CC: What if Brandon survives?

Submitted by michgoblue on October 17th, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Slow Friday, so I thought I would throw out this topic for some general discussion / speculation:

Up until now, I think that many of us have assumed that DB would be fired at some point soon.  Perhaps not this week, but certainly in time for the new AD to fire Hoke and bring in a new head coach.  And it is still a possibility that DB will, in fact, be fired by President Schlissel.  But, the press release about DB working closely with CSG to address issues and the announced cut in studen ticket prices call that assumption into question.  If DB was going to be fired, it seems as if Schliss wouldn't allow him to take this public role.  So, we need to consider that he may survive. 

Which leads to my question.  If DB manages not to get canned, how does that realistically impact whether Hoke is retained?  Let's assume for the moment that we finish the season at 7-6 (we beat Indiana, Northwestern and Maryland, but lose to our rivals, make some crappy bowl and muddle to a win).  What happens? 

My personal view:  If Hoke loses to both rivals, he is gone, even if DB is making the decision.  The fanbase discontent would be insane.  DB, himself at the center of some of that discontent, would do what just about any political person would do, and try to place the blame on someone else while at the same time painting himself as part of the solution by firing Hoke and bringing in a big name coach. 

For DB, if he plays it right, this could actually save him.  Sure, many current students and alum hate the guy.  And while some have principled reasons for doing so (ticket prices, commercialization, etc.), if we are being honest, many want him gone because the football team sucks.  If Brandon were to go out and somehow convince a Harbaugh / Miles level coach to come here (while cutting ticket prices and stopping some of the noodle, skywriting, special K stuff that has annoyed some of the fansbase), I am pretty sure the Fire DB chants would quickly end, or be reduced to a small minority of the fanbase.  So, I guess my short answer is that unless he beats MSU and/or OSU, Hoke is gone.

What say you, MGoBloggers?



October 17th, 2014 at 11:41 AM ^

Schlissel pretty much said that he would take his time with this and I have no reason to disbelieve him.  A few points:

1.  While the university has $$, nobody wants to write a $3 million buy-out check if they don't have to;

2.  DB may still have the support of many of the big donors, which, like it or not, the department needs for some of the larger projects;

3.  While the poster to which you responses thinks that the press release is meaningless, keep in mind that as his boss, Schliss could have told DB that he is not permitted to end any further press releases.  That he is allowing DB to do so indicated that he may survive this;

4.  DB does seem to have the support of a good number of people in the department including Beilein and apparently many of the coaches (makes sense, as he has been very good to the non-revenue sports),

5.  Firing the AD is a huge move.  Schliss may have the view that if DB is willing to address some of the issues that are causing the ire, this will go away and we can move forward with DB in place.

Yard Dog

October 17th, 2014 at 12:02 PM ^

Firing the AD is a huge move. Schliss may have the view that if DB is willing to address some of the issues that are causing the ire, this will go away and we can move forward with DB in place. 


I couldn't agree with this more.  To me, it seems to be the most likely scenario.


Plus, Stephen Ross' money & influence > all of mgoblog readers money & influence

It's just the Golden Rule in action:  He who has the gold makes the rules.


October 17th, 2014 at 12:06 PM ^

which could be huge if Brandon and/or Hoke are retained.  I for one would think very hard about not renewing my season tickets under those scenarios and I am sure many other ticket holders (students especially) will do the same.


October 17th, 2014 at 12:13 PM ^

You're reading way too far into all of this.  Large changes like this take time to put things in a neat and tidy package. 

His colleagues aren't going to come out and publicly attack him; they're not idiots.  His employees, however, have come out strongly against him (~1/3 of them signing the petition to have him fired).  Just because Dave is doing the bare minimum not to get publicly humiliated (agreeing to meet with student leadership and reducing 2015 prices) doesn't mean anything about his long term prospects.  The guy is done.  

Keeping DB is a much bigger deal than firing him.  Schlissel is more concerned about the sense of community that DB ruined than donations.  Big donors aren't going to disappear because DB gets fired. The future donors are the ones chanting for him to be fired.


October 17th, 2014 at 2:17 PM ^

His employees are members of "intercollegiate athletics" as described in the petition analysis done by the Daily.  One third of those employees (coaches make up a tiny fraction of his employees) signed the petition to fire Dave.


