Those Rumormongering Athletic Directors

Submitted by Brian on February 13th, 2012 at 5:10 PM

This from a Crain's Detroit interview with Dave Brandon got under my skin:

There was some chatter last year that the Ohio (State)-Michigan game could be moved in the future from its traditional spot in the schedule as the final game of the season.

Brandon dismissed such talk as gibberish.

"I think it's nonsense. I've never heard any talk of that," he said. "I don't think there's anything being contemplated as it relates to that. I think someone spewed something on a blog somewhere, and is usually the case by the time it gets told three times, people start to believe it. There's a pretty strong commitment on behalf of the conference that that game belongs as the last game of the season."

Brandon on the Michigan Insider about 18 months ago:

SAM WEBB: Would it be still be the tradition to keep that game [The Game] the last game of the season?

DAVID BRANDON: I think there's a distinct possibility that game will be a later game in the season, but not necessarily the last game of the season. …What you're really going to want is for that last game of the season to determine who's going to be the champion of that division and who is going to play for the Championship... Although I love playing OSU the last game of the year, I don't thinks it's necessarily a slam dunk.

That is all.



February 13th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

It sucks when people are less than honest.  It also sucks when people in positions of relative authority use their pulpits to mislead less connected people.....that gets under MY skin.

December 2010

"Brady Hoke is not a serious candidate for the Michigan job. He is not any sort of candidate. If Dave Brandon was willing to hire Hoke to coach Michigan, Rodriguez would already be out the door because there would be a dozen people he'd rather have coaching Michigan than Rodriguez. Unless meteors hit both Jim Harbaugh and Rich Rodriguez, the chance Brady Hoke is Michigan's coach in 2011 is zero point zero percent.  " 

January 2011

"This is a stupid hire. It will always be as stupid hire and David Brandon just led the worst coaching search in the history of Michigan football. He managed to chase off half of an already iffy recruiting class, hired a Plan C coach on January 11th, probably ensured the transfer of the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and restricted his "national search" to people who'd spent at least five years in Ann Arbor. Michigan just gave themselves a year of USC-level scholarship reduction voluntarily. " 


February 13th, 2012 at 6:47 PM ^

Forecasts of the future, even seemingly ironclad ones, aren't opinions OR facts. They're predictions.

I don't accuse the weatherman of hijinks if it rains when the forecast calls for sun, and If I said before The Horror that "Michigan has no chance to lose this game," it wouldn't make me a liar. It doesn't mean I misled you. It means I was wrong about a prediction.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

So Brian stops at predictions and never introduces facts in his posts?  Good to know and it will help knowing that as I read in the future. 

I certainly would have rested easier if I had known that Brian was predicting Kaleb Ringer would be kicked off of his HS team rather than reporting it, as I had incorrectly inferred. 


February 13th, 2012 at 7:07 PM ^

The Kaleb Ringer thing was a huge oopsie. Same with the Morgan Trent thing. But factual errors happen, and Brian has owned up to those.

I think it's fair to expect facts in reports about things that have already happened, and to a lesser extent about things that are currently happening. As for FUTURE events, there is no "fact." There is only prediction. Only one man actually knows future events:








February 13th, 2012 at 7:16 PM ^

I don't mean to trouble you, but I never saw Brian "own up to" the Ringer thing.  He doesn't owe me anything, my reputation wasn't damaged by an erroneously reported rumor, but I was waiting for an apology to Kaleb and never found one (although it is more than possible I missed it).  Any chance you could link me to that?


February 13th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

Thanks.  My preference wouldn't have been a post like this one - primarily aimed at defending his (Brian's) reputation, but rather something directed towards Kaleb for any difficulties Brian's "reporting" may have caused.  This frankly reads like a forced mea culpa filled with excuses rather than any sort of real apology.....


February 13th, 2012 at 7:39 PM ^

Here's the original post:

It was updated: [UPDATE:BISB: Sam Webb just tweeted that Kaleb was not booted. Just sitting with a sprained knee. The plot thickens.] and Brian wrote, "...this appears to be true." Not "this is true."

Brian discusses the Ringer thing here:

"My mistake with the Ringer thing, other than mentioning it at all, was saying something was the case when I should have said something less certain.

I try to follow a policy of revealing as much as I can about the nature any information I pass along without exposing a source, and that added transparency is necessary in an age when information—valid information—can come from anywhere or anyone. I still make mistakes. That's inevitable. I'm trying, though."

Do you know if he personally apologized to Ringer? Did you expect to be in on that conversation?


February 13th, 2012 at 7:44 PM ^

Given that the original rumor was spread by him on his message board, I would think that it would have been relevant for Brian to post a short "spoke with Kaleb and apologized for my mistake, he was cool and understood what happened" type thing.  But if he personally apologized to Kaleb Ringer and didn't tell anyone, that's perfectly fine too.  Do you know if he did?


