QUARTER BACK LOSES HIS MIND
Famous Football Player on the Wolverine Team is Located at Walla Walla Working as Laborer.
HIS MIND IS TOTAL BLANK
Disappeared Months Ago From His Home and All Trace of Him Has Up to the Present Been Lost.WALLA WALLA, March 19.—James Miller, the famous quarterback of the Michigan team last year, who has been missing from his home for several months, was located in this city yesterday working as a laborer. His mind is a total blank and he is quite unable to recognize his friends. He was elected to the captaincy of the Wolverine team for next season.
I'm not WolverineHistorian, but the story gets even more interesting than this. Miller started for the 1909 team in all seven games. He played six at right end, and one at quarterback. The team went 6-1 under Fielding Yost, losing only to Notre Dame while beating Case, Ohio State, Penn, Syracuse, Minnesota, and Marquette. After the season, Miller was voted by his fellow players to be the captain of the 1910 team.
Things didn't work out that way. In December 1909, grades were released. Miller didn't have any. It wasn't that he failed or missed a few classes — he hadn't enrolled in any. He was supposed to be enrolled in a senior civil engineering class, but never showed up. Even in the days when Purdue got its nickname for reportedly recruiting boiler makers to play for its football team, folks frowned on out-and-out manipulation of the system.
There might be more to the story than simple cheating. The Michigan Alumnus reported that Miller simply didn't pay his tuition after registering for classes. Because he hadn't paid, he wasn't able to take classes. The ruse wasn't discovered until late November, by which time football season was over. Miller didn't respond to the dean's office until early December, repeatedly ignoring or missing calls of inquiry. On December 13, 1909, he finally showed up to a meeting but offered no explanation. His father had paid the outstanding debt on December 8, but by then it was too late.
Miller's classmates in the Student Council took a poll on what his punishment should be: 13 voted to expel him, 9 voted for suspension, and other options received fewer votes. The university faculty, taking the vote into account, duly expelled him from Michigan after the new year. He was denied his varsity sweater and cap, prohibited from becoming captain the following season, and Michigan formally apologized to the schools it defeated during the season Miller played. It didn't, however, give up the wins.
Needless to say, Miller was in shock. He had gone home to Detroit for the semester break, and his father heard from friends that he was wandering around in a daze, struck by his abrupt plunge from the height of Michigan sporting society to being an utter outcast. Shortly after he received the news of his expulsion, he disappeared.
His subsequent discovery in Washington (other accounts have him discovered in Canada first), brought a storm of attention. Whether he was faking his "illness" as a convenient way to explain away his actions, or whether it was an actual mental defect caused by the shock of his expulsion, I haven't been able to find out. I also unfortunately haven't been able to find out what happened to him after the fact. I did uncover a death notice for what might be his son, and if Henry Leonard Miller (born 1914) indeed was James Miller's son, his work for the University of Michigan shows the incident didn't create a family of Michigan State fans.
Yes, I know this isn't Michigan hockey per se, but it's CCHA action, and I know there's enough hockey fans out there to make this worthwhile -- and I'm sure there's even more of you who love to see tOSU taken down a peg regardless of the sport.
Anyways, Friday night's Ohio State/UAF hockey game here in Fairbanks wasn't even close. The Nanooks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period, tacked on another goal in the first half of the second period, and broke things open in the third by scoring two goals. Ohio State managed a single goal in the third period to avoid the crushing shutout.
What makes this so shocking (for those of you unfamiliar with UAF this year) is that the Nooks' offense has been atrocious and near the bottom of the CCHA. Their defense, on the other hand, is No. 2 in the country. Basically, what Virginia Tech is to football, UAF is to hockey right now.
But Ohio State did have an excuse -- the legendary Alaska home-ice advantage. I'm not talking about the great fans we have here, though that is important -- I'm talking about the distance and time required to travel here. Ohio State was delayed 11 hours on the trip out here. Instead of arriving on Thursday, being able to sleep all night, practice early Friday, then play tonight, they arrived early Friday and reportedly had to go directly to practice.
In short, they were miserably tired and played like it. We saw a similar situation when Michigan traveled here earlier in the year -- the Wolverines came out tired and lost the first game of their set. In the Saturday game, Michigan was adjusted, rested, and won. It remains to be seen if this even-tireder Buckeyes team can do the same.