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John U. Bacon

Two weeks ago, Michigan football was ranked 14th. Michigan State was ranked 11th. The Detroit Lions were supposed to improve with a new coach, and Eastern Michigan was expected to slide back to mediocrity ways.

Michigan State Spartans
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University say the National Collegiate Athletic Association has ended its inquiry into the school’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints.

The school announced the end of the inquiry Thursday.

Urban Meyer
MGoBlog on Flickr / Flickr

 


As summer begins to wind down, the fall football season is firing up. 

Michigan State will kick off its season this Friday at home against the Utah State Aggies. On Saturday, Michigan heads to South Bend for its season opener against Notre Dame. 

 

A Stars and Stripes truck cab and woman on a horse
Courtesy of Khalilah Smith

Discovering a passion -- and chasing that passion -- can change your life in profound ways. Just ask Michigan State University student Khalilah Smith of Detroit.

She discovered horses as a young girl, and then she discovered rodeo.

person on surfboard in Great Lakes
Courtesy of Great Lakes Surf Festival

It's been a lot of fun discovering the unique summer festivals happening around the state, celebrating everything from baby food to bologna.

This weekend, a festival in Muskegon will celebrate a sport that most people don't associate with the Great Lakes: surfing.

Urban Meyer
MGoBlog / Flickr / https://goo.gl/gGH3Hq

A couple weeks ago, I reported on the Big Ten Media Days, the annual event when every coach tells you what a great off-season his team had – in the weight room, the classroom, and yes, the community.

About the only news that seemed to come out of those two days of interviews was Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s short, simple answers to exceedingly silly or annoying questions.

But we didn’t realize the big story had just been planted under our noses. The first night of the conference, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer fired one of his assistants, Zach Smith.


MGoBlog / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0 (for photos on Flickr)

Ohio State University has put head football coach Urban Meyer on paid leave while the school investigates whether he protected former assistant coach Zach Smith, who was fired last week.

Gary Shear / Unsplash

Michigan Radio’s sports commentator John U. Bacon is back to the grind after enjoying a much-needed summer vacation.

Bacon joined Stateside to talk about the long-awaited induction of Detroit Tiger greats Alan Trammell and Jack Morris into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and much more. 

book cover of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of United
Fish Out of Water Books

This Saturday, thousands of fans will pack Michigan Stadium for a rousing game of football. And it doesn't involve any Wolverines.

The game will pit two superstar English soccer teams in the International Champions Cup — Manchester United versus Liverpool — against each other.

Jevon Moore
Sam Corey / Michigan Radio

 


Student-athletes face unique pressures, both on and off the field. 

But research has found athletes are far less likely than other college students to seek help for mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression.

Jevon Moore wants to change that. Moore joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss his efforts to shift the culture of college athletics and increase awareness of mental health resources.

Cheryl Angellili at a para dance competition
Courtesy of Charles Pleiness

Do not let a spinal cord injury get in the way of achieving your goals. 

For Cheryl Angelelli, that meant expressing herself through ballroom dancing. Now, she is leading the growth of Para Dance in this country by helping others who live with physical impairment discover the sport.

people playing pickleball
Callie McLoughlin-Mckee

It's been called the fastest growing sport in America, and it could be coming to a park or gym near you.

The name of the game is pickleball. It was invented in the Pacific Northwest, popularized in the Sun Belt, and has been growing in Michigan for years.

So what is it? The hybrid sport borrows from tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It's played with a wiffle ball, and is known for its inclusive and friendly community.

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia was indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury.
Tony Brown / Michigan Radio

The NFL has determined sexual assault allegations against Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia from 1996 are not subject to its personal conduct policy.

"The allegations occurred well before his affiliation with the NFL," the league said Monday after completing its review of the Lions' interviewing process.

Michigan State University sign
MSU

John U. Bacon joined Stateside to discuss his thoughts on the $500 million settlement between Michigan State University and 332 survivors of abuse by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Bacon very closely covered Penn State University as it worked its way past the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

He came to the studio to compare the two universities, and the different ways they dealt with their unfortunate predicaments.

Matt Patricia stands next to Patriot staff and Tom Brady
Kraft Sports Productions / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

New Lions head coach Matt Patricia has found himself at the center of a Detroit News story that reported: he'd been arrested in March 1996 and indicted for aggravated sexual assault. 

The case collapsed when the accuser decided not to testify.

University of Michigan Press, 2018

Week after week, month after month, year after year, John U. Bacon has brought his take on sports to us here on Stateside.

Talking sports with Bacon has revealed his straight-talking gift of cutting to the heart of the story, of making people understand the struggles, stumbles, and triumphs of those people on the field, the court, and the rink. 

