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January 30, 2008 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-30

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Iie ffiid~lipn Dailjj

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

michigandaily.com

Looking to settle
suit, coach files
-letter with court

Rodriguez letter
says he can pay
$1.5 million if
ordered by court
By ANDY KROLL
and COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
Daily StaffReporters
Michigan football coach Rich
Rodriguez is using his new Ann
Arbor ties in an attempt to settle
his lawsuit with West Virginia.
Through the Bank of Ann
Arbor, a bank founded by Univer-
sity Athletic
Director Bill
Martin, Rodri-
guez filed a $.5 -
million letter of
credit yesterday
with the fed-
eral court for
the Northern
District of West RODRIGUEZ
Virginia. The
letter of credit says Rodriguez has
the means to pay that amount if
the court orders him to pay West
Virginia University, where he
was head football coach until last
month.
The figure comes from the first
amendment to Rodriguez's con-
tract with West Virginia, which
said he must pay the university
$1.5 million in "liquidated dam-
ages" if he terminated his con-
tract with the university without
breach between Aug. 31, 2007,
and Aug. 31, 2008. Rodriguez later
signed a second amendment on his
contract, which raised the buyout
payment to $4 million.
West Virginia is currently
suing Rodriguez for $4 million,
the amount stated in the second
amendment, claiming he breached
the contract by accepting the head

football coach position at Michi-
gan.
"Coach Rodriguez is a respon-
sible person," Rodriguez's agent
Mike Brown said in a statement
released to ESPN. "This is a good
faith effort to move the process
and communication lines forward
so all parties can concentrate on
their future endeavors."
The bank, of which Martin is
also the chairman of the board,
will be responsible for paying
West Virginia the $1.5 million on
or before April27 if the court finds
Rodriguez liable.
It's unclear exactly who would
be responsible for repaying the
bank. When Michigan men's bas-
ketball coach John Beilein left
West Virginia for Michigan in
April, he said in his introductory
press conference that Michigan
wasn't responsible for paying his
$2.5 million buyout.
Assistant Athletic Director
Bruce Madej declined to comment
onthe creditoffered bythe Bank of
Ann Arbor, saying, "I know that's
where Rich does his banking."
According to the conflict of
interest clause in the Bank of Ann
Arbor Board of Directors Code of
Ethics, "All directors should avoid
situations that could result in a
conflict of interest that concerns
either the bank or its customers.
Personal interests which might
directly or indirectly affect the
proper exercise of judgment on
the part of the directors should be
avoided."
In his second resignation let-
ter, dated Jan. 10 and obtained
by the Charleston (W. Va.) Daily
Mail, Rodriguez claimed West
Virginia breached the second
amendment of his contract by fail-
ing to honor "verbal agreements"
made over a handshake between
Rodriguez and West Virginia Uni-
See RODRIGUEZ, Page 7A

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm addressed legislators and the media yesterday in Lansing. During her talk, she said higher education will aid the state's ailint economy
Granhoim: State can rebound

Gov
k
LAN
of the S
Jennif'
tors to
struggl
the sta
accessi
"No
way to
ple wil
al econ
quality

T.calls education and training for every worker,"
Granholm said.
ey to recovery With 7.4 percent of Michigan
workers unemployed, the gover-
for Michigan nor promised to offer aggressive
tax incentives for businesses to
By JULIE ROWE expand and create jobs in the state.
DailyStaffReporter Granholmsaid the rapidlygrowing
alternative energy industry should
ISING - In her sixth State play a large role in returning Mich-
tate address last night, Gov. igan to economic stability.
er Granholm asked legisla- "If we do this right, Michigan
help her rebuild Michigan's can be the alternative energy capi-
ling economy by making tol of North America," Granholm
te's education system more said. "If we do it right, we'll create
ble and rigorous. thousands and thousands of jobs."
one doubts that the best The majority of these jobs will
ensure that Michigan's peo- require more than a high school
1 succeed in the face of glob- diploma, but only about30 percent
comic change is to ensure a of Michigan residents hold a post-
- education for every child secondary degree, accordingto the

