Student Athlete Advisory Committee releases statement on Brandon

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on October 1st, 2014 at 12:33 AM


Michigan's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee releases statement "standing behind" Dave Brandon

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) October 1, 2014


The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee stands behind Dave Brandon and the entirety of Michigan Athletics concerning the events of the past few days.

As student-athletes, we are confident that each member of the Athletic Department acts with our best interests in mind. We applaud Dave Brandon for upholding the tradition and values of Michigan to the highest standard, encouraging us to be leaders and best in all aspects of life. As such, we fully support our Athletic Director and trust his ability to make decisions for our success and wellbeing.

It is important to remember that there are 931 student-athletes and 31 teams at the University of Michigan. These individuals and teams consistently achieve great success in every realm. The 2013-2014 academic year saw 5 Big Ten Championships, 1 Team National Championship, and 3 Individual National Champions. A total of 55 Wolverines were named Big Ten Distinguished Scholars, and 6 achieved Academic All-American honors. Student-athletes also collectively contributed hundreds of hours of community service and raised over $25,000 for charitable causes through last year’s Mock Rock performance. Simply put, as student-athletes we refuse to be defined by the successes or failures of any one team alone.

Competing for the University of Michigan is a privilege and an honor. The athletic community is often scrutinized, but at the end of the day we are one Michigan family; we support one another, and we appreciate the support of family, friends and fans.

On behalf of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee,

Thank you & Go Blue!


Michael From TC

October 1st, 2014 at 1:16 AM ^

It makes perfect sense.


This response is pointing out that there is more to Michigan Athletics outside of Michigan Football.


There are a load of other teams that have seen progress and improvement during his tenure that are being overlooked because of the failures of the football teams since he has been here. They happen to like what he has done for thier programs.


That is what that letter was saying.


October 1st, 2014 at 1:34 AM ^

This is how people like Brandon "succeed" in life.  They build an impenetrable wall of sychophant ass-kissers in-between themselves and the rest of the planet so that any and all attempts to reach them with any sort of reality is deflected.  Nothing will ever make it through the great wall of ass-kissery. 


October 1st, 2014 at 12:47 AM ^

Totally meaningless. Kerridge and Countess (whose name is spelled wrong on their site) are listed as members, but I wouldn't make anything out of this. They can't say anything else, and frankly it's worse in my view if the AD heard this was coming and let them put themselves on the wrong side of this story to try to save DB.

I mean, this guy's whole problem is that he surrounds himself with yes men and can't admit a mistake, and here it is again.

I hope student-athletes understand that none of this is criticism of them, though. This is about ensuring they have the leadership, oversight, and protection they deserve as they pursue their goals and represent the University so much more positively than the AD administration has in recent days.


October 1st, 2014 at 12:58 AM ^

This is so bad. It's completely transparent and won't change anything that has happened in the past few days. You can't change the narrative by parading shiny things in front of us.


October 1st, 2014 at 1:38 AM ^

Although not at Michigan, I'm currently helping with a SAAC. I can tell you with 1000% certainty that the SAAC was prompted to do this. At this point, SAAC is transitioning to becoming completely student-run, although there is plenty of influence that the advisors have. Their meetings consist of planning social, fundraiser, or community service events such as mock rock. Definitely not crafting professionally (and generic) PR statements. In my opinion, This sounds like a farce, and a desperate PR move addressed to the student body.

That being said, although I think they were prompted to do this, I do think it is quite possibly that a lot of the other sport teams do support Brandon, considering a lot of the teams just got new facilities. Facility and food problems seem to make up 99 percent of student athlete complaints.


October 1st, 2014 at 8:33 AM ^

if things don't change.  All those empty seats in the stadium this year may have been sold tickets, but they sure as hell won't be next year.  Then we'll see how much you like your precious revenue.


October 1st, 2014 at 8:57 AM ^

But winning is only a part of it.  Sure, you need to win to avoid empty seats.  But the things that Brandon has put into motion, such as banning water bottles and seat cushions, trying to sneak in advertising, shitting on the band with generic rock music and making alumni pay for their trip to Alabama, Coke promos, and getting every penny out of every person he can.

These things all add to the coffers, but long term, they will erode the foundation of this program.  It is a myopic dime a dozen CEO shit.  A real AD understands that they are not only running a program and funding new projects, but they are also shaping the future. 

If Chipotle started charging $15 per burrito, they would have their best week ever.  Then, everyone would stop going to Chipotle and they would collapse into themselves.

