UMass' Cox still on minds of ex-Wolverine teammates

9/16/2012
BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Massachusetts' Michael Cox loses the ball as Michigan's Craig Roh closes. Cox played three seasons for Michigan. He had 76 rushing for the Minutemen on Saturday.
Massachusetts' Michael Cox loses the ball as Michigan's Craig Roh closes. Cox played three seasons for Michigan. He had 76 rushing for the Minutemen on Saturday.

ANN ARBOR -- Michael Cox may be gone, but he's not forgotten.

Cox, who played at Michigan for three seasons before transferring to Massachusetts, led the Minutemen with 76 yards on 18 carries in a 63-13 loss to the Wolverines on Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

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Several Wolverines said earlier in the week that they have kept in touch with Cox, a 6-foot-3, 214-pound running back and Massachusetts native who played three seasons at Michigan.

Cox has a degree in general studies from Michigan and is in his final year of athletic eligibility at UMass.

Cooper Barton, 5, front, attends the game with his parents, Chris and Shannon, and brother Nathan.
Cooper Barton, 5, front, attends the game with his parents, Chris and Shannon, and brother Nathan.

"I haven't trash-talked to him," Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree said before Saturday's game, laughing. "I wish him nothing but luck, but we're coming out to win."

Michigan hosted UMass nearly two years ago to the date, when the Minutemen were an FCS program. The Minutemen nearly pulled off the upset; the Wolverines scored three second-half touchdowns in a 42-37 win in Ann Arbor, but UMass came within five with 2 minutes, 5 seconds left on Kyle Haven's seven-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Krevis.

Cox probably didn't remind Roundtree of that game.

"I forgot we played them in 2010, when I was a sophomore," the fifth-year senior said. "It was a shootout, though."

LEGENDARY: Brandon Moore, a tight end and a fifth-year senior, will wear the No. 87 jersey for the remainder of the season as part of the Michigan Football Legends initiative.

Moore, who sat out Saturday's game against UMass because of a knee injury and was on crutches, wore No. 87 -- a number not listed on the roster prior to Saturday's game at Michigan Stadium -- in honor of former Michigan player Ron Kramer, who was honored Saturday as a "Michigan Football Legend."

Kramer was a nine-time letterman at Michigan in football, baseball, and track and as a standout two-way player. Kramer was a two-time All-American and three-time All-Big Ten first team selection in football.

The season-long initiative honors former players Gerald Ford, Ron Kramer, and Francis, Albert and Alvin Wistert. A player will be selected to wear No. 48, worn by Ford, Oct. 13 against Illinois and a player will be selected to wear No. 11, in honor of the Wisterts, Nov. 10 against Northwestern.

WELCOME WAGON: Michigan honored Cooper Barton, a 5-year-old kindergartner from Oklahoma City who was told by school officials to turn his Michigan T-shirt inside out, sparking a national story. Barton and his family attended Saturday's game as the athletic department's guest.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: The Winnipeg (Manitoba) Sun reported Thursday that Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is one of four quarterbacks on the negotiation list of the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Team negotiation lists are private and, if anything, are akin to a team's wish list. Essentially, if Robinson decided to play in the CFL, the Blue Bombers would have his rights before any other team.

NO DISH FOR BTN: Late Friday night, Big Ten Network announced it failed to reach an agreement with DISH Network, resulting in the satellite provider dropping the Big Ten Network from its lineup.

"We are disappointed that Dish does not see the value in the network in the same way that so many of their customers do, including Big Ten students, alumni, fans, and viewers across the country who continue to pay Dish for a channel they no longer receive." Elizabeth Conlisk, vice president for communications and university relations with the BTN, said in a statement.

The Big Ten Network broadcast eight conference games Saturday, including UMass-Michigan.