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October 28, 2004 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-28

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-October 28, 2004

ORTe Slchgan ¢iy


.- I . .......... .

Gutierrez o ts
to fix shoul er

Big Ten should crown
champion on gridiron

By Bob Hunt
Daily Sports Writer
The Matt Gutierrez saga has final-
ly come to some type of conclusion
-- for now.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback
is taking a week off from practice, recov-
ering from surgery to repair cartilage
damage to his shoulder. Gutierrez had
the procedure on Monday at the Univer-
sity Hospital.
While Gutierrez has spent much of this
week sleeping, his father Paul - who
traveled to Ann Arbor from northern
California to accompany him through
the surgery and recovery process - said
that everything has gone well.
"He's still, I'd guess you'd say, heav-
ily medicated," Paul Gutierrez said. "But
he's not experiencing a lot of pain, and
that's the good part."
Gutierrez was expected to begin
the season as the starter, but was shut
down the week before the Miami
(Ohio) game for what the team called
a'sore shoulder. This began a period
of speculation as to the nature of
Gutierrez's injury. Eventually, an
MRI later that month discovered that
the quarterback had a torn labrum, a
type of cartilage found in the shoulder
where the shoulder blade is connect-
ed to the arm. Because the labrum is
located between two bones, it is much
hirder to detect than other shoulder

problems, such as a torn rotator cuff.
Thus, it was much more complicated
process to formulate a diagnosis than
it would have been for a more visible
shoulder injury. For someone who was
supposed to be Michigan's starting
quarterback, the whole ordeal was a
frustrating experience.
"The toughest part was that he knew
he couldn't perform and not knowing
what was wrong initially, and then hav-
ing to wait until things took their course,"
Paul Gutierrez said.
After the problem was discovered,
Gutierrez and his family consulted team
physician James Carpenter - who con-
ducted the surgery - and a special-
ist in Los Angeles. The doctors shared
information, and once the final progno-
sis became clear, "things moved pretty
quickly after that," according to Paul
Now, Gutierrez will begin an estimat-
ed six-month recovery period and will no
longer be the holder for kicker Garrett
Rivas. Punter Adam Finley is expected
to take over those duties.
Gutierrez will be unable to throw the
ball for three months while the sutures
used to reattach the labrum to the bone
heal. Then the quarterback will begin
light throwing during the following three
months, when he is hoping to be close to
a full recovery.
Labrum tears are more commonly
found in baseball pitchers, whose arms


Michigan quarterback Matt Gutierrez will miss the rest of the season after
shoulder surgery, but he hopes to compete for the starting spot next season.

bear more significant stress than a quar-
terback's. But Oakland Raiders quarter-
back Rich Gannon missed much of the
2003 NFL season with a similar injury.
As of now, Gutierrez is expected to make
a full recovery.
While the origin of the injury is up for
speculation, according to his father, Guti-
errez probably developed a sore shoulder
during fall practice and put too much
additional stress on it, leading to the tear.
Meanwhile, true freshman Chad
Henne has flourished in the starting quar-

terback role, leading to speculation as to
Gutierrez's future at Michigan no matter
how well he recovers. Paul Gutierrez said
that he has spoken with his son about the
situation, but that nothing significant has
changed in that regard.
"His goal is to get healthy, and com-
pete, and eventually win the job back,"
Paul Gutierrez said. "He's going to com-
pete as hard as he can."
Gutierrez has two years of eligibility
remaining, and is currently not able to
apply for another year.

it's a situation that previously
seemed impossible. Michigan
is in.a position where it could
go undefeated in conference play
and not go to the Rose Bowl. Actu-
ally, it could even win its final three
games and not go to a BCS bowl at
all. Unless Wisconsin gets upset,
the Wolverines are going to have to
hope for a loss or two out of Utah,
Texas and Tennessee, or they could
be spending their winter break in
Central Florida.
The possibility of Michigan going
10-1 and ending up in the Capital
One Bowl is still remote with all
the football left to be played. But
the fact that the possibility exists is
troubling because Michigan won't be
able to settle its conference fate on
the field.
Since the Big Ten has 11 teams,
the conference is forced to utilize a
rotating schedule in which each team
plays its non-designated rivals six
times out of every eight years. This
created a situation where winning
the conference title has as much to
do with who you don't play as who
you do.
If Michigan and Wisconsin win
out, the Big Ten will have split
champions who didn't face each
other during the regular season for
the fourth time in nine years. (The
most recent was in 2002 when Ohio
State and Iowa both finished 8-0
in the Big Ten.) So which team is
named the Big Ten's BCS represen-
tative is often decided by the con-
ference's second tie-breaker (overall
record), or even its third tie-breaker
(who has had the longest drought
since being the conference represen-
tative in the Rose Bewl)s. r
For a sport like college football,
where championships are supposed.
to be decided on the field during the
regular season, tMis aproblem.
While arguing who the best team in

