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June 14, 2010 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2010-06-14

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Monday, June 14, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


A red cardfor cost?

It's now that time that occurs
once every four years when
soccer actually becomes pop-
ular in America.
And like many of
my peers, I will
pay marginally
more attention
to soccer than
usual by watch-
ing the occa-
sional highlights ERIC
on SportsCenter. STULBERG
But the World
Cup is much more than just a
soccer tournament - it's a huge
investment in South Africa that
will have enormous economic and
sociopolitical impact. And in a
nerdy way so typical of University
students, I think these results of
the Cup will be much more inter-
esting than whether Spain can
fend off Brazil or France.
Let's delve into the numbers.
According to an estimate made by
the consulting firm Grant Thorn-
ton, the World Cup will infuse
South Africa's economy with $7.6
billion, attract 490,000 tourists
and create or save 415,000 yearlong
jobs. But these are just the resultant
benefits - there are many costs as
well. South Africa built ten new
state-of-the-art soccer stadiums at
a hefty price tag, and they will also
absorb increased costs from con-
struction, beautification and labor.
As noted by Rob Baade, an econom-
ic analyst of major sporting events,
the construction and beautification
process has historically lowered the
revenues of many local businesses
prior to the World Cup due to gen-
eral infrastructure disruption.
Ultimately, both critics and
advocates of the World Cup as
an economic boon agree that the
impact will depend on how every-
thing plays out. If the event can cre-
ate a spike in tourism and security
that sustains itself for the follow-
ing years, then it will ultimately be
a success. If the World Cup turns
away potential non-Cup-related
tourists and only provides a tem-
porary boost, then it will hurt the
South African economy. More sig-
nificantly, many experts both from
inside and outside of South Africa
argue that the money invested into
the World Cup could have been
invested into social problems, like
the high HIV/AIDS rate, and debate
whether the revenue from the
World Cup will allow for greater
social spending.
With that said, while I don't
have access to a crystal ball - or
an accurate calculus-based model
- that can predict the long-term

consequences of the World Cup,
just a few years ago Detroit hosted
the world cup of "real" football, and
its long- term impact can be seen
today. Detroit directly made $125
million from the Super Bowl from
the estimated $100 million of public
and private money spent on prepa-
ration costs.
The World Cup
might not be an
economic "goal."
While the economic impact of
the Super Bowl definitely helped
Detroit in the short term, there
seems to have been no sustained
benefit. Today, Detroit still has
unfinished and postponed con-
struction and beautification proj-
ects, which all have maintenance
costs in addition to the initial Super
Bowl preparation costs. Making
matters worse, they create eyesores
that hurt the perception of Detroit
by suburbanites and tourists, which
harms propertyvalues.
Detroit's economy invariably
suffered from the massive recession
that struck the nation as a whole, sot
the Super Bowl cannot be blamed
for its downward spiral. Yet while
the event may not have objectively
hurt the city, it certainly didn't
help. The recession still ravaged the
unemployment rate, with unem-
ployment in the Detroit-Warren-
Livonia area rising from 7.2 percent
in February 2006, the month of
the Super Bowl, to 15.5 percent in
March 2010. And tourism in Detroit
has hardly taken off in the last four
years, with most news sources still
citing Detroit as one of the top five
most dangerous cities in the coun-
try. At best, the Super Bowl slightly
stimulated the economy of Detroit,
only for its benefit to be neutralized
by the recession. At worst, it hurt
the city by creating unsustainable
infrastructure projects and not pro-
viding any new, long-term jobs.
Like Detroit, South Africa
is plagued by a high crime and
unemployment rate. I hope that
South Africa, unlike Detroit, will
be able to sustain whatever ben-
efits it can reap from the World
Cup and that its tourism industry,
already a pillar of its economy, will
grow exponentially once the last
goal is scored.
- Eric Stulberg can be
reached at estulcaumich.edu.

