The Wolverine

January 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  from our readers lived in Florida for 25 years, but will always bleed maize and blue. It's great to see the resurgence of this football team with a new coaching staff. I've got to give a lot of credit to the last two senior classes that stayed through some really tough times. They deserve better than hundreds of empty seats in the student section. I know David Brandon is looking into this, but I find it inexcusable. If the students aren't going to show up, provide the tickets to someone else. My oldest son moved to Ann Arbor two years ago and would love to buy season tickets, and he'd show up for every game. I don't get it. That said, watching on TV, the crowds that do show up are amazing and the noise level in the stadium since the renovation is much louder than ever. We try to make a trip to Ann Arbor every foot- ball season to attend a game and just can't understand why those so fortunate to have tickets wouldn't show up and support this program. Laura Webb Lakeland, Fla. We'll see where this goes, Laura, but it's hard to imagine those blocks of empty seats continuing, even given the incredible hardship of students having to rise and attend a noon kickoff. ❑   From Our Web Site • I love this quote [from former Ohio State running back Grit and leadership do not take the place of ability. If they Maurice Clarett, taken from a excerpt of a new did, I'd have been playing for the '76 team, which finished book about Joe Moglia, the CEO of Ameritrade]: "He was a runner-up to Indiana, rather than covering it for The Michigan hard worker in practice and in games. But off the field, he was Daily. But on that night, Zack Novak, a kid who had his offer living a completely different life. pulled at Valpo before we started recruit"'I took golf, fishing and softball as ing him, was the best player on the floor classes,' Clarett said. 'Away from class, against a team loaded with coveted playanything you can think of I did in my 13 ers and coached by a future Hall of Famer. months at Ohio State.' There are a lot of things which have "Drugs and women were two of the combined to make this a solid program. things. Cars were another. He owned Tommy [Amaker] and his staff reestabthree of them at a time, including a lished Michigan basketball as a respectbrand-new Cadillac and Lexus. able brand, even if he could never get "'I was living the NFL life in college,' he over the hump. Guys like DeShawn [Sims] says. 'I got paid more in college than I do and Manny [Harris] stayed when they now in the UFL.'" could have gone, and were the catalysts Yet despite Clarett and later [Terrelle] to making that first tournament breakPryor driving new cars, etc., the complithrough. JB's ability to develop players ance department could not find anything who were not regarded as superstars violating NCAA rules. When your head coming out of high school is something is buried in the sand, it is difficult to see which was on display well before he got what is going on around you even if you to Michigan (check out who was recruitMany Michigan basketball fans will long ing Joe Alexander, Alex Ruoff, Mike Ganreally wanted to. speedboys remember Zack Novack (above) and Stu sey and Kevin Pittsnoggle out of high Douglass for their leadership and their on- school), and has been aided by the cur• I keep thinking back to Jan. 27 of 2011. court contributions to the team.lon horwedel rent staff of Jeff Meyer, Bacari Alexander photo by We were 1-6 in conference, and had lost and LaVall Jordan. six in a row. We had been hammered by Indiana, played Obviously, the on-court guys played at a very high level, a horrible game in Evanston, and then lost at home to a and those guys who don't play as much/at all in games, but mediocre Minnesota team which out-rebounded us almost push in practice, have contributed as well. But, I still wonder 3-1. There were rumors that Darius [Morris] and JB [John what would have happened had we lost in East Lansing that Beilein] weren't seeing eye-to-eye. We were headed into East night. Could we have convinced a highly recruited guy like Lansing where we hadn't won in this century. This after the Mitch [McGary], or incoming recruits like [Derrick] Walton disappointing 2009-10 season, and misses on many prime and [Zak] Irvin to take a flier on the program (or Glenn Robrecruiting targets. I was getting emails from very smart guys inson III to stick once the big boys came sniffing around)? and longtime Beilein supporters who were jumping ship Could we have gotten the increase in fan support we have with a vengeance. experienced? My brother calls it the night the program turned around Frankly, would we have spiraled downhill that year to 3-15 and he's 100 percent correct. It is also why I will always have in the Big Ten (as some suggested) and put ourselves in a great memories of Zack [Novak] and Stu [Douglass]. We have hole JB might have had great difficulty just crawling out of, better pure basketball players than they were now, and we much less reaching No. 3 in the country? My guess is that we will continue to have them going forward, but a good chunk would have struggled. of the reason for that was our win that night, and the effect it We have always joked about Michigan State fans being had. Those guys simply would not let us lose, from Zack's six obsessed with beating Michigan as a focal point, rather threes (one a four-point play when we had fallen behind 6-0 than on overall performance, but what I have learned is at the start and were in danger of getting run off the floor) that sometimes, that type of win is a necessity if a team is to and sideline meltdown to Stu's ice cold dagger at the end springboard forward. We're flying now. Enjoy the ride. of the game when Michigan State had pulled to within two. MHoops1 January 2013    the wolverine  5

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