Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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Published: Thursday, 8/28/2014 - Updated: 11 months ago

End Zone: Michigan 8-28


Is being voted a captain by your teammates a right or a privilege? At Michigan, it's officially a privilege. Like earning a driver's license, getting your first kiss or being able to go to college, a captaincy is not a given.

In the wake of last year’s 7-6 season, being named a captain has become a designation that has to be earned.

It’s the mark of a change in the culture of Michigan.

Instead of two to four static leaders, UM moves towards a more equitable regime among its players.

Each junior or senior will have a chance to represent his team at least once this season during the pre-game coin flip. New faces in the same places.

By announcing this week that Michigan will not have static captains this season — a tradition that's only been interrupted once since 1879 — a message was sent.

It’s a way of sending the message that nobody is better than the team.

Would Bo Schembechler endorse a deviation from one of his program’s traditions? Striped uniforms and night games in the Big House are one thing, and have become a craze in college football. But what’s next, stripping the wings off the maize and blue helmet and making the players earn them back in preseason practice?

Texas started doing that this year under Charlie Strong.

In the pursuit of a certain level of egalitarianism, don’t put it past a team that’s willing to change its culture in order to win.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.

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