Enjoy the ride, U of M fans

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
Enjoy the ride, U of M fans story image

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It was an incredible ride to watch the Wolverine basketball team, with its sometimes unlikely and mostly lovable cast of characters, push its quest for the ultimate season to the very end.

But in tonight's Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says he hopes you enjoyed it, because it appears the magic isn't just over...it's really over.


For U of M fans, the NCAA tournament was a cardiac caravan of comebacks, unexpected thrills, and ultimately affection and pride.

What a thrill ride. On several occasions.

There they were...a bunch of freshmen, who at this time last year were playing for their hometown fans in high school gyms, fighting tooth and nail in front of an international audience on the biggest stage basketball has to offer.

One Facebook posting during the Louisville game said "I can't believe there are so many freshmen out there...When I was that age I just missed my mom.”

And it all had people talking about the resurgence of a "program," about Michigan's return to prominence. Finally.

And now comes the news that four of the starting tournament five...center Mitch McGary, point guard and national player of the year Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., and Glenn Robinson III...are rumored to be entering the NBA Draft.

My first reaction is to shout no...don't do that. That would be a huge mistake. Do what Wolverine student-athletes do.

Finish your educations. And then go off and make your millions as educated, well-rounded young men.

After all, that's what going to college is all about. The campus is a microcosm of overall society—of the world, for that matter.

It's where you learn to socialize, to think, to consider ideas not your own, to structure your life,to inherit and absorb the thoughts of great thinkers who passed this way long ago.

Or is it?

It doesn't take much reflection to understand that things have changed. That most people today seek higher education to help open doors down the road in the search for a career with a high rate of pay.

That's really what college has become. Go to college and get a good job.

According to the experts, Burke and McGary could be first round picks.

Hardaway and Robinson second rounders.

And you know what? That's a pretty good job. The minimum salary of an NBA player is nearly a half-million dollars a year. On the other end, as we all know, the sky's the limit.

On the other hand, if they stay in Ann Arbor another season or two, they might not look so good as they did this season; they might get injured; their stock might go down.

So, theoretically...Ya gotta strike when the iron is hot.

There are, after all, only 360 NBA players, period.

If they do enter the draft, and they do, in fact, get drafted—and they'd better hope they do—they will have achieved what they set out to do. They went to college and  got good jobs with high rates of pay.

College basketball fans will miss them. They were fun to watch.

And I hope you enjoyed every moment...because one poll for next season already has the Spartans of Michigan State ranked number two—and the Wolverines of Michigan nowhere to be  found in the top 25.

And so it goes.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.

Enjoy the ride, U of M fans
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Business News

Last Update on April 24, 2014 17:31 GMT


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits surged 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 last week, though the gain likely reflected temporary layoffs in the week before Easter.

The Labor Department says the four-week average of applications, a less volatile number, rose 4,750 to 316,750. The four-week average fell two weeks ago to its lowest level since October 2007, two months before the recession began.

Applications can be volatile around Easter, because many school systems temporarily lay off bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other employees during spring break. Some of those workers file for unemployment benefits.

Despite the volatility, applications have generally been declining in recent months, a hopeful sign for the job market. Three weeks ago, applications fell to 301,000, the lowest level in nearly seven years.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods posted a solid gain for the second straight month in March. A key category that signals business investment plans increased at the fastest pace in four months.

The Commerce Department says that orders for durable goods increased 2.6 percent in March following a 2.1 percent rise in February. Those back-to-back gains followed two big declines in December and January which had raised concerns about possible weakness in manufacturing.

Demand for core capital goods, considered a good guide for business investment plans, rose 2.2 percent in March after a 1.1 percent drop in February. It was the best showing since a 3 percent rise in November.

Manufacturing seems to be recovering after a cold winter disrupted business activity.


TOKYO (AP) -- Talks between the United States and Japan on a Pacific Rim trade pact have halted for now without any resolution in sight, spoiling plans for a showcase deal during President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo.

Economy minister Akira Amari, Japan's top negotiator, said too many issues remained unresolved and further working-level talks will be needed to reach a market-opening pact as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Amari told reporters Thursday that no end was in sight. He described the negotiations as in a "tough situation."

The two sides had hoped to proclaim a broad agreement or at least significant progress during Obama's visit, which ends Friday.

A Japan-U.S. deal is seen as crucial for talks among the other 10 countries participating in the U.S.-led initiative to move ahead.


DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors says first-quarter profit fell 86 percent as a series of recalls dragged down its earnings.

GM had a net profit of $125 million, the company's worst quarterly performance since it posted a net loss after leaving bankruptcy protection in 2009.

The Detroit automaker says it took a $1.3 billion charge for recalling about 7 million vehicles worldwide. The company also incurred $300 million in restructuring costs, mostly in Europe. And it took a $419 million charge due to a change in the way it values Venezuela's currency.

GM made 6 cents per share, down from 58 cents per share a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, GM made 29 cents per share, far above Wall Street estimates of 3 cents per share.


Caterpillar 1Q profit climbs 5 pct, forecast rises

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The Peoria, Ill., company says it now expects 2014 earnings of $6.10 per share excluding restructuring costs. That's up from its previous forecast for $5.85 per share.

Analysts expect $5.72 per share, on average.

Caterpillar Inc. says it earned $922 million, or $1.44 per share, in the quarter that ended March 31. That compares to $880 million, or $1.31 per share, last year.

Earnings totaled $1.61 per share, excluding restructuring costs. Total revenue was nearly flat at $13.24 billion.

Analysts forecast earnings of $1.21 per share on $13.09 billion in revenue.


DALLAS (AP) -- First-quarter revenue at UPS slumped 12 percent as winter storms increased costs for the shipping giant and cut into its revenue.

The Atlanta company says the rough start to the year means that full-year earnings will come in at the low end of earlier forecasts.

UPS posted earnings of $911 million, or 98 cents per share, well short of the $1.08 that Wall Street was looking for, and less than the $1.04 billion, or $1.08 per share, it reported a year earlier.

UPS says winter storms reduced operating profit by $200 million as costs rose.

Revenue rose 2.6 percent to $13.78 billion, but that's still shy of the $13.91 billion that analysts had forecast.


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On Thursday, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines reported record profits for the first quarter, usually the weakest time of year for the airlines. That followed a rousing report from Delta Air Lines a day earlier.

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Company officials said Thursday that the 350,000 square feet of new exhibit space will help it attract larger trade shows, and will allow events already there to expand.

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Washington Times