David Brandon Amazes Me Again

Submitted by Hail-Storm on June 17th, 2010 at 4:57 PM

This was probably posted already, and I missed it, so to anyone who has already seen this I am sorry for repeating the information.  I found this response on the Michigan Daily and my main point, is not about the mysterious student athlete who did not gain admission to our University, but the way our new AD is handling it.  I thought he did a great job of not only keeping things anonymous, but somehow supporting both the coaches and the admissions and providing an amazingly clear picture as to what has and continues to happen. DB has been tested many times already, and always comes out not just scratch free, but looking better. I am very glad to see him in charge of our AD ship and hope he is a long time staple in our athletic family.


Much has been made of the recent news about a prospective student-athlete who had signed a letter of intent for our football program and his admission status at the University of Michigan. To the extent that I am able, I’d like to set the record straight. I use that qualification because the University can’t and won’t reveal the particular academic issues for any specific prospect….for reasons that are both proper and compassionate.
I can, however, talk about the process in general, and correct some misconceptions. The first is that there is some disconnect between Michigan Athletics and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. There is not.
The admissions office has been very supportive of Michigan Athletics for many years and there is no way they are doing anything more than what they believe is in the best interest of the prospect and the university. The admissions office is very separate from Athletics (reporting to the Provost of the university) and does not have any interest in the drama and intrigue brought to these matters by passionate football fans.
There are no factions. There is no conspiracy. This is not about politics. The simple truth is that meeting minimum NCAA GPA standards alone has NEVER qualified someone for admission at the University of Michigan. Coaches, administrators and prospects are all very much aware of this fact and go into the recruitment process with their eyes wide open.
Why, then, do letters of intent get signed, before admission is secured? On occasion, we have prospects who have unacceptable or incomplete qualifications for admission and more facts have to be gathered (post the signing of the LOI) to allow our admissions office to reach the stage where they can make a final decision. Coaches fully understand the risks associated with signing these prospects – including the reality that they don’t always successfully make it through admissions. Grade-point average is not the only criteria. There are plenty of other factors that are considered by admissions, including such things as where and how the GPA was created, specific course work requirements, test scores, etc. And in the end, some of the prospects will just not make the cut.
Another misconception is that the individual being subjected to all of the news coverage is a unique situation. He is not.
His unfortunate situation has been distorted by misinformation that is being accepted as fact by some folks who clearly don’t understand the process or the number of these situations we manage as part of our regular signing/applications for admissions activities.
Our admissions office has dealt with similar circumstances many times over the years and when they have chosen to not admit a prospect, nobody has ever questioned their integrity or motives. They are just doing their job with the utmost integrity.
I hope this is helpful in bringing some balance and a more objective perspective to this unfortunate situation. 

Edit: DB is not OT



June 17th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

Most ADs probably would have kept thier mouths shut about this whole issue. I very much like and respect the fact that having DB as the AD is like having a true fan at the helm. He understands when information needs to be shared and how to share it. I, for one, was put at ease after reading these comments. Though the points made here have trickled out over the last week or so, I found this statement to be succinct, convincing and necessary to appease those of us who were feeling uneasy about the whole situation. Thank you DB.


June 17th, 2010 at 5:37 PM ^

He really cares about things and wants to play a part in seemingly everything that has to do with Michigan's perception to people.  That's exactly what I wanted from an AD.  Someone who truly cares and isn't there just for the prestige, or the money, or the winning.


June 17th, 2010 at 5:41 PM ^

I just don't agree.  Not one bit.  Admissions was consulted about DD in January, prior to sending a letter of intent.  They gave the go-ahead.  Then, prior to DD's final semester grades being finalized, his LOI is pulled.  What changed?  Politics.  If you think that its not politics, consider this: this has NEVER happened to a high profile athlete without getting the opportunity to let the grades/test game play out.  Never.  Of course the article vaguely states that they have not let people in before.  Certainly.  But has it ever happened where the kid makes the requisite tests and grades?  Nupe. 

So, if you want to buy into the spin machine, go ahead.  But you are deluding yourself.  This was a slam job.

Also, let's not forget something: Draper and Labadie are still gainfully employed by the University.  I invite you to review Schedule 15 (13?) from UM's response to the NCAA allegations.  It is clear that either (i) they conspired to cause a black mark on the football program by not filing the proper, required forms or (ii) are grossly incompetent.  In either case, their termination is not only justified but necessary.  Their actions are inexcusable.  Their retention is even moreso.  Again, politics at play. 

Sorry, until David Brandon does something other than talk, he has earned his position in my mind as a politician not a leader.  I want a leader not a lot of talk waiting to see which way the wind blows. 



