Monday, June 4, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 11
senior class in a different light and
understand their stories and where
they're coming from.
"Not only was it building us
for the season, the main thing
is it developed us as leaders and
improved us as men."
A business trip
A three-day trip to California
sounds more like a vacation than
anything else. The players, though,
can assure you it was anything but.
Michigan officials told ESPN
that the Big Ten had cleared the trip
because of its benefits in develop-
ing leadership and life skills, which
under NCAA rules is permissible.
The trip was funded through a spe-
cial fund in the Michigan Athletic
With one quick look at the itiner-
ary, the seniors of Michigan's Team
133 knew one thing for certain:
"That this was a business trip,"
Kovacs said. "And that's exactly
what it was."
Michigan strength and con-
ditioning coach Aaron Wellman
joined the seniors for the extent
of the trip, with head coach Brady
Hoke stopping in briefly on the sec-
There were several senior-only
meetings in which players aired
their shortcomings, goals and frus-
trations. The focus was on three
"Ho hav ou devloe ds a
leader so far?"
"How have you developed as a
"What do you still need to
"A lot of us said, 'You know, we've
taken baby steps but we're still
nowhere near where we want to be
as leaders on this team,' " Kovacs
for the senior class. You saw guys
start to connect a bit - guys who
are from completely different back-
grounds but realized (they) had a
common story," Kovacs said.
Smelling roses for the first
On Thursday morning, the
player but how you carry yourself as
a person as well."
With the benefit having played
EA Sports' NCAA Football video
game, the youngsters correctly
identified a handful of Michigan
"Oh yeah, well that's pretty easy,"
He added: "We've been together
for four years en we know each
other pretty well, but there were
some stories that will stay in the
room that made me feel like I didn't
know my teammates half as well as
I thought I did."
But that's all part of the process
of building a senior class.
esw av yu eviueuasa tmesocraou unor 00
"ow have yo developed as a I think it created a tighter bond
CALLING ALL STUDENTS!
Do you have what it takes to be a
Now hiring for summer temp positions.
Go to google.umich.edu to apply.
seniors boarded abus and began the
hour-long trip to Pasedena to visit
the Rose Bowl.
It was an opportunity to visual-
ize for a team that hasn't reached
the Rose Bowl since 2007.
"It was my first time and I was
dying to see it," Kovacs said. "That's
a special place. I understand now
why they call it the granddaddy of
The team took a tour of the locker
rooms and stepped inside the bowl
to snap pictures.
"It was unreal," Kovacs said. "I
left that place thinking, 'I've gotta
be back here in six more months,
because I can't go too long away
from this place.
"We've had this vision of playing
in the Rose Bowl, but this gave us a
picture, something tangible to see
to make that vision even clearer."
The group went to a nearby park
to conduct the youth coaches camp,
splitting up into position groups
and rotating the kids through.
"Anytime that you get an oppor-
tunity to work with kids, you under-
stand that it's something they're
going to remember for their life-
time," Kovacs said. "It's an opportu-
nity that you have to send a message
to them and get to work with them
to not only develop them as football
playersbut also as human beings.
"They're not just watching or lis-
tening to what you say as a football
(COURTESY OF MICHIGAN FOOTBALL TWITTER)
"He got dog-piled."
"The kids said, 'Vince Smith ... is
that No. 2? Is that the running back?
Aw, he's good."' Kovacs said with a
laugh. "It was really funny."
Training with the SEALs
On Friday, the seniors earned a
trip to the beach in Coronado. But it
was no picnic.
That's because this beach was
at the Naval Amphibious Base just
outside San Diego. The Wolverines
were there to meet Rob Stella, the
SEALs' chief special warfare opera-
tor, who ran their workout.
Stella summed up the workout
by explaining a common military
motto: Embrace the suck.
That suck was brought on by
three hours of log carries, sit-ups,
push-ups and grueling team-build-
The seniors were then split up
into teams to create a competition
atmosphere and Stella would give
orders to one person from each
team. They would sprint back to
explain the drill to their team. The
first team to finish wins.
"At timeswe were doing thecom-
plete wrong thing and obviously
that's where communication was a
little broken down," Kovacs said.
The workout emphasized con-
cepts the coaches drill everyday:
accountability, toughness and per-
severance even through a rough set.
"You were only as strong as your
weakest link, really," Kovacs said.
"That really hit me during that trip
because I might be cranking out my
15 pushups but if my partner isn't
doing it, then we're going to start
"And we did that a lot, I can
promise you that. If the guy next to
me isn't carrying the log, I'm going
to be feelingthe brunt of it.
