Mark Snyder of the Freep (read at your discretion) has the recap of last night's U-M Club of Chicago event with Dave Brandon, Brady Hoke, John Beilein, and Red Berenson.
- The Athletic Dept plans to spend an additional $250M on athletic campus improvements. Focus is on non-revenue sports and the academic center.
- Beilein said Horford (100%) and Akunne (progressing well) will be ready for pre-season practice. He referred to Horford as having redshirted last year.
- When challenged on why Michigan didn't lead the B1G in graduation success rate (it finished 3rd), he responded that they're addressing with teams that are lagging and pointed out MBB's 100% rate and Beilein's commitment to academic success in team management and recruiting.
- Brandon noted that the Bama-Michigan game resulted from a specific request by Nick Saban to play Michigan that was relayed by ESPN.
- Hoke talked about how they are trying to address concussions by teaching proper blocking and tackling technique.
- Beilein stated he wants to take the team overseas again when he's eligible to (as early as 2014).
Folks who attended, please feel free to add any anecdotes or additional detail not reported in the linked story.
Next up, Brandon and the coaches visit the U-M Club of Phoenix on 21 Mar. See this diary for the details of the Phoenix event and the remaining AAUM 2012 Coarches Tour venues.
Separately, in the latest Brandon's Blog, Dave Brandon talks about Michigan's commitment to women's sports and Title IX and points out the incredible strides these teams have made since the late 70s. Expecially striking:
It wasn't until the 1974-75 school year that the University of Michigan established its first six women's varsity sports teams: tennis, basketball, swimming/diving, synchronized swimming, volleyball and field hockey. The original budget was $100,000. By 1995 the women's athletics budget hit $4,827,000, and today our budget for women's athletics is at $16,213,000 for 14 sports.
We are not stopping there either. We are one of two schools in the Big Ten Conference that have announced the addition of another women's varsity sport. The Wolverine women's lacrosse team will have its first official competitive season in the spring of 2014.
The big news out of this blog entry was the announcement that Michigan will...
...invest $500,000 for a curtain to be suspended from the Crisler Center ceiling. This curtain will circle the upper bowl and will help create a louder and more intimate setting and an overall improved atmosphere for crowds of 5,000 or less. And we are doing this specifically to help our women's basketball and women's gymnastics teams and their fans.