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September 22, 2005 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-22

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stalled when issues over factory work-
ing conditions for Nike's overseas
factories arose. When the University
tried to work in language to stay con-
sistent with their new code of conduct
policy, Nike pulled the plug.
"We had had a relationship with
Nike, and, as a result of our policies
on human rights and labor standards,
we wanted to see that reflected in the
contract with Nike," University Gen-
eral Counsel Marvin Krislov said.
"We wanted to make sure that it was
implemented in all of our licensees,
but obviously Nike, because of its size
and importance, was one that these
issues were particularly relevant to."
The loss of Nike revenue put new
Athletic Director Bill Martin into
quite a bind. In his first year on the
job, Martin had to pay out of the
Athletic Department's budget for
all of the equipment that his sports

In his first year on the jo, Martin had to pay out of the
Athletic Department's budget for all of the equipment
that his sports teams used - a cost of about $1.8 million.

teams used - a cost of about $1.8
million. So one of his first tasks as
Michigan's Athletic Director was to
negotiate a new Nike contract with
Morris to help get the sports budget
back into the black.
"Kit Morris was certainly involved
in every discussion," Martin said.
"He's got great interpersonal skills
that you can't get in a classroom."
With his program struggling, Mar-
tin, a real estate developer by trade,
maximized the contract. He got
every dollar he could out of Nike:
$2 million worth of sports apparel
every year for seven years, $1.2 mil-

lion every year in straight cash and
a percentage of royalties of all Nike
equipment sold that bore the Michi-
gan name. In total, the contract was
worth almost a whopping $30 mil-
lion over seven years.
Martin's intensions were almost
certainly good. He had to support
25 varsity athletic teams, he wanted
all of them to be near the best in the
nation and he wanted to do it with-
out getting help from the University.
Martin takes pride in telling all of his
coaches to recruit the best athletes
available - no matter what the cost.
"We pay full scholarships for every

one of our scholarship athletes, and
70 percent of our athletes are out-of-
state," Martin says. "We tell all of
our coaches to go out and get the best
student athletes, and we tell them that
we will fund the maximum number of
scholarships allowed by the NCAA.
A lot of schools don't do that."
A few years from now, whoever is
the Michigan athletic director will
have to renegotiate the contract that
Michigan athletics has with its biggest
apparel supplier. There will almost
certainly be new obstacles, such as
12 regular-season football games
per year and more television stations

covering more college games. But
whether it's a former coach, a former
teacher or a former business man, the
athletic director will have to decide
which way to take the department -
toward where the money is or away
from commercialism. And history
has shown that it's tough to predict in
which direction the leaders of Michi-
gan athletics will go.
Martin argues that collegiate ath-
letics have always been commercial.
He looks around his office overlook-
ing the corner of State and Hoover
streets for a speech he gave at the
Michigan Business School in March
2001. In that speech, he talks of the
first intercollegiate contest ever - a
rowing match between Harvard and
Yale that was sponsored by a local
railroad company. He leans back in
his chair, chuckles and says, "History
is fascinating."

community vegeabic gard2!. adjacent
to the building. It is a scene common to
poverty stricken neighborhoods the world
over, and is something Pablovich has to
watch and deal with every day.
Pablovich and the other residents of
the building haven't always lived like
this. Just 15 years ago, this same build-
ing was clean, safe and considered one of
the nicest complexes in all of Kiev. It was
reserved for workers who had been valued
members of the Communist Party, like
Pablovich, who, as a dedicated worker,
earned favor and respect in the eyes of
his peers. The city was well taken care of
by the government, until that government
closed up shop. Since the communists
left, the residents have been forced to take
care of the building themselves because
the new regime had neither the will nor
the financial backing to continue with
the maintenance of what is now private
property. Sadly, the residents also didn't
have the money to fix the elevators or hire
maintenance crews. Over the years, the
people have done what they could to keep
the building livable, which isn't much con-
sidering most of them barely have enough
cash to survive. In the mid-'90s, 63 per-
cent of the population was living on just
$4 a day.
The maintenance of this one apartment
building across the Dniper River from
majestic central Kiev is just one example
of the enormous changes the people of "
Ukraine have had to cope with as they
shed their communist past and begin life
in a democratic nation.
The Last 14 Years
Pablovich's story is not at all uncom-
mon. Millions of Ukrainians are strug-
gling to adapt to a new way of life, even 14
years after the fall of communism. This

