Dave Brandon addressed the Canton Economic Club on 7 April and discussed several issues of interest to the U-M faithful including: Instituting positive change, Practicegate, The Big Chill, the Basketball Practice Facility, Crisler renovations, and whether he's considering a run for governor.
Change: “One of the first things I did is I decided I wanted to identify something that was an opportunity for us to be different and show change. [The night game is] going to be unbelievable. Michigan against Notre Dame, nose to nose, under the lights, prime time. National television. That’s cool. That’s change to grow. That’s change is good.”
Other changes are in the works: “No hints. We’ll talk about cakes after they’re baked.”
Practicegate: No self-imposed penalties are contemplated, only action so far was Alex Herron's dismissal.
The Big Chill: “The current record is 70,000-ish, and we’re going to beat it. We’re going to create an atmosphere and an opportunity, tailgating in December. We’re going to (transform) Michigan Stadium into a hockey rink and … it’s going to be phenomenal. Tickets are going to be very affordable. This is not an opportunity to make a lot of money, it’s an opportunity to fill that stadium, set a record and be part of an experience that no one else will be able to duplicate. That’s change to grow, that’s change is good.”
New Basketball Practice Facility/Crisler Renovation: Construction of the new Basketball Practice Facility will begin immediately after Spring Commencement. As previously noted here, the next phase will be improvements to Crisler's infrastructure followed by a third phase that “...will be absolutely a complete remodel of the facility where you would potentially bust out the concourses and you would create the bigger circulation space. More restrooms, capacity, more amenities, better food service, maybe some kind of club-seating opportunities for those who are interested in that experience. Really making it a modern arena for the purpose of big-time college basketball. And that’s ultimately where we’d love to go with Crisler Arena because the program deserves that. Both the men’s and women’s program deserves that.”
Governor ambitions: “No. I made a five-year commitment to President (Mary Sue) Coleman and to the university, and I also in that spirit said if things are going well and the university’s pleased with my performance and I feel like I’m making a difference that I want to make, then I’m here to extend that for another five years. So I’m all in for Michigan.”
We already know that one change that has proven to be good and will certainly create growth was MSC's decision to hire Dave Brandon.