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September 04, 2003 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-04

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- m

Thursday
September 4, 2003
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

PORTS

10A

Enough with
the sideshow,
Play some ball
Ipulled up ESPN.com yesterday to see what was
going on in the world of college football and was
hit with a deluge of decidedly non-football terms
like "banish" and "plea bargain." There were no less
than six headlines about players in trouble with the
NCAA or the law.
From busting car win-
dows to lying to police offi-
cers to verbally assaulting
them, it was all there.
A report that Washington
fullback Zach Tuiasosopo
had plead guilty to a misde-
meanor for smashing the COURTNEY
windows of four cars in a LEWIS
drunken rage came just The DailyGrind
before a headline announc-
ing that Pittsburgh quarter-
back Rod Rutherford had kicked in a car window
(just one?) at a nightclub. Also making news were
Arkansas's Shawn Andrews and Mark Pierce. The
former was cleared to play after accepting improper
gifts, but the latter was suspended because he was
arrested for being belligerent towards police officers.
Joining the not-so-distinguished list were Virginia
Tech's Marcus Vick and Brandon Manning, suspend-
ed for team rules violations. And, naturally, there was
an update on the never-ending Maurice Clarett
sideshow.
And this was just in one day. At this rate, it won't
be long before there will be enough players banned
from their teams that they could form their own team.
They could print mug shots instead of headshots in
the game programs, and for those without criminal
records, their bios could include the number of
NCAA violations right along with the number of
tackles and touchdowns.
This is the time of the season when the games are
often snoozefests - Saturday's Big Ten matchups of
Michigan State-Rutgers, Iowa-Buffalo and Ohio
State-San Diego State are prime examples. But this
year, the dullness of contender-versus-creampuff

Freshman keeper
facing new trials

By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer
Some freshmen may think they
have it tough these first few weeks of
school. With new roommates, new
classes, new teachers and a whole
new campus to figure out, many first-
year students are knee
deep in adjustments. But
if you think that's diffi- T IS
cult, try starting school ¢> hi°
with goalie Megan >> ut.
Tuura's schedule. Tm:4
As a freshman on the
Michigan women's soc- U-M:S
cer team, Tuura had .
already been training and
practicing for months by the time nor-
mal freshmen arrived for move-in.
Besides the regular "new" things, she
also has had to adjust to a new coach,
new teammates, new and more vigor-
ous competition outside the classroom
and a whole new lack of free time.
"Most kids can veg out and play
around on their summer vacations,
and I had to go run every day," Tuura
said.
"(With soccer) being a fall sport,
you don't really have a chance to ease
into the school year," Michigan coach
Debbie Rademacher said. "Basically
you're adjusting to college life while
you're thrown into a competitive situ-
ation right off the bat."
And for Tuura, "competitive situa-
tion" isn't warming the bench while
more senior teammates get first dibs
on playing time. This year she has
already seen quality time, starting in
Michigan's exhibition game against
North Carolina and in its first official
game against Brigham Young last

weekend.
"It was awesome, and that's an
understatement," Tuura said of her
first collegiate start. "I had absolutely
no idea that I was going to start, and
when they told me I wasn't even nerv-
ous at all."
"Basically she's challenging to be
our top keeper,"
Rademacher said. "And
EEKEND that's pretty good for a
.a freshman."
C.ry #${ Especially for a fresh-
man juggling both a
>.ay strenuous academic and
"' 'Vx athletic agenda. Still,
there are some advan-
tages freshmen athletes
gain over normal freshmen during the
first year of college.
"Just being on a team, you have an
automatic support system,"
Rademacher said.
Tuura agreed.
"You already have a whole commu-
nity you can go to whenever you need
help," Tuura said.
The freshman goalkeeper confessed
that she loves Ann Arbor, even though
sometimes she misses her busy home
city of Atlanta.
Homesickness doesn't seem to be
too much of a problem for Tuura and
her fellow freshman class as they
adjust to their new lifestyles this year.
They've already begun to make an
impact on the field - the young team
has stepped nicely into the shoes left
by the six starters who left last year.
And if these first-year athletes are
having success with the challenging
athletic side of their college careers,
conquering the nuances of university
life can't be too far behind.

