Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Michigan Wolverines

1. Head Coach Tommy Amaker Is Squeaky Clean. That's what you would expected for a four-year starter under Mike Krzyzewski. But as good as Amaker played at Duke, he and the other five former Duke assistant coaches under Mike Krzyzewski have 13 NCAA appearances in the equivalent of 53 seasons to their credit. Krzyzewski has 21 all on his own. Not quite like the Bill Walsh success factory, eh? And let's face it, Amaker is pretty boring too. Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg noted in 2005 that Amaker chooses his words as carefully as anyone he's ever dealt with, and after reading this online listing of his quotes, it's easy to see why. Never have so many pixels been burn to say so little to so damn many: "This is a tremendously positive day for the University of Michigan and our basketball program. We are so appreciative of the news we received. I am thrilled for the young men on our team, and I believe they truly deserve this opportunity." (Sound of an unconcious Eric falling headfirst into his desktop.)

2. They Know How To Step In It. Was there any college basketball head coach luckier than Michigan's Steve Fisher? It was the eve of the 1989 NCAA Tournament when word surfaced that then-Michigan head coach Bill Frieder would leave the school at the end of the tournament to take the top job at Arizona State. Incensed, Michigan athletic director, the legendary Bo Schembechler, dismissed Frieder for disloyalty and handed the job to Fisher. Three weekends later, Fisher was cutting down the nets at the Kingdome, carried there on the shoulders of Glen Rice and Rumeal Robinson. (It should be noted that not all of Schembechler's snap personnel decisions were nearly as successful.)

3. Oops, Never Mind. But while Fisher's tenure might have started in glory when after he took over on the eve of the 1989 tournament, most of the rest of the laurels from the Fisher years were wiped clean thanks to the revelations about payments to players by booster Ed Martin. Thanks to ensuing NCAA sanctions, Ann Arbor was forced to vacate the records from the 1992 Final Four, the 1992/93, 95/96, 96/97, 97/98 and 98/99 regular seasons. One hundred seventy total games were effected, where the team had posted an impressive 113-57 overall record, 50-36 in the Big Ten, 7-4 in the NCAA, 5-0 in the NIT (winning the 1997 championship) and 4-1 in the Big Ten Tournament. Ironically, Frieder was also chased from the job at Arizona State, in his case, due to a point shaving scandal. — Eric McErlain

Share This Story