Bennie Oosterbaan, a three-sport varsity star and the last University of Michigan coach to win a national championship, died Thursday night in an Ann Arbor nursing home. He was 84. "Bennie Oosterbaan, probably as much as anyone, typifies the great tradition of Michigan athletics, as a player, as a coach, as a gentleman and a very bright guy," said Bo Schembechler, former Michigan coach and now president of the Detroit Tigers.
Oosterbaan was a three-sport athlete at Michigan in the 1920s. He led the Big Ten in football touchdowns (1925), basketball scoring (1928) and baseball hitting (also 1928), said Michigan spokesman John Hamel. Big Ten spokesman Mark Rudner said he couldn't confirm that because records aren't kept before 1947.
Oosterbaan became an assistant coach in 1928 and head coach in 1948, winning the national championship his first year in charge. During his 11 years as head coach, Michigan won three Big Ten championships and beat California 14-6 in the 1951 Rose Bowl. He compiled a 66-33-4 record.
Oosterbaan, born in Muskegon in 1906, was director of athletic alumni relations until he retired in 1972.
"Bennie Oosterbaan is Michigan tradition," said Ron Kramer of Fenton, who played for Oosterbaan before a successful career as a tight end with the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. "The man gave his whole life to Michigan."
Kramer said Oosterbaan didn't recruit players. He felt that if they wanted to play for the Wolverines they would attend Michigan.
Kramer said Oosterbaan entered the nursing home several weeks ago after breaking his hip. Oosterbaan's wife died several months ago.
Louisville prof files petition that could make QB Nagle ineligible
LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ The Louisville coaching staff was handling things Friday as if starting quarterback Browning Nagle's eligibility were not in danger.
"Right now, our deal is no news is good news," assistant coach Kevin Beck said. "We don't know anything either way."
Nagle, a senior from Pinellas Park High School, came under scrutiny last week when an assistant professor petitioned to have him administratively removed from two of her classes.
Beck said an ad hoc committee handling the question of Nagle's eligibility met Friday but announced no decision. So, as far as he knew, Nagle was still eligible for today's home game against Division I-AA Western Kentucky (2-4).
Nawal Lutfiyya, an assistant professor of communications, told The Associated Press earlier this week that she had written two letters to the Office of the Dean. She said Nagle was failing both of her classes and had no hope of bringing the grades up in time to graduate.
Lutfiyya said Nagle also had skipped classes in those and other courses in which she had taught him.
Nagle said other students had missed more classes than he and that Lutfiyya was singling him out because he is an athlete. She denies the allegation.
Nagle has completed 117 of his 219 passes this season for 1,631 yards and nine touchdowns. Louisville (6-1-1) is considered a strong contender for a bowl appearance, its first since 1977.
Around the nation
Oregon: Wide receiver Michael McClellan has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery and may be lost for the rest of the season, coach Rich Brooks said.
Brigham Young: Quarterback Ty Detmer cut himself while dissecting a shark Friday. Detmer's scalpel slipped during a zoology class and nicked his left palm. He's a right-handed passer. The cut required two stitches, but coach LaVell Edwards said Detmer had no difficulty taking snaps in practice and wasn't expected to have any problems in today's home game against New Mexico.