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April 09, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 9, 2004

OPINION

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
opinion. michigandaily.com
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I don't remember
the al-Qaida cells
being something that
we were told we
needed to do
something about."

7'

y

. .
GG--.

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

JK
//o
/r

- --.
N of%

- National Security Advisor Condoleezza
Rice, responding to allegations that the
Bush administration ignored warnings
about al-Qaida cells in the United States,
as reported yesterday by CNN.

i
/ //. /y .

Do what it takes, Mr. Commissioner
LouIE MEIZLISH As MEIZLISH SEES IT

n one of his most infa-
mous opinions, Justice
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Jr. wrote for the U.S.
x Supreme Court that base-
ball is not subject to
antitrust laws because it is a
game and not a business.
That principle is
invoked to this day, as is
evident in Bud Selig's title - commissioner
of baseball, not commissioner of Major
League Baseball (he is the chief executive of
a game, not a company).
Of course, it is not without substantial
naivet6 that we think of baseball solely as a
game. It is, of course, a game, but not to think
of it also as a business with Selig as its CEO is
just crazy. A couple clicks on mlb.com or a
quick look at Alex Rodriguez's salary will
confirm that in an instant.
The role of the baseball commissioner has
changed over the years. In the past, the Ameri-
can and National leagues had their own presi-
dents with substantial regulatory duties. But the
buck has always stopped with the commissioner.
It's been his job to do whatever it takes to
uphold the integrity of The Game.
The first commissioner of baseball was
Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a respected federal
judge hired by the owners to clean up the
game after the 1919 World Series. When eight
members of the Chicago White Sox, or the
"Black Sox," were acquitted of fixing the
games in an Illinois state court, Landis kicked
them out of baseball ... for life.
Another tough commissioner was A. Bartlett
"Bart" Giamatti. Giamatti had the unenviable
task of doing the same with Cincinnati Reds
manager Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits
leader, after finding that Rose bet on baseball.
Giamatti died soon after his 1989 decision, hav-
ing been commissioner only five months. For
the next 15 years, Rose denied ever having bet
on baseball and demanded his reinstatement,
which would make him eligible for entry to the
Hall of Fame. Charlie Hustle, as Rose was

known, had legions of fans, half of which he lost
when he was kicked out, the other half he lost in
2003 when he admitted he had lied about bet-
ting. Giamatti has been vindicated.
These commissioners upheld the integrity
of the game.
The Detroit Tigers' 4-0 start brought back
memories of the 1984 team. I can't tell you how
many times I've watched the videotape of Game
6 of the 1984 World Series when Kirk Gibson
hit two home runs and Aurelio Lopez pitched
perfectly in leading the Tigers to the champi-
onship. Gibson, like 1984 teammates Alan
Trammell and Lance Parrish, has remained a
hero in the Detroit area and was cheered when
he signed up to coach the current Tigers. As for
Lopez, "Senor Smoke," he returned to Mexico a
hero and served as mayor of his hometown
before tragically dying in a 1992 car accident.
It would crush me to find out years later
that their achievements were caused by any-
thing other than strength, determination,
pride and skills. The "Roar of '84" would be
a silent nothing.
The 1994 strike that canceled that year's
World Series revealed the ugly corporate
underbelly of the game, which we thankfully
have not seen since.
But if anything in particular rescued baseball
from that fiasco, it was the home run race
between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in
1998, followed three years later by Barry
Bonds's new single-season record of 73.
I'd like to think that Bonds achieved what he
did because he's a great baseball player and the
same for McGwire and Sosa. I want to think
that it was men, not performance-enhancing
drugs, who shattered the records.
That's why it's important that Commis-.
sioner Bud Selig take a tough line in negotia-
tions with the players union. He should insist
on mandatory random drug testing for all
players. It's the right thing to do.
If that means the team owners may have to
give a little in other areas of negotiations, that's
fine. Selig has to uphold the integrity of base-
ball. Because it's a game, right?

A s this is my last column, I find it appro-
priate that I thank some people who
made the Daily a very special place dur-
ing my eight semesters here:
Mike Spahn and Jewel Gopwani, who got
me hooked on the Daily and showed me how
exciting working at a newspaper can be.
Dan Williams. I never knew you too
well, but you scared the shit out of me my
freshman year when I showed up at the annu-
al Michigan Daily-State News football game
wearing jeans. "GET OFF THE FIELD,
JEANS BOY!"
Michael Grass, an excellent news and
opinion editor, a great mentor and one of the
most honest people I've ever met.
J. Brady McCollough, a brilliant sports
editor. It's because of your dedication that I grew
to love sports again.
Todd Weiser and Shabina Khatri, my
trusted consiglieres.
Aubrey Henretty and Zac Peskowitz. You
never minced words. Thank you.
Tony Ding. What can I say? You're awe-
some. (DING!)
Jon Schwartz. An excellent tutor. Some-
times you have to break some eggs to make an
omelet. And sometimes you just let things sim-
mer. You're an expert at both.
John Lowe. I don't know how you do it,
but you're the best baseball writer and the best
advisor I could have hoped for.
Karen Brender, Ava Richard and Sam
Offen. Thank you for keeping things running so
smoothly. You deserve more props than you get.
C. Price Jones. You kept me sane.
Jordan Schrader, Tomislav Ladika,
Jeremy Berkowitz, Jen Misthal, Jason
Pesick, Rebecca Ramsey, Charles Paradis,
Gennaro Filice, Jess Piskor, Bob Hunt,
Sravya Chirumamilla, Carmen Johnson,
Joel Hoard, Andrew Kaplan, Danny Brem-
mer and Jim Weber. When I see your
names in print, I know everything's swell.

