John U. Bacon | Michigan Radio
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John U. Bacon

John U. Bacon

About 15 months ago, former student-athletes at the University of Michigan accused a former U of M doctor of sexually abusing them during medical exams.

The university’s leaders hired a pre-eminent law firm, WilmerHale, to interview Anderson’s patients and colleagues, examine files, and sort out what happened. They are about to award hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, and have enacted reforms to ensure this never happens again – but that's probably little consolation for the hundreds of survivors. 


John U. Bacon / Michigan Radio

250 years ago my mom’s side of the family lived in Yonkers, New York. But being United Empire Loyalists, when the Revolutionary War started they escaped to New Brunswick, Canada. And that’s what makes me Half-Canadian Bacon.

Mom grew up in Milltown, New Brunswick, a town so small it no longer exists. It had one school building, with no lab, no gym, no school teams. 

basketball player hangs from rim
Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — What was touted as the marquee matchup in the Sweet 16 turned into a dud.

For everyone but Michigan, that is.

Seven-foot-1 freshman Hunter Dickinson had 14 points and eight rebounds and the top-seeded Wolverines took the inside route to the Elite Eight, pounding away in the paint Sunday for a 76-58 takedown of surprisingly helpless Florida State.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, COVID-19 cases are surging again in Michigan, with more outbreaks happening at K-12 schools. A reporter talks us through the latest data. Also, how one of Detroit’s first Black educator helped desegregate Detroit schools and bring the concept of kindergarten to Michigan. Plus, the founder of Detroit Vs. Everybody discusses his latest collaboration.

The Michigan State men's basketball team extended coach Tom Izzo's streak of NCAA tournament appearances to 23, but lost in its opening-round game against UCLA.
2021 NCAA Photos

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is underway, and for Michigan State, it's already over.

Early Friday morning in West Lafayette, Indiana, the Spartans lost to UCLA 86-80 in overtime. Thursday's play-in games also determined Michigan's first round opponent.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou for a look at both teams, the upcoming start of women's tournament, and more. 

u of m basketball players holding championship sign
U-M Photography

It's conference tournament time in college basketball. There have been upsets and disappointments in the Big Ten men's and women's tournaments in Indianapolis.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou for a look at the highs and lows. 

John U Bacon
John U. Bacon

The University of Michigan men’s basketball team is getting lots of attention. The Wolverines have won 15 Big Ten titles, including the title won last night with a win over MSU.

But another story is unfolding on the same court. A story that might be more exciting: the Michigan women’s basketball team.

John U. Bacon

After weeks of waiting, University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and athletic director Warde Manuel finally agreed to extend Harbaugh’s contract through 2025.

There are no polls tracking fan reaction, but it’s clear Michigan fans don’t feel the same way they did six years ago, when Harbaugh surprised the sporting world by returning to coach his alma mater.

John U. Bacon

University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel announced this week that he and football coach Jim Harbaugh would determine Harbaugh’s future on Dec. 19. That’s the day after high school recruits commit to their future schools.

In other words, by delaying the decision, Michigan will force a couple dozen high school students to make one of the most important decisions of their lives without knowing who their head coach will be. Waiting until December 19 is an uncharacteristically short-sighted, selfish move on both sides, at the recruits’ expense.


"Michigan "Michigan State" flags waving side by side
Michigan Photography

The Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans will meet on the football field Saturday afternoon for the 113th time. The teams will kick off at noon at a nearly empty Michigan stadium in Ann Arbor. 

Sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Michigan Radio's Doug Tribou for a preview.

football stadium signs for MSU and U of M
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Big Ten Conference opens its 2020 football season Friday night, but the games people care about in these parts are happening Saturday. Michigan State will host Rutgers in East Lansing in the afternoon. Michigan will visit Minnesota Saturday night.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Morning Edition to discuss a season altered dramatically by COVID-19 before it even begins.

Pop-up tents, coolers, and cornhole sets will be sitting, unused, in sheds and garages across the state of Michigan Saturday morning.

entrance to Comerica Park
Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons

One prediction about the Tigers' 2020 season is a sure thing. It will be like no other season baseball fans have ever seen. 

Detroit will play its first game of the shortened campaign Friday night in Cincinnati against the Reds.   

In addition to a schedule cut from 162 games to 60, the Tigers will be playing under a host of new rules designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. They include limited seating in the dugouts, and a ban on spitting and high-fives.

