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Posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 10:10 a.m.

Turf vandals 'kind of hacked it out' on block 'M' at Michigan Stadium

By Jeff Arnold


University of Michigan officials believe vandals used a large utility knife to carve out a 6-foot by 8-inch chunk of the Michigan Stadium block "M." (Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan)

Damage to the block “M” at the 50-yard line of Michigan Stadium in a weekend vandalism incident likely was done with a large utility knife and caused $1,500 to $2,000 in damage, the stadium's facility manager said Wednesday morning.

A 6-foot by 8-inch chunk of FieldTurf was carved out of the block "M" in a similar fashion someone would cut carpet, Chris Ehman said.

"It was like they just kind of hacked it out," Ehman said.

Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said Tuesday that a construction worker noticed the damage Monday. Associate athletic director Bruce Madej said he expects the field will be repaired by Michigan's spring football game on April 17.

Due to the ongoing $226 million renovation at the stadium, exterior gates may have been left open. Ehman said the gates are not staffed by security on weekends as they are during the week.

Security cameras that monitor the lower bowl are not in use because the feed for those cameras comes from the press box, which is under construction, Ehman said. Public safety officials are reviewing tapes from cameras located outside the stadium.

Ehman said the field was intact Saturday, but that the damage could have been done later in the day or sometime on Sunday.

FieldTurf is a brand of a carpet-like surface that has the feel of natural grass. An underbelly of ground rubber cushions it, meaning vandals would have had to use a large-bladed knife. FieldTurf was installed at Michigan Stadium in 2003 after attempts to maintain a natural grass surface were unsuccessful.

Artificial turf was first installed in the stadium in 1969.

The incident is the second act of vandalism at the stadium in less than a week. Last week, an exterior light was broken, causing $1,000 in damage, during what DPS officials believe was a scavenger hunt. Ehman had not heard whether the field damage was caused during under similar circumstances.

"Obviously, we'd like to know who did this," Ehman said. "I wouldn't think it was done by a Michigan fan."

Jeff Arnold covers sports for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at



Fri, Apr 2, 2010 : 4:57 p.m.

You know... had a few days to think about this... as much as we Michigan fans want to believe others did it, take a close look at the picture... it wasn't hacked out to damage Michigan... appears more to be a neat removal, as that of a souvenir hunter... it would be sad, real sad for a Michigan person to have done this to our field!


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 3:27 p.m.

Detroitrocks, you said: And what exactly is a temporary victory? Only one I can think of was in the hockey game a few days back. Obviously you're forgetting the games Michigan's basketball team forfeited during the 90s after being convicted of cheating. Those are temporary victories too...


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 3:36 a.m.

If workers are working during the week and there is security guards there during the week but when the workers aren't there on the weekend, there are no security guards? Did I read that right? Ok, so I might had failed logic in college, but I did attend the class!

Terry Star21

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 8:24 p.m.

Tater my friend you are right... I can not understand why commenters from schools such as msu, osu and others sign up just to try to bash our great UM football team... doesn't make sense... are they that embarrassed or disappointed by their school - maybe so... I wouldn't ever go to their sites, I mean who wants to read about disappointment at msu, osu, and others..... UM FB'rs that stick to their own site - 112,000...... Imposters that raid our site - losers.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 3:45 p.m.

Funny comment coming from tater, who posts far more often on Spartan sites than here. And what exactly is a temporary victory? Only one I can think of was in the hockey game a few days back.

Pete Bigelow

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 1:38 p.m.

A comment has been removed from this thread because it contained a personal attack.

Terry Star21

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 11:36 a.m.

Thanks Theo... this article signifies why UM Football needs more like me and you in charge. Be careful what you write, the has worked very hard, lot of time spent protecting these comment topic pages... yesterday, some one registered as 'Terey Star21' stole my picture and made degrading comments on UM FB... by midnight, they were caught and comments removed. I am at lunch now... your last comment made milk shoot out of my nose - Ha! No milk at the barbeque! Keep Comments Clean..... 112,000............Get them removed - everytime

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 11:32 a.m.

spartan fans... really, what the heck are you going to do w/a strip of yellow w/blue at the bottom? even at that, IT'S GRASS. it'll be dead, if it isn't already. come to think of it, isn't hashbash coming up? dude!

Blue Marker

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 11:28 a.m.

How could you not have your hundreds of millions of dollars investment under better security? My local 7-11 has video surveillance.

Terry Star21

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

Theo This is bad... hard to believe an UM faithful would do this... they have been known to grab a piece of history, that really doesn't effect matters much...but this -not UM doing, no way! But if you ever read some of the idiots comments here that bash UM..... Hmmmmmmmmm. I have assigned some added security from now until the barbeque and Spring Game. Van Halen Barbeque Tapes - Great...........UM FB Turf - Repalced


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 10:01 a.m.

If they still had the barb wire fencing around the stadium this never would have happened!


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 9:58 a.m.

Funny biggest UofM story going on with sports... when they fall they fall hard....