After many years of medicore
teams with occasional success,
the field hockey program is
undergoing changes. To follow
the progress, see page 14.
August 13, 1997 1
By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Editor
Who would win in a head-to-head
fight, Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan
Kenobi? In other words, youthful vigor
or tested experience?
Michigan soccer coach Debbie
Belkin doesn't really have much choice
in the matter. For better or worse, the
Wolverines are going to have to rely on
a whole lineup of figurative Skywalkers
for their success in 1997.
Michigan begins its season Aug. 29,
when it travels to Kentucky's home field
to tangle with Missouri. The Wolverines
will face host Wildcats two days later.
The big question mark for the open-
ing games - as well as the rest of the
season - will be the impact of the
freshman class. Six newcomers will don
the maize and blue
for the first time.
"I've had the
opportunity to see
a few play this
summer, but some
I haven't seen,"
Belkin said. "I
think we have
that will make an
Hoff impact right away,
and the others we'll
just have to find out."
The Michigan soccer program is only
in its fourth year of existence, so the vet-
erans aren't exactly old and gray. The
Wolverines will be led by sophomore
forwards Amber Berendowsky, Mari
Hoff and Marie Spaccarotella -the top-
three point scorers on last year's team.
Although two of the recruits are
goalies, they may have a tough time
earning minutes with the return of
Jessica Jones. The junior set a Michigan
record last season with 89 saves.
"Right now we have a great base,"
Belkin said. "Everybody has an equal
chance for playing time, but it will be
tougher to get this year than in the past"
Missouri and Kentucky should prove
to be difficult tests for Michigan.
Missouri is a second-year team facing a
scenario similar to Michigan's - an
outstanding freshman class.
The Wildcats, on the other hand, are a
little more seasoned. The Wolverines
fought them to a standstill last year-an
impressive feat, considering Kentucky is
a fairly consistent NCAA tournament
team with an SEC championship.
"It's a tough start," Belkin said. "But
because it's so early, most of the teams
" haven't gotten into their groove. We're
Whoping to jumpstart our season with two
wins, and that's what we'll set out to do.
"It's not make or break - it will give
us a gauge of where we are."
Next for Michigan
sports? A babysitter
By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Editor
When University President Lee
Bollinger organizes a search committee
to find the "ideal" athletic director to
J a m e s
wanted a busi-
person to direct
Michigan. After Bo Schembechler
stepped down as athletic director in
1990, Duderstadt got his wish.
Jack Weidenbach and Roberson,
each hired in the 1990s, propelled
Michigan to the forefront of the athlety
ic scene in marketing and apparel.
Roberson, whose nickname should
be "Swoosh" spearheaded Michigan's
groundbreaking contract with Nike.
Many others copied Roberson's deal,
and now it has become the standard in
college sports marketing.
But with this increased responsibili-
ty of living up to the standard of excel-
lence dictatedby a shoe company, other
problems have surfaced - internal
ones which suggest something wrong
in the department.
Roberson's replacement will be the
fourth athletic director in the '90s.
Between 1898 when Charles Baird
became the first athletic director at
Michigan and 1988 when Don Canham
retired, the University had a total of
five athletic directors.
See SEARCH, Page 15
After athletic director Joe Roberson finalizes his retirement plans, Michigan will
have to conduct a search for a suitable replacement.
Continued from Page 1
he'd be a part of it."
Neil Gardner, a former member of the men's track
team, said Roberson's office sent him flowers when
he competed in the 1996 Olympics. He said he hopes
the new athletic director is just as personable as
Roberson, if not more.
"The athletic director should try to get to know
everyone," Gardner said. "Not necessarily every name,
but come to the track meets and hockey games. Meet
the team and have a good relationship with them."
Coaches said they would miss the professionalism
Roberson brought to his job, but remained confident
that his replacement would also be satisfactory.
"Joe was very supportive of gender equity, so that
was beneficial to us," women's volleyball coach Greg
Giovanazzi said. "But I'm sure any future athletic
director will be just as supportive.'
James Henry, coach of the women's track team,
said he valued Roberson's accessibility.
"His doors were always open," Henry said. "He
was always there to converse with the coaches."
Ron Warhurst, coach of the men's cross country
team, said the University needs to find a sports-orient-
ed athletic director to handle the NCAA investigation.
"I think a guy that has experience in athletic admin-
istration isn't going to have a problem coming in,"
Warhurst said. "They have to get somebody who can
anticipate what to expect with an investigation.
"You're not going to take a guy that runs a flower
shop and put him in a factory."
By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Editor
Last Monday, the Michigan volleyball
team had its first practice of the 1997
season. The session was a significant
event for a few reasons.
It marks the beginning of the 25th sea-
son of Michigan volleyball and coach
Greg Giovanazzi's sixth year at the helm.
But those facts aren't as important as
this one: Michigan plays Idaho on Aug.
29 - a mere two weeks away.
The Wolverines travel to Seattle for
the Husky Tournament and will face
Idaho, Rhode Island and host
Washington, Aug. 29-30.
"It should be a very good tourna-
ment' Giovanazzi said. "Idaho is a real-
ly athletic team and Washington is
always in the upper third in the Pacific-
"So it will be a good test for us right
off the bat."
The Big Ten season doesn't begin
until the Wolverines travel to Minnesota
for the opener on Sept. 26. The
Wolverines have a full slate of competi-
tion ahead of themselves before the con-
ference season begins.
Except for the All Sport Challenge
hosted by Michigan on Sept. 5-6 and a
See SPIKERS, Page 14
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