As a "Go Blue!" alumnus of the University of Michigan, I have been harboring many thoughts about the Ohio StateMichigan football rivalry and this seems like a good time to express them:
1. Coach Fickell and the Ohio State team should be congratulated for the successes they have had under very trying circumstances. True, the season was not as good as they hoped, but they did hang together and gave Michigan all the game they wanted. Ohio State has many talented players and better times are ahead.
2. Forcing the resignation of Coach Jim Tressel was a classic example of "throwing out the baby with the bath water." If anyone had to be fired, it should have been the president of the university and the director of athletics. Yes, Tressel violated the rules, but why not keep him and let him take the disciplinary action from the NCAA? He was an excellent role model, teacher and one of the best coaches in the country. The coach committed no crime, why didn't they give him some support?
3. Universities and the NCAA should review rules that seem to border on the nitpicky. The cash-for-memorabilia incidents at Ohio State were not criminal actions. It might show thoughtlessness and disloyalty on the part of the players - but not criminal acts. Selling bowl rings and Michigan gold-pants jewelry should not result in the firing of a coach unless there are strings attached to the award.
4. Coach Hoke and his Wolverines are to be congratulated for turning the football program around so that the game will continue to be a rivalry rather than a runaway!
As much as I was discouraged by the seven straight years of defeat, I have the greatest respect for Coach Tressel and the greatest disgust by the way the president and athletic director allowed a mountain to be made of a molehill.
Archie M. Thomas,