Will coaching salaries, tuition, and loan payment costs drop?
at least it's not just us?
Will coaching salaries, tuition, and loan payment costs drop?
eventually drop.... yes. And that was my point. When the notes are paid off, will ticket prices drop?
The stadium renovations cost $226 million. Crisler renovations and player development center - $79 million. Yost improvements will cost $14 million.
Coaching salaries? If salaries are increasing at the same rate as those notes are being paid off, then we better be swimming in championships.........
...next stage of stadium expansion/renovation. Remember all of the talk about adding seating in the south end zone bringing capacity in the vicinity of 120K? Remember how almost everyone was jazzed about that because we all like Michigan Stadium's Big House status and think it would be cool to blow all those 100K stadia out of the water?
My expectation is that the AD will continue to plow its excess revenues into physical plant improvements across South Campus even after the current modernization effort plays itself out. After they're done with those projects, it will be time to examine the need and plan for the next round.
....a surplus automatically needs to be put back into campus improvement projects that may not immediately be necessary.
...it's a good idea, I'm saying that's they will likely do with the surplus.
Our coaches and players perform and practice with integrity. Hoke was the perfect hire - he believes and upholds Michigan tradition and has had more success than i could have hoped for in his first two years - with a brighter future. Beilein does the same and has brought our Basketball program to its prime.
Having alternate jerseys, hashtags on the 25 yard line, night games etc. doesn't change anything about the tradition of Michigan football and the level of respect that comes with that. It's important that Michigan blends both the traditional and modern sports landscape. Brandon is doing that.
Brandon isn't pushing special jerseys because "the kids like them" he's rolling them out because they make the school/atheletic department money. ......
You have the income statement line item to back that up, I assume?
To set the record straight, it is my understanding that the plans to expand and perfect facilities were long in discussion before Brandon arrived in Ann Arbor. Bill Martin did all the work on the luxury boxes and I suspect a lot of the prep work for Crisler and the other improvements. In addition, Brandon is reaping the rewards of the financial turnaround that Martin spearheaded during his tenure. Say what you will about Martin's inability to hire a coach (all of which is probably true), but people cannot refute the fact that he deserves the credit for the finances.
So what has Brandon done that we should applaud graciously? Hire Hoke and Mattison et al. obviously. And that in and of itself MAY be all that he needs to have done to be remembered as a successful AD. With that finished, he seems to be reverting back to his corporate CEO ways in seeking to generate MOAR revenue. I'm not sure that's all that bad, but it is definitely a little frightening when he starts treading on traditional things like uniforms, advertising, etc. As someone mentioned above, "tradition" means something different to everyone, especially different generations. But I think we can agree that the changes to the uniforms have deviated from previous tradition and that bothers me.
All that said, does he appear to be a good AD thus far. Sure! But that doesn't mean we can't complain. I mean, if we can't complain, what do we have???
Just to confirm, you are correct about the improvements to Crisler being laid out at the end of Martin's tenure. As I recall, the plans submitted by TMP Architecture (the design firm) were approved and finalized at the final Regents meeting under Bill Martin's watch.
I also agree that the hiring decisions under Dave Brandon have been excellent, and the department has continued and even strengthened its surpluses year-to-year. Financially, the picture is rosy, and I credit Brandon for strengthening a balance sheet that was already getting better and paying for quality talent in the department. He's even expanded on the plans of the last decade and gotten the groundwork laid to turn South Campus into a world-class collection of facilities that will hopefully keep us competitive for a long while.
From a business standpoint, the athletic department is in capable hands. The department has been able to operate as a successful entity unto itself, and within that context, Brandon does very well for his employer - the University Of Michigan.
I don't agree with every initiative, decision, or indeed, uniform, but the department is definitely well-run. To expand on that, my own specific criticism - there are things that I see that I feel endanger the brand equity of our teams, and by extension, the school if they are continued over the course of years. There are things about the Michigan brand that I feel are a draw by themselves and don't necessarily need a makeover.
Say what you will about Martin's inability to hire a coach (all of which is probably true), but people cannot refute the fact that he deserves the credit for the finances.
To be fair, Bill Martin hired John Beilein too, and I don't think anyone would complain about that hire. Did he botch the football hire? Absolutely. But Bill Martin took this athletic department from a deficit to one of the most profitable in college sports and laid the infrastructure for long-term athletic success. 50 years from now, when Michigan is still one of the pre-eminent athletic programs in the country, we will have Bill Martin to thank for it.
Sadly, I think he'll always be regarded in a poor light because of the Rich Rodriguez fiasco, and he deserves criticism for how that all played out, but it shouldn't overshadow all the good he did in his time here.