October 17th, 2014 at 12:20 PM ^

Agreed.  Just because he hasn't been fired yet, doesn't mean that he should hide in a bunker.  He still has a job to do and you can believe he is going to try to do it as well as he can (or as well as he is being instructed).  I wouldn't read anything else into that.

Brick in The Wave

October 17th, 2014 at 12:19 PM ^

In other news the Michigan Athletic Department has announced that Michigan football has just signed a 5 year deal with Ebola.  Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon said this morning at the press release:

"The partnership between Ebola and Michigan football is another step forward in promoting "the Brand".  Like Ebola we want Michigan football to be infectious.  We want to make it clear that no one is safe from being exposed to Michigan football."

In conjunction with the announcement Brandon has announced that Maize hazmat suits will be distributed to the first 10,000 fans at the next home game against Indiana.  


October 17th, 2014 at 12:40 PM ^

The $3M buyout could be a moot point.

If Brandon has political ambitions in the state of Michigan, he would be wise to turn that money down. It would be far too easy for a competing candidate to make a story out of DB taking $3M of the tax payers money as compensation after getting fired. Especially given all of the highly public events that have happened. It's not like he will quietly disapper with no one knowing what actually happened.


October 17th, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

The document from current coaches is a joke.  What are they supposed to do: refuse to sign a letter supporting their boss?  The coaches are living by "the code."  They are going to say nothing but nice things about their boss in public.  It was mandadory that they sign the letter of "support." 

To bastardize a well-known coaching adage: nobody had to sign the letter, but nobody had to have their job the next day, either.

Blue Mike

October 17th, 2014 at 3:34 PM ^

I think you might be overstating the "support" Brandon has inside the department.  People are always going to say the right thing publicly; that doesn't mean they are happy with their boss.

Also, Schlissel seems much less concerned with the money side of this issue than the student side of the issue.  He understands that the students are the present and future of the University, and he wants to do whatever he can to mends things with the student body.  The money is going to come in no matter who is the AD.

I think the student comments at the meeting yesterday are much more damning to Dave Brandon than anything else that has been brought up.  My guess would be that Schlissel has already decided to let Brandon go, but he is getting his ducks in a row to minimize the carnage.


October 17th, 2014 at 11:29 AM ^

I thought it had already been firmly established that none of the "A-Level" coaches have any interest in coming here as long as Brandon is still around. And that's as good a reason as any to can him - his continued presence is actively interfering with the success of his Department's most important program.

Cold War

October 17th, 2014 at 11:54 AM ^

Because poeple here keep repeating it to each other. That makes it indisputable fact. Just like we were going to have a kickoff boycott for UTL.

Seriously, people have to start making a distinction between the prevailing opinion here and that out there in the rest of the world. It's very possible Brandon stays, and if he does there's no reason to think coaches won't come here because of him.


October 17th, 2014 at 11:36 AM ^

Please define "firmly established."  Many people who want DB gone for other reasons have used these fears (ex: no legitimate coach wants to coach under Brandon) to bring more people to their cause.  DB is not responsible for Michigan not having the Harbaughs.  Again, can we please start living in reality?  Thanks. 


Don't believe me?  Why would John Belein coach under Brandon?  He would have plenty of opportunities outside of Michigan.  Why would Red Berenson continue to coach?  Your answer will likely be something along the lines of "but Brandon doesn't sit in on their meetings."  If Hoke doesn't want Brandon in his meetings, that is on him.  You think the reason Jim Harbaugh isn't here is because DB might sit in on his meetings or micromanage?  Think again.  If Jim wanted to coach here, DB would bring him in and Jim would keep DB out of his business.  Jim isn't here because Palo Alto>Ann Arbor.  Because of the NFL.  Because the Big Ten is a garbage conference.  Because a lot of reasons that don't have anything to do with DB.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is living outside of reality.   


October 17th, 2014 at 12:04 PM ^

I get your point, but Beilein wasn't a big name coach when DB took over, and he was in the middle of building something special that I don't think he would walk away from. And Berenson is probably going to die in Yost one day. These guys were rooted when DB came in.

Plus I think we can all agree DB is much more meddling in football than any other sport. He probably lets hockey and basketball operate as they pleases, more or less.

And those coaches "supporting" Brandon just shows maturity and professionalism, not loyalty, IMO.