Page 6- The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - February 11, 1991
eFULL COU RT.
Television puts women's
game into new spotlight
by David Schechter
Daily Basketball Writer
Two months ago, Michigan women's basketball head coach Bud
VanDeWege wouki have laughed off the proposition of his team
playing in front of a television audience. But today, it's for real. What
makes Michigan's loss a little easier to swallow is that the game was
aired to a potential television audience of over 2.8 million viewers.
The SportsChannel, a capable sports network much like
Michigan's PASS, aired the game live throughout Illinois, Iowa, Ohio,
Kentucky, and Indiana. The game was also broadcast on tape delay to
viewers in Michigan on PASS.
Television coverage is yet another leap forward for women's athlet-
ics, specifically women's basketball. This untapped bracket is finally
getting noticed as economically viable.
This year, the Big Ten conference, in conjunction with
SportsChannel, began its first year of televising the sport. The contract
for women's games runs for five years.
It is a very unique deal according to Mark Rudner, head of public
relations for the Big Ten.
"We share production costs evenly with SportsChannel," Rudner
said. "Therefore, we have access to half the commercial inventory."
But according to Rudner, it's not really about the money. It's about
reaching a wider audience and introducing them to the sport.
"I think you have to judge the success of this by the fact that it got
on the air, it's being aired live, and presumably everyone involved is
happy with the programming;" Rudner said.
However, television business deals aren't usually cut to make
people happy. Business is business. The Big Ten and SportsChannel
have both committed large sums of money to women's basketball,
banking on the ultimate success of the project. Obviously, both parties
feel that the time has come for a women's basketball following to
Kelly Sullivan, public relations director for SportsChannel, "saw it
a'great programming. We created the largest women's package of its
kind. You have the whole league involved instead of just selected
Sullivan, who worked at Northwestern as athletic promotions direc-
tor, knows how much a team gears itself up for a big televised game.
"We've had some real exciting games on because it's such an
exciting thing for the players," Sullivan said.
Typically, cable companies do not subscribe to ratings services,
and therefore judge the success of certain programming by viewer
"Our viewer response has. been extremely positive," Sullivan said.
"Between letters and phone calls, we think the audience really likes
Women's basketball is the anchor to the SportsChannel-Big Ten
deal, which also includes such non-revenue sports as college baseball
and softball games. However, basketball receives most of the
attention with a total of the week throughout the season.
It does appear that women's basketball is in the right place at the
right time. Cable's explosive rate of expansion has created a need for
more consistent quality programming. The women's game is the
perfect way to fill that need.
Too many people fail to realize how much talent is on any Big Ten
court at any given time. With all the elements of the men's game -
seed, scoring, finesse, perimeter shooting, and shot-blocking - plus
more solid fundamentals and a 30-second shot clock, the women's
game is ready for prime time.
The SportsChannel has speculated on the success of their latest
project - and they may have struck gold. Or at least silver for now.
Only time will tell, but hopefully at the end of this five-year deal,
women's basketball and its following will have come a long way.
Wrestlers beat Gophers after OSU loss
by Josh Dubow
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend the Michigan
wrestling team faced two of its
closest competitors for second
place in the Big Ten, and if these
results are an indicator of things to
come, the fiercest battle is yet to
Friday, the Wolverines (11-5
overall, 5-2 Big Ten) fell to Ohio
State (14-3, 4-1), 20-18, but rallied
Sunday, scoring the last nine
points of the meet, to defeat Min-
The Wolverines dominated the
opening and close of the Min-
nesota meet, but slumped in the
middle. Even though Michigan
opened the meet by taking a 9-5
lead, led by a major decision from
Joey Gilbert, coach Dale Bahr was
not happy with his team's early
"Salem's (Yaffai, 118 pounds)
match was a little closer than I
would have liked to see," Bahr
said. "The whole team looked a
little tired out there today -
Salem especially. We have been
working the team really hard lately
in preparation for Big Tens so that
does not really worry me.
"James (Rawls, 142) has gotten
into a tie mode. (Rawls tied both
matches this weekend). He has got
to go for the win more, and not be
as tentative as he was."
