In my view, one of the biggest failures of the University and Athletic Department in the past 3 years has been public relations.
For whatever reason, the local media has been hell-bent on cutting down our football team and head coach. Larger media markets pick this shit up via ESPN, SI, etc, and a public perception is formed. From "Major NCAA violations" to "Lack of Family Values" to "Thugs" to "Embarassing Bust Speeches," the MIchigan brand has taken a hit,nationally. And this matters. It affects recruiting, it sews discontent within our fanbase, and it looks bad for the University as a whole. The really disappointing part is that the original stories are nearly all either massive exaggerations or utter bullshit -- all you'd have to do is a little digging. Nationally, there are still a ton of people who think Rich Rod is dirty, or an asshole, or a cheater. How many times have you heard recruits say "When I met with coach he was much different from what I had heard."
Here's my question: Why hasn't our Athletic Department gotten ahead of this narrative? Why have they let these smears go almost completely undefended? No matter who the head coach is, this is an attack on our football program and university. I'm not asking for David Brandon to publicly endorse RR's W-L record, but he should defend the man and our program's integrity and character. It is both the right and smart thing to do.
Dave Brandon oversaw the recent Dominoes campaign that completely revitalized their brand (at least I'm pretty sure he did), so he's clearly cognizant of the importance of public perception, and he has the tools to shape it. When our recuits and players feel the need to publicly defend their head coach, there is something very wrong with public relations.
I firmly believe that we are still the leaders and the best. The "Michigan Way" is a sacred thing, and needs to be defended.