03 Blue 07

June 17th, 2010 at 5:52 PM ^

You're going to get negged into oblivion probably (and me too), but, although I don't agree with the harsh tack you take, saying it was all "politics," you raise excellent points re: the revisionist history of the timeline of the process re: DD, as well as the stuff about Labadie and Draper.

The ONLY logical explanation re: Labadie and Draper is the adage that you'd rather have them in the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in, which is apt because the final NCAA sanctions haven't come out. HOWEVA, I would hope above all hope that they are, essentially, stripped of all real responsibility at this point and will be summarily fired for cause the day after the NCAA issues its ruling.

Along those lines, if they had any pride or what we'll call "honor" at all, they'd have already tendered their resignations. In my ideal world, they both did this, but the school said, "we won't accept them; stick around until the sanctions come out, and we'll keep paying you and giving you employment benefits, but let's have a mutual understanding that after the NCAA comes down in August, you're going to need to find new employment."

The negligence of those two makes me furious.


June 17th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^


Sorry, until David Brandon does something other than talk, he has earned his position in my mind as a politician not a leader.  I want a leader not a lot of talk waiting to see which way the wind blows.

I am loath to have my first comment ever be a rant, but I can't help myself here.  The notion that leadership is about coming into a situation and making quick decisive action is patently false.  In fact, in my experience as both a subordinate and a manager, that is exactly the mark of someone who has never lead before.  I cannot count the number of people (myself included, when I was a new manager) I have seen come in with exactly this notion of "leadership" and fall flat on their face.  There is a reason we rarely see this behavior from our leaders, it doesn't work and that sort of behavior would have prevented them from ever getting where they are.  There are some exceptions to this, but in general it is useful to have facts (for instance, the actual NCAA sanctions) before going and making any rash decisions.  That's not waiting to see the way the wind blows, that's smart leadership.  If Brandon fires them, and they run to some publisher and sell some sensationalized stories on all the "dirt" in the Michigan Athletics Dept. then you'll be complaining about the fact that he can't manage his people.  


June 17th, 2010 at 6:49 PM ^

. . . come on guy. 

Do you really think making a decision after going through a six month NCAA investigation, after interviewing countless witnesses, accumulating countless documents and emails, doing your own personal investigation and summarizing all of the findings in a public 100 page document is a 'quick decision'?

Did you have a managerial position at the DMV?


June 17th, 2010 at 7:22 PM ^

You don't "buy" his explanation, which pretty clearly is coming from the perspective of either someone who works in the you know, admissions office, or someone that knows what happens there, and you "don't buy" Brandon's explanation that actually matches the OPs.  So what fountain of knowledge do you drink from that allows you to basically call the OP a liar, and Brandon a liar, as well as being all talk?  You do realize he's actually run a multi-billion dollar company before this?

You're being a dick.  Stop posting for awhile.


June 18th, 2010 at 10:02 AM ^

Well here:


and here:


The first site and moderator I trust very much.  The second seems right on given the first.  Not to mention the first site was indicating this was coming weeks before the story broke and was hinting exactly what was going on.  I very much believe the AD and admissions office are spinning.  Now that I have answered the question where I got my facts from, assume these are correct and tell me how the admissions office would respond given those facts.  I will tell you how: exactly the way they have.  Thus, responding in that fashion does not make their statements a reason why it must be true, they have no choice but to respond that way. 


June 17th, 2010 at 6:26 PM ^

But damn we really need football to kick off soon and to start winning games! I miss the good ole days of 4 years ago when we were talking National Title and Mike Hart for Heisman.

2 Walter Smith

June 17th, 2010 at 6:39 PM ^

between Martin and Brandon stems from their professional past.  Martin is a finance/banking guy and Brandon is a marketing guy.  Martin didn't talk a lot but kept the Athletic Dept. in the black.  Brandon better understands the Michigan brand and speaks to help hone that image.  It is no coincidence that the Dorsey announcement was released the day before the USC sanctions.  It gave Michigan an opportunity to make headlines by denying a high-quality recruit and restore some of the image that Michigan is a school first and not another football factory.

Hair Raid Offense

June 18th, 2010 at 12:01 PM ^

I'm not buying it.

The AD can write some fancy long letter, but I think people who've been watching the whole RR drama play out over the past 2.5 years know whats really going on.

Look at Adrian Witty. He didn't qualify but he didn't have his LOI revoked in June of that year like Dorsey did. Dorsey was deemed a "bad kid" and had the rug pulled out from under him, plain and simple.