David J. Young practices Internal Medicine for Lakeshore Health Partners in Holland, Michigan. He grew up in East Lansing, graduated from the University of Notre Dame du Lac (’77) and Wayne State University Medical School (’82) and completed his residency training at the University of Minnesota (’85).
The author’s interest in the history of the Big Ten was first piqued in the spring of 1976 when his neighbor Mr. Jack Breslin, executive vice president of Michigan State University at the time, took a break from mowing his lawn to watch a game of commando basketball being played by the three Young boys next door. David had just completed his junior year at Notre Dame; he was home for a brief visit before returning to South Bend for summer school. Brother Mike had just been accepted at “du Lac” as a transfer student from Michigan State. His announcement, mentioned during a break in the pushing and shoving, allowed Breslin the opportunity to share a tale about Notre Dame, the University of Michigan and their roles in either aiding or hindering Michigan State’s quest for membership in the Western Conference decades earlier. Although the senior Young was intrigued with Breslin’s comments at the time, he was more interested in resuming the commando basketball game with his kid brothers.
But thirty-two years later, due to an unusual set of circumstances following a contentious Irish-Spartan contest, the doctor was unexpectedly reminded of Breslin’s comments. He decided to investigate the well-known story in greater detail. Over the course of three years he would visit 13 archives, read 14 books and interview a half dozen people. A passion to understand became an obsession to reveal the truth regarding one chapter in the history of a unique intrastate rivalry. The end result of his labor: Arrogance and Scheming in the Big Ten – Michigan State’s Quest for Membership and Michigan’s Powerful Opposition.
While researching Arrogance and Scheming in the Big Ten, Young realized there was another story—one involving the complex (and contentious) relationship between two academic giants of that era: President John Hannah of Michigan State and Professor Ralph Aigler of the University of Michigan. The Student and His Professor: John Hannah, Ralph Aigler and the Origin of the Michigan State-Michigan Rivalry reveals yet another chapter in the fascinating history between the two schools not previously known by Wolverines and Spartans.
And along the way to completing his final book, the author discovered some interesting letters located in the archives at Michigan State University. The Hesburgh Threat exposes a fascinating chapter in the relationship between Notre Dame, Michigan State, and its two nationally renowned leaders–John Hannah and Rev. Theodore Hesburgh. The tab is located on page one of this website.