February 13th, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^

No, I don't know if he did, but he did address the issue in several posts after the fact. I try not to judge things when I don't know all the answers. What do you want him to do, change the banner to "I apologize to Kaleb Ringer." Most newspapers and magazines print retractions in very small type on page 6. This blog has discussed the issue honestly on several front page posts.


February 13th, 2012 at 7:56 PM ^

Newspapers issue "Page 6" retractions for captioning a photograph incorrectly or having a wrong number/percentage, etc.  When a story is tantamount to a slur and proves to be 0.00 percent correct (to borrow Brian's preferred terminology), even a fish wrap will make that a priority item and make sure it is seen (and the write is disciplined).  Even the freep made a page 1 story of their golden child Mitch Albom fergodsakes.  And it wasn't addressed in several posts after the fact, that's just not was never addressed on the main page and it was addressed (by Brian) in one message board post cited by Blue in South Bend, above. 


February 14th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

Take your blinders off, man.  I'm a '00 LSA graduate who loves his school.  It doesn't stop me from recognizing that the program did, indeed, accrue major violations which we were penalized for. 


February 14th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

What the Freep originally reported and the Major violations that the University admitted to, are two very different things.  If the original report had stated that

"Michigan strength and conditioning football coaches have present during 15 minutes of stretching before practice, which, in addition to other countable practice hours, has resulted in Michigan surpassing the allowable hours/week."

"In addition, graduate coaches have been spotted in the grey area of being present during 7 on 7 drills."

Then yes, I believe that the Freep would have nothing to apoligize for.  Taking players quotes out of context, and writing a complete fabrication of the truth without both sides of the story shows some serious unethical reporting.

I am a little ashamed that an '00 LSA alumni cannot understand the difference between a blog's opinion on a coaching search and a Freep article claiming students health is in danger.

I also don't understand why YOU didn't apologize to Brian once you were shown his redactions about his missteps.


February 14th, 2012 at 11:38 AM ^

Yep, keep on telling yourself it wasn't as bad as the freep made it out to be.  Was the original story sensationalized?  Sure.  But does that really change the fact that Michigan accepted major violations related to the gist of what Rosenberg/Snyder came out with.  No it doesn't, regardless of what the rationalizing, irrational portion of this blog's membership thinks. 

I don't see any reason to apologize to Brian.  He made a terrible STONE COLD LOCK 100 percent "prediction" and said he was wrong 11 months later.  Woohoo.  What's most troubling is the Ringer fiasco and if his "mea culpa" where he essentially blames his sources and never apologizes to the young man whose reputation was damaged satisfies you, well, you lack integrity plain and simple. 

By the way, a singular graduate is an alumnus.  Shouldn't you know that, Mr. High and Mighty?


February 13th, 2012 at 6:41 PM ^

If Brian came out now and said "certain people didn't think Brady Hoke would be a good hire. But those people were trolls who didn't know their heads from their asses. Hoke Uber Alles."

He isn't complaining that Brandon's predictions were right or wrong. He's complaining that Brandon made a prediction, and now when asked about that prediction Brandon essentially denies ever doing so.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:21 PM ^

11/21/11 after the Nebraska game: 


I was wrong. I was mad when Michigan hired Brady Hoke because I though it was a capitulation, that it was Michigan returning to the things that made it such a frustrating team to root for once Lloyd Carr stopped having the best defense in the universe... If this feels like getting back to Michigan, it's the Michigan of your dreams, the Michigan you left back in Peoria when you shipped to Saigon. You've got one good picture of her and she's that pretty every day in an ugly place.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:45 PM ^

Again, if it was clearly an opinion (even a wrong one), I don't think anybody would be mentioning it right now.  But it was not portrayed as an opinion.  Above, Brian is apologizing for his opinion that Hoke was a bad hire - he still hasn't apologized for saying there was 0.0 percent chance of him being hired in the first place (not an opinion). 


February 13th, 2012 at 7:38 PM ^

"I would IF I THOUGHT" and then went on to give his predictions based on what he, Brian Cook, THOUGHT.

Plus, while it took me a few minutes to find, maybe this is the shit you're looking for:


My underlying assumption was that David Brandon was a cold-hearted corporatist who would tell someone to assemble a powerpoint about head coaching candidates and take the Michigan Man stuff as merely a relevant bullet point. I was wrong. Brandon is king of the Michigan Men, and my predictive performance has lagged the market.

El Jeffe

February 13th, 2012 at 9:23 PM ^

Wait, this whole whingefest you've been on is because you thought Brian was reporting something as fact when it was, in fact, simply his opinion?

You read funny.

It's like, his style, man. I never took the whole "Hoke will not be hired" rant he went on as him reporting fact. Here's a clue: when someone deploys the idea that meteors might hit some of the principals, then it's just stylistic.

What he really meant was: "I really really really think there is a very small chance Brady Hoke will be hired." That's different from Dave Brandon saying "I never said [that thing I verifiably said to Sam Webb]."


