The Wolverine

November 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2022 THE WOLVERINE 9 BY ANTHONY BROOME U -M is going through a transforma- tive time with Santa Ono begin- ning his five-year term as the univer- sity's next president on Oct. 14. Ono is a well-respected scholar and leader, ac- cording to those who know him best. He is also an athletics-friendly administra- tor who wants to see Michigan compete at the highest level. The energy and excitement for his arrival are palpable throughout Ann Ar- bor, but especially in athletics. Michi- gan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard is excited about what Ono will bring to the community and beyond. "We've had some communication with one another," Howard said on Oct. 12 at Big Ten Basketball Media Days in Minneapolis. "But haven't met him yet in person. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to Santa joining in and being our president because — from what I've been told and from what I've seen from afar — he's a true Michigan man. "He also enjoys sports as well. He's competitive and he wants to win. He wants to see a championship banner hung up in Crisler [Center] again. And he wants to be part of that. Also wants to see cham- pionships in football as well as in many other sports. "But I've gotta give up flowers to [out- going interim] president Mary Sue Cole- man. I admire and respect her and I thank her for being just one of the best leaders that our university has witnessed." Football head coach Jim Harbaugh is equally excited for the start of the Ono era. His level of contact is similar to How- ard's and he is also looking forward to what it means for the community. "Just everything you hear from every- body is what a great guy he is, how enthu- siastic he is, how engaged he is with really everybody, including the students," Har- baugh said during a Penn State week press conference. "Just the enjoyment he has of being on a college campus, and he has tremendous leadership skills. And that's from everybody that I've talked to here and also [defensive analyst] Rick Minter, who was the head coach at Cincinnati when Santa was there. Same thing. Ev- erybody just had amazing things to say about him and his tenure at Cincinnati. "So, super excited. I think everybody here — I know coaches, professors and students are anticipating his arrival and are excited about it. I mean, you have peo- ple that are here that know him and know what he's done. And they're excited for his arrival. People who've been where he's been, people have nothing but fantastic things to say." Ono's arrival could also mean steps forward for U-M's name, image and likeness (NIL) efforts with student- athletes. Coaches are expecting a more progressive approach with new univer- sity leadership. "I think that's important," Harbaugh said. "Things are improving." Howard was among the outspoken coaches at Michigan seeking better support from the athletics department on the NIL front. During the summer, he did not mince words on his thoughts about where things stood at the time. "NIL is one of these things where it has helped some programs, what they've done in the transfer portal," he said on Aug. 11. "For us, NIL hasn't hurt the team when it comes to recruiting or the transfer portal. Have the conversations of NIL been brought up in recruiting [though]? Yes, they have. Would I like to see more done for the program in the sense of some of the things that happened with other basketball programs? Yes." Howard was unbothered by the idea that Michigan NIL criticism would create headlines. He said he wanted to create a conversation. "I know it's going to be a storyline, and that's OK," Howard said. "Do we have a collective here? No. Do other programs have collectives? Yes. Could we be more proactive with NIL and be more forward- thinking? Yes." Howard was asked to revisit those com- ments during his appearance at the Target Center in the heart of Minneapolis. He sees marginal progress but steps forward nonetheless. "Yes, I have seen some progress with the athletic department," Howard said. "It's still growing, but I love the direction of where we are [headed]." ❑ Inside Michigan ATHLETICS U-M Athletics Excited For Santa Ono Presidency; Are NIL Improvements On The Way? Men's basketball coach Juwan Howard said he's look- ing forward to meeting new U-M president Santa Ono and commended outgoing president Mary Sue Coleman for her leadership. He's been outspoken about the athlet- ics department's need to accelerate its progress with NIL. "It's still growing, but I love the direction of where we are [headed]," Howard said Oct.11. PHOTO BY ANTHONY BROOME

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