During the Michigan-Nebraska football game on Saturday, Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman was honored for her work before she retires during the Summer of 2014. Coleman was presented with a #12 jersey for her 12 years of work. Coleman took the microphone from Athletic Director Dave Brandon and gave an impromptu speech, where she appeared to be drunk. I was at the game and the first thing I thought was “holy crap, she is hammered.” Listening to her speech, she was slurring her words and emphasizing syllables that had no need to be emphasized. I don’t blame her for being drunk, it’s the only way to watch a Michigan football game, right?
According to UM spokesperson, Rick Fitzgerald, Coleman wasn’t drunk. “She, absolutely, had not been drinking alcohol. I want to underscore that point in the strongest possible way.
All day long Saturday, President Coleman was attending events related to the launch of the Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign. No alcohol was served at those events.
At the stadium President Coleman hosted a non-alcoholic reception for alumni and donors in the president’s box in the stadium.
Her recognition at halftime was unexpected and the wireless microphone she was using is not one with which she had any prior experience. There was significant wind, feedback and, even under the best conditions, the sound is distorted in the stadium when a wireless mic is used.
She struggled with the feedback and tried to adjust to the sound delay and the reverberation by slowing down her words.
She had hoped to communicate her gratitude for the recognition and her enthusiasm for Michigan.
It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to the audio distortion.”