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October 02, 2009 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-02

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, October 2, 2009 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, Octoher 2, 2009 - 7

New 'U' study
looks at impact
of former NFL
players' injuries

Saturn Outlooks sit on the sales lot at the Saturn of Denver dealership in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo., yesterday.
Sun sets on Saturn: GM kills fading brand

Penske Automotive
walks away from
deal to save Saturn
DETROIT (AP) - For those who
expected General Motors' once-
funky Saturn brand to live on with
a new owner, there has been a sad
twist. Saturn, once billed as a dif-
ferent kind ofcar company, appears
as dead as Pontiac and Oldsmobile.
At the brand's 350 remaining
dealers around the country, there
were high hopes that a deal would
be announced for GM to sell the
brand to former race car driver
and auto industry magnate Roger
Instead, Penske Automotive
Group Inc. announced Wednes-
day it is walking away from the
deal, unable to find a manufactur-
er to make Saturn cars when GM
stops producing models sometime
after the end of 2011. GM then
announced it would stop mak-
ing Saturns and soon would close
down the brand, just like it did
From Page 1
the aisle," Brater said. "There's no
guarantee the Republicans will
come across with support for those
revenues, so it's just a major chal-
lenge right now to get some bipar-
tisan support for revenues."
According to Phil Hanlon, vice
provost for academic and budget-
ary affairs, the University set aside
one-time funds when establishing
the University's budget for this
academic year to fill these expect-
ed financial aid gaps.
"When we did put together this
year's budget we did ... note that at
least one of the houses of the leg-
islature eliminated funding for the
Promise Scholarship, so we also
set aside some one-time funds,"
Hanlon said in an interview with
the Daily last week.
The scholarship program was
supposed to provide up to $4,000
for approximately 5,000 Universi-
ty students for the 2009-2010 aca-
demic year, according to Margaret
Rodriguez, the University's senior
associate director of financial aid.
Cynthia Wilbanks, vice presi-
dent for government relations for
the University, said the Univer-
sity's commitment to meet the full
demonstrated financial need of in-
state students has not wavered.
"We have committed to meet-
ing the full financial need and
we have been prudent in the way
we have budgeted so that we will
have resources for those students
who have the financial need and
as of now, do not appear to be
receiving the Promise grants,"
From Page 1
try to keep our campus safe, we all
need to contribute and part of that
contribution is making sure that if
you see something suspicious that
you call police right away rather
than just sort of fluffing it off,"
From Page 1

the University did not have a film
office. The office was created
last spring to handle the influx
of requests to produce movies on
Two films have already been
filmed on campus in 2009 - "Betty
Anne Waters" featuring Hilary
Swank, and "Trivial Pursuits,"
which was written and directed by

with Oldsmobile in 2004 and soon
will do with Pontiac.
The day's events mean an almost
certain end to Saturn, a brand that
was set up in 1990 to fight growing
Japanese imports. Instead of cel-
ebrating a rebirth, the announce-
ments sent dealers scrambling for
ways to stay open and preserve
about 13,000 jobs.
"I find this hard to believe," said
Carl Galeana, owner of two Saturn
dealerships in suburban Detroit.
"Everyone's been saying we're
right at the goal line."
Saturn, officially launched in
1990, featured the iconic tag-line
"a different kind of car company"
and people were attracted by its
low-key showrooms and no-haggle
GM's hope was that Saturn,
with its dent-free plastic panels,
would attract younger buyers with
smaller, hipper cars. It built a new
plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., devoted
to Saturn vehicles.
Despite a cult-like following
that drew thousands to annual
reunions in Spring Hill, the brand

never made money, although the
company has never disclosed how
much it invested or lost.
Although GM and Penske
reached a tentative agreementto sell
the brand in June, the deal collapsed
Wednesday after Penske was toldby
an unidentified manufacturer that
its board had rejected a deal to make
cars for the new Saturn.
"It was a stunning turn of
events," said GM spokesman Tom
Pyden, who added that most of the
details between GM and Penske
had been worked out and both sides
expected to announce this week
that the deal had been closed.
GM had agreed to keep building
three Saturn models even beyond
2011, but after that, Penske had
to come up with its own products
made by another manufacturer.
don said there is little if any chance
that the talks could be reopened.
Without another supplier in place
before the deal was signed, Penske
couldn't run the risk of taking on
Saturn, Pordon said.
It takes several years to design

new vehicles or engineer foreign
vehicles to meet U.S. standards.Pen-
ske would risk havingno products to
sell once the GM contract expired.
The French automaker Renault
discussed building cars for Penske
but Renault spokeswoman Fred-
erique Le Greves said in an e-mail
Thursday that "the conditions for
an agreementhave notbeen found."
She said the decision was made by
the Renault executive board.
Penske's purchase price was
never disclosed, and he will not
have to pay a termination fee,
Pyden said. Penske shares tumbled
$1.13, or 5.9 percent, to $18.05 in
premarket trading yesterday.
GM will stop making Saturns as
soon as possible, but no layoffs are
expected, said spokeswoman Sher-
rie Childers Arb. Saturns are made
at plants in Kansas City, Kan.;
Delta Township, Mich., near Lan-
sing and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
"Those plants produce products
for other brands, and we think
we can increase volume on those
products that will meet market
demand," Childers Arb said.

