Does the plan in any way require the purchase of Coca-Cola products?
Student Survey Unkind To AD, Football Ticket Prices To Be Lowered
There will be more on today's regents meeting in the days to come, as there's still much to parse through—the live streams I tried to view missed much of the action due to connectivity issues. I'll note a few important things right now, however.
President Mark Schlissel opened the meeting by saying he was "deeply disappointed" in the athletic department's initial response to the Shane Morris controversy, and he's still in the midst of evaluating the AD before making any potential changes. Importantly, the regents stated they support Schissel's mission to fix the issues in the department. It didn't sound like a firing is imminent, as Schlissel is still working to educate himself about the department; it also didn't sound like there are many road blocks left before a change would hypothetically be made.
Central Student Government president Bobby Dishell had more pointed statements, beginning with "the athletic department has broken its trust" with the students. He then cited a student survey—answered by an impressive 5,208 students, for about double the average response rate—that's been released in full via MLive (PDF link).
It does not reflect well upon the athletic department.
Had student seating remained general admission in 2014, less than 9,000 students would have bought season tickets this year (as opposed to under 12,000 this year under assigned seating).
However, even fewer students intend to purchase next year at a price of $295. To maintain a student section of just under 12,000 students, the Athletic Department needs to drop student tickets to roughly $210, or $30 per game next year. To regain a student section of 20,000 students, the Athletic Department needs to drop the price of student tickets to roughly $150 next year.
The department, at least, has agreed to "significantly" lower prices for student tickets next year, though an exact figure hasn't been determined. That may be a step towards repairing this regime's relationship with the student body, but the other results from the survey make it appear that it's broken beyond repair.
Though the Athletic Director was never mentioned, by name or by title, in the survey, David Brandon is mentioned 1,208 times by respondents (the phrase “Fire Brandon” was used 110 times by respondents). Almost none of the respondents have positive things to say about Mr. Brandon’s tenure as Athletic Director.
The CSG put forth several recommendations, including lowering ticket prices, expanding the student section in the lower bowl for basketball, being "forthcoming and transparent" when crises occur, and shifting "away from commercialization" in the department.
Most damning, perhaps, are the word clouds published based on responses to the following questions [click the word clouds to embiggen]:
1. Before coming to the University, what is one word that you would use to describe Michigan Football?
2. What is one word you would use to describe Michigan Football today?
I'd say those speak for themselves.
this is a good sign, thanks for making this fantastic article! michigan will restore its glory and fame soon! go blue! also can u guys try and thumbs up this so i can get 100 points? thanks and go blue!
You need more exclamation points!!!!
Come on, man. He just needs the points so he can try to help us get money out a Nigerian bank account or sell us penis enlargement.
That second wordle couldn't capture the last ten years as a Michigan football fan any better. Holy shit.
I see "Shit" and "Shitty" in the second wordle. Accurate.
On the one hand, congrats Brandon (and Hoke, though he's just incompetent) on what you've accomplished here
On the other hand, I wished ALL THESE THINGS on OSU and, to a lesser extent MSU (I mean, it already pretty much happened for the first thirty plus years of my life).
I can't even imagine how deliriously happy our rivals are looking at the word cloud, and I'd like to say a sincere fuck you to all the folks who represent the worst in us and have brought us this low.
That was one long Dave Brandon diss track.
Also, the Brandghazi tag. Amazing.
I will be extremely upset if I'm asked to pay more for next season.
Can you imagine what would happen after all of these acknowledgements that the athletic department is in bad shape if they didn't let him go?
I dont follow that logic. There is no harm in identifying areas that can be improved and then implementing fixes to improve them. Sometimes policies can be changed to fix the problems and sometimes personnel changes best do this. If they think he has a good plan to fix these issues and is capable of implementing it then they should have no problem with him staying. Regardless, I think he will not make it through this.
means someone is completely inadequate at their job...the likelihood that the same person will be the right one to address all the deficiencies is very low, especially given the atmosphere that exists right now for Brandon in particular. I think he has burned you many bridges for their to be any productive future for him, no matter what changes.
