Monday, May 21, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, May 21, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'M' eliminated by Florda in Sweet Sixteen
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
RMT H E D AI Y
Bill may make NSF's funding of poly-sci research illegal
The National Science Foundation is facing an unprecedented con-
gressional intervention in its internal decision-making process.
Last week, the U.S. House passed an amendment for a bill that
would make it illegal for the NSF to fund political science research,
something it has been doing for decades. The vote, motivated by partisan
opposition to a handful of research projects, such as "Understanding the
Origins of the Gender Gap in Political Ambition," paves the way for fur-
ther congressional interference in scientific research. Such interference
will seriously hinder the NSF's ability to serve as a clearinghouse for the
nation's most promising research. The amendment must be stopped in
Stake in the game
On May 2, as the news of her grown in recent years. The Super
son's untimely passing pulsed Bowl set the record for U.S. televi-
along newswires throughout the sion ratings three years in a row,
country, Luisa Seau addressed the with the latest garnering an aver-
-well wishers who had made their age of 111.3 million viewers. Eight
way out to her home in Oceanside, of the Big House's 10 highest atten-
Calif. Distraught and understand- dances - which are effectively
ably hysterical, she choked out collegiate football's attendance
a public statement that ended in records -have occurred in the past
tears and a warning. two years. When a market this con-
"Drive carefully, drive safely," ductive to the growth of a product
she cried, no doubt recalling the such as collegiate or professional
cliff-side plunge that Junior Seau's football is present, questions of
SUV had taken only a couple of ownership with issues like player
years earlier, an accident that, safety persist. Who is to be held
though he emerged unharmed, now responsible for.Duerson or Waters?
possessed more suspect motiva- Surely the players, who delivered
tions in light of hisdeath. the hits to Duerson, Waters, Web-
The tale of Junior Seau, a for- ster, Easterling or Seau could point
mer National Football League star the finger of blame to the coaches
whose life came to an early end after who called the plays. The coaches,
his playing career, is one that is all likewise, could turn the fault to the
too familiar in the NFL in recent owners and athletic directors who
years. By now, many of us have pay them to make these decisions.
heard the stories of Dave Duerson, And who else would the owners
Mike Webster, Ray Easterling and and ADs shift the blame to but us,
Andre Waters, all former. players the very fans who put the money
who have recently taken their own into their hands, who create the
lives. Waters was left with brain demand for such a product?
tissue that had degenerated to the There is a certain pride, no
state of an 85-year-old man by the doubt, associated with football at
time he died, due to the concus- the University of Michigan, the
sions he suffered during his football home of the winningest football
career. He was 43. Duerson, in an program of all time. Beyond this
act that was tragically eerie, sent a pride, however, what is our true
text message to his family minutes stake inthe game as spectatorssaAs
before his suicide, stating that he students, does it truly serve as any-
wanted his brain to be donated to thing more than a venuefor drunk-
science after he died. He, like Seau, en merriment for the majority of
then shot himself in the chest. us? Is that worth the possibility of
And now, in addition to these someday seeing our fellow class-
deaths, the loss of Junior Seau raises mates who take the field suffer the
questions that the game of football, same fate as Dave Duerson?
from the NFL to the high-school It's time for the student body, for
level, is hard-pressed to answer: the fans, to consider this harsh real-
What's the price of entertainment? ity and to ponder: What does this
Will too many parents concerned game really mean to usS When we
with their child's safety keep them face the facts of the situation, it's
from playing football, killing the easy to see that the inherent risks of
sport from the ground up? What is the game are not worth our selfish
the future of football? For the most rewards. It's because we don't take
part, the answers to these questions the hits across the middle, the bone
are unclear. rattling collisions, nor the back-
A more important question, breaking blindside sacks that the
however, is one that not only the players are subjected to every game,
NFL or the NCAA should be ask- and many of us will not see a loved
log, but also the fans: What do we one take his own life as a result of
do now? Given a sports culture this punishment. Instead, as the
that only a few years ago celebrated players make their way off the field
the hard-hitting toughness of the at a game's conclusion, they're the
game (check YouTube for clips of ones who are possibly injured and
the. now-defunct "Knocked Up" perhaps, as the team doctors may
segments from ESPN's NFL Live), later tell them, irreversibly so. We,
the transition from this tough atti- the fans, just file out of our seats
tude to a public consciousness that either raucous in victoryor despon-
is more concerned with safety has dent in defeat, but regardless, feel-
been relatively swift. ing things easily forgotten by the
One looming issue still persists next week's contest. There is no one
that negates this concern. It's an telling us about broken legs, head
issue that contradicts the very trauma or ended careers, just the
nature of professional and colle- voice of the announcer as he calmly
giate football itself: We still watch sounds across the PA, "Everyone
the game. Despite the mounting drive home safely."