The process and management of it was a mess, and his follow up and support was shoddy, but on face value it was a good hire. But other than Beilein, how many of his OTHER hires worked out? Beilein wasn't his first rodeo there...he had the Amaker mess first. Cheryl Burnett. Borseth seemed ok, but isn't around any more. Rich Maloney's gone. Beilein seemed more the exception than the rule.
I think Dave Brandon is the best thing to happen to Michigan athletics in a long time. The proof is in the pudding. Currently in first place in the sears cup and the 2nd most valuable football program in the nation. Michigan was essentially a sleeping giant. Dave Brandon will market Michigan athletics better than its ever been before. He just needs to sign up with Nike and ditch Adidas.
That notion right there is what sucks a** about this whole thing. The best thing to happen to Michigan ATHLETICS in a long time is.....the former CEO of turrible pizza? No, not a team winning a championship in "blank" sport, not a team making an NCAA torunament and succeeding in their own way, not a "blank" team rising from a bottom-feeder to a contender on the field/floor/ice, not the COUNTLESS athletes to have set foot in the numerous facilities the University has to offer (regardless of who built them), not a BCS Bowl after the worst three-year-stretch the football team has endured, not Denard F**king Robinson....but the marketeer/businessman Dave Brandon? Come. On.
I see that point and agree that it's nice to have money. Money can be good and helpful, this isn't the "dispute" I don't think. Though, as you raise the point money helps "bring things to campus that helps teams win NC's", at what point is enough, enough? Others have argued, at what point is the money meaningless; facilities can only improve so far, then what? We can't buy the recruits here at Michigan so at what point is the money overrated? I and others think it's very close or has we've even passed that point. I'm glad for some of Brandon's business mind but a lot of it is ridiculous in the world of college sports.
So, my point above was that we watch these sports for the joy of watching these young men and women compete and to cheer on our alma maters, schools of interest, etc. We're not cheering on the football team to do well so the AD can make money. For someone to say the best thing to happen to a college AD is the hiring of it's chairperson is absured. For a business that's fine and makes sense; not for college sports, though. I hope I'm not getting to finicky in saying the young men and women and the successes and failures on the playing fields are what drives and motivates us to watch and root for these teams; not dollar signs.
You know that extremely high assistant salary currently being paid to Greg Mattison and Al Borges? Brandon made that happen. People may not like Borges around here, but paying assistants top dollar is what elite programs do, and is something that is possible when the AD makes more money for the school. Granted, I'm in the school that just wants to watch football and does not give even 1/16 of a shit what the kids wear, but I love me some Dave Brandon.
Doesn't mean he's making it stronger or better. While I could probably sell my kidney and in the short run make money that would pay my rent and buy me food, that would be a REALLY bad idea. There is a lot more to the University of Michigan than making money.
1) to get people to pay money for pizza that tastes like cardboard? Probably, yes.
2) to make the athletic dept (not the university) more money simply by squeezing the customers into "required donations" and huge ticket price increases? Not really.
Wish he were a little more of a "Tradition is Good" kinda guy vis-a-vis uniforms, but we could have done worse with an AD. The Process... bad. The Resulting Hire... very, very good.
I love Dave Brandon.
Money in and of itself makes nothing better or worse. Dave Brandon is successful at making money. I hope he does not alienate the older donors who will provide some of the endowed long-term funds for the athletic department.
Regardless of that, being profitable (just as having money in life) is only valuable in how it is used. Building new monuments to vanity that do not advance the basic academic mission of the university are not as important as maintaining our integrity and identity as an institution.
Dave Brandon is very good at what he sets out to do. He is a very talented man. I question what he is setting out to do. The AD is more than a CEO, he is a representative of the University. I didn't come to the University of Michigan for the football, I came here for the finest education I could obtain at an institution that had integrity, identity, and class. I want our representatives to care about more than making money.
You lost me right out of the gate with:
Dave Brandon is an AD who understands that his role is to make the university money
If that's your view, I can see why you like Brandon. I disagree completely with the role of the AD. I think it is to achieve success as measured by: (1) on-field performance and (2) school reputation. We play sports because it brings the community together, makes alumni proud (and more apt to donate through means other than buying yet another random new jersey), and gives Michigan great exposure. I have made judgments about countless other schools based on the way they conduct themselves in the world of collegiate sports. Wisconsin sports improve my opinion of Wisconsin the school. Ditto Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Georgia Tech. I have the opposite opinion for many others--e.g. Ohio State, Miami U. Those are both pretty good schools but it's hard for me to regard them that way because of the image they project through sports.
Would you really put money ahead of on-field success and school reputation? Admittedly, all three can work in cooperation and reinforce one another, but money has to be third. And there are many instances where making more money is detrimental to on-field success (e.g. giving students far-away seats) or image (see everything Brian hates).
Shouldn't success be educating student athletes, rather than doing anything for Alumni pride?