Recruit responsibly
Poor communication creates another embarrassment

On the heels of the first major
NCAA violations in the history of
the program, the University's foot-
ball team is again in the headlines
for questionable practices. After
being offered a spot on the team,
recruit Demar Dorsey was told
that he would not be admitted to
the University. This incident illu-
minates an exceedingly clear lack
of communication between the
football program and University
administration. If the football pro-
gram, and by extension the Univer-
sity, want to be taken seriously, they
must more effectively coordinate
their recruitment operations with
the admissions office.
Since 2007, Demar Dorsey has
been charged with involvement
in at least three separate counts of
burglary, at least two of which he
confessed to. Instead of being con-
victed, Dorsey was sent to an alter-
native juvenile program. In school,
Dorsey struggled before dropping
out and enrolling in an alternative
program called LifeSkills, where
his grades and test scores dramati-

cally improved. While there has
been some dispute over the facts
and order of events, it's known
that football coach Rich Rodriguez
offered Dorsey a scholarship to play
at the University before he enrolled
at LifeSkills, and that, in turn,
Dorsey signed a Letter of Intent,
preventing him from looking at
other schools. Recently, however,
the admissions office sent a letter
notifying Dorsey that he would not
be admitted and that he was no lon-
ger bound by the LOI.
There have been several con-
flicting reports about whether
Rodriguez actually consulted the
admissions office before offering
Dorsey a scholarship. But what-
ever the case may be, the episode
reinforces the disconnect between
the football program and the Uni-
versity administration. Ironically,
this comes after an already embar-
rassingly public investigation into
NCAA rule violations, when Ath-
letic Director Dave Brandon prom-
ised more transparency and better
communication between the ath-

letic department and varsity teams.
Clearly, this promise has gone
unfulfilled. The Dorsey case is rep-
resentative of an intrinsic, recur-
ring and problematic detachment
between these two entities.
The shameful nature of this
incident will likely harm the Uni-
versity's recruitment of future stu-
dent-athletes. By offering Dorsey a
place on the team, Rodriguez cre-
ated an expectation that he would
be admitted to the University
itself - an offer that should never
have been made considering Dors-
ey's history and lack of academic
credentials. But the turnaround
engenders a far broader concern:
It calls into question the legiti-
macy of any offer by the athletic
department to a student-athlete
on the border of the University's
academic standards.
The whole ordeal has dealt yet
another blow to the football pro-
gram's already ailing reputation.
But ultimately, it reflects a larger
pattern of poor coordination and
communication that must end.

Nicholas Clift, Emma Jeszke, Harsha Panduranga, Joe Stapleton, Rachel Van Gilder

Daily story on public
art misled readers
On June 1, 2010, an article was
published in this paper on the public
art project "Vessels" (Visiting art-
ist discusses challenges of installing
public art at the 'U'). It is my conten-
tion that in this article words were
poorly chosen, leading to a mischar-
acterization of my statements, and
undermining the whole intent of
the project, which was to help build
bridges between the various agencies
dealing with public art in Ann Arbor.
The headline set the tone by stating,
"Visiting artist criticizes bureau-
cracy in public art." The article
then goes on to say that artists like
me were "stymied" in this process;
clearly stacking the deck for how one
should interpret my experience with
bureaucracy in Ann Arbor.

It is hardly newsworthy, but
bureaucrac~y is a challenge for any art-
work that goes into a public space. At
times the process was daunting, and
some aspects of the bureaucracy were
particular to Ann Arbor. However,
my comments were never intended
as criticism; they were statements of
fact when doing a public art project.
In presenting those facts I also
made clear statements aimed at
counterbalancing the difficulties; yet
strangely, and I would argue inten-
tionally, none of these comments
appeared in the article. I pointed out
that everyone involved in the bureau-
cratic process had been helpful and
did not state that there was anyone
actively undermining the project. I
mentioned that people on the vari-
ous committees also have full-time
jobs and therefore can only meet to
discuss these matters at monthly
meetings. I explained that everyone
had learned from the experience, and
that this project might actually stand

as a model for future cooperation
between these agencies.
I also suggested that this project
might help to reduce the whole pro-
cess to a shorter timeframe. I gave
examples of how a website is being
set up at the University to help facili-
tate the process so that future vis-
iting artists might be able to work
through some of the steps before
coming to Ann Arbor. Finally, I men-
tioned that in choosing the Huron
River I made extra problems for
myself because it overlapped with
three levels of bureaucracy: the city,
the state and the University, thereby
tripling the normal difficulties one
encounters in a project like this.
These statements suggest an under-
standing of the bureaucratic process,
not, as the article portrayed, a blan-
ket criticism of local bureaucracy.
William Dennisuk
2009-10 VisitingArtist at the School of
Art and Design

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