U-M officials: Mary Sue Coleman was not drinking prior to speech - New York News

Michigan officials: Mary Sue Coleman was not drinking prior to speech

Posted: Updated:
University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman had not been drinking alcohol before making remarks at halftime of a football game, the school said in a statement Monday morning.

"It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to the audio distortion," spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said.

The "awkward audio" was a result of Coleman attempting to slow down her speech, according to Fitzgerald, because of the significant feedback she was hearing from Michigan Stadium's public-address system.

"She, absolutely, had not been drinking alcohol," Fitzgerald said. "I want to underscore that point in the strongest possible way."

Coleman was honored at halftime of Saturday's game against Nebraska because she is planning to retire in July.

"We were trying to do something thoughtful to honor President Mary Sue Coleman for her service to the university and athletic department and unfortunately the sound system backfired on us," athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement. "We rarely use live wireless microphones at Michigan Stadium because of the way that sound is distributed; it travels from the north scoreboard across the field to the south. There was significant wind that caused the sound to be delayed and distorted and created feedback during President Coleman's speech."

Fitzgerald said Coleman didn't have experience using the wireless microphone provided to her and she wasn't expecting to be recognized during the game.

"She struggled with the feedback and tried to adjust to the sound delay and the reverberation by slowing down her words," he said. "She had hoped to communicate her gratitude for the recognition and her enthusiasm for Michigan."

Coleman attended non-alcoholic events before the game and hosted one during the game, Fitzgerald said.

The Deadspin.com sports website posted a video Sunday night (see above) of Coleman's address that has gone viral with a headline: "Did Michigan's President Deliver A Drunken Halftime Speech Yesterday?"

Brandon answered the question in his statement.

"I was with President Coleman and the current social media speculation is without merit and 100 percent inaccurate," Brandon said. "We were together at multiple campus events throughout the day and I walked with her from the suites to the field prior to the halftime recognition.

"I have sincerely apologized to President Coleman for the failures in our sound system and the difficult situation this has caused for her."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Warren grandparents upset after grandchildren see racist graffiti at park

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:15:40 GMT
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
    Tuesday afternoon Bruce and Lubertha Callaway took their grandchildren to Shaw Park in Warren when they saw something they couldn't believe.
  • 3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    3-year-old shocked, downed power lines electrify fence

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:19 GMT
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
    A 3-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting shocked by an electrical charge.
  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:01 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:01:01 GMT
    As of 9 p.m., DTE Energy has restored power to 171,000 of the customers impacted by the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. Approximately 15,000 customers remain without power.
    As of 9 p.m., DTE Energy has restored power to 171,000 of the customers impacted by the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. Approximately 15,000 customers remain without power.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Aire Ancient Baths

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:29:51 GMT
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
  • NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:40 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:40:09 GMT
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
  • NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:40:57 GMT
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices