Wednesday, September 27, 2006 A PHOTOGRAPHC FORA INTo AES
Opinion 4A Dibo catches
Arts SA A more serious
side of Ludacris
Sports 10A Defensive tackle
One-hundred-sixteen years ofedtorialfreedom
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Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVII, No. 17
2006 The Michigan Daily
Group behind the alternative
plan defends it as a model not
intended to be final
By Nate Sandals
Daily Sports Writer
Five days after opponents of the athletic
department's luxury box proposal released
their "Big House Plan" to renovate Michigan
Stadium without adding skyboxes, the athletic
department claims to have found multiple faults
in the alternative expansion plan.
The athletic department is confident that the
pro-posed luxury box plan is superior when it
comes to finance, design and intangibles, said
Jason Winters, the athletic department's chief
Winters questioned Save the Big House
founder John Pollack's claim that the "Big
House Plan" could add 10,000 seats around the
upper bowl at for a quarter-billion dollars less
than the University's proposal.
"In their plan, they were using a second con-
course, which is extremely expensive," Winters
said. "I can stake my reputation on the fact that
you cannot do it for $1,000 per seat."
Pollack, a former Clinton speechwriter, said
last week that the alternative plan's financial
analysis was based on one of the renovation
options the department considered but did not
recommend to the Board of Regents.
The analysis concluded that the addition to
the upper bowl and the new second concourse
surrounding the entire bowl would have a cost
of $1,000 per seat.
The plan that Pollack based his numbers off
of, "Option 2," would add seating for disabled
fans, widen aisles and improve restrooms and
concessions, just like the luxury box plan and
Pollack's plan. But unlike those plans, it would
merely renovate the existing press box instead
of building a new one.
Pollack's numbers also fail to account for the
price of moving the scoreboards atop the new
rows as well as the cost of construction for a
new press box, Winters said.
The CFO disagreed with Pollack's conclusion
that the "Big House Plan" can be completed for
$93 million without an added surcharge on each
"We haven't decided if we are going to do a
cost analysis of (The Big House Plan)," Winters
said. "But I'm fairly confident that it has enough
holes in it that it's not going to pay for itself, so
you will need some ticket surcharge."
Save the Big House admits that their plan is
not perfect, but Pollack hopes that its presen-
tation will reveal that skyboxes aren't the only
way to meet the construction goals.
"This was a very conceptual project," said
Jeremy Sphar, one of the four architects who
worked pro bono on the group's proposal.
"When it came down to a construction sched-
ule or even specific construction costs, we were
basing that on other precedents."
Pollack could not be reached for comment.
The proposed luxury box plan - which
includes a second concourse along both the east
and west sides of the stadium to support the
new structures - is budgeted at $227 million
See STADIUM, page 7A
Second day of anti-
gay speech by two
preachers yields lively
By Walter Nowinski
Daily Staff Reporter
When Michael Venyah and
Chris Lemeiux returned to the
Diag yesterday to continue
preaching their anti-gay mes-
sage, at least four campus offi-
cers was waiting for them.
Diane Brown, Department
of Public Safety spokeswoman,
said there were no reports of
criminal incidents on the second
day in a row in which a crowd of
furious students confronted the
On Monday, DPS received one
complaint from someone who
wanted Venyah and Lemieux
removed from the Diag. Police
took no action because free
speech protections give any-
one the right to speak on pub-
lic property as long as they are
not interfering with a registered
event, Brown said.
Angry students spanked, drew
sexual images on and flicked
cigarette ashes at the preachers
"No matter how hateful his
speech may be, it does not give
See DIAG, page 7A
What people were saying
during the anti-gay protest
on the Diag yesterday:
"It's nice for us to be all
fired up about something."
- LSA freshman Arthur Kay
on the mob of students sur-
"If he doesn't have atten-
tion, his hate and hellfire
will go away."
- LSA freshman David
Merian, pleading with the
crowd to ignore Venyah
"Know ye now that the
unrighteous University of
Michigan students will go to
- Chris Lemieux, para-
phrasing a passage from
"It is not an act of hate. It is
an act of love."
- Alex Hollingsworth, dis-
cussing Venyah's preaching
TOP: Engineering senior Ben Iwrey, who was fired from his position as drum major this summer, poses in an empty Michigan Stadium
yesterday. BOTTOM: Current drum major Iden Baghadchi performs at the Notre Dame football game in South Bend on Sept. 23.
The drum major was quietly Af'A
fired from his post in July. A
replacement stepped in, revealing :
the marching band's ...
By Gabe Nelson
Daily Staff Reporter
Engineering senior Ben Iwrey
can't stand going to Michigan foot-
ball games anymore. The shame of
sitting in the bleachers instead of
marching with the band on the field
would be too much.
In July, Iwrey went from being
drum major to nothing in less than
Jamie Nix, director of the Michi-
gan Marching Band, fired Iwrey and
promoted LSA senior Iden Baghdad-
chi to the drum major position.
Months earlier, on April 18, Iwrey
had won a hotly contested competi-
tiondefeating Baghdadchi and Engi-
neering senior Rob Reed to become
the student leader of the band.
Although Iwrey had played clari-
net for the marching band since his
freshman year, he had no experience
as a drum major. He decided to stay
on campus over the summer to learn
After three months of work at
Revelli Hall, the marching band's
home on East Hoover Street, Iwrey
thought he was making great prog-
"I was under the impression that I
was forging some great relationships
with the staff," Iwrey said.
He was surprised to learn the staff
Nix and his staff, unhappy with
Iwrey's work during the summer,
gave him a letter on July 19 that said
they were considering demoting him
from his post. It listed about a dozen
instances when Iwrey allegedly
acted in an unprofessional manner.
"Over the course ,of the past sev-
eral weeks, as you have begun serv-
ing in this highly public leadership
and service role, you have demon-
strated repeated inability to conduct
yourself in a professional manner as
required by the higher standards of
this position," Nix wrote.
Iwrey was shocked.
"There was some tension between
me and Professor Nix, but I was con-
See BAND, page 7A
What are the
Perform a pregame routine,
including the "back bend"
and the "goalpost toss." The
drum major takes off his hat,
bends backwards and touches
his head to the ground. He
then runs to the end zone
and throws his baton over the
goalpost. If the drum major
drops the baton, legend says
Michigan will lose the game.
Serve as the band's public
face and the liaison between
the band and the staff.
Instruct the marching
band with vocal and
Spellings backs ideas to simplify
college choices, track students
Former 'U' president
says education secretary
had strong support
among leaders at speech
From staff and wire reports
Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings launched plans yesterday to
redefine the college experience, prom-
ising less confusion and more results
Spellings said she would make a
handful of changes on her own and
start building support for some of the
more sweeping ideas that came from
her higher education commission.
Chief among them is the creation of
a massive information-sharing system,
opening up greater review of how col-
leges and universities are performing.
It would require vast data collection
on individual students, already raising
privacy concerns in some corners.
Spellings also pledged to make it
easier for people to apply for financial
aid and to compare the price and the can't buy a home or start a family?
value of one school to another. She None of this seems fine to me."
spoke of more federal college aid but President Bush said yesterday that
would not endorse a specific request to he strongly supports the initiative. But
raise Pell Grants, as her commission even with the leverage of her office and
wanted. Bush's ear, Spellings
Former Uni- Spe no'swill need help to turn
versity President Y the ideas into action.
James Duderstadt, overarching theme is In most cases, she
who served on will need support
the commission, to make everything from Congress, gov-
attended Spell- ernors, state boards
ings's speech at about college easier of education and a
the National Press complex mix of pub-
Club yesterday. for families, lie and private col-
He said that her leges.
speech was met with strong support Her overarching theme is to make
among the higher education leaders in everything about college - choosing
attendance. one, affording one, succeeding in one
Sensitive to how colleges would - easier for families. Parents should
react to her plans, Spellings heaped be able to shop for a college as simply
praise on them. But she mocked the as they shop for a car, she said, with
idea that everything is fine. a clear expectation of what they will
"Is it fine that college tuition has out- get.
paced inflation?" she asked. "Is it fine Spellings admitted she's been frus-
that only half our students graduate trated, as a mom, in getting those
on time? Is it fine that students often answers herself. Her oldest daughter,
graduate so saddled with debt that they See SPELLINGS, page 7A
Ann Arbor resident Greg Nelson plays footbag near the Diag yesterday. Nelson
participates in a hackey-sack club called the Flying Aces.