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January 07, 1998 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-07

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 7, 1998 - 3A

.Wrestler's death evokes grief, spurs training reforms

By Jordan Field
and Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporters
The death of Michigan wrestler and
Kinesiology junior Jefferey Reese has
prompted a nationwide reassessment of
wrestling, as well as deep shock and sadness
ithin the University community.
Reese died Dec. 9, when he collapsed after a
strenuous workout at Crisler Arena. Reese had
been trying to cut the final pounds that would
put him into the 150 weight class for a meet
against Michigan State the following day. He
had been trying to cut a total of 17 pounds in
only a few days.
Wrestling teammate and childhood friend
Brian Aparo, a Kinesiology senior, said one of
the most difficult things to accept about Reese's
' eath was that he died for the team.
"His body just stopped. He had to make a
weight class and he was so close," Aparo said.
"He wanted to redeem himself from the last
match" against Michigan State.
Reese's death put a spotlight on legal and
ethical issues surrounding the University's
wrestling program. Wrestling is widely recog-
nized for its extreme training methods.
An autopsy report issued Dec. 15 by

Washtenaw County Medical Examiner Bader
Cassin states that Reese died from kidney failure
and heart malfunction caused by excessive exer-
cising and dehydration.
According to Department of Public Safety
investigation documents released under the
Freedom of Information Act, assistant
wrestling coach Joe McFarland was with Reese
when he collapsed.
The report states that Reese had been
working out in a rubber suit with "sweats"
over the nylon suit, and that Reese had been
"riding an exercise bike and using the
sauna."
Since his death, University officials have
said they plan to ban the use of rubber suits.
During a check of the workout area logged in
the DPS report, nothing out of the ordinary was
noted except excessive heat: The thermostat on
the wall in the wrestling room was checked at
10:11 p.m., and the temperature was at least 92
degrees.
Reese stayed behind with McFarland after
his teammates weighed in at the end of
wrestling practice, which lasted for about
one hour, wrestling coach Dale Bahr said in
the DPS report. Bahr took the team out to
dinner while Reese continued his attempts

to lose weight. The practice began at 3:30
p.m. and Reese became "woozy" around S
p.m.
In the weeks since Reese's death, several
speculations have been made. including that
all of Reese's workout was
done in the sauna. But the
DPS report states that
"McFarland said that
Reese was going in and.
out of it and was not work-
ing out exclusively in it."
In addition to the spec-
ulation surrounding
Reese's exercise routine
the night he died, ques-
tions have been raised Reese
about his possible use of a
dietary supplement called creatine and
whether McFarland's call for help was
delayed. But the autopsy report and the DPS
investigation have since proven both accusa-
tions false.
Although the autopsy report states that very
high levels of creatine were found in Reese's
body within two hours after his death, this
substance can be produced naturally by the
body. Cassin could not be reached for com-

ment yesterday. But Debra Wright, the admin-
istrative coordinator for the Medical
Examiner's Office, said the level of natural
creatine found in Reese's body was normal
considering the amount of exercise he had
done.
"Creatine is a substance that is found nat-
urally in the body," Wright said. "With this
type of death, where fluid and food intake is
reduced and exercise is so increased, the
level of creatine found in his body was very
normal for the body to have produced natu-
rally."
Addressing the questions of whether
McFarland waited too long to call 911,
Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney Brian
Mackie said there was no proof of delay and no
legal action will be taken.
"Putting it all together, it's obvious that there
could be no undue delay," Mackie said. "There's
no evidence to the contrary. There's no criminal-
ity that we found."
Mackie made his ruling after reviewing sever-
al reports, including the DPS report and the
chief medical examiner's report, which ruled
Reese's death an accident.
Questions still remain about whether Reese
had enough time to lose the desired amount

Jefferey Reese.
. Age: 21
* School/year: Kinesiology/junior
8 Hometown: Wellsburg, N.Y.
Reese had sophomore eligibity and was
named "Most Improved Wrestler" for the
1996-97 season
3 Reese received an 83-percent scholarship
to wrestle at the University
of weight. DPS reports state that Bahr asked
Reese to wrestle in the 150 weight class on
Dec. 4, before the team 1eIct for a tournament
in Las Vegas. In the report, Bahr said Reese
stayed in Ann Arbor to lose the weight for the
Dec. 10 meet.
Bahr also said in the report that Reese
weighed 170 pounds on Saturday, Dec. (0 giving
him just four days to lose about 20 pounds.
Both Bahr and McFarland declined to com-
ment.
- Read the Daily tomorrow and FrkAiay i r mor
coverage about the reaction to / Reese r
death, ncludig pr/f//s o /'/o /asklrcc f//
mal' change wrcst//ngrm7nms natonz:dt /.