2000 U.S. Census.
"To create new good jobs, we
have set a bold course of action to
diversify this economy and to give
our people the skills and education
they need, not only to cope in this
changing world, but to thrive init,"
Granholm said.
In order to prepare Michigan
residents to fill these job and "give
Michigan the best-educated work
force in the nation," Granholm
said she will continue to work to
meet the goal set in 2004 to double
the number of college graduates in
Michigan by 2014.
"We'll make progress through-
out our education system, from
preschool to grad school to on-the-
job training," Granholm said.
Granholm said she is "looking

forward" to signing bipartisan
legislation that will provide full
tuition scholarships for students
across the state to receive post-
secondary degrees. The bill is
modeled after the privately funded
Kalamazoo Promise scholarship
program, which provides money
for students enrolled in public
schools in Kalamazoo to pay for a
college degree in Michigan. Fund-
ing would come from property
taxes in cities and towns and from
private donations.
This program comes two years
after the Michigan Promise schol-
arship was created, which Gran-
holm proposed in her 2005 State
of the State address. The Michi-
gan Promise scholarship provides
See STATE, Page 3A

STUDENT GOVERNMENT
In close vote, MSA decides
against sending Prop. 2 e-mail

E-mail would have
told students about
upcoming court date
By LINDY STEVENS
Paily StaffReporter
By a 17-16 tally, the Michigan
Student Assembly voted down
a measure last night that would
authorize sending a mass e-mail to
students containing information
about upcominglawsuits challeng-

ing Proposal 2, the ballot initiative
that banned the use of many forms
of affirmative action in the state of
Michigan.
Next week, the Federal District
Court in Detroit will hear argu-
ments on whether to hold a full
trial for the lawsuits challenging
the constitutional amendment.
The e-mail would encourage stu-
dents to attend the hearing, sched-
uled for Feb. 6 in Detroit.
Several MSA representatives
who opposed the resolution said
they did so because the spe-

cific language of the e-mail was
unavailable when the vote took
place. -
"If the e-mail text was there,
I probably would have voted for
it," said Rackham representative
Michael Benson, chair of the Rules
and Elections committee.
Art and Design representative
Liana Mulholland, who sponsored
the resolution, said MSA President
Mohammad Dar would write the
e-mail if the vote had passed.
MSA representative Ashley
See VOTE, Page 3A

ETHICAL APPAREL
New initiative pushing groups to buy
labor- and environment-friendly gear

Only about 20 students attended a rally on the Diag yesterday to pressure University officials to move the spring com-
mencement ceremony back into the Big House.
Low turnout at Big House
rally disappoints organizers

MSA committee
wants campus groups
to buy 'Fair Tees'
By CHARLES GREGG-GEIST
Daily StaffReporter
The Michigan Student Assembly
has started an initiative that would
encourage student groups to buy
their apparel from unionized fac-

tories.
LSA sophomore Aria Everts and
LSA senior Austin Srdjak, both
members of MSA's Peace & Jus-
tice Commission, are spearhead-
ing a campaign called "Fair Tees"
to encourage all campus groups to
purchase their T-shirts from facto-
ries that set high ethical and envi-
ronmental standards.
Groups like Students Organiz-
ing for Labor and Economic Equal-
ity have criticized the University

for ordering University-licensed
apparel from factories found to
have used unethical labor prac-
tices.
Everts said her main concern
with traditional factories was the
environmental harm they inflict by
using unsafe dyes and inorganical-
ly grown cotton, along with having
dangerous working conditions and
low wages for employees.
"It's about environmental justice
See SHIRTS, Page 7A

Many students are
less Concerned now
that ceremony will
be on campus
By ELAINE LAFAY
Daily StaffReporter
Students who went to the Diag
yesterday afternoon for a planned
rally in favor of moving spring

commencement back to Michi-
gan Stadium might have been
disappointed. As it turned out,
the rally was a cluster of maize-
clad students huddled around a
medium-sized banner.
The lackluster display of sup-
port marked the second attempt
in recent weeks to organize a
large campus rally for students to
push University officials to move
the graduation back into the Big
House. Neither turned out quite
as planned.

The first rally was planned for
Jan. 17 in Regents Plaza but was
canceled because of bad weather.
Earlier this month, University
officials announced that the cer-
emony would be held in Eastern
Michigan University's Rynearson
Stadium because of ongoing con-
struction at Michigan Stadium.
About two weeks ago, adminis-
trators said they would recon-
sider moving the commencement
back to Michigan Stadium or
See RALLY, Page 7A

TODAY'S
WEATHER

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