is most evident in the older generation-
those who had to learn to embrace an eco-
nomic system they grew up thinking was
evil. However, the capitalist mentality has
not been totally lost on this generation.
Thousands of elderly woman sit on the
streets and in Kiev's metro stations selling
all sorts of goods from bags of sunflower
seeds, used books and watermelons to
training bras and knock-off DVDs. The
hope for these women is to make enough
money to support themselves and their
families, even though most barely make a
few dollars a day. In the saddest cases, old
babushkas - grandmother in Ukrainian
-simply beg for money. Judging from the
joyful reaction of few such babushkas to
the donation of the equivalent of one U.S.
dollar, they barely eke out an existence.
Ukraine certainly isn't the only pover-
ty stricken nation, but its widespread exis-
tence there illustrates the difficult road a
country faces when it transitions from a
planned economy to a free market. Priva-
tization, the process of returning govern-
ment property to the private citizens and
corporations, is a painful and difficult
task. It has taken years to redistribute
property back to individuals, and there is
still more privatization that will take place
over the next decade. Some of the sales of
public assets have been called into ques-
tion in recent years. Many of the country's
top industrial assets, like natural gas fields
and Soviet-era factories, were sold at
undervalued prices to rich oligarchs who
were deeply involved with the post-com-
munist political leaders, which created a
wide gap between the rich and poor. Most
Ukrainians had little chance to capitalize
on the release of public property, and thus
were not able to begin creating their own
Throughout the '90s, the situation


Inree teenagers show off their piercings outside a metro station in Kiev. TI
can rock bands Slipknot and Korn.

worsened in Ukraine. Corrupt politi-
cians and the elite class of super wealthy
individuals prevented the country from
achieving the economic growth that was
being experienced in the rest of Europe.
People would go to work, but wouldn't
receive paychecks. Organized crime
and Mafia assassinations were becom-
ing commonplace. In addition, Ukraine
was closely allied with Russia, and when
Russia's economy collapsed and the value
of the ruble tumbled throughout the '90s,
the economy of Ukraine fell apart as well.
The country was on the brink of total
The Ukrainian people, who had
endured so much over their history, were
becoming frustrated. A new generation
of energetic Ukrainian youth was ready
to embrace democracy and capital-
ism. They were ready to make a change
and turn Europe's largest country into
a political and economic powerhouse.
They were looking westward toward
the European Union, toward the United
States, and they wanted in. Revolution
was brewing in Ukraine.
The Orange Revolution
On November 21, 2004, the Ukrainian
people voted for the third president of
Ukraine in a runoff election between the
two highest vote getters from the prima-
ries. The candidates, Viktor Yushchenko
and Viktor Yanukovych, spent a combined
$500 million dollars in a bitter campaign
that featured personal attacks and spe-
cial interest television ads. Yanukovych
was the handpicked successor to Leonid
Kuchma, the outgoing president who had
been in power since 1994. Additionally,
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Yanukovych had the support of Vladimi
Putin and the Russian Federation.
Yushchenko was the Westernizec
alternative to Yanukovych. His dream wa
to lead Ukraine toward eventual member
ship in the European Union and NATC
in order to become less dependent or
Russia. The European Union, the Unite<
States and other western nations endorsed
Yushchenko, as he represented a changing
of the guard in the former Soviet bloc. Al
of the polls leading up to the election pre

A woman passes out scraps to hom
Kiev. The woman begs for money to

An elderly babushka begs for money in Kiev.


12B -- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 22, 2005

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