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Tuesday Tidbits have lots of words and no pretty pictures

October 18, 2011

EMU’s fall commencement speaker was announced today, and it’s none other than former EMU men’s basketball star George “The Iceman” Gervin. Gervin played at EMU from 1970 through 1972 before his long professional career. He led the NBA in scoring in 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1982. Gervin’s jersey was retired in 1986, he was elected to the EMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2008 he received an honorary degree from EMU, and as the commencement speaker, he will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Education degree. Commencement will be on Sunday, December 18, at 2 PM in the Convocation Center.

Former EMU pitcher Matt Shoemaker (2005-2008) was named the LA Angels Minor League Pitcher of the Year. As we previously mentioned, Shoemaker has also been named to the US national team that will compete this fall in the Pan-American Games. Tavelyn James, who, this weekend, will become the first student-athlete from the MAC to compete for Team USA in the Pan-American Games, is profiled in the Eastern Echo.

The Eastern Echo also has a profile of former EMU pitcher John Martin (1975-78).

Not too many people can say they won against Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan during their prime, but Eastern Michigan University alumnus John Martin, 55, can.

We’ve run some of them here, but you can see more of Kenneth Bailey’s photos from the games at Toledo and Central Michigan on his blog, Michigan Exposures:

The EMU volleyball team went on the road this weekend and swept their matches at Miami (12-10; 3-5 MAC) and Bowling Green (16-5; 3-5 MAC), both in straight sets. After a rough start to MAC play, the Eagles are now on a four-match winning streak, with three of those coming in straight sets and the other being a 3-1 win over West Division leaders Ball State — the Cardinals’ only MAC loss. With a 5-3 conference record, EMU is currently in fifth place in the MAC, but they’ve got plenty of time to advance, they seem to be getting hot at the right time, and their next five matches are at home. There is absolutely no reason EMU can’t win seven of their last eight games — asking for all eight just seems greedy — which would give them a high seed for the MAC tournament. This weekend they’ll host Buffalo (9-13; 2-6 MAC) Friday at 7 PM and Akron (4-17; 1-7 MAC) Saturday at 7 PM; the Akron game will be their annual “Dig Pink” match to raise money for the Side-Out Foundation, which provides breast cancer patient support and research funding. The Eastern Echo has a profile on junior middle blocker Kristin Baker, who coincidentally, was the MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week.

The women’s soccer team split their games over the weekend, winning 1-0 at Northern Illinois (2-12-2; 1-7-0 MAC) on a goal by Chelsea Detrick, then losing 1-0 in double-overtime at Western Michigan (9-7-0; 5-3-0 MAC). Coincidentally, the Eastern Echo ran a profile on Detrick last week. The Eagles are 2-5-1 in the MAC, and in 10th place, but they’re just one game behind #8 Buffalo (2-3-3 MAC), which is the cutoff for making the conference tournament. With three games remaining, all at home, that’s do-able, but they’ll need to win at least two, and probably all three games (winning all three would put them at .500 in the MAC). They’ll also probably need some help. This Friday afternoon the Eagles host Ball State at Scicluna Field, and Sunday afternoon they host Toledo.

The EMU women’s golf team won the Hoosier Fall Invitational, their second win (of four tournaments) of the fall, and they got some love from Golf Week. Three Eagles finished in the top 11, led by junior Sarah Johnson in 3rd place. Next week they’ll conclude their fall schedule at the Pat Bradley Invitational in Fort Myers, Florida.

The men’s golf team concluded their fall play with a seventh place finish at the Windon Memorial. The Eagles were led by sophomore Brian Churchill-Smith, who finished in eighth place. The team will begin their spring play February 13, with the MAC Match Play Tournament in Dade City, Florida. They end on a good note, with sophomore Jared Dalga named MAC co-Golfer of the Week for his performance at the Firestone Invitational last week.

Both EMU cross country teams came in third this weekend, the men at the New Balance Vic Matthews Open in Guelph, Ontario, and the women at the Bradley Classic. Next up, the teams will host the EMU Fall Classic this Friday at the Hudson Mills Metro Park in Dexter. The women will run at 5:30, followed by the men at 6 PM.

Maybe it’s just because they’ve been so bad for so long that 2-3 in the FBS feels like 12-0, but EMU’s football team is starting to get some positive attention outside Ypsilanti.