February 14th, 2012 at 10:03 AM ^

My complaint is that Brian has been less than responsible as proprietor of this blog when it comes to information - you can say the Hoke thing was a "prediction", fine, but that doesn't explain away the Morgan Trent and Kaleb Ringer fiascos.  If, by the looks of the moderating scores, people on mgoblog think that no wrong was done by spreading a malicious (and false) rumor that a high school kid was kicked off of his team and doing the bare minimum to correct it is okay, then you are a group that I have nothing in common with except for our shared love of the University of Michigan. 

I never equated the Brandon comments above as being synonymous with the "errors" of this blog, you'll notice my original comment (which started this ridiculousness) separates those two issues out in the first sentence. 


February 14th, 2012 at 11:33 AM ^

Multiple posters have shown that Brian has clearly stated he was wrong on the Ringer, Trent, and Hoke issues, yet you are now focusing on that his full admittals that he was wrong are not good enough for you.

Brian is far from perfect.  Anyone who writes a lot about sports (ask Magnus about Cox) is going to be wrong a lot.  That is why sports are great, cause they are so unpredictable. As far as I can tell, Brian has admitted his mistakes more than any sports personality than I can remember. If this blog, and Brian in particular, has shown to be biased and not on your morality level, than I suggest you do what I and many others have chosen to do with a certain newspaper in Detroit.  Stop reading it. Or, maybe you should start a sports blog of your own that will be the pinicale of morality.  I look forward to reading it.


February 14th, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

You can't possibly think this blog's reaction to the malicious Ringer rumor spreading was sufficient.  You called it a "full admittal".  It isn't even a half admittal.  It's an "oops, II was misled but it wasn't on me, it was bad sources - but please keep trusting me because I have a track record" post.  Not a ounce of sadness for what his irresponsible post could have meant for a young man who didn't deserve that. 

You don't have to be a pinnacle (note correct spelling) of morality to know a good apology from a bad one. 

oriental andrew

February 13th, 2012 at 5:57 PM ^

Whoa, a guy gave an opinion!  He really didn't think Hoke would be the guy because Harbaugh and Rodriguez were so much more accomplished.  When it did come to pass (mainly because Brandon and Rodriguez really didnt' see eye to eye on a lot of things, and b/c Harbaugh went pro), he maintained his OPINION that it was a stupid hire.  He has since admitted he was wrong a bunch of times. 

He wasn't spreading rumors - he was being opinionated.  That's what he gets paid for, ya know.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:10 PM ^

I'll believe Michigan has hired Randy Shannon as a DC six months after it's announced, but that's what this plan requires: hiring Randy goddamn Shannon as DC at a million a year.

How about Greg Mattison at 900k? Brian wasn't necessarily "using his position of power to mislead people" here. In fact, it seems like he was exactly right on this count.


February 14th, 2012 at 3:44 AM ^

Yes obviously so Brian had an opinon at one point that proved wrong.  Therefore all his opinions are wrong?  Please.

Second are you implying Harbaugh would not have been a preferred choice over Hoke?  Everyone wanted Harbaugh.  Look what he did in 1 season in the NFL.   Are we happy with Hoke? yes.  Were we all happy at the time he was hired? no.

Lastly Dave Brandon's shenanigans are irritating.  He's a  corporate / politician like AD,  as his latest little dig at this blog and the NHL game money grab shows. (in b4 he didn't mention mgoblog by name - we all know this is the biggest Michigan sports blog).



February 13th, 2012 at 5:51 PM ^

will be the new ABC/ESPN contract beginning in 2016.  It is anybody's guess as to which interested party (Big 10, ABC/ESPN, M, OSU) may favor moving the M-OSU game.  What the other Big Ten schools prefer regarding scheduling of THE GAME may not have much impact on the ultimate decision, especially if the 2012, 2013,2014 & 2015 M-OSU games all are significant.  Even if there are a few "re-match" games between M and OSU in the Big Ten Championships, no one will care unless ratings go down for those games, which will be highly unlikely.


February 13th, 2012 at 5:52 PM ^

It seems that both statements were made with the good of the program in mind. Considering that DB is basically trying to convince old people to donate money to the AD, he's banking on the fact that they have short memories. 


February 13th, 2012 at 5:56 PM ^

would that mean that the MSU game could move to the last game of the regular season?  It certainly could spice up that rivalry.  I think it would denegrate the The Game to the point it becomes another big game on the schedule.  The reference as "The Game" would go away.  Although the last 10 years certainly have done it any favors nationally anyway.

The funny thing to me is when any national commentator talks about the strength of the B1G or the "elite" or elite-sniffing teams in the conference, MSU has NEVER been mentioned.  If MSU does not continue to compete for B1G titles, I could easily see Nebraska becoming a huge rival.


February 13th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

So glad someone documented some of Brandon's doublespeak.  There have been a few cases similar to this where he has floated ideas (I think one was the mascots) and everyone got up in arms about it and then he just dismisses it like it was a flippant comment.  Drives me nuts and it just feels slimey.