How to keep up the pressure for Brandon's removal?

Submitted by Bleedin9Blue on October 5th, 2014 at 12:18 PM

After another extremely poor showing last night, we're all just as sick of Hoke and the administration as last week.  But, I fear that the prediction that Brandon could skate through this mess could be true if we (the fans and especially the students) don't come up with another way to focus anger towards Brandon.


We all know that Hoke is gone sometime after the OSU game (I personally don't believe it's possible that he'll be let go sooner than that).  But, I'm afraid of the situation where Brandon is still here and uses the firing of Hoke as his "Get out of jail free" card.  It seems that momentum towards Brandon's removal has stalled - my question is therefore, what can we practically do to restart that momentum and help Schlissel see that  adding walkie-talkies and firing Hoke is not reason enough for Brandon to be retained?


Alas, the only 2 ideas I have are:

  1. Another "Fire Brandon" chant during the PSU game
    Although this is relatively easy to do, I doubt it'll have any practical effect as Schlissel may never learn about it.
  2. Another rally outside the President's house
    I'm unsure how effective repeating the same stunt will be... but if students were to gather there on their way back from the PSU game maybe a critical mass could be achieved such that it would attract more than the 500-1000 that were at the original rally.
  3. Edit: enlightenbum had the good idea to show up at the Regents meeting on Wednesday (10/8) at the School of Public Policy.
    This seems like an excellent place to show anti-Brandon sentiment to people with decision making power, Schlissel's ear, and who are willing to listen since they're elected officials
  4. Edit: kakusei pointed out that Brandon obviously has a special place for UTL games.  If stduents showed up 20-30 minutes late en masse, that would send a message that the commentators couldn't help but talk about (especially if it's followed by a Fire Brandon chant).
    But, the logistics of making that happen would be... difficult at best.

MGoBlog is the effective epicenter of student and fan disapproval towards Brandon.  If we want him gone in time for a new AD to make the coaching hire, then I think it's our responsibility to come up with practical ways to ensure Schlissel can't ignore the will of the fans.


So... what's your idea?


Edit: Removed typo and made title clearer.



October 5th, 2014 at 12:39 PM ^

If Brandon stays so does Hoke. Brandon has said Hoke hasn't forgetten how to win (overall record at Michigan is above 500) and he will give him the last year of his contract. Also, he will use his success with Beilein as a model going forward. Fire Funk, move Manning to full time recruiting, retire Jackson and bring in young coaching help for the aging Mattison.

The only pressure will come from empty stands. Michigan has already collected most of the revenue from football so less people in the stands will send a message.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:56 PM ^

... does Hoke stay.  There is no such thing as a successful coach in the last year of his contract... dead man walking.  You either fire him now or after OSU, or you give him an extension.  We are not giving him an extension.  


October 5th, 2014 at 1:50 PM ^

It's either when we lose our seventh game or after the OSU game.  Brandon may like Hoke, but he's not going to keep him around if it means his own job security is on the line.  I'm more concerned about DB sitting in with the coaches reviewing game film.  There needs to be some restrictions in place so the coaches can coach without interference.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:52 PM ^

Yes, I strongly believe that Brandon cannot fire Hoke.  Many have forgotten Brandon's letter to the fans from last year in which he said "Brady Hoke will be the head coach here for many years to come..." That is far different than "I support our coach" or whatever AD's usually say right before they fire someone.  I really don't see any way Michigan can move forward with Brandon still in charge.


October 5th, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

I think the last week has shown Brandon's primary motivation is self-interest. If Brandon feels he can keep his job by firing Hoke I think he pulls the trigger.

That being said, I don't know that Brandon will have that option (read: won't make it to the end of the calendar year). I agree that if you take the current temperature of the situation it seems he's successfully weathered the storm, but I fall back to John U  Bacon's statements on Friday. 

Bacon is, above all, a measured man. I don't think he's makes such a definitive statement without some privledged information. Now, as Bacon himself cautions, things could change but given the information, Brandon appears done, and it appears to be entirely politically motivated.  No matter your party affiliation or lack there of, that's some second rate stuff, but at least the university could get an adept AD.




October 5th, 2014 at 12:22 PM ^

Another rally would be great. a chant would work but we would need everyone in the stadium to do it. Probably the only way the president would hear it sitting in the suite

M Squared

October 5th, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

Nope, not at all.  Michigan Athletics is an integral part of the Michigan brand.  As an impressionable 17 year old, I chose Michigan over several other top schools - and candidly - it was because of the Fab Five.  Stupid in retrospect?  Probably, but that's what I did.  I loved my undergraduate experience and went to every single home football game.  I went back for a grad degree (paid an unbelievable amount of money to the school for it too), and I now have a successful career, and my wife and I donate to UM every year.  I would bet that I am one of tens of thousands with similar stories.

Don't act like we're MIT - we're not.  Many of us care about Michigan Athletics, and we should not be apologetic about it.


October 5th, 2014 at 3:38 PM ^

I just want to second this. I came out of a community and set of schools where sports weren't that important, and where, frankly, most of our teams sucked. My HS was the biggest in the state but we couldn't win jack shit because (A) too many kids were academinically ineligible and (B) the administration and community around the school didn't care that much. I decided to go to Michigan instead of any of the other schools I got into because of the culture of fandom. I wanted to have sports teams to root for and to be surrounded by other people who also loved those teams, and by golly I got what I was looking for. 

If it hadn't been for the teams, and football especially, I probably would have gone to McGill.

Sports matter a LOT at Michigan, and it's not just the relatively small and slightly-unhinged-in-our-level-of-devotion contingent on MGoBlog for which that's true. Schlissel has to care whether he likes it or not.


October 5th, 2014 at 1:03 PM ^

embody its mantra of Leaders and Best as long as the most visible output is so poor.

President undoubtedly wants to discuss academia - so let him know the presence of Brandon distracts everyone from the mission and he needs all facets of UM, including the football program, to meet the standard.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

This seems like something could be effective.  I doubt questions at the Regents will matter so much as having a huge mass of people calling for Brandon to be fired (with the implication or outright statement that if he's not, the candidate will not receive our votes).

I read a lot of Roman history - if there's one thing I've learned from the Late Republic, it's that elected officials can often be cowed into going along with the masses' wishes as long as there's a big enough mass.

Anything said to the Regents should be respectful, civil, and well thought out.  But, a united front of anti-Brandon sentiment being the overwhelming message they receive could be very effective.

Students could easily attend since it's on campus.

The UM-Flint location would be much harder to overwhelm.  I strongly recommend we focus on having a mass of obviously anti-Brandon people at the October 8 meeting.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:25 PM ^

i work at CVS and a spaty walks in and mentions the mess last night. he made it worse when he mentions that RR beat Oregon after we fired him. My only comeback was that u lost to that Oregon team. His response was "its only football" That statement does not compute?????


October 5th, 2014 at 12:39 PM ^

I get the sentiment with this, but I don't think that will do anything towards removing Brandon.  If making the Athletic Department lose out on a few grand is all it takes to fire the AD, then Brandon would never be removed since we keep setting records for revenues (I know it'll go down if all this keeps up, but that's not necessarily something the decision makers will see).

Thus, I doubt not buying concessions will do anything.

Icehole Woody

October 5th, 2014 at 12:26 PM ^

Brandon is fighting back,  Thursday's media blitz on local TV looking all contrite and wounded that nasty people would want his job and hurt his feeling and his family's feelings too,  Shame on us.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:29 PM ^

If 80,000 to 90,000 people keep chanting "Fire Hoke" and "Fire Brandon" it will be difficult to ignore. Unfortunately I'm in Chicago otherwise I'd try to help organize the chant. It has to be done. Either that or have people not show up. If we show up and have that chant it should be perfectly clear where our justified anger is placed.

Maybe the PSU fans take up the chant too since this ineffective Michigan has been a contributing factor to the Big Ten's weakness. Admittedly this is a stretch.

I agree something has to be done but I'm not sure of any other ideas that are more clever. This situation feels so hopeless right now it is downright depressing. I wish I could flick my hand or nod my head and make the football team good again but unfortunately I don't have that power. I can't let this make me sick. I could use a good laugh which is why I love coming back to this blog partly. Many users even those I disagree with sometimes are so funny. Anyway, hope others could come up with better ideas to voice our displeasure with this abhorrent circumstance.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:31 PM ^

The pressure is abating and I don't see how it rises barring another Morris-level fiasco, which I definitely don't want to see, or...the only language these people have indicated they understand, money. Boycotting game attendance if the tickets have already been bought is ineffective and pointless, but if enough people adopt a personal moratorium on merchandise, concession, and further ticket purchases, I would think the message is received.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

Give DB a nickname that graphically and memorably sums up his identity.  Everyone use this name when referring to him.  Continue this until the media picks it up; they love quick, catchy quotes.  Use this name whenever you refer to him.  Chant THIS in the stadium:




October 5th, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

SCHLOCKMEISTER is now DB's official name.  Thus it is written.  Thus it shall be.

Please note: I am not trying to be unkind.  This is not just about a loser coach who leaves people hurt and stumbling around on the field.

This is for DISRESPECTING our values and traditions, which we've been building for hundreds of years, and DB SCHLOCKMEISTER  is trying to tear down in just a few.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:39 PM ^

Every call to fire Hoke relieves pressure on Brandon. People calling for Hoke's firing before Brandon's are playing directly into his bullshit "people wouldn't be upset if we were 5-0" storyline. Those people are just giving Brandon cover.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:43 PM ^

i think a campaign to have students show up 20-30 minutes late for the PSU night game would be devastating for brandon.  imagine a completely empty student section at kickoff, the aerial shots that will dominate the opening of the game would be the death knell for brandon - he has kept saying that his relationship with the students is "outstanding" based on the fact of the success of the the UTL games.  Nothing will hurt more if we don't show for the PSU game.

Now I know that there are going to be quite a few vacancies in the student section regardless, but if we can effectively organize the students to not enter the student section until after kickoff... my god. it would be brilliant.

And by not boycotting the game completely, the students can't be called out for not supporting the team.  If we were to boycott the game in its entirety it could be construed in the media and elsewhere that hte fans are turning their backs on the team.  This will hit brandon where it hurts (his baby, the UTL games) while foreclosing any argument that the students have given up on the team and players.

the more i think about it the more this HAS to happen.

Perkis-Size Me

October 5th, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

I have a strange suspicion that DB will not get the axe this year. An incoming president likely doesn't want to make a bold move such as that unless he/she has no other choice. Hard to ignore the amount of money DB has brought in and all the facility upgrades he's been able to preside over, whether or not that was Bill Martin's vision. DB still raised that money. But Schlissel has got to be thinking about what happens to him if the next AD doesn't work out. Then he'll be hearing "Fire Schlissel" chants on his front lawn next. Its a situation I'm going to assume he wants no part of. If he could just shut out athletics and focus strictly on the academic side of things at Michigan, I bet he'd do it and wouldn't give it a second thought. But I'm guessing he should've known that when he signed on to come here.

That being said, I can't see any situation at this point where Hoke is retained unless he wins out. The pressure is just too great, and DB will have to save himself by firing Hoke.

Whether or not that solves any problem, I'm not really sure. I sincerely doubt any coach worth his salt in this country wants to come and work for Dave Brandon right now.


October 5th, 2014 at 4:42 PM ^

Wouldn't the worst-case scenario be if David Brandon is allowed to fire (and replace) Brady Hoke?

With all of the talk of instability in the department, and of over-management of the team by Mr. Brandon, I would think that Mr. Brandon would struggle mightily to get a highly valued coach to replace Mr. Hoke. 

There is also the "ideological" component of the current athletic administration, that makes claims that things like knowing the words to The Victors or being able to get around Ann Arbor without a map are qualifications to be desired in a football coach.  Mr. Brandon actually once listed those two things as reasons Mr. Hoke will be successful at Michigan:…

Given that the source of the ideology would still be present when the next coaching search takes place, and the fact that the Michigan job might look poisonous to any qualified candidates, don't be surprised to see Michigan have to settle for another bottom-of-the-barrel product of Lloyd Carr's coaching "tree" (Vance Bedford?  Mike DeBord?  Ron English?) unless Mr. Brandon is let go before the end of the season.


October 5th, 2014 at 12:51 PM ^

Mass demonstrations can work but they need to be very organized and focused. After the PSU night game risks drunken fans being, shall we say, not so focused and organized.

The Regents are politicians. My bet is most open comment sections at their meetings are either empty or one or two gadflys nobody cares about. If you were to organize just 100-200 people to show up for open comments and list specific grievances and concrete remedies, THAT would get their attention. It's in their face. Look them in the eye, and you only have to get 100-200 to show up to overwhelm them. Much more controlled and focused than a fleeting 100,000 person chant or a 1,000 person rally at the ceremonial presidents house.

Don't get me wrong--I'm for all of the above. But if you want the Regents or president to move, your solutions need to become the path of least resistance for them politically. The downside of ambitious politicians? Most lack core convictions. The up side? It means they can be manipulated into doing what you want them to do in order to preserve themselves politically. Attending the Regents meetings lets them you know the by laws and where to apply pressure. Offer carrots and sticks. If you can, find our who THEIR strongest supporters are and try to flip them to your side or at least convince them to be neutral and stop supporting the Regents until the problems are fixed.

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