After all...I can see what is wrong with the football team and I wouldn't want Hoke to be the coach addressing them, after all...he did cause then in the first place.
By the internal measures against which you would normally expect the AD to be judged, the department is in very good shape. There is no deficit, charitable campaigns are on or above target, the facilities are brand-spanking new, coaches are compensated in line with other schools, student-athletes are well supported, etc.
It's in the areas that are difficult to measure - the sentiment of the community in particular - that things are completely broken. I'm sure DB will say that by the measures of his job performance, he's been a spectacular success, so he deserves an opportunity to fix what he will characterize as an "image problem."
We'll all want to puke, I'm sure. But that's how I expect him and his supporters to tell the story.
Success of the football program.
But here are a few others, and they are at least somewhat measurable:
- Student support
- Alumni support
- Varsity athlete alumni support
- Public Relations (ie the Shane Morris situation)
If these aren't part of the AD's evaluation checklist, there's a problem.
How do you measure something nebulous like "support"? I'm not sure it's really possible.
In order to create a good Key Performance Indicator (KPI) you need to have a crisp definition of the goal you're trying to achieve. "Relationship" goals are very important to most organizations but are like trying to nail jello to a wall.
One of the objectives of many organizations is that their customers and vendors consider them to be "easy to do business with." What does that mean, exactly?
An approach that I've seen go horribly wrong is when an organization creates a check list of actions and declares victory when they've put a check in every box. I get the feeling that is what DB and his minions have done, as in:
DB: "We've got a goal to give our fans the best game day experience every weekend. Ideas, people!"
Flunky #1: "How about flyovers?"
DB: "Like it!"
Flunky #2: "Uniformz!"
DB: "Now you're talkin'! Next!"
Flunky #3: "Fireworks!"
DB: "Yes! Anything else?
Flunky #4: "Have the band travel with the team more often?"
To my knowledge they either quit or retired.
I would put money on DB resigning instead of being fired.
Goss got strongly encouraged to resign, but would have been fired if he let it go another day.
If Brandon resigns, I assume he forfeits his buyout. Hopefully the parties are currently in the process of negotiating how much less than $3 M Brandon will take for the privilege.
I don't think that word means what you think it means. When there is a massive list of the ways you've failed and embarrassed the school you represent, you don't get to use the scapegoat out. Since day one he's approached his job like a ceo. He decided students, alumni, and general fans were nothing but wallets. You're seriously ok with an AD that forces long time season ticket holders out of their seats cause they are worth more now than they are currently being charged?
Edit: This was a reply to a post that was visable on the MGOBLOG android app calling Brandon a scapegoat
I saw it on the app too. Did Webber's Pimp get banned for that?
Like many of you, I have watched Michigan football for most of my conscious life. I have never been so engaged (with fellow fans, this blog, news articles, etc.) and so enraged (not the right word but it fits nice with engaged). This is pretty cool, it appears we are nearing an end to the Brandon era... the excitement of the possibility of a quality (7+ wins?) football team with a new coach and AD would be awesome to see next year! This type of negative experience can really bring a fanbase together... I feel it coming. Let's hope the president follows through!
And it's going to good change.
Why is "tradition" listed twice?
The all-caps presentation of the first cloud was likely a style choice.
It looks like the first word cloud was rendered in only capital letters, while the second was rendered in how the responses were phrased.
In the first, one TRADITION represents people entering in "tradition" and the other represents people entering "tradition". In the second, you see the same thing with "Disappointing" and "disappointing".
That is amateur.
Qualtrics has gotta use CompareNoCase() in the future.
First the protest and now the survey.
Do the students have any mercy in them at all? Dave's feelings have got to be REALLY hurt by all this.
