Dez on College Gameday

Submitted by AeonBlue on November 1st, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Desmond Howard and Kirk Herbstreit just had a debate about DB on Gameday. Desmond's main points were defending DB and all the funds he raised and how he was a champion of Women's sports. He basically implied the only reason DB was forced into resignation was because of the football team's performance. Is he this out of touch with the state of affairs and the fan-base or is this just a scripted talking point from ESPN? 


Mr. Yost

November 1st, 2014 at 10:56 AM ^

...but he's been out of touch for quite some time. Which isn't bad, most alums aren't in tune with 100% of what's going on, he's got a job and a family. It's understandable. He should get the RSS Notifications from MGoBlog, but I'm sure he doesn't.

He brought up all valid points, but every good AD should've done all the good Brandon did. No even decent AD would've done any of the bad Brandon did.

Brown Bear

November 1st, 2014 at 11:41 AM ^

He has a job and his job involves college football so that's not an excuse. He should know what's going on, especially at his alma mater.
I ran into a former player from the Carr era last week who is not still in the business of college football and he had a clear grasp on Brandon's faults and how he was not suited for the position. Either Desmond thinks Brandon wasn't that bad or he is just playing along with espn and their scripted arguments. I don't think he is out of touch.
Just my two cents.


November 1st, 2014 at 9:56 AM ^

I think DB was forced out mainly due to football.  Not exaclty our performance as the main/only reason, but everything in/around the team, stadium and program that he touches and affects.

Huntington Wolverine

November 1st, 2014 at 10:10 AM ^

All things wrong with DB's tenure revolve around football. It's also been well cited on here that several of the things DB gets blamed for (gameday atmosphere, commercializing Michigan football) were trends that began before his tenure. Box seats began under Bill Martin - that changes the climate and clientele (especially since the absence of boxed seats leads to a faux-equality between fans). Unfortunately for him, he dropped the ball on THE major public aspect of his work. This was surprising in light of how well he handled stretchgate, etc but people react better when dealing with critics of others rather than critics of themselves. In the end he earned his "resignation" and we should be able to move on but people are kidding themselves if they think this automatically results in a "return to the Michigan gameday" experience from the 70s-90s that many cite. 

He was great for Michigan Athletics in other ways though.


November 1st, 2014 at 11:17 AM ^

Saying that all things wrong with DB's tenure revolve around football is just not true, though. Are we all just going to forget about the student tickets fiasco for basketball? Or screwing over season ticket holders in hockey and basketball, as well as football? 

steve sharik

November 1st, 2014 at 12:03 PM ^

While there is some validity to the argument (which is unfortunate--I mean, does having a winning football team make it okay for you to treat customers this way?), I disagree.  If he was a good person, knew how to be good at PR, and treated fans respectfully, he would still have his job today. All losing football did was allow people to take an honest look at his approach.  And just like Shanegate, if losing is what it takes to do the right thing, I'm all for losing.


November 1st, 2014 at 12:22 PM ^

And the fact that you can't insult your customers.  He should know better that building a great brand means catering to your customers - not telling them they don't know anything about football and to get a life.

It's like running Dominos Pizza, making the breadsticks, sandwiches, and wings all pretty good, but the pizza gets worse and you tell all the customers to go find another pizza to root for.


November 1st, 2014 at 10:28 AM ^

And I should probably keep my mouth shut, but he has never come across as the brightest bulb on the set. He may be great in person, but he seems to come across as a bit lost if the subject gets change unexpectedly and they go off script.

I will give him credit, he seems consistently loyal. For instance I imagine he will unwaveringly support whoever replaces Brandon. He seems to adhere to the ideal that you keep your family squables in the family and don't show division to anyone else.


November 1st, 2014 at 11:45 AM ^

At the time he may very well have been the right hire but it took 2 - 3 yrs for the wheels to come off. Given the other options he may have been the best available. Harbaugh wasn't available...nor Miles. BH won 11 with RR's players. We cant go back and change our history...we can only make the best decisions we can. Hike did a good job of bringing back some splintered parts of the fanbase.

Generic MGoBlogger

November 1st, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

Great point... I think people kind of get caught up in the recent demise of Hoke's teams to realize that at the time it absolutely was the right hire.  We needed a coach that knew Michigan, understood the culture here, and would attempt to reunite a broken fanbase.  I think Hoke's first two years were indicative of this.  I think it could be wise to pinpoint his reckoning as the State game last season.  Only had one loss at that point (although three ugly wins), and the program has been 4-10 since.  Even RR did not accomplish a stretch that bad.  

Jim Harbaugh

November 1st, 2014 at 10:03 AM ^

To be honest I was really not expecting that out of him. I thought he would have been on the same page as Herbie and talked about the disconnect with Brandon and alumni, and the corporate model... Really makes me think it was scripted, but who knows.


November 1st, 2014 at 10:06 AM ^

did some really good things at Michigan when it comes to the non-revenue sports.  Our overall athletic facilites are 2nd to none.   His undoing was his arrogance and how he treated people.  He would still be here if the football team was winning but you can't get away with all of the Bull Shit he tried to pull off when you have a losing football team.


November 1st, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

The general admission seating in the student section?   It has been like that forever.   Or the free water inside the stadium but people still complain when they wait in line for a $5 water? Luxury boxes to get all those rich ass donors into the Big House like every other elite program in the country is doing?

It's frustrating reading all the posts bitching about DB and what he did or did not do and this bitching is coming from the same people that bitched about Martin when he was the AD.


November 1st, 2014 at 10:05 AM ^

He talked about how Brandon ran everything like a corporation, then Des seemed to come to Brandon's defense a bit. Des might be in the same line of thinking that believes we are stupid muggles

Part of the reason Herbie is one of my favorite ESPN analysts (and my favorite Buckeye by a country mile)


November 1st, 2014 at 10:11 AM ^

Herbie said he was taking the "outsider's" perspective, but he was much closer to the opinions of the vast majority of Michigan fans that I know than Des was and is.

I think that points out how out of touch so-called "Michigan Men" can become, particularly those who enjoy the rarified air among some of the wealthiest and most powerful alumni.

It also demonstrates how incredibly important it is that the next AD work to put the past into the proper perspective, in more ways than one. Perhaps because the new University President is also an "outsider", we will finally have that chance.


November 1st, 2014 at 12:13 PM ^

Yeah this sentiment among athletes needs to change. Without the students, alumni, and fans what are they exactly?

We go to great lengths to support them financially, spiritually, and logistically and they come back at us and think they're better than us.

There are a lot of bridges that need to be mended and it starts with the student-athletes which again would basically be the equivalent of pee-wee without the aforementioned groups.

Edit: Let me add which of the following relationships between two organisms does the relationship between the athletic department including the student athletes and the students, alumni, and fans most closely resemble?

Mutualism - both entities benefit
Commensalism - one entity benefits while the other is not appreciably harmed
Parasitism- one entity benefits at the expense of the other entity