From Michael Rosenberg's 2008 War as They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and America in a Time of Unrest:
Bo Schembechler was lost in Ann Arbor.
It was a snowy night in late December 1968, and Schembechler and his staff had piled into two cars in Oxford, Ohio, and headed north. They had left Miami University in Ohio for the University of Michigan, if only they could find it. Except for Schembechler and his defensive coordinator, Jim Young, none of the coaches ever had been to Ann Arbor. Now they were lost.
Where to go? Schembechler couldn't ask for directions to the school's football facility, because there wasn't one — the Wolverines had a dingy locker room tucked into a corner on the second floor of Yost Fieldhouse. The locker room had only a handful of toilets and poor ventilation; the resulting smell was so foul, players wanted to run out of the locker room as soon as they could. But that was risky: The stairs outside the locker room were built for small men in loafers, not football players in cleats. When the players got downstairs, they had to go outside, through a parking lot, over a set of train tracks (or over couplings, if there was a train stopped on the tracks), through another parking lot and finally into Michigan Stadium, where they could begin practice.
Schembechler could have asked for directions to the national convention of Students for a Democratic Society, which was being held in Ann Arbor that week. SDS had been founded a few years earlier by Michigan alumnus Alan Haber and Michigan Daily editor Tom Hayden and had become the most powerful student organization in the country. As the Vietnam War became more unpopular, SDS grew in size and influence, and now it was about to crumble under its own weight, leaving splinter groups that favored more violent methods. (Haber had left Ann Arbor and SDS because there were too many factions pulling the organization in different directions.) But Schembechler, a 39-year-old footballaholic with a military buzz cut and very little interest in politics, surely didn't know about the convention.
If he got closer to campus, Schembechler could have listened for the strains of "2+2=?," one of the first anti-Vietnam rock 'n' roll songs. It was written by Ann Arbor native Bob Seger and outsold the Beatles in local stores; it would be re-released in the autumn of 1969, as Seger's song gained resonance by the week.
But Schembechler was unlikely to listen to rock 'n' roll, or a protest song, and especially a rock 'n' roll protest song. Dissent did not sit well with the coach. (His new players would discover that quickly.)
Tags: Bo Schembechler, War as They Knew It