Some things never change or have they?
When Tommy Amaker declared both sophomore Josh Moore and freshman Marcus Bennett academically ineligible prior to the Wolverines” 88-58 victory over Eastern Michigan two weeks ago, it exuded resemblances of the program”s troubled past.
Bennett, a late May pickup after the loss of JaQuan Hart, will be the seventh Michigan freshman in the past four years to not even make it to his sophomore campaign.
Michigan has a dismal 19-percent graduation rate, according to latest NCAA statistics.
“Michigan is an educational institution,” Athletic Director Bill Martin said after the game. “And we have to protect that image.”
University Professor and NCAA Faculty Representative Percy Bates said that Amaker is trying to remedy the situation by both recruiting players who can handle Michigan”s academic standards and cleaning out players who can”t keep up. Meanwhile, he”s beefed up the academic advising and support staff.
“I would say that it”s been tightened,” Martin said. “It”s now more oversight day in and day out. While there are no new programs or more staff, there”s more supervision.”
Senior center Chris Young says that there”s been more interaction with academic advisors this year under Amaker than there”s been in the past.
“He”s got a lot of people besides our one main academic advisor to help us,” said Young, who”s 19 credits away from graduating. “He sets up meetings with advisors from different departments. We basically talk to people about our academics a ton.”
In the case of Moore, who was dismissed for poor grades, Bates said that the sophomore”s nagging back troubles could have had lingering effects on other aspects of his life including school.
“When the thing that they are given a scholarship for doing is taken away, it often affects them psychologically,” Bates said. “When you get hurt, very depressed and when you”re down it has an effect.”
According to team sources, Moore won”t be given a medical redshirt as long as he”s academically ineligible, which will mean that the center will lose a season of eligibility before his situation is re-addressed this summer.
Rumors have been swirling about Moore transferring, and some of his teammates are skeptical about whether he”ll return to the Wolverines. Moore didn”t address the team as a whole, but did speak with some teammates individually about his situation.
“I hope he comes back, but I”m not sure,” junior Gavin Groninger said. “He told me that he had a lot to think about.”