  • ESPN noticed: “But after the 35-28 defeat of Central Michigan, and with the next three games at home, Ron English’s team has a great chance to win at least five games. That hasn’t happened since 1995 (6-5).”
  • College Football Zealots noticed: “Oh yeah, did I mention that this is a team that has gone 2-22 over the last two years. So they’ve doubled their win total from the past two seasons in just 7 games so far this year. No matter how you look at it…that’s improvement.”
  • Even the Detroit News noticed, though they got their facts wrong: “What makes the final five games of the season even more exciting is that Eastern Michigan can become bowl eligible, something it hasn’t accomplished since 1987.” (EMU last went to a bowl in 1987, but they were also bowl eligible in 1988, 1989, and 1995.)
  • Dr. Saturday declared EMU’s win over Central Michigan the game of the week: “Eastern Michigan quarterback Alex Gillett scored on a 30-yard run with 37 seconds left to give the Eagles a win over their in-state rival, incredibly pushing the Eagles to 4-3 on the season — twice as many games as they won in coach Ron English’s first two seasons combined. Eastern Michigan hasn’t won more than four games since 1995 and haven’t been to a bowl game since 1987.”
  • Finally, Hustle Belt, which, being a MAC blog, has always paid attention to EMU, recognized Javonti Greene and Dominique White as the MAC co-players of the week: “Since I couldn’t decide if 161 yards and one score or 96 yards and three scores was more impressive, I shall combine them for one monster line of 257 rushing yards and four touchdowns.”

Elsewhere on Hustle Belt, we learn that EMU is MAC-median in placing alumni on NFL active rosters. Four pros ties with Buffalo for 7th in the MAC; Toledo leads the pack with nine, while Ball State only has one (Cleveland punter Brad Maynard).

Columbus Business First put together a (poorly formatted) table of every Division I university’s men’s basketball revenue and expense in 2009-2010. I’m going to ignore the revenue, because at the MAC level, like football attendance, it can be fictitious — I’m sure EMU’s “revenue” is really from student fees, general fund transfers, and the like — but the expenses are informative. EMU spends the third-least of any MAC school (about $5,000 more than Central Michigan and $150,000 more than Bowling Green). I’ll honestly say I don’t really understand their methodology, so here’s the table and here’s the page for EMU. Let me know if those numbers make any sense to you.

Rumor has it that EMU is painting the top of the east stands at Rynearson Stadium green, with the names of former players in the “Ring of Honor” in white. This should look sharp for Homecoming this weekend. Also, Saturday afternoon, as the EMU football team was getting ready to beat the Chippewas, the San Francisco 49ers, in town to face the Lions, were practicing in The Bubble when the high winds ripped a 15-foot hole in the side. The Bubble lost tautness but did not collapse, the 49ers finished their practice on Scicluna Field (why not Rynearson?), and by Saturday night a temporary patch was in place. Aside from the fact that The Bubble is…well, it’s a bubble…I think it’s neat that NFL teams are using EMU’s facilities. I don’t know if it helps anything (presumably they’re renting it, so that’s something), but it sure can’t hurt.

Ron English’s weekly radio show on WTKA (1050 AM), Eagle Nation Insider (6 PM to 7 PM), is doing remote broadcasts for the next several weeks. Yesterday they were at the Eagle Crest Grille, but for some reason, EMU waited until less than two hours before the show to announce this, so I’d be surprised if anyone went. On October 24, they’ll be at Buffalo Wild Wings off Huron Street south of I-94, and October 31 they’ll be back at the Eagle Crest Grille.

He got a lot of attention last year, so most of this may be familiar, but the Eastern Echo profiled EMU punter Jay Karutz last week.

The final piece of the 2012 football schedule fell into place this week, as it was announced that EMU will host the Illinois State Redbirds, an FCS team. EMU is 12-12-6 against Illinois State, with the Redbirds winning the last matchup in 1981. The projected non-conference schedule will see the Eagles open the season at Michigan State on September 1, host Illinois State September 8, play at Purdue September 15, and host Army October 20. In 2013 the Eagles will play at Rutgers, at Notre Dame, and at Army; in 2014 at Florida; in 2015 at Army and at LSU; in 2016 at Michigan State, and in either 2018 or 2020 will host Michigan State.

University of Michigan blog The Hoover Street Rag is analyzing the university seals of all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, and this week they hit the MAC.

8. Eastern Michigan

What it’s trying to say: Exciting, excellent, exemplary education exists at Eastern.
What it’s actually saying: If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look in other parts of the state.
EMU’s seal is a modified version of the state seal of Michigan, with the word “Equity” replacing the word Tuebor (Latin for “I will defend”), and a book and torch replacing the state motto and a picture of an explorer by a lake. So it’s educational! And fair. It’s kind of weird that they wrote words on the bottom of the pages instead of on the pages themselves.

(Discovered while researching this entry: the Ypsilanti water tower did win a contest to be called the World’s Most Phallic Building.)

I wonder if the U-M people would find this part of the state less unpleasant if they got out of Ann Arbor more often. Also, I think it’s cute that they’re just now noticing our water tower.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 10:02 am

    I think they’ve noticed our water tower before. I don’t really appreciate the snarkyness though. Ypsilanti has some nice parts and some not so nice parts. In the back of my mind, I’m gonna take pictures of the houses along Huron Street because there’s some historical significance there. sounds like a pretty good football slate for next year.


  1. Homecoming 2011 « Eagle Totem

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