
change the state bever-
age of Wisconsin from
milk to beer, which


school in the world to offer an MBA
degree over cable television. One of
cable TV's most visible redheaded hip-
pies, Bill Walton, has a son that plays
for Lute Olsen at Arizona, a state with a
pro football team called the Cardinals.
The Cardinals of Louisville may or
may not set up a nest in the Wake For- -
est, but either way, the Demon Deacons
rely on Lithuanian forward Vytautas
Danelius. Another former Soviet state,
Estonia, boasts no players in Division I
basketball. However, the Estonian word
that means "anticipation of thunder-
filled night," Koue65aimdus, has eight
consecutive vowels. Take that IUPUI!
Ron Hunter, who coaches this Indi-
anapolis-based acronym of a school,
once broke his leg while celebrating a
win over Youngstown State, which Ohio
State football coach Jim Tressel once
led to four Division I-AA national
Daily Sports Writer Jim Weber hails
from Columbus, and he never thought
of attending Weber State. Neither did
Southern Illinois coach Bruce Weber,
whose Saluki mascots (ancient Egypt-
ian dogs) can be seen in their natural
element in a zoo in San Diego.
The San Diego Chargers' star quar-
terback, Drew Brees, excelled at Purdue
despite the fact that he had a mole
shaped like the state of California on his

doesn't make sense
because America's oldest brewery is
actually in Pennsylvania, which houses
an Ivy League school that was also
named for William Penn. Mr. Penn was
born in London just like Connecticut
guard Ben Gordon, whose team never
won a game against a Big 12 opponent
this year in part because it is the best
conference in college basketball thanks
to Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State,
Colorado, and Missouri.
That conference is now home to for-
mer Indiana coaching legend Bobby
Knight, whose first loss at Texas Tech
came against lowly Sam Houston State,
whose coach has a degree from Missis-
sippi State. The other MSU in the field
of 65 wishes it had Marcus Taylor, who
chose to play with former Tulsa stand-
out Eric Cooley and the Sioux Falls
Skyforce rather than Izzo and the clan.
Former Spartan football player
Tyrone Willingham made a name for
himself this year at Notre Dame, beat-
ing his alma mater, as well as Stanford
and Maryland, which - as I said at the
beginning - was the last one dancing
in 2002.
Steve Jackson would like to thank David
Den Herder for the idea and Google for
the content. He can be reached at sjack-

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