Opinion 4 From the Daily: Scrap
the skybox plan
Arts 10 Inexplicably dull
'Da Vinci' hits
t he bid ri
Jbz Atkbigun 1§ai g
Monday, May 22, 2006
One-hundred-sbteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 119 ©2006 The Michigan Daily
Regents approve controversial
Big House project by 5-3 vote
Plan increasing capacity to Addition of proposal to
108,251 passes in closest Regential Proposed stadium changes Regents' agenda upsets ticket-
vote of proposed bnilding projects holders opposed to skyboxes
By Leah Graboski By Leah Graboski
Daily News Editor West side structure additions: East side structure additions: Daily News Editor
New elevated concourse along top of -Expanded elevated concourse
The University's Board of Regents approved a proj- seating bowl -3,600+ outdoor club seats and lounge Some ticket-holders are infuriated by the secretive
ect to renovate the Michigan Stadium with a 5-3 vote -600+ new chaiwack seats -450+ indoor club seats nature by which the University announced the approval
Friday morning. The $226-million renovation project -New press box -36 private suites of the Michigan Stadiumrenovation project Friday.
includes the addition of luxury boxes as part of two -47 private suites The University Board of Regents did not originally
new structures on the east and west sidelines. intend to discuss the proposed renovations to the Big
Extending several feet above the stadium's score- House during Friday's meeting in Dearborn.
boards, the structures will include 83 luxury boxes, The Regents added discussion of the renovations to
or private suites. The renovated stadium will also fea- the agenda at the l1th hour, after the deadline to sign up
tore wider aisles, accessible seating for the disabled, for public comment had passed - preventing dissenters
3,180 outdoor and indoor club seats and 650 chair- from voicing their concern at Friday's meeting.
back seats - individual seats with back support and According to the Board of Regents website (www.
arm rests. regents.umich.edu), the deadline to sign up for public
The renovated stadium, with a projected seating comment is 9a.m. the day before the meeting.
capacity of 108,251, will accommodate nearly 1,000 featurs Regent Olivia Maynard (D-Goodrich) said the last-
more fans than the current stadium. erea res minute addition was necessary after someone leaked
Regent Olivia Maynard (D-Goodrich) said some -Wider aisles and 05515 classified information about the renovations, including
seats will be removed to build the structures, but only -New free-standing buildings for details about the construction, to the Detroit Free Press.
seats without current ticket-holders. concessions and restrooms She said that after the column, "the process had to be
The Regents have discussed renovating the stadium -Hospitality areas for V development moved along."
for years. In 2003, several Regents visited Ohio State Michael Rosenberg's column, titled "Beware of U-
University and Pennsylvania State University to get an M's plan for huge, pricey luxury boxes," was published
idea of the competition facing Michigan Stadium. last Wednesday.
After the visit, the Regents were excited about the BROGt OoNNELL/tai Maynard said the University does not know who
possibilities for Michigan's stadium, Maynard said. leaked the information to Rosenberg.
Penn State's Beaver Stadium boosted its seating University President Mary Sue Coleman is responsible
capacity to 107,282 after its seventh renovation com- Estimated project cost $226,000,000 for preparingthe Regents meeting agendas, after consult-
pleted in 2001 - making Beaver Stadium second to Amount dedicated from reserves -22,600,000 ing with the Regents' chair, Andrea Fischer Newman.
Michigan in capacity by only 219 seats. Project debt 203,400,000 University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said Cole-
The $194-million renovation to Ohio Stadium, also Estimated additional gross revenues 14,090,000 man's questions about the project were answered in
completed in 2001, included 81 "hospitality suites," a Revenue loss from bench seats 1,290,000 time to add the issue to the Thursday's agenda. Peterson
new press box and new bench seats. Net cash flow* $430,000 would not comment on the impact of Rosenberg's
See STADIUM, Page 2 *Does not include major gifts See RESPONSE, Page 2
Former WUOM director pleads
0 Michael Coleman accepts Thomas O'Brien, Cole- restaurants over several years, O'Brien said.
man's attorney, said the O'Brien said Coleman considered the plea a rea-
fnisdlemeanlor charge, agrees prosecution offered Cole- sonable way to put the situation behind him.
t p man the opportunity to "What he ended up with is one of the most minor
to pay U' $3,500 restittio resolve his case by plead- crimes recognized in Michigan," O'Brien said.
ing to a misdemeanor Deputy chief assistant prosecutor of Washtenaw
By Carissa Miller charge of embezzlement County Steve Hiller said numerous factors are con-
Managing News Editor of funds less than $200. sidered when offering plea agreements, including
Coleman now faces a the strength of the case and the likely punishment.
The former deputy director of Michigan Public possible jail sentence of "In a case like this, it's unlikely that a defendant
Media - the University's public radio and televi- up to 93 days, two year's Coleman charged with this kind of crime will receive a non-
sion ventures - pled no contest Thursday to a mis- probation and a fine of up probationary sentence," Hiller said. "If we can in
demeanor charge of embezzlement involving the to three times the amount embezzled, or $600. those situations, we look to resolve the case and
Michigan Radio station WUOM. Sentencing is scheduled for June 22. nail down restitution so we aren't fighting about
Pleading no contest is a way to avoid trial with- Coleman originally pled not guilty when charged that in the future"
out admitting guilt or claiming innocence. with embezzling between $1,000 and $20,000 in Coleman is the second of three former Michi-
In conjunction with an investigation into alleged company funds - a felony that carries a prison gan Public Media employees to plead no contest
criminal activity of WUOM employees, Michael sentence of one to five years as well as a possible to charges involving embezzlement.
Coleman was accused of embezzling thousands of fine of up to $60,000. Former development director Justin Ebright
company dollars and taking food, alcohol, airline Coleman also agreed to pay the University - who pled no contest to one count of embez-
tickets and lodging for personal use. $3,500 in restitution for charges he made at local zlement less than $20,000 in April - also
appeared in court Thursday receiving two years
probation, $10,000 restitution and 50 hours of
Jeremy Nordquist, the third defendant,
maintains that any misconduct during his
time as an account executive transpired with
knowledge of his supervisors. He has not been
offered a plea agreement and faces trial in July
under charges of embezzlement and conspira-
cy to embezzle.
Coleman left his job with Michigan Public
Media last summer to assume the position of
general manager of Detroit Public Radio sta-
tion WDET, a public service of Wayne State
"It's welcome news that Michael has success-
fully resolved this situation with the University of
Michigan," said WSU's interim executive vice-
president Louis Lessem in a statement following
See COLEMAN, Page 3