AP PHOTO
Ohio State star tailback Maurice Clarett cheers his teammates on during Saturday's win over Washington.

games might be a welcome relief.
Of course, in Columbus on Saturday, the game
might be little more than a footnote. The focus will
likely be on the most disconcerting of the recent off-
the-field incidents, Ohio State running back Clarett's
filing of an exaggerated police report. Actually, the
ensuing investigation and verdict (or lack thereof) has
become almost a bigger mess than the superstar's ini-
tial offense.
In the offseason, the sophomore, who tore up
opposing defenses during the Buckeyes 2002 national
championship run, claimed that $10,000 worth of his
belongings was stolen from a vehicle he was driving.
It turned out Clarett exaggerated the value of the
items.
He went on to mislead NCAA and school investi-
gators, and there are also reports that Clarett broke
NCAA rules on accepting benefits.

But the real fun began when punishments began to
be dealt out. First, the deal was Clarett could continue
practicing but would miss at least three games. Then
his father told reporters the younger Clarett would be
suspended for six games. An official announcement
hasn't been made, but yesterday coach Jim Tressell
pulled Clarett from practice and the rumor was that
Clarett was done for the season.
But the way it's been going, who knows?
Whatever the final decision is, it should be made
soon. This - and the wave of misconduct occur-
rences across the NCAA - is tarnishing college
football. For the sake of the game and the fans, let's
hope the biggest headlines start being made on the
weekends again - and without all the legal jargon.
Courtney Lewis can be reached at cmlewis@umich.edu.

Freshmen duo struggles with early losses

By Jeremy Antar
Daily Sports Writer

Starting a season 0-2 is not a yearly
occurrence for Michigan field hockey
freshmen standouts Jill
Civic and Mary Fox. In -""'""".
fact, it's a first. Neither
Civic nor Fox lost back-to- h
back games at any point in
their high school careers.
Thus, the losses to North.Tie
Carolina and Wake Forest
were a biter pill to swallow, B
but Civic and Fox are far Chesm
from being down for the
count. They have dusted
themselves off and gone back to work.

The duo insists they've learned from
this new experience, and they are deter-
mined to help Michigan step into the
winners column by weeks end.
Civic said that the first two games
served as an eye opener,
making the Wolverines
EKEN realize that they will have
to work together to suc-
ceed. She knows that she
EC g is competing at a differ-
n. Satuday, ent level than she was a
>unday year ago, and that success
tn will not come as easy.
{ill. Ma. "It's better to take the
----- losses now and learn
from our mistakes," Civic
said.

At Emmaus High School in Pennsyl-
vania, Civic was named to the NFHCA
All-American team twice, recording
first-team honors her senior year. Civic
also tied a national record by scoring in
23 consecutive contests as a senior.
Fox was honored as an all-American
her senior year at Cor Jesu Academy in
Missouri, while being named the 2002
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the
Year.
Head coach Marcia Pankratz is excit-
ed about what Civic and Fox bring to
the table.
"Jill has a real knack for being able to
score," Pankratz said.
"Fox is a really good athlete with a
lot of potential."

Civic showed a flash of her ability
when she put in the Wolverines' first
goal of the season in their 4-2 loss to
Wake Forest on Monday.
As for Pankratz's expectations for the
standout freshmen:
"All that we ask is that they come and
work as hard as they can andlearn as
much as they can and be coachable, and
they have all done that really well."
Despite the 0-2 record, both Civic
and Fox are enjoying their first few
weeks in Ann Arbor, and they credit
that to their teammates.
"The girls are great," Civic said.
"They don't look at you as freshman,
they just look at you as another player
trying to make an impact on the team."
The first two losses were not the only
change that Civic and Fox have encoun-
tered on the field so far this season.
The adjustment from being the leader
on their high school teams to following
examples on the Michigan squad is not
necessarily an easy one. But both Civic
and Fox look at it from a glass-is-half-
full point of view.
They acknowledged that being sur-
rounded by so much talent and playing
against fierce competition in practice on
a daily basis will make them better
players.

TOM FELDKAMP/Daily
Michigan field hockey coach Marcia Pankratz takes a hands-on approach to
coaching her team.

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