Lead researcher says
study's findings
may be overblown
Daily StaffReporter
A new study commissionedahy
the National Foothall League and
conducted by researchers from the
University of Michigan's Institute
for Social Research may add to an
increasing level of scrutiny over
whether concussions sustained
while playing foothall could have
long-term consequences for play-
ers. But the study's top researcher
says that some of the findings may
be blown out of proportion.
Dr. David Weir, the report's lead
author, said a surprising number
of professional football retirees
age 50 and above reported having
been diagnosed with dementia,
Alzheimer's disease or other mem-
ory-related illnesses.
"We found that there was a sub-
stantially higher rate of people say-
ing they did have such a diagnosis
among the NFL retirees compared
to the general population of men
the same age," Weir said.
NFL retirees reported diagnoses
of dementia and related illnesses
at a rate of more than 6 percent -
more than five times the national
average, which is about 1.2 percent.
But the difference, Weir said, may
be partly a result of the survey
design and that conclusions should
not be taken too seriously.
The NFL and its Player Care
Foundation approached the Uni-
versity's Institute for Social
Research to investigate the welfare
of pension-eligible retirees. The
resulting survey, which was con-
ducted last November, compiled
the data from phone interviews
with a sample of 1,063 former pro-
fessional players.
Weir, also an associate director
at the University's Survey Research
Center, said cognitive decline was
only a small component of the over-
all survey, which covered a wide
range of topics, including marital
status, income and employment of

Modeled partly after the Nation-
al Health Interview Survey, the
report noted more concrete trends
for health concerns, like arthritis
and general joint pain - conditions
prevalent in the sampled retirees.
The survey also relied on several
mental health questions to screen
for depression and anger. However,
the University survey asked only
one question soutdiagnoses of
cognitive illness.
Not yet peer-reviewed, the sur-
vey's researchers admitted that a
higher rate of dementia diagnoses
may also he attributed to the signif-
leant interaction hetween foothall
to the interaction between doctors
and the general population.
"A telephone survey is not going
to be adequate when you want to
make an assessment of whether a
person has dementia or cognitive
impairment," Weir said. "More
high quality scientific research is
needed to actually establish this
The survey has already prompt-
ed the NFL to begin conducting its
own scientific inquiry with a subset
of retirees - after the league his-
torically pushed off similar studies
in the past.
Weir said the impact at the col-
legiate and high school levels for
football remains to be seen, but
the concerns would be equally rel-
"If there really are health con-
sequences, there's a much larger
group of people affected than in
just professional sports," he said.
If a definitive causation is estab-
lished, the appropriate regulatory
measures and equipment will be
needed to minimize the number of
concussions or related head inju-
ries, Weir said. Further study into
the actual relationship between
participation in football and cogni-
tive decline will also provide some
context for the nature of memory
disorders, he said.
"It's not just about the football,"
Weir said. "Dementia is a really
serious public health problem and,
as the population ages, it's going
to become even more so in the

Despite being killed yesterday, the Michigan Promise Scholarship may find new life in a House bill that would save the program.

Wilbanks said in an interview
The budget agreed upon by the
House and Senate, including the
higher education bill, still has to be
sent to Democratic Gov. Jennifer
Granholm for approval.
In a press release yesterday,
Granholm wrote that the budget
passed by the two houses does
not demonstrate the key elements
Michigan needs during this eco-
nomic time, including a way to
make college affordable.
"Michigan's future demands
a budget that helps us diversify
our economy to create the jobs we
need; that keeps police officers and
fire fighters on the streets of our
Brown said.
Brown also said DPS is engaging
in a "10 Point Pledge" campaign to
raise awareness of how DPS can
assist victims of crimes since many
cases go unreported, especially
sexual assaults.
"I still believe that there are
crimes committed that aren't
reported and I would say that
University alum Chris Farah.
Despite the current success
of the film office, Doyle said she
thinks the University will see
a drop in the number of movies
filmed on campus if any of the pro-
posed cuts to the Michigan film
tax credit are approved.
However, Doyle said even if
the number of mainstream mov-
ies made in Ann Arbor drops,
she believes documentaries and
newscasts will continue to film