By BEN SEIDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
There were a couple bright spots
for the No. 15 Michigan women's
tennis team first round matchup
versus the No. 2 Florida Gators. But
in the end, they were sent home
packing from the University of
Georgia's Tennis Complex in their
third consecutive appearance in the
Florida handled Michigan, win-
ning three singles matches decisive-
ly over the Wolverines. However,
Michigan freshman Emina Bektas
and sophomore Brooke Bolender
gave the No. 1 nationally ranked
doubles partners, Allie Will and
Sofie Oyen, all they could handle.
Bektas and Bolender ousted the
best doubles duo in the nation and
was the first match to finish on the
But the rest of the team was not
as successful in its matches. In fact,
Bektas and Bolender's win was
the first and only match Michigan
would take all day.
The Wolverines have yet to beat
the Gators in head to head matches
in the three times they have met in
series play. This weekend marks the
third consecutive appearance in the
Sweet Sixteen, and is Michigan's
fourth in its program's history, and
is also Michigan coach Ronni Bern-
stein's third Sweet Sixteen appear-
ance in her fifth year as head coach.
Michigan finished this season
with an overall record of 21-8 and a
10-1 conference record.
"I'm pretty happy with the way
we played in general," Bernstein
said. "We had a shot at the doubles
point, and I think that if we could
have squeaked out a win there it
would have put a little more pres-
sure on Florida in singles. They kind
of just took it to us in the singles.
When you have chances to make
something happen, you have to take
them, and we couldn't do that."
Bernstein is always happy to
make it to the Sweet Sixteen but
admitted that Florida was simply
a better team than Michigan was.
Satisfied with the level of energy
and fearless spirit, Bernstein knows
that there is plenty of room for
improvement with the amount of
youth and talent on their squad.
"We had a good year," said Bern-
stein. "We got here again, and that
was our goal. We wanted to take a
step forwards and improve. Over-
all, I'm very happy with the way we
played and competed all year, and
that's all you can ask for."
Senior Michelle Sulahian capped
her career off, closing out with a
record of 85-49 in singles matches,
placing herself in the top-10 among
Michigan's all time singles wins
Fresman Sarah Lee also wrapped
up her rookie debut season with an
impressive 32-10 singles record to
rank fifth among Michigan single-
season Wins leaders. Bektas tied
her in the same category, finishing
32-9 for the season and will have a
chance to improve upon her record
in the NCAA Singles Champion-
Thompson ends career at NCAA Central Regional
U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
proposed the "Flake amendment,"
which prohibits the NSF from
funding political science research,
as he believes it is "a waste of tax-
payer dollars." The representative
cited, among others, a project that
requested "$600,000 to try to fig-
ure out if policymakers actually
do what citizens want them to do."
The House voted on this amend-
ment May 9, and it passed by avote
of 21$-208. The current amend-
ment is Representative Flake's sec-
ond attempt to cut NSF spending.
Last year, his proposal to trim the
general NSF budget failed in a 291-
Representative Flake's singling
out of an individual academic
area should give us pause. Federal
research funding drives innova-
tion at the University of Michigan;
last year federal money accounted
for $800 million of the University's
research expenditures. An attack
on the NSF may signal trouble
for other, larger federal research
agencies. Flake is a known oppo-
nent of research funding, and his
attacks on political science should
be taken not asa sincere evaluation
of that field's social value, but as a
politician's search for a vulnerable
target. Most research is valuable,
though not all project titles make
that value immediately obvious.
There is tremendous irony in
Rep. Flake's opposition to politi-
cal science research. The con-
gressman himself holds a master's
degree in political science. Fur-
ther, the research Flake cites to
explain his amendment has imme-
diate, tangible implications for the
U.S. government.It matters agreat
deal whether, as Flake describes
the project he opposes, "policy-
makers actually do what citizens
want them to do." The particular
funding Flake proposes to cut is
money that would be used to study
how the government - of which
Congressman Flake is a part -
does its job.
American political leaders
have long recognized that aca-
demic research is valuable. They
have also, since creating the NSF,
respected Congress's decision to
give scientific experts respon-
sibility over research funding
rather than elected officials and
civil servants. The NSF's leader-
ship is chosen by the president,
but the original law's requirement
that members of the foundation's
board be "eminent in their field"
ensures that the NSF's governing
body can put good research ahead
of politics. Federal funding is one
of the most important sources of
money for academic research in
this country. Previous Congresses
understood how important it was
for decisions about research to be
made by experts. That's why they
created the NSF.
By PETER BROWN
Daily Sports Writer
At 9:40 a.m. on Saturday morn-
ing, Matt Thompson stood on the
tenth hole tee box at the University
of Michigan Golf Course prepar-
ing to strike his opening drive of
the NCAA Central Regional final
In order to move on to the NCAA
Finals at Riviera Country Club in
Los Angeles, Calif. on May 29-June
3, Thompson would have to post a
low score - something in the mid-
to-high 60s - to have a chance.
Otherwise, the round would be the
senior's last as a collegiate golfer.
After hitting his tee shot in the
right rough, Thompson marched up
the fairway with coach Chris Whit-
ten by his side. They looked a little
odd, seeing as they both sported
nearly knee-high blue socks, a rarity
amongst the other 74 competitors.
They were a sequel to the white
ones that Thompson had donned on
Friday, but this time his coaches got
in on the action.
"(Whitten and assistant coach
Nick Pumford) threw them on
today, which I was actually kind of
surprised to see," Thompson said.
"Yeah, I don't think (my team-
mates) jumped on that bandwagon,"
he said, chuckling.
Thompson's flashy wardrobe,
however, was juxtaposed all week
by his calm demeanor and his
steady play on the course.
During Thursday's first round,
Thompson struck the ball well, hit-
ting 14 out of 18 greens in regula-
tion. He made two birdies and no
bogeys on the front nine, making
the turn at two-under par. After a
string of missed birdie opportuni-
ties on the second nine, Thompson
hit back-to-back wayward drives
on holes 17 and 18, both resulting in
bogey. He finished the round at an
even-par 71, four strokes back of the
leader, but solidly in a tie for fourth
"I was hoping a few putts would
drop eventually but nothing really
did," Thompson said. "I hit a lot of
downhillers I had to be pretty care-
ful with. I couldn't get real aggres-
sive with anything."
Because the pin locationswere so
difficult during the first round, low
scoring was tough to come by.
On day two, however, the pins
were much more accessible, and
it showed early on in Thompson's
round. He promptly birdied holes 10
and 11- his first two of the day - en
route to a three-under 32 total for
his first nine holes. The highlight
came on the demanding par-four
18th hole, when Thompson hit his
long approach shot over the water
to within four feet of the cup. He
easily drained the putt to move to
three-under for the tournament.
From there; his round suddenly
became riddled with missed oppor-
tunities. After narrowly missing
birdie putts on holes one and two,
Thompson took a calculated risk
by attempting to cut the corner on'.
the par-5 third. Instead of driving
it down the fourth fairway like he
planned, he hit a tree branch with
his tee shot, eventually resulting in
"I had so many chances that just
didn't go in," Thompson said. "I hit
it better (than on Thursday), putted
better and got the most I could out
of the round. I just missed a couple
short ones and had a lot of 15 to 20
footersgoing over edges of the cup."
Thompson finished his round
with a respectable two-under 69,
but was five strokes off the pace of
the leaders. He would need a strong
round on Saturday to have a shot at
moving on to Riviera.
"If I do the same things I did
today, I could easily put a 64 or a 65
up on the board. I just have to go out
and do it, make more putts and play
my game," Thompson said.
But on Saturday, Thompson
couldn't replicate Friday's hot start.
two par-fives (holes 11 and 1) and
was two-over par through 10 holes.
Add in the fact that North Caro-
lina State's Albin Choi came into
the clubhouse with a three-under
68 and a 10-under par tournament
total, and Thompson's fate was
sealed. He wouldn't be moving on
to the NCAA Finals.
Thompson finished his round
with two birdies and two bogeys,
carding a two-over 73. His total for
the tournament was an even-par 213
total, good for a tie for 19th place.
"It was a grind all day," Thomp-
son said. "But what can you do? It's
golf- not every day is perfect. I still
The reality that this was his last
tournament as a Wolverine wasn'tl
sinking in yet.
"I+1 ' i } c nL n]+1 ,++
put it all into perspective," Thomp-
son said, choked up. "It was a lot
of fun - finishing up on my home
course. Not a lot of people get to
play their last tournament at home,
so that was great."
Thompson finishes the season
with a 72.06 scoring average, sec-
ond only to his own record of 72.00
from the 2009-2010 season. He also
finishes his Michigan career as the
all-time leader in scoring average,
with a mark of 72.79.
He plans on turning professional
in three weeks, at the Michigan
"I'm going to try to play as much
as I can this summer, then start a
full-time schedule in the beginning
of 2013," Thompson said.
He'll be taking his high socks
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tragedies, the popularity of foot-
ball in the United States has only
Gus Turner is a LSA junior.