Minnesota (9-4, 2-3) battled
back and scored three major deci-
sions in the next four matches and
took the lead, 17-12. Michigan's
lone victor in this dry spell was
Sean Bormet (158). Bormet,
ranked sixth in the nation, de-
feated Mike Marzetta, the 10th-
Entering the third period,
Bormet trailed, 1-0, with the only
score coming from a Marzetta es-
cape at the opening of the second
period. Bormet then escaped five
seconds into the period, and the
Minnesota junior Scott Ruhrer gets taken down by Michigan's Joey Gilbert in the 134 weight class during
Saturday's meet with the Golden Gophers. Gilbert won the match, 15-5.
wrestlers battled for control until
Bormet scored a takedown as
Marzetta was trying to reach
safety out of bounds with 38 sec-
onds left. Marzetta escaped with
eight seconds left, but Bormet
avoided a late takedown attempt
by Marzetta to hold on for a 3-2
Bahr looked called this the key
match in the dual meet.
"Sean did not wrestle well at
Ohio State and that was the turn-
ing point there," Bahr said. "We
knew this would be the key again
today, and his win kept us in posi-
tion for Fritz (Lehrke, 190) and
Phil (Tomek, HWT) to win it for
Steve Benninger (150) substi-
tuted for Brian Harper as Harper
injured his foot Friday and was
kept out for precautionary mea-
sures. Benninger was at the Dis-
trict Championships in Lake Orion,
when Bahr called Benninger late
Saturday afternoon. Benninger lost
12 pounds Saturday night and
made weight Sunday morning.
Bahr was pleased with Benninger's
effort, although it was in a losing
"You can't afford to give up six
points in a match this close," Bahr
said. "Steve went the extra mile
The upper weights proved the
difference Sunday as Lehrke tied
the meet with a technical fall, and
Tomek closed the match with a
major decision. Lehrke realized
the importance of his match.
"I knew I could beat him (Todd"
Moss)," Lehrke said. "But the im-
portant thing was to get extra
points on the board, and luckily I
Michigan's Kevin Williams
(167) and Lanny Green (177) both
lost, with Green falling to No. 1
ranked Marty Morgan.
Continued from page 1
movement, and Nancy Kennelly
out there, you're going to get a lot
of backdoor layups," Perrelli said.
"It's a passing game. When you
have a team down by 20 points,
they're going to be out of
Kennelly, a junior guard on a
team rich in experience, lifted the
Wildcats to a lead early in the
game with her outside shooting.
She shot 75 percent from the field
and popped in three of five three-
point attempts to spread the
Michigan zone while notching 21
The 58 percent Northwestern
field goal shooting, however,
wasn't the determining factor in
the first minutes of the game; the
Northwestern press was.
"(The Wildcats) broke the
game back in Ann Arbor with their
press," Michigan coach Bud
VanDeWege said, "and they did it
again today. The press got (the
Michigan players) early, and that
"The game plan was to press,"
Perrelli stated. "Once we got on
track and got the pressure on the
ball, it seemed to open up
3-pt. goals: 5-10(Nuanes 5-11, Durand 2-2,
Loeher 0-1), (FG%-.356, 3-pt. FG%-.500, FT%-
.455) Blks: 3 (Andrew 1, Hall 1, Jones 1)
Tumovers: 18 (McCall 5, Jones 5, Durand 1,
Szczechowski 2, Nuanes 2, Beaudry 2, Jokisch 1.)
Steals: 7 (Nuanes 3, Szczechowski 2, Durand 1,
Player TFG FT R A PF TP
VOLUNTEER SPIRIT AWARD
In association with 01%
The University of Michigan
The Michigan Union/
Student Organization Development Center
Submit Your Applications
for the GM Volunteer
Deadline ! rapplications i:
Fri., February 15, 1991
Ai n available :
Player TFG FT
R A PF TP
3-pt. goals: 3-5(Kennelly 3-5),( FG%-.583, 3-pt.
FG%-.600, FT%-.692) Blks: 6 (Ertel 3, Babcock
1, Cole 1, Kennelly, N. 1) Turnovers: 21
(Kennelly, N. 5, Babcock 3, Cole 3, Kennelly, M.
3, Whitmore 3, Kroll 2.) Steals: 12 (Savage5,
Kennelly, N. 3, Cole 2, Babcock 1, Groh 1).
Halftime: Michigan 37-25
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Those interested in applying, do so
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Up for grabs
The Arkansas Razorbacks and the UNLV Rebels battled for the nation's top
college basketball ranking. UNLV prevailed, 112-105.