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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why Vanderbilt?

So why is Michigan opening their 2006 season against Vanderbilt in September? Is it because the Commodores provide a major conference opponent without the likelihood of losing? Is it because any Michigan student from the South probably considered applying to Vanderbilt as well? Or is it because the V on Vandy's helmet would provide a perfect symmetry to the Michigan Marching Band's playing of "The Victors?"

Nope, none of these. The reason Michigan will be hosting Vanderbilt on September 2nd is because ESPN promised to broadcast one of the Commodores' women's basketball games. According to SI.com's John Walters, Vanderbilt vice chancellor (they don't have an AD in Nashville) Dave Williams wouldn't commit to the trip to Ann Arbor until ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions Dave Brown offered up the broadcast for the women hoopsters. So a Vanderbilt vice chancellor and the ESPN VP of programming and acquisitions have as much, or more, say in the Michigan football schedule as Bill Martin does.

The article shows one of the more seedy sides of college football - the scheduling world, "A world in which the sanctity of a contract means little." So if the Wolverines blow a 4th quarter lead in that opener, we'll have someone new to blame. Not Ron English, but, rather, the Lady Commodores.

4 comments:

surrounded in columbus said...

maybe it's my bad timing, but it appears that SI either has a problem w/ their site or has removed that post/report.

if someone has a copy or a working link, please pass it along. i'd like to read it.
thanks.

Benny Friedman said...

Thanks Surrounded. I don't know if I put in the wrong link or they changed it, but it's working now.

The King said...

You're telling me that to Vanderbilt, getting coverage of a non-sport like women's basketball is worth having your football team gets trounced on national TV?

That's really poorly thought out. Vanderbilt had a great season last year, and they're about to have a top 15 draft pick. And yet they would compromise this solid foundation-building so that the tens of slow, uncoordinated Lady Commodores fans can get their fix?

surrounded in columbus said...

Benny,
it does work now- probably a glitch in their site this a.m.

it's really odd to think of ESPN brokering/scheduling games for schools, instead of schools working directly w/ each other.