November 9, 2004
sports. michigandaily. com
ibe Midirwno ?UA
. ....... . .....
College football is
ready for playoff
By Gennaro Filice
Daily Sports Writer
Ever since arriving in Ann Arbor in
2002, defensive end Larry Harrison has
always been close to his football cohorts
in the class of 2006 - especially David
Harris and Rondell Biggs. But this season,
the redshirt sophomore has taken an inter-
est in some members of the class of 2008.
"I've got a pretty good connection with
the younger guys that just came in, like
Marques Walton and Alan Branch," Har-
rison said. "I try to (take a leadership role)
because my freshman year was pretty
rocky and I just want their freshman year
to be as easy as possible. They don't have
to do some of the dumb things that I did
my freshman year."
Harrison admits he had a laundry
list of miscues in his first year as a
"(I used to) fall asleep in meetings, be
late for stuff - just the typical things that
just make life a lot harder at Michigan,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr "absolute-
ly" remembers Harrison catching some
extra Z's during team meetings.
"When you get caught by coach Carr,
it's not pretty," Harrison said. "The next
time you're gonna be up at 6 a.m. for the
Pre-dawn workouts were not what this
Detroit native anticipated when coming
out of high school.
Harrison grew up as a diehard Michi-
gan fan and first felt destined to attend the
University at a difficult time for any Wol-
"I started watching (Michigan football)
when I was probably seven or eight," Har-
rison said. "My first game that I really
remember, for me, was the (1994) Colo-
rado-Michigan game - the touchdown
in the endzone with Kordell Stewart. Even
though they lost that game, right there I
was like, 'Man, I'm going to Michigan.' "
After attending Michigan football
camp for three years, Harrison received a
scholarship offer. Other Big Ten schools
also expressed interest, but Harrison was
set on donning the Maize and Blue.
"I wasn't really paying much attention
(to other Big Ten schools) because I was
here at Michigan, and that was a dream
for me since I was little," Harrison said. "I
knew I was going to go for Michigan once
they told me they were interested."
But Harrison's freshman year did not go
as planned. And excessive slumber was not
his only problem.
"In workouts, you'd always see him in
the back," junior offensive tackle Adam
Said Carr: "I think when Larry first
came here, he wasn't like a lot of kids, and
particularly big kids, kids that play on the
offensive or defensive line. He was a little
heavy. He wasn't used to the condition-
ing level that you have to (employ) here.
Because here, unlike high school, he's
going to be competing every down with
a guy across the line of scrimmage that's
just as big or bigger than he is."
Last year, Harrison began to clean up
his act and played in 11 games, record-
ing 12 tackles. But immense adjustments
Larry Harrison turned around his approach to football entering this season.
in Harrison's attitude did not come until
after the season.
"I'd have to say this spring," Stenavich
said. "His attitude and everything just
Harrison's reasoning for the transfor-
mation was simple.
"Time was passing me up," Harrison
said. "Sophomore year, I started getting
some playing time and boom, it's my
junior year and I was like, 'Man, I gotta
take this really serious.'"
Harrison decided to live alone this year
- something he feels has really helped
him take care of responsibilities.
"It keeps me focused in the classroom,"
Harrison said. "I don't have distractions
around me all the time, so it's working out
The steps Harrison has taken off the
field complement his improved work ethic
"His greatest improvement as a football
player has come in his conditioning and
his strength and controlling his weight,"
In his first year as a starter, the 6-foot-3,
299 pounder has recorded 15 tackles. But
Harrison believes he's far from reaching
"I think I've gotten better after each
game," Harrison said. "I still have room
Said Carr: "He's still got a long way to
go. But certainly as a first-year starter, he's
done a good job."
Dear Mr. Kevin Weiberg,
Commissioner of the Bowl
Allow me to introduce myself. My
name is Brian Christopher Schick,
and I'm a senior at the University of
Michigan. Naturally, I'm a big col-
lege football fan or else I wouldn't
be writing you this letter. I feel it is
my duty, as a fan of NCAA football,
to inform you that your little experi-
ment isn't working, and we're get-
ting tired of the BCS altogether.
On a personal note, I've always
been ashamed with the association
we have with each other - every
time I hear "BCS" during a game, I
think someone is talking about me,
as those are my initials. So from one
BCS to another, I'm tired of being
associated with your crappy system.
I understand the need to create
a consensus national champion. In
fact, I don't think any Michigan fan
would disagree after the Wolverines
won the 1997 Rose Bowl, but had to
split their national title with Nebras-
ka. Your predecessor brought out
this fancy system using computers
and the like, instead of traditional
rankings determined by humans.
