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May 10, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-05-10

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10 --The Michigan Daily_--Wednesday,May10,1995
Players mourn loss
of coach Moel er

I

By Ryan White
Daily Sports Writer
Senior defensive tackle Trent
Zenkewicz comes from a close-knit
family. None the less, while he was
away from home, Gary Moeller was
much more than his football coach.
"Coach Moeller recruited me and I
think of him as my father away from
home," Zenkewicz said during last
Thursday's press conference when
Moeller's resignation was announced.
"I consider him as part of my family."
Zenkewicz was one of four players
to speak up for their fallen coach at the
press conference while a number of
others stood in the back of the room
among the throng of media assembled
to hear the announcement.
While emotions varied, all the
players were shocked by Moeller's
drunken outburst in the Excalibur
Restaurant, and all agreed the inci-
dent was completely out of character
for the coach.
Steve Morrison, who used his final
year of eligibility last season, was also
recruited by Moeller and played all five
of his seasons under the coach.
"We all respect him to the utmost,"
Morrison said. "We've known him for
five years and we love him and he loves
us."
Running back Tyrone Wheatley, who
was just two and a half weeks ago drafted
17th overall in the National Football
League draft, said: "To me and some

other players he wasn't just a coach.
"He always says the team, the team,
but he looked out for the individual."
Most of the players didn't believe
the incident would have affected
or9 recruit.Ctor
" d10o' t 0 w h e (a
fecte antig hccus he'se a,
y - - - - 21 l
"I o' tin i oud av(f
fectd anthin) b cshehum an,"6

said junior Thomas Guynes. "If Joe
construction worker had gone out and
gotten drunk we wouldn't be hearing
about it."
"He's still the head coach and he's
still a person above us," Wheatley said
when asked what it would have been
like if Moeller had come back. "He's'}
the head coach and we'd have to re-
spect him."
Like Athletic Director Joe
Roberson and interim-head coach
Lloyd Carr, the players were upset.
about the way Moeller's arrest was por-
trayed in the media.
"I practice from 2:15to6 p.m. y'
When I'm at practice I'm a Michigan
foothall player," Wheatley said. "But
whatever I do after that, I'm Tyrone
Wheatley and he's Gary Moeller. We
have personal lives."
Wheatley also felt that Michigan's x
image was tarnished more because of
the coverage than the actual incident.
"Right now (Moeller's arrest) is
hurting the University because of this,"
he said pointing at the television cam-
eras and newspaper reporters. "It's
hurting the University by being out
there."
Though no one could even begin to
figure out what prompted Moeller to do
what he did, they all believed that he
should have been given a second
chance.
"I wouldn't say anything to him,"
Wheatley said when he was asked what
advice he would have given to his
coach and friend. "We're people, and
we make mistakes."
Former Michigan football coach Gary Moeller looks back to last week's incident
Coach's era was already ending

A t a press coference last
Thursday, a reporter asked
Joe Roberson if he had compiled
a list of candidates for the now-vacant
head football coach position. The
University's athletic director
answered him by holding up a blank
piece of paper, indicating that, at that
point, Michigan had no replacements
in mind.
The unmarked sheet of paper that
Roberson held - that clean slate the
football program is starting with - is
the image that we should have been left
with last Thursday.
Yes, Gary Moeller's demise was
finalized that day, but the end of his era
had been in the making for quite some
time.
Moeller should not have lost his job

over a drunken tirade at some
restaurant; no one should. And he
didn't.
,. It can be
argued that
Moeller resigned
under pressure,
which is to say
that if he hadn't
quit, Roberson
would have fired
DARREN him. This is
EVERSON reasonable, since
Darren neither Roberson
to be Different nor interim
coach Lloyd
Carr tried to talk
him out of resigning.
"Under the circumstances, I think it
was very clear to (coach Moeller) that

he couldn't lead this team," Carr said.
This didn't become clear just
because of Moeller's arrest April 28.
And the back-to-back 8-4 seasons didnt
prove him unfit, either; the great Bo
Schembechler once went four years
between trips to the Rose Bowl.
No, Gary Moeller proved his
incompetence through the off-field
actions of several of his players. Sam
Sword, Marcus Ray, Will Carr, Shonte
Peoples and Damon Jones are part of the
growing list of Wolverines involved in
criminal extracurricular activities. And
they're not shoplifting or loitering,
either; shooting at police officers,
exploding bombs in a dormitory or
committing credit card fraud - that's
SEE EVERSON, PAGE 14

At Friday's press conference, former Michigan tailback Tyrone Wheatley said
he wouldn't give any advice to Moeller, "We're people. We make mistakes."

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