September 11, 2003
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Daly Sports Editor
When Michigan linebacker Scott McClintock walks
onto the field Saturday, he'll see his opponent, and one
thing is for sure: He'll be well-versed in how to con-
McClintock is an avid reader of philosophical texts.
Recently, he's dived into Machiavelli's "The Prince",
Dante's "Inferno" and a book by famous surreal artist
"I don't want to be just about football," McClintock
said, "because there's a lot more to me than that."
It makes sense that McClintock, the junior from
Belle Vernon, Pa., enjoys escaping from football with
a thought-provoking book. He describes himself as
"more of a person who sits back and is more tenta-
tive," which explains why few of his teammates know
they've got a team philosopher sitting next to them in
"I'm not really boisterous with my ideas," said
McClintock, who is studying to be a high school
social studies teacher. "Maybe I should be. I don't tell
people I read stuff."
Offensive left guard David Baas, who was McClin-
tock's roommate this summer during training camp,
says he had no idea about McClintock's hobby.
"During camp, there's not a lot of time to sit down
and read, but I can definitely see Scott doing that
with his little glasses," said Baas, laughing. "If read-
ing philosophy makes him a better football player,
then go for it."
Whether it's his knowledge of philosophy or a work
ethic that would make any Western Pennsylvanian
Vandy athletic dept.
Michigan linebacker Scott McClintock is currently second on the team in tackles, having recorded 10 in the
Wolverines' first two games.
proud, McClintock has risen to the top of the Michi-
gan defense's depth chart entering the Wolverines'
titanic battle with Notre Dame. Through two games,
he's tied for second on the team with 10 tackles.
"He's impressive," defensive end Larry Stevens
said. "He's really aggressive, and he can hit. He's a
good player. He's a linebacker that, with experience
and more time with (defensive coordinator Jim) Her-
rman, can be a great player."
McClintock has made up ground on the depth chart
by working as hard as anyone during summer work-
outs and two-a-days to get into shape. He's increased
his knowledge of the Michigan defensive scheme by
dissecting film. McClintock also took advantage of
injuries to Carl Diggs, Zach Kaufman and Lawrence
Reid last season to garner crucial playing time against
The Michigan football team hasn't faced
much competiton thus far this season,
rolling over Central Michigan and Houston
by a combined score of 95-10.
omonow, The Michigan Daily will take a
look at Saturday's matchup with Notre
Dame - Michigan's first true test of the:
season - in Football Saturday.
Ohio State and Florida.
"(The experience last season) was very valuable,"
McClintock said. "Just the fact that we lost that game
(to Ohio State), it hurts to put that much into it and
come out the loser."
This season, McClintock will be an integral part of
whether Michigan wins or loses each week. As an
inside linebacker, he's forced to drop his tentative
nature and become the quarterback of the defense.
"You have to get the defensive linemen set up, and
if you don't do it fast enough, it could cause some
problems," McClintock said. "I've got to try and step
up and act like an older upperclassman, put the
younger stuff behind me and step into the role."
While Stevens readily admits that McClintock is
"no Mike Singletary,"known for his menacing stare as
a middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears, he's
impressed with the play-making ability McClintock
"If you see him at practice, he hits," Stevens said.
"The man will come out and hit."
McClintock says he gets a lot of his skills on the
football field from his grandfather, who played at
Georgia for one year. He described he and his grand-
father as "golfing buddies," and even though there's a
huge generation gap between them, they're able to talk
about everything - especially football.
"My grandfather has a bunch of video clips of (leg-
endary Illinois and Chicago Bears linebacker) Dick
Butkus, (Butkus) was one of his idols," McClintock
said. "I'd go watch films of Butkus, and he just made
the game look fun. He had no friends on the field."
If Machiavelli could talk football with McClintock,
he'd likely agree with that philosophy.
As he put it in "The Prince": "We have not seen
great things done in our time except by those who
have been considered mean; the rest have failed."
The Daily Grind
n Tuesday, Vanderbilt Univer-
sity's Chancellor, Gordon
Gee, announced that the
school will no longer have an athletic
But what initially looks like a dras-
tic step may be little more than sym-
bolism. Vandy is dropping the athletic
department, but not the athletics. All
14 of the school's varsity sports will
remain in place, and the Commodores
will still compete in the SEC.
According to Associated Press
reports, Vanderbilt plans to merge its
intercollegiate sports and its recre-
ational activities into a single depart-
ment - the Office of Student
Athletics. Athletic Director Todd
Turner will lose his current job but
has been offered a position as a spe-
cial assistant to Gee.
The result of the unprecedented
merger is that Vanderbilt's central
administration will direct the finan-
cial, administrative and marketing
operations of all athletics.
But it's hard to say if any of this
will result in substantive changes.
Michael Stevenson, Michigan's
Executive associate director of athlet-
ics, said the move caught the attention
of the Michigan Athletic Department.
But Michigan won't be following suit,
and he doesn't think anyone else in
the NCAA will be either.
"Dropping athletics would be a
very dramatic statement, but they're
not saying that, so I'm not sure that
it's going to have any impact (on
other schools)," Stevenson said.
He pointed out that every athletic
department answers to the university
administration, and that he didn't see
any shortcomings in the current sys-
tem that would be improved by merg-
ing departments as Vanderbilt is
doing. Stevenson said Gee's motiva-
tion was unclear.
... sort o
"Unless he didn't have confidence
in the athletic department, I don't
know why he would make such a
decision," Stevenson said.
Gee said in a statement that, "For
too long, college athletics has been
segregated from the core mission of
the university. As a result, we have
created a culture, both on this campus
and nationally, that is disconnected
from our students, faculty and other
constituents, where responsibility is
diffused, the potential for abuse con-
siderable and the costs - both finan-
cial and academic -unsustainable."
Gee need only look to Ohio State,
where he served as athletic director
before his tenure at Vanderbilt, to see
some of the ills of NCAA athletics.
The chancellor seemed to imply that
his plan for reorganization would dis-
tance Vanderbilt athletics from the
problems of so-called "big-time" col-
But Stevenson isn't sure that that's
the case. He stressed that it's still
early, and he would need to see more
details on how the reorganization wilt
actually work before the impact will
be clear. But his initial reaction was
to question whether real change will
"At the end of the day, if they con-
tinue to participate in intercollegiate
athletics, it's hard to say they don't
have an athletic department. You can
call it leisure studies, or whatever you
want, but (it's still athletics)."
He added that if there were prob-
lems in Vanderbilt's athletic depart-
ment, they "are not going to go away"
as a result of the organizational
Stevenson wouldn't go so far as to
say the move was purely symbolic,
but he said, "If this is supposed to be
a philosophical statement, I'm still
waiting to see what that statement is."
And "waiting" is the key word.
Vanderbilt made what at first glance
looks like a bold decision.
But it will be interesting to see if
the restructuring has real implications
for Vanderbilt athletics - and, poten-
tially, the NCAA - or if it is a
change in name only.
Courtney Lewis can be reached at