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 6:21 PM ^

I prefer to read the front page posts anonymously. However, I didn't care for this post and I thought I would share why.

I don't believe I am flaming or otherwise violating the rules of this community. The above text is just an example of something Brian said that got under the skin of others. I presented it in comparison to Brian's displeasure with Brandon's comments.

Much of Brian's criticism of Dave Brandon has been of the ad hominem variety, and this post is one example. After all, the desire was to keep the Ohio game as the last on the schedule -- that was accomplished. It's unclear to me why the variance in Brandon's language would need to be mocked other than to score points in a tiresome philosophical war.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:26 PM ^

Thanks for the content; that's constructive.

I disagree, however.  This is not simply "variance in Brandon's language"--Brandon is lying to us, and it deserves criticism.  Brian being incorrect about Hoke's hire is something that has little to do with this topic, and pointing it out doesn't really address the issue at hand.

Welcome to the board, and I apologize for my previous response, it was no more on topic than yours.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

This is not an equal comparison. Had Brian stated that there is no chance that Hoke would be coach and then 14 months later post "I never said any such thing," then that would be similar. Not what you posted. 

And the criticism has not been of the ad hominem nature, this post is not an example. DB said one thing and then denied every making such a statement. 


February 13th, 2012 at 7:13 PM ^

I believe it is a fair comparison. Brian asserted that Hoke would not be Michigan's coach not once, not twice, but three times, once in quotes (the source of which is undetermined but clearly indicative of its privilege). There was never an explanation for the wild inaccuracy -- particularly from the mysterious quoted source, or from whatever led Brian to quantify Hoke's candidacy at 0.0%.

I don't believe Brian is a villain of purposeful misinformation nor do I believe he owes the community an apology for his error. But I also don't believe he is in the right to snort at Brandon's comments. The reason I believe this is not so much Brian's history as Brandon's. Despite Brandon's contradictory statements The Game remains the final contest of Michigan's regular season.

In other words, Brandon gave Brian what he wanted (or merely failed to take it away, if you're really pessimistic). Brandon's job, ultimately, is to give Brian what he wants. When Brandon fails, such as putting the football team in alternate uniforms at Michigan State, he will receive an incendiary article courtesy of Brian. When Brandon succeeds, he is spared. This is an example of Brandon succeeding yet receiving punishment. Hence, my belief that it is petty.

And the criticism has not been of the ad hominem nature, this post is not an example.
I believe it has, and I believe it is.


February 13th, 2012 at 7:23 PM ^


ad ho·mi·nem


1. appealing to one's prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason.
2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

The only thing that broaches on this in Brian's post is the title, and that seemed tongue-in-cheek (or "tongue and cheek" for our Spartan readers) to me.
How is Brian pointing out two facts an attack on Brandon's character? He's not attacking Brandon, he's pointing out two contradictory statements and letting the reader reach their own conclusion. I would think that the fact that Brandon went all "ad hominem" on Brian and his colleagues first ("I think someone spewed something on a blog somewhere,") would give Brian license to defend himself.


February 14th, 2012 at 3:50 AM ^

"variance in Brandon's language "

Is that the newest way to excuse a lie?  Instead of "he misspoke" it is now "variance in language"?

Please keep us informed of further changes to newspeak.  I think the phrase "variance in language" is doubleplusgood.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

Pointing out that Brian is being a massive hypocrite because he has an agenda isn't ""flamebaiting", it's being real.

The cult of personality around here is so suffocating at times, it's like living in North Korea.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

So Brian isn't allowed to point out Brandon's doublespeak because he once made an incorrect prediction?

I could see this if Brian suddenly started stating he never doubted the Hoke hire and was optimistic about it day one, but that's not the case. If you're going to point out that Brian is being a massive hypocrite, you should probably wait until Brian is criticizing something he's actually done.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:17 PM ^


Dave Brandon says "X".  This is true beyond any standard of doubt.

Later, Dave Brandon says he's never heard of "X" and it must be some "nonsense" that was "spewed on a blog". 

He's lying (or if you're feeling charitable, "forgetting"), and he's blaming someone else, a group if not a specific individual.  Brian is one of the foremost members of that group.  He has every right to be infuriated about being scapegoated so Dave Brandon can rewrite history to say that Dave Brandon has always given the fans exactly what they want.