While that sounds well and good,
no one ever really explained how
the formula was created. Not tell-
ing fans how the two teams playing
for the national championship were
determined is a sure-fire way to
Your predecessor got lucky for
awhile - until last year. After
years of tweaking the formula
(removing margin of victory, add-
ing and removing certain computer
polls and other examples too numer-
ous to mention), the system still
, ,ranted, you-got luckya couple
of times along the way. For example,
in 2001, it appeared that there might
be a deserving team left out of the
national championship game. Five
teams headed into the final week-
end of play undefeated: Miami,
Nebraska, UCLA, Vigrinia Tech
and Oklahoma. But three upsets left
Miami and Nebraska as the only
undefeated and Miami ultimately
won the championship.
Fast forward to last season. This
time, there were three teams and
only two spots. Sorry Southern Cal.,
the computers don't like you. So
we are back to having split national
champions. Way to go.
Basically, I'm tired of listening to
you toe the NCAA's line about how
the system works. I watched you try
and explain how "tweaking" the for-
mula this year would avoid another
split championship. But wait - the
whole purpose of the Bowl Cham-
pionship Series was to avoid split
champions! You failed. Give it up,
Even worse, you've now intro-
duced the "Tulane" rule that allows
a fifth bowl to be added to the series
to include more at-large teams,
extending the national champion-
ship game by a few more days.
If I might be so bold, may I pro-
pose the "Brian Christopher Schick
Series," the BCSS. But I'm willing
to compromise. Let me be frank
- it's a playoff. The BCSS will still
use your computers to determine
the eight teams in the playoff, and it
will be a single elimination tourney
played at the current BCS stadiums,
with each one hosting the champion-
ship game every four years.
We can still keep the "other"
bowls in place outside of the playoff,
so the weaker teams can continue to
get their lucrative paydays. I'd even
be in favor of adding more bowls to
include more teams.
Hey, that's what schools want
Before you stop reading, I'll be
happy to address what I'm sure is
your major concern - extending the
season. I'll make it easy on you -
you've already extended next year's
season with the fifth and so-called
"piggyback" bowl game, so you've
already broke the rule you weren't
supposed to in the first place. Also,
if you start the playoff around the
time of the first bowl game (mid-
December) it should be done by New
Year's Day. Coaches might complain
about the extra couple of games
added to their season, but isn't there
a movement underway to keep the
12-game schedule? Just make it an
VI-game schedule, and the three
more games it takes to settle the
controversy on the field would be
,welt; worti, it. x.
In conclusion, I know I speak on
behalf of many football fans who
are tired of your system, and I'm
sure you've heard many solutions to
fix the problem. But I'm confident
the BCSS would be a quick fix to
the BCS, which has always been a
bunch of BS.
Brian Christopher Schick
If you would like to sign Brian
Schick's petition to implement the
BCSS, you can reach him at
0 MEN'S BASKETBALL
Football star helps M' land walk-o n
By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
When senior Hayes Grooms packed his bags and
left his home in Detroit to attend
Lamar University in Beaumont,
Texas, he went through a rite of
passage that thousands of college
freshman must endure every year
-- he had to say goodbye to his
best friend. For Grooms, it was
Michigan football standout Bray-
"We were actually middle
school rivals," Hayes said of his
friend Edwards. "When we were Grooms
about 14, we met at a Jack and Jill convention (a cultural
awareness group) thing. We just kind of hung out the
whole time, and we've been best friends ever since."
Three years later, Grooms found himself restless and
relatively unhappy living 2,000 miles away from what
he still thought of as home.
"I wouldn't say I disliked it," Hayes said. "It was
difficult, but I'm sure it helped me grow and every-
thing. It just wasn't home - and like they say, no place
is like home."
He spent a good deal of time hemming and haw-
ing over what to do. Grooms was already an estab-
lished basketball player at Lamar, having started in
all 27 games during the 2002-2003 season. He aver-
aged 1.9 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. But a foot
injury early in his junior year forced him to redshirt,
and gave him time to ponder what it might be like to
migrate back to the north.
The two spent a fair amount of time on the phone dis-
cussing the possibility of Grooms's transfer, and it was
ultimately Edwards's cajoling that convinced Grooms
to come to Michigan.
"I entertained the idea - I could be with my best
friend, go to a great school and be close to home,"
Grooms said. "So I just said, 'Let's do it.' "
Grooms was eager to reconnect with Edwards, who
became his roommate when Grooms arrived in Ann
Arbor, but he was not certain that he would be able to
continue to play basketball.
"I was kind of in touch with coach (Charles) Ramsey
and some of the other assistant coaches," Grooms said. "I
wasn't exactly sure how many years of eligibility I had to
play, or if they needed any walk-ons."
Grooms attended walk-on tryouts a few weeks ago,
and was excited to learn that he had, in fact, made the
cut. It was decided that Grooms's junior season, most of
which he sat out due to his injury, would count as a full
year, so he has just one more year of eligibility. He'll
have to sit on the bench this year, too, as is required by
the NCAA transfer guidelines, so he will be unable to
step onto the court until next season.
Although his future at Michigan is fuzzy at this point,
the 6-foot-2 Grooms is content to operate as an extra man
in practice, and is happy to be reunited with Edwards.