the nation might be is part of what
makes college football great, argu-
ing who the best team in the confer-
ence might be is not. Michigan and
Wisconsin have clearly established
themselves as the best two teams
in the Big Ten this year, and we'll
never know how they would have
done against each other.
This problem has two solutions.
The first would be to add two con-
ference games and have each Big
Ten school play just one or two non-
conference games. This would never
work though, because many schools
rely on scheduling the Eastern
Michigans of the world each year so
that they can have six or seven home
games. An expanded conference
schedule would make it impossible
to do that. Thus, there is just one
Have the Big Ten add a 12th team
and a conference championship
Now, I know what some of you are
saying: What about the tradition of
the Michigan-Ohio State game being
for the Big Ten title? While I realize
the game is important, it's also not
the 1970s anymore. Other schools
(there was a time when Wisconsin
was a perennial doormat) have been
able to put good teams together
and make a run at the Roses. And
the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry
will mean something regardless of
whether there is a game played in
the first weekend in December.
But what about the fact that the
Big Ten would have to add a 12th
member? The view of conference
commissioner Jim Delany is that the
league is not interested unless the
ideal situation comes along, such
as Penn State in 1993 and Notre
Dame (or at least that's what con-
ference officials thought) in 1999.
But there are many schools such as
Missouri, Syracuse and Pittsburgh
that could possibly fit within the
conference. And I'm guessing Notre.:
Dame would reconsider entering the
conference if it knew it would never
-ahev~eehanee again (theT,'
would never expand beyond 12).
nofth zt ig to cu
the expansion of the ACC to 12
team lnss forever chang'd4l h,6
See HUNT, Page 11A


Red Sox win first Seres since 1918

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Boston Red Sox - yes,
the Boston Red Sox! - are World Series champi-
ons at long, long last. No more curse and no doubt
about it.
They sure got you, Babe.
Ridiculed and reviled through decades of defeat,:
the Red Sox didn't just beat the St. Louis Cardi-
nals, owners of the best record in baseball, they
swept them for their first crown since 1918.
Johnny Damon homered on the fourth pitch r
of the game, Derek Lowe made it stand up and
the Red Sox won 3-0 last night, wrapping up a
Series in which they never trailed.F
Chants of "Let's go, Red Sox!" bounced
all around Busch Stadium, with Boston fans
as revved-up as they were relieved. Only 10
nights earlier, the Red Sox were just three
outsx from getting swept by the New York
Yankees in the AL championship series PedroI

before becoming the first team in baseball
postseason history to overcome a 3-0 deficit.
It was Boston's sixth championship, but the
first after 86 years of frustration and futility,
after two world wars, the Great Depression,
men on the moon, and the rise and fall of the
Soviet Union.
After all that, on an eerie night when the
moon went dark in a total eclipse, the Red Sox
made it look easy.
Gone was the heartbreak of four Game 7
losses since their last title, a drought - some
insist it was a curse - that really began after
they sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920.
"I'm so happy. I'm happy for the fans in Bos-
ton, I'm happy for Johnny Pesky, for Bill Buck-
ner, for (Bob) Stanley and (Calvin) Schiraldi
and all the great Red Sox players who can now
be remembered for the great players that they

were," pitcher Curt Schilling said.
Schilling got himself traded from Arizona to Bos-
ton last November, eager to beat the Yankees and
put the Red Sox in the World Series for the first time
since 1986. He made it worth his while, with the win
ensuring him of an extra $15 million in a contract he
negotiated himself.
"We wanted to do it so bad for the city of Boston. To
win a World Series with this on our chests - it hasn't
been done since 1918," first baseman Kevin Millar said.
"So rip up those '1918' posters right now."
Damon's leadoff homer off starter Jason Marquis
and Trot Nixon's two-out, two-run double on a 3-0 pitch
were all that Lowe needed. Having won the first-round
clincher against Anaheim in relief and then winning
Game 7 at Yankee Stadium, Lowe blanked the Cards
on a mere three hits for seven innings.
Relievers Bronson Arroyo and Alan Embree
See RED SOX, Page 11A


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