Michigan radio sports commentator John U. Bacon says MLB is getting it right when it comes to safety.

empty baseball stadium
Simon Johnson

For a time with very few sporting events, it's been a very busy week for sports news. Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon shared his thoughts on bringing back sports during the COVID-19 crisis and the Detroit Lions' ownership change.

protesters in michiga
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, thoughts from a sociologist and a law professor about the marches in Detroit and Ann Arbor that drew attention to police officers’ use of force against African Americans. We’ll also find out how one charter school operator is preparing for the fall. 

john u. bacon running with friends
Christie Bacon

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon had Monday April 20, circled on his calendar for a long, long time. Before COVID-19 hit, that was the date of the Boston Marathon, and John was supposed to be in it. The marathon is on hold, so John came up with an alternative: he drew up his own 26.2 mile course in Ann Arbor and invited people to cheer him on – at a distance – over the weekend.

people protesting the detainment of iraqi nationals in Detroit
Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk to a leader in Michigan's Chaldean community about his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence about the future for detained and deported Iraqi Christians. Plus, a conversation about why so many mentally ill people in Michigan end up in jail, and what we can do about it. 

Mel Tucker in East Lansing
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Last week Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio announced he was retiring. The news wasn’t surprising, but the timing was.

Mark Dantonio at a podium
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

This time of year, college football fans are often buzzing about incoming recruits. But in East Lansing this week, the big news was departure. After 13 seasons, Mark Dantonio retired as Michigan State's football coach. There are questions about the timing of his announcement and the future of the program.

a glass scale with a tape measurer laying on top
Vidmir Raic / Pixabay

Last time I checked in with you, I made a few confessions:

  • I turned 55 this past summer.
  • That same day I tipped the scale at a staggering 205 pounds – a full 40 pounds over my, um, “Coaching Weight.” And I stand only 5-foot-8. According to the Body Mass Index, I was technically obese.

John U. Bacon

George Perles was born and raised in Detroit, where he starred on the Western high school baseball and football teams. After serving in the Army with 17 classmates, he returned to play for the legendary Duffy Daugherty at Michigan State.

Perles played both offensive and defensive line until he suffered a knee injury -- the kind they can fix in an afternoon these days but career-ending sixty years ago.

Jim Harbaugh, Mark Dantonio
MGoBlog / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

In the preseason college football coaches poll, Michigan started the season ranked 7th, with Michigan State ranked 20th.

Since then they’ve both gone through plenty of ups and downs, with Michigan falling to 17th, and Michigan State falling out of the rankings altogether. But there’s one final twist left: their bowl games.

A view across the devastated neighborhood of Richmond in Halifax, Nova Scotia after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. The steamship Imo, one of the ships in the collision that triggered the explosion, can be seen aground on the far side of the harbor.
Wikimedia Commons

Today on Stateside, how anemic state funding and fewer students in the classroom are posing challenges for Michigan’s public universities. Plus, why some physicians choose to practice direct primary care.

person running on concrete road
Clem Onojeghuo / Unsplash

On my 55th birthday this summer, I stepped on the scale and watched it top out at 205 pounds. Since I’m just 5'8", the Body-Mass Index scale put me in the “obese” category. Awesome.

John U. Bacon

Michigan and Michigan State both entered this season ranked in the top twenty. Both have struggled on offense, and lost some games along the way.

But by the end of October, their paths seemed to have diverged. Michigan State has lost three straight, while Michigan finally found its way with a big win over Notre Dame.

michigan vs. notre dame football players on a field
MGoBlog / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

The Michigan football team entered this season ranked 7th nationwide, and were picked to win the Big Ten title. With a lot of good players and coaches coming back from a 10-win team the year before, it made sense.

But on the season’s first play, senior quarterback Shea Patterson injured his oblique muscles, and took weeks to fully recover. The offense, and the team’s new offensive coordinator, Josh Gattis, struggled along with him.

John U. Bacon

This fall California Governor Gavin Newsome signed a law that will allow college athletes to sell their names, images, and likenesses to whoever wants to buy them.

True, it’s just California, where only four Power-Five schools play; the law won’t take effect until 2023; and the measure addresses just one aspect of the complicated relationship between athletes and their schools.

person in orange football jersey and black helmet holds a football
Riley McCullough / Unsplash

California made sports history last month when Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that would let college athletes cash in on the $14 billion college sports industry.

The landmark "Fair Pay to Play Act" opens the door for athletes to be paid for their likeness, name, image, and lets them sign endorsement deals.

A U.S. Census Bureau form sent to a Michigan address last year
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, as the UAW strike against General Motors begins its fourth week, we hear from one striker on the picket line. Plus, how Governor Whitmer’s line item vetoes will impact charter schools and autism services in Michigan. 

two staffers in Michigan football locker room
Doug Tribou / Michigan Radio

Everyone sees the football coaches and the players when they go to a game at the Big House.

What we don’t see are the 67 full-time staffers that support them, almost around the clock. These include everyone from athletic trainers to strength coaches to nutritionists, videographers, and academic advisors, just for starters.

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