"It's like you don't know what it's like to be a part of
something until you're part of it," Grooms said. "I've
always watched the games on TV and everything, and
now I'm actually a part of it. It's an opportunity I would
never turn down."
for starting role
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer
Optimism appears to reign supreme
in the Michigan women's basketball
program. Coach Cheryl Burnett and
the rest of the staff have taken the chal-
lenge of filling the roster with fresh-
men head-on and feel confident that the
team can succeed.
With at least two starting spots open
to the seven freshmen, the coaching
staff expects a few people to step up.
Freshman forward Janelle Cooper may
be one of those who rises to the occa-
sion to help lead the young Wolverines.
"We have gelled so much since
(June)," Cooper said. "We all like each
other and are there to help each other
The 5-foot-10 Cooper is exactly of
the type of player Burnett and the staff
were looking for when six players left
the program last season. In addition to
her ability on the court, Cooper was a
member of the National Honor Society
in high school.
"We look for special people to come
to the University of Michigan," Bur-
nett said. "We look for special people,
players and students. Our players suc-
ceed in the classroom, on the court and
On the court, Cooper is a long, ath-
letic forward who looks well suited to
the fast, pressing defense that the Wol-
verines would like to implement this
year. When deciding which college
to attend, Cooper saw the high-tempo
style of play that Burnett emphasized,
and knew that Michigan was the right
place for her.
The Detroit native was able to show-
case some her abilities in the Michi-
gan's 75-61 win in the first exhibition
against Athletes in Action last Thurs-
day. Coming off the bench, Cooper
put up eight points and four rebounds
in her 19 minutes *of action. She also
provided a spark of energy for the Wol-
verines that did not show up in the box
score. She blanketed the Athletes in
Action team all night long and dove
for loose balls, demonstrating the type
of tough, gritty effort Burnett wants to
see out of her players.
By Tyler Hagle
Daily Sports Writer
Recycle this. ,
cell phones, pagers and
PDAs before Nov. 15 to
the Dental Library -
Harlan Hatcher Graduate
Library - Law Library -
Media Union Library -
Sha iro Science Library -°
Library-School of Social "
Work Library-School of.
Natural Resources and
Environment. For morer
Pledge to be a recycler'and y Su couldbe awinnuo.
Join U-M Waste Management Services in pledging your commitment to
recycle and to buy recycled-cont"">products! F'il out the pledge card
below and you're entered into the iational drawing for a new Ford
Escape Hybrid! Drop your entry car - by iovember 15 t a ne of the
collection boxes on campus or send it to Waite Managment Services,
2550 Draper Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-211i.
I pledge to renew my commitment to recycling in the coming year by:
p Buying more recycled content products 1.A
0 Increasing my recycling efforts at home, school, & work
E3 Participating in some other recycling-related project:t
Janelle Cooper scored eight points in
"I wasn't really nervous, I mean every
once in awhile I would get a butterfly
in my stomach, but everyone else was
going through the same thing," Cooper
said of her first collegiate game.
See COOPER, Page 12
DaCosta ready for
life in medical field
Michigan senior Michelle DaCos-
ta wasn't satisfied with having just
one goal growing up. So she decided
to have two.
DaCosta began playing tennis at
age seven - competitively at age
nine - and she always had a love
for the game. But tennis wasn't a
subject in school or a major in col-
lege, and the professional tour was
extremely competitive. So DaCosta
turned to her parents, for another
focus. With a nurse for a mother and
a dentist for a father, the choice was
"I've always had an interest in med-
icine and health in general," DaCosta
said. "But I didn't want to be a dentist
because my dad was one."
DaCosta continued to develop her
medical interest as she grew older
and her ability to excel both on the
court and in the classroom led her
to Ann Arbor. She is concentrating
in biopsychology and cognitive sci-
ences with a Biology minor, while
fulfilling all of the pre-medicine
requirements - putting a better
label on where she wanted-to take
her medical future. She now hopes
to one day be an OBGYN with a
Being either a student-athlete or a
biopsychology pre-medicine major
is certainly never easy by itself. But
DaCosta's plate is more than full.
In fact, it's overflowing. She has an
appetizer of sleep neurobiology and
endocrinology twice a week. She
follows that with a side of biopsy-
chology lab for 10-12 hours a week.
. Her main course is as many 11 hours
of tennis practice a week, starting
at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays. DaCosta tops
everything off with a dessert of ten-
nis tournaments and matches, which
start in October and run all the way
Take for example, the early
October All-American Champion-
ships, which took place in Pacific
Palisades, Calif. DaCosta left on
a Sunday and didn't return until
the following Saturday, missing an
entire week of classes. As if that
wasn't enough, she had finals and
papers due the week of her return.
"I was waking up at 10 a.m. to
play matches all day and then com-
ing back to the hotel to study and
write papers," DaCosta said. "All
you want to do is lie down and relax,
but you can't."
All of this work may seem like
enough to make the average student
New England Literature Program ,