Who says they are mutually exclusive? Shouldn't successful leaders appeal to multiple constituencies? I realize the "pure" answer is "only the student athletes should matter," but that seems naive.
"His job isn't to make money, but win and enhance reputation", the question that you should really be asking is "who says THEY are mutually exclusive?"
In today's world, even leadership that you support needs to be checked. You can NEVER give someone 100% of your support because you set yourself to be taken advantage of. And whatever you give to the decision makers and power brokers will be 10 times harder to take back. I admit, in some cases this philosophy actually makes things worse (take the current state of the city of Detroit for example) but in Dave Brandon's case, I feel it works.
BTW - the alternate jerseys aren't the problem in my opinion, its the way they look. Adidas just sucks at making alternates/throwbacks. Bring back an old logo or something. I always liked the block M with the wolverine crossing the top. This guy had some good ideas for the helmet...
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
But when you first do it, it isn't a tradition. The phrase "hey check out this tradition I just created" is more accurately stated as "hey, check out this thing I just did." And even then, that's fine. I'm all for new stuff. But if you replace EXISTING traditions with NEW stuff, it may or may not create a NEW tradition, but in doing so it nukes the existing tradition.
Back in the day, people landed on North American shores and said, "hey, check out this new colony we just created." And that's great. But the natives were within their rights to be all, "uh, dude...?"
Dave Brandon's role is to make money. No more like, Dave Brandon's role is to take MY money.
So, I have argued above in a long post that the problem with DB is that he has sought to maximize profitability. What I haven't done fully is lay out why I think this is a bad idea. Here are some of the reasons:
The problem, however, goes deeper, and is something Brian has alluded to on numerous occasions. As the financial cost of being a fan goes up, and up, and up, there is an eventual breakiing point, when the whole enterprise collapses. Economically, we have seen this happen in other sectors. To wit: the collapse of the financial markets on Wall Street. Similar but different is the collapse of the housing market. In both cases, a "bubble" burst, causing significant pain and contraction of the industry affected.
My ultimate fear is that as loyalty of the existing fan base is significantly eroded, and establishment of a new fan base is non-existent, we could come to a time when the whole thing falls apart.
One piece of the puzzle I don't know how to assess is what will happen with TV and cable. If I changed my existing U-verse service to add cable, it would cost about $1,000 more per year (above the cost of my current phone and internet service.) I think that eventually, this whole idea of bundled cable TV is going to collapse, and people like me will do something more a la carte. In my market, virtually the only reason I would add cable would be for ESPN & the Big 10 Network. I don't need the other 200 channels I would get. If I were to watch say 15 Michigan basketball games, and 11 football games, the cost to me is about $40 per game. Remember, I'm a weird cable user, and can do without almost the rest of cable TV. Honestly, it isn't worth it to me to get cable just to have access to Michigan sports on TV. If I pay $10 to have a couple beers at the local bar to watch maybe 10 Michigan games a year, my cost is $100 annually. I can live with that a lot easier than $1000. If the whole cable thing collapses or changes, that will be a major, major blow to the whole Big 10.
Again, this is another TL;DR post. I've gotta quit doing this. Let me try to summarize my main point: the fear I have is that DB will breed resentment in the fan base by his price gouging. This gouging will eventually by part of the collapse of the whole enterprise. When the bubble bursts, the alienated fan base, with their loyalty eroded, will no longer feel compelled to go to games.
with your take. I'll keep my post short to balance the universe: I'm with you, Stephen R Kass.
Agree, never too long. Even if I were to disagree with you, a long, well thought out, and articulated post is great to read through and think about.
How much is too much, not because of cost, but availability. Sports is headed towards a crisis the movie industry is already facing. Why go to a movie and deal with traffic and people when I can get a better seat on my couch with a 70" HD TV, food, and a bathroom right there? What value added do you get by going to events nowadays? Movies are try 3D, HFR, IMAX...anything to get people out of their chairs. But how many of you only go to the "big" movies now, and wait for Netflixs, cable, etc. for the rest? Same with sports...are there enough UTL moments to make being there more valuable than have the best seat on TV? (Or now your computer, phone, tablet) They're going to have to come to terms with that. Empty student sections are just the start.
If BTN collapses, a lot of Michigan fans would pay for Michigan only streaming coverage. DB doesn't set B1G policy, so it's not a fair criticism anyway. Also, asset markets collapse, not markets for entertainment. People have claimed the collapse of pro sport prices for a long time, but it ain't happening. DB didn't create the moar money strategy. He was hired to execute it.