I

Fraternit
house fire
leaves 39
homeless
No one was injured when
flames damaged the Delta Tau
Delta fraternity house
By Reilly Brennan
Daily Staff Reporter
While most University students will be
scrambling to local bookstores in search of
new textbooks and coursepacks this week, 39
members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity will
be looking for a new place to live for the
semester.
The home suffered major fire damage on Dec.
28. The incident completely destroyed two rooms
and damaged others.
Despite major fire-related setbacks, the frater-
nity will continue its winter rush proceedings and
hold its normal events.
Since the house was vacant for winter break, no
one was injured during the fire.
Ann Arbor Fire Department Battalion Chief Ed
Knieper responded to a witness' call, and when he
arrived at the house, which is located on Geddes
Avenue, he said the damage couldn't be seen from
the street.
"At first look we didn't see anything," Knieper
said. "The hardest part was just finding the fire,
which was between floors."
The cause of the fire was due to old electrical
wiring, which dates back to the house's concep-
tion in 1924.
"It was by no means caused by negligence," said
Delta Tau Delta Treasurer and SNRE junior Alex
Keros. "Everyone was out of the house for the
break. The wiring was just too old."
Keros said the tight-knit group is in high spirits
despite the extensive damage to their 74-year-old
house, which is now uninhabitable.
"Nobody in our house is really that worried
about our current status," Keros said. "We're real-
ly just a bunch of close friends and we're dealing
with it."

Burns urges grads
to embrace the past
while moving ahead

EMILY NATHAN/Daily
Movers take the surviving furniture from the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house and load it into vans yesterday.
The house was damaged in a fire on Dec. 28.

By Mike Spahn
Daily taff Reporter
Cheers, screams and even some
barking rang out at Crisler Arena on
Dec. 14 - but the basketball team's
game against Duke had been over for
a day. Instead, these cheers celebrat-
ed University students receiving
their degrees at winter commence-
ment.
More than 2,000 students from
each of the University's undergradu-
ate schools, as well as many post-
graduate students, received degrees at
the ceremony.
. LSA graduate Joi Davis said the day
was very important for her.
"I feel grown up. I've carried on the
tradition of my family," said Davis,
referring to the fact that about 10 rela-
tives also have graduated from the
University.
Speaking to the crowd were LSA
graduate Amy Kay Kimble, Provost
Nancy Cantor and President Lee
Bollinger.
Bollinger quoted from the Robert
Hayden poem "Those Winter Sundays,"
telling graduates to follow their dreams
and not forget the University.
"These ceremonies mean a lot to
everyone," Bollinger said. "Of
course they mean the most to the
students, but they are also important
to their parents, friends and facul-
ty.",
Giving the keynote address was
documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.
Burns, who grew up in Ann Arbor,
also received an honorary degree
from the University. He spoke about
the importance of history in the
graduates' lives, saying that he
believes "your future lies behind
you."
"If you don't know where you've
been, how can you possibly know
where you're going?" Burns said.
Burns tried to avoid giving out

generic advice, instead asking the
graduates to "give up addictions" and
"try brushing your teeth with your
other hand." Burns said giving the
speech was an "unbelievably great
honor" considering that he "formed
here."
Bollinger, who called himself a
"great admirer of Burns," said the film-
maker gave a "tremendous speech."
Davis said she also enjoyed Burns'
speech, saying she was able to relate to
it.
"I thought the speech was really rele-
vant to what we are going through,'
Davis said
Also given honorary degrees were
Gwendolyn Calvert Baker and
Richard Smalley. Baker received
three degrees from the University
and also helped form the
University's affirmative action poli-
cy. Smalley, who taught for some
time at the University, won a Nobh
Prize for his work in chemistry.
The day before the ceremony, Burns
lectured to a packed theater at the
Michigan League about ways his films
have influenced his view of the
American identity. Burns discussed
many of the experiences he has had
filming his movies, which include
"The Civil War" "Baseball" and his
most recent documentary on Lewis
and Clark.
Burns stressed the ambivalence
many Americans have toward their his-
tory and their country.
"We have an extraordinary country,
Burns said. "Our birthright is to use it
not to abuse it."
Burns quoted one phrase from the
journals of Lewis and Clark repeatedly
throughout the lecture, a phrase that he
applied to the graduation as well. He
said it summed up the feelings of many
Americans as they passed important
times in their lives.
"We proceeded on," he said.

