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Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

This week Eastern Michigan University opened a brand new training facility for its 436 student athletes.

MSU and U of M football stadiums
Flickr user Ken Lund

College football is back. With Michigan State and Michigan about to begin their seasons, Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou for a preview. 

baseball stadium
Photo courtesy of HDR Architecture, Inc.

The University of Michigan baseball team finished its season just short of a national championship. In the deciding game of the College World Series final on Wednesday, Vanderbilt beat the Wolverines 8-2. U of M won Game 1, but lost two straight to the Commodores in Omaha, Nebraska.

African American golfer standing on a teebox.
Courtesy of Olajuwon Ajanaku

 

This weekend is the Rocket Mortgage Classic, a PGA golf tournament taking place at the Detroit Golf Club. This will be the first time the PGA has come to Detroit, and the first time in Michigan since 2009.

 

The PGA is coordinating with several nonprofits, including The First Tee of Greater Detroit. This group works to improve access to golf among young people in lower-income communities.

 

The Palace of Auburn Hills
FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Palace of Auburn Hills will soon be no more.

The Palace served as the home of the Detroit Pistons and a popular concert venue for decades.  But it will be demolished this fall to make way for a mixed use office park.  

The Pistons organization announced a joint venture between team owner Tom Gores and Livonia-based Schostak Brothers & Company to redevelop the property.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

On Saturday, soap box derby racers made their first appearance in Flint for the first time in more than two decades.

The announcer dramatically counts down, “3, 2, 1 GO….” to start each race.

Starting slowly but gaining speed, a pair of tween drivers pilot their soap box race cars down from the crest of Chevy Commons to Kettering University’s Mobility Research Center.

Soap box derby racing has a long history in Flint, going back to the 1930s. But this is the first time since the 90s there has been a sanctioned race.

Juwan Howard
MGoBlue

When U of M men’s basketball coach John Beilein announced he was leaving Ann Arbor for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, I was as shocked as anyone. But once the dust settled, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel had to make the most important decision of his four-year tenure.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

An initially emotional Juwan Howard held his first press conference as the new head coach for the University of Michigan's men's basketball program Thursday.  

Juwan Howard
Bentley Historical Library / University of Michigan

Juwan Howard, former member of the Fab Five, will be the University of Michigan’s next men’s basketball coach.

U of M officials have been looking for a new men’s basketball coach since the sudden departure of John Beilein to the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

John Beilein at the 2018 NCAA Basketball Championship game.
MGoBlog

Usually in this business we hear rumors, feel tremors, or flat-out get tipped off that big news is about to break. Not this time.

When University of Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein signed a five-year deal to coach the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers Monday morning, I was as surprised as you.

John Auchter

Sports is often the last refuge for civil conversation. Politics, race AND religion are practically no-go zones these days. But even seemingly benign topics like health or the weather are pocked with landmines:

"It's a bit chilly today." "Yes, it is — so much for your dumb global warming theories!"

John Beilein seated courtside
Flickr user Adam Glanzman / Flickr

University of Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein reached a deal Sunday to coach the Cleveland Caveliers.

Steve Yzerman
Gabe Taviano / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs again this year – the third year in a row. Not that big of a deal, except the team had just come off a 25-year streak of playoff appearances – the third longest in NHL history. During that streak they won four Stanley Cups. Nobody won more.

It's now commonly accepted that professional wrestling is simply entertainment. But did you know that for decades, Michigan required professional wrestlers to register with the state as athletes? And the Michigan History Center has all those registrations archived.

Joining Stateside to talk about how the state “regulated” the professional wrestling industry for decades is WCSX radio personality, and ringside manager for many independent wrestling events across Michigan, Shaffee Abraham, and state archvist at the Michigan History Center Mark Harvey.

A typical student's view inside the Big House.
Andrew Horne / wikimedia commons

A cooperating prosecution witness testified on Tuesday that he paid college football players at seven major football programs, including the University of Michigan. The schools named were Notre Dame, Northwestern, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Alabama, and North Carolina.

Steve Yzerman
Gabe Taviano / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

"The Captain" is coming back home. Steve Yzerman is going to be the next General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Detroit Red Wings. 

The former captain led the Wings to three Stanley Cup championships in his 20 years wearing the "C" on his jersey. 

The 2018-19 MSU men's basketball team
Michigan State Communications

Qualifying for March Madness is a milestone for many college basketball programs, but if your team is still playing in April that’s really something. Michigan State is one of the four teams still alive in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament. The Spartans will take on Texas Tech Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Michigan State knocks off Duke 68-67 to make Final Four

Apr 1, 2019
Michigan State Spartans
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Cassius Winston put Michigan State on his shoulders and carried the Spartans into the Final Four.

The do-everything point guard took over the game when his team faced its biggest deficit and led second-seeded Michigan State to a 68-67 victory over overall No. 1 seed Duke on Sunday in the East Region final.

Duke boasted the biggest stars in Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, but Winston shined brightest to put Michigan State in the Final Four for the first time since 2015. Winston had 20 points and 10 assists, made nine of his 23 shots and never shied away from shooting.

2019 NCAA Tournament Bracket
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Around 47 million Americans are expected to bet on this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament.

That's according to a survey from the American Gaming Association.

Sarah Slane senior vice president of the organization. She says states like Michigan – where betting is illegal – are missing out on revenue.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Winter weather has been disrupting High School sports schedules more than usual this year.

Dozens of school districts have canceled classes and other events, including sports, this year as the polar vortex sent temperatures plunging in January and winter storms have sent snow drifts deepening in February. 

John Engler
Cheyna Roth

A member of Michigan State University's Board of Trustees says the school's interim President John Engler will resign.

Engler is under pressure over his comments about the sexual assault victims of convicted sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Trustee Joel Ferguson says board members expect to receive a letter sometime tonight providing details of Engler's resignation, including its effective date.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Local gamblers and national gaming companies are waiting to see if Michigan will take a step toward joining the growing number of states that allow sports betting.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Crimes of sexual abuse committed by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar and the chaos they provoked have been named the Story of the Year in balloting by Associated Press members and editors.

 

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon recaps the Lions’ surprising win against the Panthers, talks about what the Wolverines need to work on before they face Ohio State, and predicts what’s next for the Spartans after losing to Rutgers on Saturday.

Plenty of pundits have raged about the soaring salaries of college coaches, and rightly so. 

Over the past three decades, the average football coach’s salary increased tenfold to $2.5 million. That’s about 25 times more than the average college professor earns, whose salary has merely kept pace with inflation. Today the highest paid public employee in 39 states is either a basketball coach or a football coach.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting today, more than 600,000 Michigan hunters are expected to take to the woods for the state’s annual firearm deer season.

These are not the best of times for Michigan’s deer hunting industry. There’s been a sharp decline in the number of deer hunters. There’s also concern about problems with the herd, from Chronic Wasting Disease to PFAS contamination in some areas. 

Michigan kicker Jake Moody
MGoBlog

When we last checked in with the Michigan football team four weeks ago, the Wolverines had just lost to 12th-ranked Notre Dame, then crushed Western Michigan.

But the Wolverines still had more questions than answers, especially after coming off a disappointing 8-5 season the year before.

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. 

 

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