For 6 years, former UM students have now won half of all the AP male athlete of the year awards.
Phelps just beat out Lebron James, winning now for the second time. Brady also won in 2007, joining athletes such as Jordan, Bird, Woods, Montana, Mays, Mantle, Dimaggio, and---another UM alum: Tom Harmon.
Note that former UM students also won 3 of the last 9 SI Sportsman of the year awards (Brady, Phelps, and Derek Jeter—who said he may yet return to UM to get his degree (see link).
*ADDENDUM REVISED: Is Phelps a "Michigan Man"?
The link below provides some additional evidence suggesting that
1. Phelps took courses in marketing and management at UM for 2 years (2004-6)—and it is hard to believe he did not do at least one semester’s work in those two areas over a two year period--which technically would make him an “alum” according to most universities’ definitions.
2. Indeed, even if that were not the case, many of us did not do in our later careers exactly what we did or studied in school. In fact, many who came to Michigan—like Brady Hoke—were not even students at all. Yet, their experience at Michigan molded their characters and contributed greatly to their future successes. Just ask Brady.
3. Moreover, Phelps actually came to Ann Arbor because that enabled him for many years to work with the UM swimming coach. So, from a training perspective, he was as much a product of UM as any other UM athlete. So, not only can a good case can be made Phelps is an alum but, for all intensive purposes, a “Michigan Man.”
(PLEASE READ LINKS IF YOU NEED TO VERIFY THESE STATEMENTS)