"The important thing is that winter rush will go
on," Keros said. "We will still hold events as
usual."
The blaze initially started next to the kitchen in
the pantry. Keros said from there, the flames prob-
ably went right up to the second floor.
"Two of the rooms are completely gone," Keros
said.
"Other rooms have damage but mostly things
need to be cleaned thoroughly. Things like stereos
aren't damaged permanently but could corrode if
they're not cleaned."
Presently, a large number of the students are
staying at the Clarion Hotel, a service that is
paid for by each student's personal insurance
policy.
Delta Tau Delta Housing President B.J. Kroppe
said those students who do not have a policy with
appropriate coverage will most likely have to
cover hotel costs themselves.
"They will have to pay out-of-pocket if they
don't have coverage for it," Knoppe said. "But we
plan to have everyone moved into housing of some
sort by next week."

Possible destinations for the students are sub-
lets in houses or apartments or other fraternity
houses with extra space, the latter being the most
probable.
Keros said as many as five different fraterni-
ties have offered housing to Delta Lau Delta
members.
"The other houses have been very helpful and
the Greek system overall has been great and offered
a lot of support." Keros said.
At this point the house is expected to be gutted
and repaired to meet Ann Arbor's housing code
standards. Keros said this will provide a chance to
do some much-needed repairs on the aging build-
ing.
"It's a little bit of a blessing in disguise,"
Keros said. "Our guys will be closer because of
this and in the end, we'll probably have a better
house too."
Fraternity brothers expect to move back into
their house next fall.
The house will be livable at that point, but
most repairs will continue into the fall term,
Keros said.

I

Student dies from Dennison fall

By Stephanie Hepburn
d Jason Stoffer
ily Staff Reporters
A 21-year-old male University student died after falling from
an upper-level window of the Dennison Building on Dec. 16.
The incident appears to have been a suicide, University
officials said. The student was from Korea.
Department of Public Safety spokesperson Elizabeth Hall
said the name of the student will not be released to the pub-
lic at the request of the victim's family.
"We believe (the student) was alone, but there were two or
three witnesses,' a University official said. "There is suspi-
cion it was a suicide, but we have no further details."
While Asian international students often face additional
academic and social pressures, University officials believe
these were not primary factors in the student's apparent sui-
cide, said International Center Director Zahir Ahmed.
The alleged suicide was the culmination of a long history
of reported personal problems, Ahmed said.
"The student had had problems tracing back to his own
country," Ahmed said. "He had been getting (therapy) there.'
Korean Student Association Treasurer Ji Yung Park said the
student was struggling with mental illness. "He was suffering
rom depression, mental problems ... ," Park said.
At 2:42 p.m. on Dec. 16, DPS received a phone call that a

man had fallen from Dennison. As police and ambulances
arrived, students and staff gathered around the bridge area
between C.C. Little and Dennison, where the student lay on
the ground.
LSA first-year student Anish Shah said when he went to
take a final exam at 3 p.m., technicians already were cover-
ing the body with a white cloth.
"Everyone assumed that he jumped," Shah said. "It's scary
to think that a student committed suicide. People are so
stressed about finals."
Hall said preliminary findings indicate that the victim fell
from a window on the ninth or 10th floor.
"The victim was dead upon arrival at the scene," Hall said.
"Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. We are investi-
gating the incident and don't want to speculate on what hap-
pened."
University Provost Nancy Cantor arrived at the scene fol-
lowing the iTicident to begin overseeing the response by DPS
and medical examiners.
A professor, who wished to remain anonymous, said he
watched emergency personnel administer CPR and oxygen at
the scene.
"Emergency Medical Technicians worked on the man for a
good five minutes while I was there," the professor said. But,
"they were unable to revive him."

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