They need to cut prices for all sports. When I was applying to grad schools, I noticed that at UT, students paid somewhere between $70-100 for their IDs to get them into ALL sports. For just Michigan football, basketball, and hockey, this would cost a student around $1,000.
The first time I knew that this AD was out of touch was when I was sitting around the law quad and thought it'd be fun to go catch a sunday Big 10 baseball game (despite Michigan playing a brand of baseball that would pale in comparison to good southern California high school baseball). I walk over there and realize that despite the stadium being 1/4 full, I was getting charged twice as much for admission than I would had I been going to a top notch, College World Series caliber Stanford game.
Definitely agree. I don't know why the university feels like they need to make students (most laden with some amount of debt as is) pay ridiculously high prices for athletics. We make millions and millions of dollars from TV, donations, alums, etc. Why gouge the students? The future fans and donors?
It seems as if Michigan (and perhaps college sports in general) have lost sight of the fact that college sports were made primarily for the benefit of the students and the university. Our athletic department is run like students and fans are there for the benefit of the athletic department. It's backwards here and perhaps everywhere. It needs to be fixed
Well, this is the best bye week I can remember in quite some time. Keep the hits coming!
To talk about our plans for Wife Day 2014.
...but, man, did it chap my ass as an alum when I got a mailer asking for a "one-time donation" of $875-1,625 the Monday after the Shane Morris debacle. I recognize that they sent that out before the game, but only Michigan would have that kind of impeccable timing.
I instead turned it into 875-1,625 pieces in my shredder.
I think that survey encompasses everyone in the fan bases' feelings. I'm hoping the lowering of ticket prices isn't limited to students. The AD has done a swell job of pissing off nearly the entire fan base.
Why, exactly, can't a school making as much freaking money as Michigan do what Oregon does and make student football tickets free as long as you claim them the week before the game? Give seniority preferences. You'd be creating much more loyal fans and we can get back to having a waiting list for the usual season tickets.
that free tickets actually discourages student attendance. It's too easy to blow off going without having some skin in it. Paying something nominal makes it more of an event and fosters more commitment to going.
I'm not sure what the ideal price point would be. Something more than $0 but signifcantly less than current prices. Students tickets should certainly be as cheap as possible.
They don't just hand out the tickets to everyone, they make the students log on sometime during the week to claim them. Seniority determines when they can do that.
Oregon seems to have decent fan support at their games, no?
it's a lot easier to fill a stadium with half the capacity of Michigan Stadium. Autzen's official capacity is 54,000 and student tickets are limited to 5400. Demand is far larger than the supply.
It's not really a good comparison to Michigan.
For Michigan Football before "donations" were required to be on the waiting list for season tickets.
Right, but it's not like the student section/whole stadium hasn't been full recently. If the student tickets were free (or very cheap, I don't really care about the exact details) they'd fill it up no problem.
Let's start off with the fact that the latter half of the 2000s saw UM instate tuition double.
Couple the above w the fact that Michigan also has one of the highest endowments in the country, multiple billions of dollars, and other schools, notably Princeton, choose to utilize their billions by offering grants rather then loans to students in need.
Point is that UM would never offer free tickets, or free anything, to something that brings in as much money as football tickets do.
The south park episode "trapped in the closet" comes to mind when stan says that the church of Scientology should not charge for admission. The head guy's reaction to that comment is akin to what UM 's philosophy. Can anyone embed that
You are aware that our athletic department is completely independent financially of the University, right?
Can President Schlissel do Norfleet's "Atomic Dog" Dance?
BEAT STATE...we need some new headlines!
There is only one possible outcome from this data and the meeting today. Brandon is toast. All that is left is timing.
Interesting note -
I graduated from the university of Alabama in 2004,during a time when they were doing significant stadium renovations.
During my time there, home games were sold before the season in a package to students for a flat fee of $5.00 per game regardless of who was on the schedule. No dynamic pricing, no ticket price increasing, no gauging.
The goal was not to make money and they created interest and made students feel important. Home games were a blast, despite UA going through their rough patch.