I

Meizlish can be reached at
meizlish@umich.edu.

Promises should add up
SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY AUDI AlTERAM PARTEM

was fortunate enough
to attend the 2004
Dance for Mother
Earth Pow Wow a few
weeks ago at Crisler
Arena. As a first-time
spectator, the heritage,
regalia and competition
were breathtaking. Per-
haps the most poignant
aspect of the ceremony was the inclusive-
ness: Veterans, the elderly and yes, even the
so-called "White Man" were all welcomed
with a rare warmth.
Contrast this with the actions of the Univer-
sity, a major partner in the event. From the
Grand Entry speech given by the Senior Vice
Provost for Academic Affairs Lester Monts
(President Mary Sue Coleman was noticeably
out of town), in which the University expressed
its appreciation for Native American students in
the same breath that it plugged admissions, to
the campus booth prominently situated among
local vendors, the air reeked of self-interest.
What is more, the University slashed funding
for the Pow Wow by 25 percent and raised the
venue price of Crisler, which contributed great-
ly to limiting the event from three days to two.
In a campus with less than 1 percent Native
American representation as it is, cuts to a sig-
nificant cultural experience send a very contra-
dictory message about the University's
commitment to diversity.
This coincides nicely with the multitude

of recent budget cuts to student services,
many of which specialize in minority issues:
maintenance for the William Monroe Trotter
House multicultural center, which had to wait
10 years to obtain roof repair, decreased
staffing in the Office of MultiEthnic Student
Affairs, changes to the Sexual Assault Pre-
vention and Awareness Center and funding
and staffing cuts at the Office of Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs.
Coupled with city issues like the inadequate
treatment of hate crimes and racial profiling (the
2004 Ann Arbor Police Department study
requires further investigation), these policies
may detract future students from the University.
Recent numbers are not settling. Compared to
last year, undergraduate applications by students
of color have dropped by 23 percent and admit-
tance has decreased by 30 percent, bringing the
percentage of underrepresented minorities to a
whopping 6 percent. The University's actions
negate much of the allegiance to diversity
defended last summer during the affirmative
action arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court. As
is, many students feel detached from the campus
experience; the proverbial "minority cafeteria
table" comes to mind. Decreased funding and
support will only fuel problems of alienation
and self-segregation.
Realizing the error of its ways, the adminis-
tration is changing its tune - albeit slowly. In
an open letter on April 1, Coleman announced
the creation of a Standing Student Advisory
Committee, which will include representatives

from student organizations and enable student
input in campus issues and budgeting. She states
her dedication to student dialogue and the afore-
mentioned issues; MESA, for instance, will for-
mally rehire a Latino coordinator. Even the
Department of Public Safety is revamping cer-
tain policies. Hate crimes are to be targeted
more thoroughly via increased officer training
and expansion of hate crime definitions in the
Campus Safety Handbook.
The proposed changes are refreshing and, if
anything, show the power of student activism.
But now is not time to rest; no battles have been
won. Students must utilize Coleman's letter as a
catalyst and re-engage themselves in the campus
community, continuing to assert demands and
maintain vigilance. Empty rhetoric in the name
of political correctness is meaningless; if the
University is serious about its commitment to
diversity and student opinion, we have to ensure
that it "walks the walk," unlike the inconsistency
of Pow Wow 2004. Groups such as Students
Voices in Action and the Michigan Student
Assembly need to exert pressure and work
toward building a constructive discourse that
benefits all students. There should not be a
relapse into a lack of student participation and
unnecessary aggression against the University.
The student vote and voice are crucial. The ball
is literally in our court; we must be the change
we want to see.

A

Krishnamurthy can be reached
at sowymak@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

01

Greek Week highlights
the positive potential of
the Greek system
To THE DAILY:
We are writing to you in response to your
editorial entitled Leave the greeks alone
(04/06/04). As co-directors of Greek Week
2004, proud members of our individual chapters

an impact on many individuals.
We understand that the actions of the few
can often speak for the many. It is difficult to
deal with the backlash that ensues as a result of
issues as horrible as rape, alcohol abuse and
hazing. But such issues, while often isolated,
do not necessarily reflect the actions of the
Greek system as a whole. If you look a little
deeper, you will find intelligent leaders, entre-
preneurs, athletes, classmates, organizers and
caring citizens of a large, interactive, philan-

DAILY 0w410t4 HAS BEEN
OFFEWNG IBITS OF ISOOM :
Fm 11 acs.
JUST BECAUSE THE SEMESTER'S
OVER IOSN'T MEAN WE STOP,

rI.t:a.+ :t 4 y.ft r n 1iitiini rdK~ i.ti ,t e'rwx.

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