No one has a problem with more money, or using that money for new facilities and competitive salaries for coaches. You make that money in the long term by building a brand that is special and that people feel connected to. Michigan athletics had that before Dave Brandon walked in the door. The winged helmet, "The Victors", the Big House, the long history of on-field success, the OSU rivalry, all of these things make Michigan athletics special. Things that don't make "the brand" special: Neil Diamond, 7 Nation Army, "In the Big House", dancing curly fries, bumblebee uniforms, maybe playing OSU again a week later if/when both teams are really good, etc.
These are the kinds of things that Brandon has added to the equation. They do not bring any value as far as I can tell, and they reflect a pattern of bad business from his prior career. Our AD's major achievement in the corporate world is turning the second largest pizza company in the country into the third largest pizza company in the country. Would anyone be excited if we brought in the corporate wizard who has been running Burger King for the last decade to make sweet cash for the athletic department? In that world, it seems there was a major disconnect between Domino's management and how to build a brand. Papa John's grew exponentially because they offered, "Better ingredients, Better pizza." In other quick service food sectors, Subway became a giant company by advising people to "Eat Fresh" and touting the health of their food compared with other fast food options. Chipotle has become a similar success story touting flavor and freshness along with a dash of sustainability.
The Domino's answer: The Noid
Michigan football is a better product than Domino's pizza, so we are going to probably be fine either way, but cheap gimmicks and doing shit to be just like everybody else aren't a recipe for keeping any brand strong. If the silly stuff and the aggressive money grubbing from the fans continue they will only serve to make Michigan seem less special to future fans, or "customers" as our fearless leader might call them.
^^This right here is why we need the old moderation system back. This should be at +1000. Perfectly summarized, sir.
Ok, his job is to make money. Got me! But let's remember that to most of us Michigan is a university first and a great sports program second. Can you run a very profitable athletic department while also maintaining high standards and preserving tradition well? Of course.
Dave may be in touch with what people want to pay for and giving it to them. He's probably using lots of smart people and good data. But I propose one of the data sources be dedicated alumni, big donors and non.
I was a good way towards being a DB fan when I saw how he handled the NCAA investigation. Compare him to Smith....nuff said about that.
His football hire is 19-6 as of today, we are playing in some of the best athletic facilities in the country (Martin gets thanks for the Big House) and soon probably the best when the "other" sports facilities are updated, our athletics are turning a profit and when the guy goes on 60 Minutes, he sounds like the consummate professional, which he is.
I feel we are lucky to have the guy. Yeah, there are a couple of minor things that we can bitch about, because that's the way we do things, but on balance, we could be doing a hell of a lot worse.
but if that's it, then this isn't the Michigan I've loved for so long.
who dislike Brandon as just toeing the line of grumbling and angst. I have a very strong, and completely original, dislike of Brandon. He is an egomaniac, imho. And I have zero respect for his M.O. in terms of when to hog the spotlight ... he's front and center when we beat ND or MSU, but when we lose to OSU, he's nowhere to be found. That's just cowardly. And he won't come on WTKA? Again, cowardly.
Won't he come on WTKA?
Said Brandon won't come on WTKA, "because he's already done it."
even though he's already been on WTKA? I'm not sure that makes sense. Not sure how not coming on every show every time they want him makes him a coward. He has been on WTKA. He probably won't be on the afternoon show, because no one cares about the afternoon show. If he comes on, he'd come on in the morning with the station director and main on-air personality. He WAS on not to long ago.
There a big difference between never came on WTKA and doesn't come every time he's called.
And I don't post 35,000 times here so I don't have it all covered, sorry. What I know is Defran clearly was frustrated that Brandon wouldn't come on the show. Sorry that's all I've got for you.
Does the OP even read postings? Most of the regulars on the board have disagreed with Brian Cook on some point - this is Mgoblog, not Mgoblind. Sorry I upvoted before I read that line...
despite all the negativism directed towards the OP, some of which is deserved. But credit Cypress for bringing the discussion to the m-community, as it has struck a nerve on multiple different levels. I have enjoyed the thread, as much a running dialogue on the microcosm of the blogoshphere as it is on society at large. We all live in a world where money talks. We buy plane tickets where those who pay more board first, sit in better seats, and drink before departure. Fashionistas who desire designer clothes will pay a premium. Country club memberships cost more than the public course down the street. We take this for granted. Something about a public university playing by the same capitalist rules doesn't sit well with some, and our AD is the point man for critique in the debate about fairness, greed, tradition, values, loyalty, and competitiveness. Atlas Shrugged has nothing on this blog. I have enjoyed the read and welcome MOAR debate.
"most fall at the feet of Brian Cook,"
I kept reading. The OP hit the nail on the head with that point. This Board is just a bunch of lemmings.
what's there to defend?
This entire thread is fucking amazing. Seriously. Really nicely done all the way around here.
I dont know any AD that wants to get his mug on tv more than him. Hes like some of the most annoying pro owners.