There were highs and lows. Some
teammates yelled, others helped.
The trip was designed that way.
"We showed our true colors in
the SEALs workout, whether we
liked it or not - a snapshot of who
we are," Kovacs said. "Some of it
wasn't pretty, but some of it was."
The seniors finished drenched
in sweat and covered in sand. They
posed for a team picture on the
beach and then collapsed once they
got back on the bus.
"It wasn't the most relaxing trip
to the beach, but it might have been
the most rewarding," Kovacs said.
"We slept good that night, I
promise you that."
Hoke, whose relationship with
the SEALs is well-documented,
has worked closely with them as
head coach at San Diego State, and
he had three SEALs visit before the
Nebraska game on Nov. 19.
The SEALs gave three tridents to
the team, which stay with the team
to this day.
Last week, with the seniors visit-
ing just days before Memorial Day,
the Wolverines were quick to point
out that they aren't comparing foot-
ball to what the SEALs do.
"Coach Wellman the first night
told us, 'What we do is nothing is
nothing compared to what they do,'
" Kovacs said. "If they go out there
and lose, they lose men. If we lose,
we just lose a game and we've got to
come back on Sunday and get those
"But there are some parallels
with the training, as there are with
many team sports, and we learned
how to control ourselves when
we're not comfortable, how to stay
mentally strong and how to over-
come adversity and how to commu-
Now a week removed from the
trip, Kovacs said it has already paid
dividends. The seniors met this
week to set goals and benchmarks
for their final season at Michigan.
"This senior group is tighter than
any group I've ever been a part of,
and I'm excited to see how far we
can take it," Kovacs said.
' to start sports
Students to get rewarded for
attending sporting events.
O P N O N
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should connect Ann Arbor
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Local author Natalie Bako-
poulos draws on personal
history in debut novel.
>> SEEPAGE 9
Q & A with Mark
Michigan alum and MLB
agent talks with the Daily.
Budget passed in
state House, awaits
vote in state Senate
By ANDREW SCHULMAN
On Friday, the state House of
Representatives approved a $1.4
billion higher education budget,
ending weeks of disagreement
about how to distribute $36 mil-
lion in additional higher education
The budget plan, which is
expected to be passed by the state
Senate and signed next week,
outlines a 1.6 percent increase in
funding for the University. The
increases under the plan would
be tied to performance metrics
such as holding tuition hikes
below 4 percent per year, offer-
ing degrees in "critical skill areas"
and reporting on embryonic stem
cell research - with the Universi-
ty being the only public university
in the state to conduct such work.
University officials, including
Cynthia Wilbanks and President
Mary Sue Coleman, as well as state
lawmakers have clashed over per-
formance metrics in the months
since Republican Gov. Rick Sny-
der introduced his budget for the
2012-13 fiscal year on Feb. 9.
In testimony to a House sub-
committee in March, Coleman
said she would prefer the Carne-
See BUDGET, Page 7
Ann Arbor, MI
UN E-H U N IDREDJ-T W EN T Y T WU Y EARS UF EDITOUUIAL FRE EDUM
Weekly Summer Edition
Monnav Tune 4 2012
State, 'U' leaders signify
importance of higher ed.
> SEEPAGE 11J
Vl. I, No 1*71 *2012The Michigan Daily
NEW S ............................... 2
e auto industry Conference, they all said higher
.t p education is crucial to turning
so hot topic at Michigan's economic fortunes
around. Snyder said there are
nearly 80,000 open jobs in the
state that employers are having
OSEPH LICHTERMAN trouble filling because they can't
Editor in Chief find enough educated people to
CKINAC ISLAND - Coleman, alongwith other Uni-
ican Gov. Rick Snyder and versity officials who attended the
Zakaria, CNN foreign three-day conference at the posh
host and Time magazine Grand Hotel, said the annual event
at-large, agreed with Uni- hosted by the Detroit Regional
President Mary Sue Cole- Chamber was an apt opportunity
d Bill Ford Jr., chairman of for them to discuss ways to make
[otor Company. higher education more accessible
he 2012 Mackinac Policy and to build relationships with
the business and political leaders
gathered on the island.
"The time up here is a way that
we can talk even more about (the
and celebrate what's happening in
the state," Coleman said.
But noticeably absent from the
conference were state lawmakers
who stayed in Lansing to wrap
up the state budget by the June 1
deadline Snyder imposed. One of
the major sticking points that the
Michigan Legislature was work-
ing to iron out was the state's high-
er education appropriation.
The state House ultimately
See HIGHER ED., Page 2