communities; a budget that helps
our kids afford to go to college,"
Granholm wrote in the release.
"The budget the legislature has
passed fails to do all of these essen-
tial things."
Granholm wrote that she will
be examining the budget and will
create one that meets these vital
"So while I am disappointed
with the budget that resulted from
the legislature's actions, I am deter-
mined to use my power in this pro-
cess to give the people of Michigan
a fiscally sound budget with the
right priorities - diversifying our
economy to create jobs, educating
our citizens, and protecting those
particularly of sexual assault,"
Brown said. "We have to continue
to work to help people understand
the importance of being able to
report (sexual assault) and the
protections that can be placed
around a survivor who is making
the report."
Brown said students can also
reduce campus crime by securing
"We always have a steady stream
of activity like that, but in terms
of commercial films, though, that
will diminish," she said.
Doyle said even without an
influx of Hollywood celebrities
arriving on campus to make their
movies, the University will contin-
ue to operate its film office because
one of its main goals is to help revi-
talize Southeastern Michigan's
failing economy.
"We are here as a service, not as
a profit-generating office," Doyle

who are at risk during this crisis,"
Granholm wrote.
Liz Boyd, press secretary for
Granholm, said the governor sup-
ports the supplemental spending
bill although the House has not yet
passed legislation that would gen-
erate revenue to pay for it.
"Clearly the governor has said
she is going to take her steps to
shape that budget in a way that
protects Michigan, her priori-
ties and the priorities of Michi-
gan families," Boyd said. "What
action the governor will take
regarding the budget, I think,
remains to be seen, but the gov-
ernor will be acting relatively
theirbelongings and reporting any
suspicious behavior.
"Usually if your instinct is tell-
ing you that something isn't quite
right ... chances are something's
not right," Brown said, adding that
making a phone call to DPS alerts
University Police of the situation
and can help control incidents on
said. "We're here as a service to
that economic development stimu-
lus project that's going on in the
Doyle said the Film Office is
interested in continuing its efforts
to promote the University as a way
of attracting filmmakers to Ann
"We're interested in just spot-
lighting the University whenever
possible," Doyle said. "To make the
University shine and having it star
in movies is not a bad thing."

From Page 1
soon as the training is done."
The number of sober monitors
present at each party is determined
by the number of people in atten-
dance and can range from five to
Right now the training consists
of one session, which Parritz said
is very interactive and includes
question-and-answer sessions and
"They do that for a reason," he
said. "They know that at night they
aren't necessarily going to have the
instant attention of 20 to 25 fresh-
Mohr said many sober monitors
are often unclear on their duties,
but he hopes that after the new
training they'll be more aware and
"Everything will be safer hope-
fully," he said. "It allows our new
members to be trained prior to
actually working at an event. So,
hypothetically, they should know
everything and they'll have the
resources and knowledge and the
confidence to step up when they see
something wrong."
Parritz said the IFC is very
excited to get the program off the
ground and see the good it will
bring its community.
"It was started by the board
before we came in, so we've inher-
ited this project that was sort of in
its infancy," he said.
Mohr said he thinks the com-
munity will see the benefits of the
program immediately.
"I'm just so excited to be able to
go to an event and realize that these
kids have been trained, they know
what they're doing, and I won't
have to worry as much," he said.

Parritz said the IFC and UHS are
also adding peer facilitators to the
program, whose roles in the session
would be to facilitate role-plays and
other interactive portions of the
LSA sophomores Jacob Hat-
tenbach and Jay Siegel, peer facili-
tators who participated in the
training programlast semester, said
they both agreed with the message
behind the program but felt they
could improve the presentation.
"We aim to spread knowledge
about its effects in order for stu-
dents to respond to real life emer-
gencies that they may confront at
any given time," Hattenbach wrote
in an e-mail. "We believe that these
alcohol awareness presentations
need not be given solely by distant
authority figures but also by stu-
dents who have experienced these
circumstances themselves."
Daniel Kipper, president of Chi
Phi fraternity, said he thinks the
program will be effective in theory,
but he's skeptical that it will signifi-
cantly change the environment at
"I think it's a good idea on
paper," Kipper, an Engineering
junior said. "There's no harm in
having more training, but from a
risk management and party run-
ning point of view, I don't think
it'll have too much of an effect,
which is normally where the main
problems are."
Jon Lindner, Delta Tau Delta's
president an attendee of the pro-
gram last semester, said though
some of the knowledge behind
sober monitoring can be learned
through first-hand experience, he
feels the new training programwill
be beneficial.
"It couldn't hurt," he said. "It's
not boring, it's fun, interactive and
it doesn't take very long."

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