What's next?  Is Dave Brandon going to claim that there has never been advertising inside Michigan Stadium at any official Michigan Event, and the guy in the Curly Fries costume at The Big Chill was just "Some crazy blogger that got past security?"

I don't hate Dave Brandon but I do hate political dishonesty, and that's what this is.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:18 PM ^

I think people, and Brian, are missing some context on this.  Immediately before the blockquoted material from Maize and Brew:


SAM WEBB: Let's say that you're making the call on Big Ten Divisions, you are making the decision, are Michigan and Ohio State in the same division? DAVID BRANDON: No. SAM WEBB: And why? DAVID BRANDON: Because we're in a situation where one of the best things that could happen, in my opinion in a given season, would be the opportunity to play Ohio State twice. Once in the regular season and once for in the championship for the Big Ten.

He's talking about the championship game and the potential conference division splits.  Meaning that, if Michigan and Ohio had to play at different times of the season due to the conference split, The Game may not be the last of the year.  I don't see this as him advocating for it , but rather as a reaction to the realignment in the conference.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:20 PM ^

Brandon is an asshole CEO-type, and that's what asshole CEO-types do. Instead of complaining, we need to suck it up and get used to it. 

I, for one, welcome our new corporate overloards. The cheesy bread will help us synergize our core competencies and leverage our roadmaps for the new paradigm. 


February 13th, 2012 at 6:26 PM ^

Brandon said his original quote 18 months ago, during the reshufffling of the BT teams in to conferences and much was still up in the air.

To try to equate that quote from 18 months ago, when things were still very much up in the air in the the recent quote, where he mentions "blogs" seems abit of a stretch and more than a bit vindictive....if Brian doesnt like Brandon, or think he is a double-talker, or doesnt like Brandon criticizing blogs...well he should bring something a bit stronger than an 18 month old quote that is no longer relevant to the current situation at Michigan or in the BT.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:41 PM ^

Crain's Detroit - "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." 

Is it just me or is it strange for a reporter at a professional publication to refer to OSU as "Ohio".  I totally understand......and even appreciate it........for Brady Hoke.  It just seems to me that a reporter should dimiss the games and get it right.


Section 1

February 14th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^

As I read the story, however, I looked at the "State" omission as a kind of winking verbal-only banter between the two, and the (correct) editorial addition was made in (parentheses).  Interviewers get just a little (not much) more slack than straight-news reporters.

snarling wolverine

February 13th, 2012 at 6:44 PM ^

I don't understand why this blog keeps attacking Brandon over trivial things: mascots, uniforms, you name it.  None of that stuff really matters as far as I'm concerned.  Brandon cares deeply about winning, about doing it within NCAA rules, about having the best facilities, and about making sure the AD is financially self-sufficient.  That's what really matters,  so I'm happy he's our AD.  



February 13th, 2012 at 8:36 PM ^

If we are winning big and everyone is happy it doesn't matter what the fans think of the AD.  However, if things start to go south or Brandon goes over the top with comercialization our trust in his word and that he is doing the right thing means something. His lack of honesty about the coaching search (and feigning interest in Les Miles), not taking meetings or phone calls from players in RR's last month and saying his office was always open, and claiming that he never said he was considering moving The Game may lead some of us to question him personally. In the end he may end up being a great AD for Michigan but personally having a much lower approval rating from the fans. As I said, as long as we keep winning this won't matter.

snarling wolverine

February 13th, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

The vast majority of fans I know love the guy.  I don't think he has a poor reputation among the fanbase at all.  That's what makes this blog's stance more jarring.  I can't help thinking that a lot of Brian's "righteous anger" is really just lingering frustration over his favorite coach getting fired a year ago.

Voltron Blue

February 14th, 2012 at 1:23 AM ^

...Brian, as purveyor of the most read college football blog on the internets, would take exception to Brandon saying:

"someone spewed something on a blog somewhere" such a denigrating fashion, WHILE lying about or forgetting what he had previously said himself...well then there's probably a lot of things you don't understand.