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia was indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury.
Tony Brown / Michigan Radio

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia is maintaining his innocence after a 1996 sexual assault allegation against him resurfaced Wednesday night.

The Detroit News reported that Patricia and a friend of his were indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury, on one count each of aggravated sexual assault for an alleged incident involving a woman on South Padre Island. The accuser did not testify and the case was dismissed 10 months later.

Courtesy of Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium

For Michigan baseball fanatics, a visit to the corner of Michigan and Trumbull - the site of the original Tiger Stadium - is almost a religious pilgrimage. But there is another baseball field roughly five miles away in Hamtramck that has its own historical significance, and yet is rarely recognized.

Mark Harvey, state archivist with the Michigan History Center, and Gary Gillette, an author, founder and president of the non-profit Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium, joined Stateside to discuss the stadium’s historical importance, its afterlife as a community sports center, and why rehabilitation efforts are so important.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

She's the pride of Michigan's running community, and today she's basking in the glow of being the first U.S. woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years.

Desiree Linden trains with Hansons-Brooks in Rochester Hills. She plowed through wind and rain to finish in 2 hours, 39 minutes, and 54 seconds.

John U. Bacon

This is the Season of Our Discontent. Or it would be, if you attached your happiness to Detroit’s professional sports teams.

Let’s start with the Pistons.

When Bill Davidson bought the team in 1974, the Pistons were bad and getting worse. But Davidson patiently rebuilt the team with the right leaders, and won two NBA titles. Then he hired new leaders, and did it all again, and won another NBA title in 2004. Along the way, they won nine division titles.

MELANIE KRUVELIS

Spring in Michigan doesn’t just mean baseball. It also means soccer – or, for purists – “football.”

This weekend, Detroit City FC kicks off its season with some international friendlies on this year’s schedule.

Also of note: Last week, Major League Soccer (MLS) officials were in town, as Detroit continues pressing its case for an MLS team.

Screen grab / "The Russian Five"

The Freep Film Festival opens on Wednesday with a documentary that takes us right into the heart of one of the most compelling stories in sports history anywhere: how the players who became known as the Russian Five came to the Detroit Red Wings and helped power the team to back-to-back Stanley Cups.

The Russian Five is the first feature-length documentary from Port Huron’s Joshua Riehl. It's getting its world premiere this Wednesday night at a sold-out event in Detroit.

aerial view of little caesars arena
Tony Brown

 


 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside today to discuss what the Red Wings should expect in the draft lottery, what the main difference was between watching the Frozen Four and Red Wings games, and why the Pistons have "stalled."

 

John Beilein at the 2018 NCAA Basketball Championship game.
MGoBlog

The Michigan basketball team beat Loyola last weekend and made it to the NCAA finals. That was a minor miracle in itself.

The team had almost no stars – with maybe one future NBA draft pick. They started slowly, with very weak defense, playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules.

MGoBlog / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The miracle Michigan hoped for didn't happen. The Wolverines fell to Villanova last night in San Antonio, and Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon was right there to see it in the Alamo Dome.

Back of a basketball player dribbling
MGoBlog Flickr

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The Michigan Wolverines were on the wrong side of that divide Monday night in San Antonio, Texas. 

Michigan got off to a strong start in the NCAA men’s basketball title game then the Villanova Wildcats ran away with it. The final score was 79 to 62 and gave Villanova its second national championship in three years.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon was at the game. He joined "Morning Edition" host Doug Tribou to talk about what went wrong for U of M. 

H. Michael Karshis / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

For the Michigan Wolverines basketball team, it’s on to the championship game. One last game stands between the Wolverines and their first NCAA title since 1989.

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside to discuss the Wolverines’ victory over Loyola University Chicago, the challenges ahead against Villanova, and also about Notre Dame’s historic victory in the NCAA women’s championship over the weekend.

basketball player shooting near the basket
MGoBlog Flickr

The Michigan Wolverines and the Villanova Wildcats will play for the NCAA men’s basketball championship tonight in San Antonio, Texas. The Wildcats are trying for their second title in three years. The Wolverines are hoping for their first since 1989.

MGOBLOG / FLICKR - HTTP://BIT.LY/1F2P1W6

The University of Michigan is moving on to the national championship game for the first time since 2013, after ending Loyola-Chicago's incredible run in the NCAA Tournament.

University of Michigan men's basketball players
MGoBlog / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1f2P1w6

The University of Michigan Wolverines tip off in the national semi-final of the NCAA men’s basketball championship against Loyola-Chicago Saturday.

The game is a matchup of a perennial contender in Michigan and a team from Chicago that hasn’t been in the final four in 55 years. The Ramblers won the title in 1963.

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