does one normally change in response to success?
I have a penchant for stats, coincidences, anniversaries, and all other areas in which the chaos of life seems for a moment to be reducible to the numerically comprehensible. For this reason, occasions like today grab me & cause me to reflect. It was a year ago today that Brian & Ace posted their scathing report on Dave Brandon's bizarre & mean-spirited e-mails (http://mgoblog.com/content/david-brandon-i-suggest-you-find-new-team). As we now know for certain from "Brandon's Lasting Lessons", this was indeed the last straw. While Brandon did not resign that same day, his fate was sealed, making this day the consequential turning point in long, strange saga of Dave.
I know that "wow things sure feel different now with Harbaugh, etc." posts are a dime a dozen around these parts nowadays, but this struck me as one worth noting. That article was a seminal moment in the history of this blog, and remains one of the most consequential pieces of sports reporting produced in recent years across all sports. When it came out, Michigan athletics was at one of the lowest points in its 150 year history. And here we are today.
Perhaps the one thing Brandon did decently after losing the ND series was attempting to fill the void with good future opponents, including Florida (at JerryWorld, but better than nothing) U-Dub, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, UCLA, Texas and Oklahoma. But next year is hot garbage, aside from the return of Wisconsin to the schedule. Michigan may well be facing three new coaches (though I'd doubt CU makes a change and George O'Leary is his own boss at the moment). Does anyone recall if this is largely the result of the move the 9-game conference schedule or a lack of creativity in finidng a good Power-5 opponent, or a combination of the two?
Two of the teams currently have winning records (including Hawaii beating CU), but I'd imagine Brandon was counting on UCF to be the strongest of the three, and they just lost to Fuman. But hey, at least its a good way to break in a new quarterback and linebacking corps.And, it's rare for a schedule to have three past BCS selections, I suppose.
Having not seen any reports I thought the board might like one from John U.’s appearance last night in Grand Rapids.
His book tour appearance was held at the Grand Rapids Downtown Food Market, a high end foodie market with a number of high end butchers, fish mongers, etc. The room used was on the 2nd floor in a teaching kitchen type area. Lots of seating, nice sized room. It was packed, standing room only.
John U. began with a talk, discussing the backstory of why he wrote the book, the limited time to get it done, and amount of the story that he didn’t know.
Most of the talk after centered around information already released in the book snippets we’ve mostly already seen, Brandon alienating every group on campus, trying to always be the center of attention, etc.
Then came the question and answer period. One question dealt with the lack of control exercised by the board relative to the extension given to Brandon, by MSC. John U. noted that MSC had just been given a contract extension herself of two years. When it came to Brandon’s extension, MSC “pushed all of her chips in” to support it. If the regents had stood up to her, they would basically have made her a lame duck for two years. So, John U. said, they had nothing else to do but let it go.
However, I want to make clear, John U. has a great deal of respect for Brandon. He was a great regent. He was able to work across the aisle, do things for the betterment of the university without worrying about his own fame and fortune. MSC came to depend on him greatly. But, and this is the big but, when he became AD he lost his head. He wanted to become famous as being the AD. One example I was unaware of; when Michigan beat MSU in basketball one time, Brandon got in the handshake line. When Michigan won the national championship in Gymnastics, Brandon grabbed the trophy, before the coach, got his picture taken hoisting it aloft and then handed it back to the coach.
Also asked of John U.; is there a chance that Hackett stays on permanently. John U. said that he could provide only a little bit of info, but he believes that if Hackett was going to stay permanently the interim title would be gone by now.
Finally, one younger questioner asked if John U. had ever heard of a student body protesting an AD, and as a follow-up, “Did you ever consider titling the book Brandon’s Lasting Lessons?” John U. had a good laugh at that, noting “I read yesterday on MgoBlog that I’m offended at that name. I’m not.” He went on to note that it would be bad marketing (a theme in the talk) if he referred to a book as something other than the actual title. He also agreed that the student body protesting the AD was a big thing. People weren’t calling for the coach to be fired, they wanted the AD fired.
The line to get the book signed was long, but John U. was gracious. If you get a chance go on and attend one of his tour stops.
More revelations from Endzone via Land-Grant Holy Land:
Dave Brandon proposed that the Ohio State/Michigan game be occasionally moved to October, or in some cases, not played at all. He also proposed that Ohio State and Michigan be in different Big Ten divisions.
Yikes. Read the whole thing here:
Slightly on-topic given our Brandon debacle...
Earlier this summer, reports suggested Patterson was facing backlash from some Texas boosters who felt he was alienating the school’s coaches and fans. A report from HornsDigest.com said some prominent boosters felt Patterson was prioritizing money over athletes and coaches, “misleading football season ticket holders” and “alienating longtime donors as well as faculty and staff.”
The Morning News report on Wednesday said Patterson had not yet “reached the point of no return” with university president Greg Fenves, who replaced Bill Powers in June. Fenves and Patterson are scheduled to talk again on Friday as part of regularly scheduled meetings; according to the report, Fenves has in previous meetings “told Patterson of the need to change an approach that some see as impersonal or even arrogant.”