February 13th, 2012 at 6:50 PM ^

If Brandon hates being called for his own bullshit now, wait until he gets into politics.  DB is used to being THE CEO, and being able to fire people for disagreeing with him.  Now, he has to read blogs discussing his decisions, and he realizes he can't squash anyone's First Amendment rights because he isn't paying them for the privilege.  

Worse yet, at least for him, he can't just make those who disagree with him in the blogosphere "disappear" by firing them. 

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


February 13th, 2012 at 7:21 PM ^

in a row it will be such a novelty that everyone will be more excited than annoyed. 

Caught Brandon being Brandon, though. Wouldn't want him for a friend but you have to concede good things are happening. 


February 13th, 2012 at 7:39 PM ^

Just because I think it'd be nice to respectfully contact Brandon- does anyone have the appropriate email for the AD?  I don't want to just fill out a form on MGoBlue and have it never be read.


February 13th, 2012 at 7:56 PM ^

...that DAB appears to have shaded the truth here. I mean, DAB? Shading the truth? Really?

It seems to me that if DAB is saying that moving The Game was never an option (whether or not that particular statement is accurate), it indicates that going forward moving The Game is not an option. And that's a positive to take away from the obvious dissembling.

By the by, what does Brandon do or say that doesn't get under Brian's skin?


February 13th, 2012 at 8:29 PM ^

i thought "shading the truth" was what people did when they avoid saying what's true without resorting to a bald-faced lie. but academia isn't really the land of euphemisms for dishonesty, so ok. anyway, if you want to defend lying, can't you do it without avoiding the word? 

it might not be "such a big deal" to lie in this kind of context, but in the course of lying he also tries to shift blame to bloggers like brian. it's one thing to be the kind of slimeball that lies whenever it suits you, and another altogether to be the kind of slimeball that lies whenever it suits you while blaming whatever happened on somebody in a weaker position with more on the line. credibility matters to bloggers, even if it doesn't to people who spend their lives in the corporate world.


February 13th, 2012 at 8:48 PM ^

...once when I said he shaded the truth (that means he lied) and once when I said he dissembled (that means he lied).

The fact that you think this makes him a "slimeball" is all the proof I need to know that you're in the deep end when it comes to the subject of DAB.

Note, I'm not defending the truth shading, dissembling or lying. I'm pointing out that its existence isn't shocking. I do get why Brian is annoyed by DAB's reference to blogs/bloggers. It's an understandable reaction to a silly and tired construction. The problem is that even when there's some validity to a particular complaint, I have a hard time getting behind Brian because EVERYTHING about DAB seems to annoy him.

He's the blogger who keeps crying not wolverine.


February 13th, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

i'm not quite sure what to say to this. neither of those things actually means lying. if you can't tell the difference between something like dissembling (which means disguising or concealing something) and lying (which means intentionally deceiving by saying something you know to be false), and you're also going to reject the inference that anybody who lies whenever it's convenient is a slimeball, then yeah, there's not a lot for us to talk about when evaluating anybody. what you're doing is basically refusing to see the difference between plausibly moral behavior and stock examples of immoral behavior, and then, on top of that, refusing to conclude that consistently morally reprehensible behavior indicates a morally reprehensible actor. maybe you're just speaking some sort of corporatese that i don't understand. i'm not sure.

anyway, brian hasn't been anti-hoke since what, the first press conference? he doesn't like brandon, and he's not alone in that. one man is not the program. hell, if one man were the program, that man wouldn't be dave brandon.

EQ RC Blue

February 13th, 2012 at 8:57 PM ^

Last year was 2011.  Eighteen months ago was 2010.  There also were rumors going around rather recently, which I think was what was being referenced.

Also, this fascination with picking on everything Brandon says is very different from the "let's all get behind the UM team" that used to be advised here.


February 13th, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

What part of 2010 being over a year ago excludes it from "never"? There is no way to weasel around these words... he is either lying or delusional.

Brandon called out blogs. As the flagship sports blog of the interwebs, Brian's response is practical, reasonable, and fair.  It is also objective, as it exclusively uses Brandon's own words to make a point.

While I sometimes disagree with Brian, the concern about DBrand appearing to be egomaniacal and fork-tongued seems fair to me. I assume you want your university to be represented by the best athletes, so why not the best administrators? Shouldn't a man's integrity be of concern when he represents the organization?