Daily Profile Alex Hunt and Stu Douglass

Submitted by MGoBender on April 23rd, 2012 at 8:08 PM

This happens often enough, but there was yet another mini-spat on the board about non-revenue sports and their worth.  I may be biased.  I love all sports.  I've never met an athletic game I didn't fall in love with at one point or another.  As a student at UM some friends took me to a volleyball game and I fell in love with volleyball and found myself hitting Elbel as often as possible to pay.  Playing innertube waterpolo made me realize what a fun sport that was and subsequently I found myself watching Michigan v. Indiana, not on the Big Ten Network, but in Canham Natatorium.

There's something about those teams, those sports, that reminds me of some the best times of my life - playing high school baseball with my friends, winning a regional, then a state quarterfinal, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion one game later.  The pure elation of victory and the pure agony of defeat.  There's something pure about non-revenue sports at Michigan.  It takes a dedication that I like to think I would have had, but don't know if I would have.

Alex Hunt and Stu Douglass were two of my favorite Michigan Men and Women while I was a student there.  They embody this spirit.  For those of you who don't feel this way about the Michigan Men and Women who wear the maize and blue in soccer, softball, baseball, wrestling, gymnastics, field hockey, etc., I challenge you to give them a shot.  I truly think you're missing out. You're entitled to your opinion, but I highly suggest you read Alex and Stu's journey and maybe you'll see the quality person that UM and UM athletics can produce.



“He wanted to prove to himself and to the world that he could play with the best athletes in the country. He didn’t want anybody to ever say, ‘He was OK at Harvard.’ He would have rather failed at the Big Ten than just be OK at Harvard.”– Stuart’s father, Matt Douglass



April 23rd, 2012 at 8:25 PM ^

This man (or woman, its a messageboard so I don't know) speaks the truth.  I don't care if football is the only sport you enjoy watching if you support Michigan than you support all of Michigan, revenue sport or not.  Whether that be taking pride in academics or the softball team a true Michigan fan supports every bit of it.  To me if all you support is the football team and are willing to sacrifice other sports at Michigan to not even gain a competitive advantage well then to me you would qualify as a fairweather fan, not someone supports Michigan, just someone who supports a winning football team.


April 23rd, 2012 at 9:32 PM ^

I met a decent amount of non-revenue athletes during my years at Michigan and most of them were really impressie people.  A couple were in my major and not only earned significantly  higher GPAs than I did, but ended up winning a national championship along the way.  And I have ton of respect for all of them.  Not to rag on the revenue sport athletes, at all, but they tend to have what are widely considered to be relatively easy majors.  There are exceptions, of course, and very few, if any, majors at Michgan are truly "easy" but it's there.  Non-revenue athletes tend to have more varied majors and they perform great in them.  While dealing with practicing (in most cases I know) the NCAA alloted 20 hours, the extra "voluntary" practice time, work-out sessions, team meetings, travel and everything else.  And they do this for a sport that they know pretty much doesn't exist professionaly, or is very small (at least in the US), knowing that they're much more likely to play in front of 109 fans then 109,901 fans, knowing they get little to no exposure on TV, the news, whatever else, knowing that even if they won a NCAA title, most Michigan fans would gladly trade it for just one more football victory.  And they still go out there and bust their butts to perform well for Michigan and for themselves.  Most of them are very dedicated and most of the non-revenue sprts are really good.  And remember, most scholarships outside of football and basketball are NOT full scholarships, in a lot of sports a 1/2 scholarship is reserved for the absolute best of the best.  Revenue sport athletes, in almost cases, do a lot of the same things and obviously it's not really their fault that their sport is higher-profile, but non-revenue sport athletes do a lot of good things and deserve their moment in the spotlight a little bit, too.


April 24th, 2012 at 12:07 AM ^

Thanks for posting! Hope the people who hated on Stu get a chance to read this so they can at least try to understand what he went through!

Naked Bootlegger

April 24th, 2012 at 11:50 AM ^

A very honest, introspective, longitudinal profile of two fine UM student-athletes (or, as Stu states, "athlete-students").    Best of luck to both Alex and Stu in their post-UM endeavors.  Thanks for representing us so well.