Fans actually began laughing in the stands, certain that Coleman had pregamed with Pat before settling in for another disappointing Wolverine loss. Others took to Twitter to speculate—in a much, much less funny scenario—that Coleman had recently suffered a stroke or some other medical ailment. You just don't sound like Diane Rehm apropos of nothing. (NPR REFERENCE, BABY.)
The truth, it seems, is more benign. According to a statement issued by UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald today, audio feedback and a distorted sound system caused Coleman to come across… unusual. Of this, Fitzgerald was adamant.
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.
It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to the audio distortion.
So there you have it.
[H/T: The Big Lead]