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June 04, 2012 - Image 2

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Monday, June 4, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, June 4, 2012
The Michigan Dily - michigandaily.com

11

HIGHER ED.
From Page 1A
passed its version of the budget
Friday, allocating $1.4 billion to
the state's 15 public universities,
including an additional $36 million
that will be distributed based on
the Carnegie Classification, a com-
prehensive system of metrics that
measures the universities' perfor-
mance. .
The metrics included in the
House bill are different than those
initially proposed by Snyder. In an
interview Wednesday, before the
House passed its budget, Repub-
lican Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said
the first allocation formula, which
would reward schools for things
such as low tuition costs and a high
graduation rate, allowed the state
to incentivize the schools in order
to help the economy.
"We're trying to ... take the
growing resources that we have
today - it's great to be in a posi-
tion where we can make strategic
investments - and use it to encour-
age the sorts of things that we need

to happen in order to meet all the
demands of the economy today,"
Calley said.
Numerous speakers from
throughout the conference pointed
out that Michigan needs more col-
lege graduates of all kinds - two-
year degrees, four-year degrees
and advanced degrees - to fill the
80,000 jobs Snyder referenced.
However, higher education lead-
ers attheconferencenotedthatthey
were already making contributions
to the economy. On Wednesday,
the University Research Corridor
released a study that reported the
three URC schools - the Univer-
sity of Michigan, Michigan State
University and Wayne State Uni-
versity - have graduated 3,600
students who took jobs in the auto
industry over the past five years.
Coleman said the number of stu-
dents the universities graduated,
along with the more than $300
million in auto-related research at
the universities, show how impor-
tant the schools are to the state's
economy.
"Even though the auto industry
is changing dramatically, it's still a

very important part of the Michi-
gan economy, and the innovation
in the auto industry is something
that fits very well with the research
agendas of the universities," Cole-
man said.
Stephen Forrest, the Univer-
sity's vice president for research
who also attended the conference,
said the auto-related research and
graduates coming from the URC
schools could help create a Silicon
Valley-like atmosphere in south-
east Michigan surrounding the
auto industry.
Forrest added that he hoped his
time in Mackinac would allow the
University to make additional con-
nections in the business world soit
can continue to commercialize its
research findings.
"Some of the talks have been
fascinating to get a sense of where
Michigan industry and the econo-
my are rightnow, and this is crucial
for the University of Michigan's
planning and research sphere ...
because we're engaged with them;
we need to know where they're
going," Forrest said.
Forrest added that he found
old and the eldest was in his 70s.
Burton added that she was glad to
watch the climbers and said she
even intended to help a quadrilat-
eral amputee who is missing all
four of her limbs climb the rock
wall.
"Watching participants cheer
for each other and providing
encouragement always gives me
teary eyes," Burton said.
Nora Rosenblum, a UMHS
social worker who works with
U-CAN and helped organize the
event, said in the past she has been
active in programs in the amputee
community and part of her role
includes co-facilitating the sup-
port network.
"My involvement with U-CAN
is not only a job for me, but also a
passion," Rosenblum said.
Rosenblum added that she wit-
nessed many participants undergo
transformations of self-awareness
throughout the event.
"For many, there has been a
huge change," Rosenblum said.
"One of our younger participants
wasn't sure if he wanted to rock
climb at first, but after a few

the conference useful because
it brought together all the vari-
ous aspects of the University and
allowed leaders to analyze its
impact on the state.
"The University of Michigan is
a very public-spirited institution,
and we're very woven into the fab-
ric of the state - that's research,
that's education and that's health-
care - and they all come together
at this conference," he said.
Similarly, Douglas Strong, CEO
of the University's Hospitals and
Health Centers, also attended
the conference and explained in
an interview with The Michigan
Daily that the conference helps
him stay up-to-date on happen-
ings in the health community and
how health care costs are affecting
other businesses.
"I come here, and I meet hospi-
tal people from around the state,"
Strong said. "It's part of impor-
tant networking, and it's also
important to participate in hear-
ing what other businesses are
saying about the impact of health
care costs about what they're
doing."
climbs, the sky was the limit for
(him)."
Douglas Edmonson, a health
sciences student at Oakland Uni-
versity, got out of his wheelchair to
climb a 50-foot wall.
"Every step gives me a sense
of accomplishment," Edmonson
said. "I had my doubts before
coming here today and I was
nervous to begin with, but my
experience has shattered my
doubts."
Jake Steinhebel, a 10th-grade
student at Pinckney High School,
is a patient at C.S. Mott Children's
Hospital who underwent a leg
amputation. Steinhebel participat-
ed in both the rock climbing and
golf activities.
He said his first time climb-
ing was one to remember, adding
that he felt uneasy near the top
even though he was confident at
the start.
"I never rock climbed before,
but I did it today and climbed at
least 45 feet off the ground," Stein-
hebel said. "I also made many
great connections today with the
other participants."

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EDITORIAL STAFF
Giacomo Bologna
o*'"ona@'chigoada"""'" m

Managing Editor

Anna Roenhnrg ManagingsNews Editor
san.,z@ch.gardaily..o'.
Adrienne Robets Euiorial Page Editor
ColleenoThomas uManaggSports Edito
collthom@,richigndaiy.is,
Anna Saduuskaya ea,,aeig~rs,Editor
Terra Molengraff Managing Phoo Ed1ior
dhoto.@nihigndaily.us,.

By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Editor
Wouldn't everyone like to be
Justin Verlander's agent?
If your name is Mark Pieper,
you're living the dream.
Pieper, who graduated from
Michigan with a degree in econom-
ics and a law degree from North-
western, is a part owner of the
agency SFX Baseball, one of the
largest in the industry.
The Michigan Daily caught up
with the alum and talked about
baseball, representing Detroit
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and
Michigan football.
The Michigan Daily: What
made you want to come to Michi-
gan?
Mark Pieper: Ironically, I wish
I had some amazing story about
how I always wanted to come to
Michigan. It was complete chance
I was there. One of the kids I
went to junior high with applied
there, and I went to high school
where not a lot of kids were going
to that caliber of school. So I kind
of reconnected with this kid and
he was really excited about it and
he basically said, "Hey, you should
apply to Michigan and be my room-
mate" and I said OK. That's how it
went. It wasn't that sophisticated.
My parents didn't go to college, my
oldest brother didn't go to college,
my other brother went to a smaller
Division III, so there wasn't a lot of
guidance or a long family history.
But I met my wife there as a fresh-
man and her parents both went to

Michigan, so there's some family
connection there.
TMD: What made you want to
become an agent?
MP: A long history of being
interested in sports, combined with
an interest in law kind of sparked
my interest at the very beginning.
As I said, I met my wife when I was
at Michigan and her father was a
longtime baseball agent, and I pret-
ty much learned everything I know
from him. He went to Michigan and
played baseball at Michigan, too.
TMD: You said you wanted to be
a football agent, what made you get
into baseball?
MP: Baseball was introduced
to me by my father in law because
that's all he did. I think it was a bet-
ter fit because baseball has some-
thing called salary arbitration and
basically it's'a legal process where
you represent a player through this
process and write briefs and pres-
ent a case orally. That kind of fit
my need to do a little practicing of
law. It was kind of a good fit for me
to transition into baseball and use
some of the legal skills right away
in writing and arguing arbitration
cases.
TMD: And obviously you're still
in the baseball field.
MP: Yep, that's all I do is base-
ball. Our firm, which is called SFX
Baseball, all we do is baseball. We
grew from a two-person firm in the
1970s, and now we have around 28
or 29 employees.
TMD: What athletes do you rep-
resent?
MP: Our firm has Mariano Rive-

Michigan alum and MLB agent talks
Justin Verlander, Michigan football

ra, Justin Verlander, David Ortiz,
Alfonzo Soriano, Justin Morneau,
Jim Thome - that's a pretty good
mix. We have about 70 guys total.
TMD: Are there any clients that
playedbaseball at Michigan?
MP: Yes. Chris Getz. Royals sec-
ond baseman.
TMD: How did you get in con-
tact with him? Did you watch him
play in Ann Arbor?
MP: Actually he's a guy I got
later on. He was playing for the Chi-
cago White Sox and we had a client
on the White Sox named Gordon
Beckham and they were friends,
and I met Chris that way. So he
hired me after he already left Mich-
igan and developed a pro career.
But we had Zach Putnam, and Zach
was out of Michigan, and one of our
agents lives in Ann Arbor. He has a
lot of connections there, so he lives
and works out of Ann Arbor.
TMD: Take me step-by-step
through your job through the sea-
son.
MP: Being an agent years ago,
(it was) primarily negotiating con-
tracts. We started adding tax peo-
ple and marketing, (and) slowly but
surely it has become what it is now,
which is full-service. We have a tax
department, financial department,
legal department, public relations
(and) charity. We can be involved
with anything and everything.
TMD: So during the season, are
you in contact with the players a
lot?
MP: All the time. During the
season, I probably talk to my clients
every few days, maybe I go a week

at most without talking to them,
but with texting, I think I'm in con-
stant contact with them.
TMD: I couldn't imagine the life
of a professional baseball player,
with 162 games and PR and Twitter
and such.
MP: I think the most challeng-
ing thing, and that most people
don't realize, is people on the out-
side think they have a 7:00 p.m.
game and roll in at the field at 5:30
p.m. But they're at the field at like
1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. The game
lasts until at least 10:00 p.m., they
have to shower and eat after the
game, and they don't get to bed
until very late, so they have to sleep
in a little bit. So they only have a
very small window of time that is
available every day. Everything else
is baseball. There's not a lot of free
time - all their free time is at the
ballpark.
TMD: Do you get to go to games
often? Any just for fun?
MP: I go to games all the time. I
started keeping track of the amount
of games I go to over the course of
the year. From the start of this sea-
son, I've been to 33 games, but the
only games I go for fun are my son's.
Not that I don't have fun at the
games, but they're all work related.
TMD: What clients do you rep-
resent specifically?
MP: Justin Morneau of the
Twins, Justin Verlander - I work
with another agent with Verlander
- Chris Getz, Juan Pierre of the
Phillies, Erik Bedard and Garrett
Jones of the Pirates, Koji Uehara,
who's a reliever on the Rangers,

Jordan Zimmerman and Tom Gor-
zelanny, who are pitchers on the
Nationals, Brian Roberts of the Ori-
oles. All great guys.
TMD: Tell me a little bit about
Justin Verlander. What's it like rep-
resenting him?
MP: He has become such an
elite pitcher. He is so dominant in
what he does. Every start is such
pleasure to watch because he has
a chance to pitch a no-hitter every
game - that's how good his stuff is.
But what comes with that is a tre-
mendous amount of off-the-field
stuff. There's a whole team of peo-
ple. There are (two other guys) who
deal with the day-to-day requests
to be on shows, to do commercials
or ads. When you have success,
that's what comes with it. You have
to pick and choose which ones you
want to do and make sure you don't
do too much and neglect your base-
ball and family obligations.
TMD: Are there any Michigan
connections between you and Chris
Getz?
MP: There isn't too much of a
connection there in terms of "Oh,
we were in the same fraternity"
or anything like that. I think the
bond over Michigan (and) just the
general pride of having both gone
there, but there's certainly still the
connection in the football world
and rooting for Michigan football.
When you went to Michigan and
you meet another person who went
to Michigan, it's just a matter of
minutes before Michigan football
comes up. So we have that bond
together.

UMHS sponsors
amputee event
Participants able participants from across south-
. . . eastern Michigan.
to push their limits eatrMihgn
t sIn addition to rock climbing,
rock climbing participants socialized and played
adaptive golf during an after-
noon picnic at the city's Veterans
By JOSH QIAN Memorial Park.
Daily StaffReporter Shauna Mote, limb loss support
coordinator for U-CAN and the
On Saturday, the University of main organizer of the event, said
Michigan Health Systems spon- she wants to pass on hope to the
sored its First Climb event where participants and help them real-
those who have had amputation ize they can still do many activi-
surgeries were given the oppor- ties they were involved in prior to
tunity to master rock climbing, losing a limb.
play games and connect with "I am really happy about the
each other. turnout of the event," Mote said.
The event, co-sponsored by the "The participants really demon-
University's Orthotics and Pros- strated incredible resilience."
thetics Center and the University's Robin Burton, executive direc-
Community Amputee Network tor of the Orthotic and Prosthetic
(U-CAN), took place at Planet Activities Foundation, said the
Rock Climbing Gym with over 50 youngest participant was 4 years

Kendra furry
copydesk@mihigadati''com

copychief

BUSINESS STAFF
Brett Bergy sales anager
oeCrim classified's.Account.Executive
ConnorByrd Finance Manager
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M' seniors show true colors in leadership trip

By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Editor
Twenty-two members from the
Michigan football travelled to New-
port Beach, Calif. last week for a
three-day senior leadership trip.
They saw, heard and experienced
plenty of things they never expect-
ed.
There were closed-door senior
meetings. There was a brutal three-
hour workout with Navy SEALs in
Coronado, Calif. There was a visit to

the Rose Bowl.
And there was Big Will.
Fifth-year senior safety Jordan
Kovacs can't describe the scene
without laughing. The seniors were
conducting a youth football clinic in
Pasedena, Calif
Kovacs remembers turningto see
6-foot-5, 322-pound lineman Will
Campbell bolting down the football
field with 35 kids in tow.
"I was thinking, 'How is he
gonna get away from all these kids?'
" Kovacs said.

Well, he didn't. One of the young-
sters brought Campbell down and
the rest dog-piled on top.
But it wasn't all fun and dog-piles
for the Michigan seniors. There was
praise and ridicule, relaxation and
pain, but it was all for a purpose.
"It was overwhelming," Kovacs
said. "I think a lot of people proba-
bly think itwas just a seniortrip, but
that's not at all what it was. It was a
leadership-building trip and it was
an opportunity to see the restof our
See SENIORS, Page 12

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