Mr. Yost

October 1st, 2014 at 8:40 AM ^

Which is why people have every right to be mad...and he should be fired. But they also need to realize that some good has been done.

Someone the other day wanted to have a Field Hockey think those girls don't love Brandon? Look at their new facility. 


Hell, almost every sport at Michigan has SIGNIFICANT upgrades.

I'm not excusing Brandon, but I'm not ignoring the good things either. Just like yesterday when I was talking about Rich Rod...I said "I don't like Rich Rod, but I also truly believe he wasn't given a fair shot." You don't have to like Rodriguez to feel he was treated poorly or disliking him doesn't automatically mean you think he had a fair change.

Same situation. You can hate Brandon and want him fired and also agree...he's done some GREAT things while at Michigan.

As an athletics administrator for many years, I can say I would be SHOCKED if SAAC was forced to write this. SHOCKED. That's now how they work and in 2014, someone would've tweeted about how the admin was making them write this statement,

So I call bullshit on anyone who says otherwise.

Did admin review it? Maybe. Did they make suggestions? Maybe. But that was it, IMO.

This isn't a far fetched thought...Brandon has hired coaches that these kids loved, he's given them scholarships, he's upgraded their facilities, he's hired people responsible for their well being and nutrition, he's given them more than any other kid on campus...why wouldn't they support him as a whole?

In the end, it doesn't mean anything...but if you all think someone forced this, you're crazy. Teenagers think they're invincable and someone would've certainly spoke up about it. Especially in today's mob mentality climate.


October 1st, 2014 at 9:31 AM ^

It would be unfair to discount the facilities upgrades taking place throughout the University of Michigan’s athletics campus. Those all are positive developments.  Whatever efforts Dave Brandon made in achieving those results are commendable.
However, from the outside (speaking only as a parent of a “Double Wolverine” and someone who has become a fan of ALL your sports teams), for decades it has been Michigan football that has been the primary engine that powered the university’s public image.*  Now, that engine seems to be sputtering and in need of an overhaul, or at least a bit of an adjustment.
* Sure, there’s a lot more to Michigan’s public image than football, like that monthly Consumer Sentiment Index; but I can’t recall ever hearing either James Earl Jones or “Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and MSNBC contributor” Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post (for those who wake up to “Morning Joe”) end an interview or a commentary by saying, Go Blue!
Maybe it’s time for Greg Harden, the man who has been counseling Michigan athletes, to conduct an intervention with Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon and all the members and staff of Michigan Football Team 135.
And maybe, for those who are skeptical about the release from Michigan’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, The Michigan Daily’s reporters will arrange to interview the Executive Board members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee to learn how their press release was crafted, who approved the final draft and who, if anyone, approached them to make their statement.  Or maybe someone will ask the same questions of Joe Kerridge and Blake Counless (sic; that’s how his name is spelled on the SAAC website**), the members of the football team on SAAC.
** On a side note, it may be nothing more than an oversight, but conspicuously absent from the roster of SAAC members are any representatives of the men’s basketball team. And Michigan hockey's Andrew Sinelii is there called Andrew "Snelli."  (Proofreaders Assemble!)

steve sharik

October 1st, 2014 at 1:45 AM ^

...did this originate such that it overrid good judgment? Because I can't think of any rational part that would conclude this to be a good idea.

Dave has gone off the deep end.  Perhaps he and Brady should enroll in the annual Ross School of Business Leadership Crisis Challenge that's coming up in December.

Swayze Howell Sheen

October 1st, 2014 at 7:37 AM ^

The unfortunate reality is that football is king, basketball queen, and all other sports* pawns (at best). The king and queen pay the bills, and make it possible for those student athletes to have their scholarships and attend the university "for free"**. 

Thus, when the head of the AD is mismanaging football, it is a BIG deal, much bigger than his management (or mismanagement) of other sports. Honestly, old Dave-o could be f***ing up other sports too, we just wouldn't notice or care too much.

There is part of me that wonders why Universities support such large sports enterprises - and this entire incident has brought this strange practice onto center stage. Why do we need to have a tennis*** team to compete against other schools' tennis teams? It's not for the fans (I've seen how many show up - not many beyond parents). Who is it for? Why does it make the University a better place? Why can't students simply play intramural tennis if that's what they want to do? The entire operation is strange, and its over-professionalization seems increasingly out of place on a University campus.

* - I know, maybe hockey or some other sports warranted something better than being a "pawn". But it sounded better this way.

** - They don't really get to go to the university for free; they "pay" for it through their hard work and dedication to their sport. But you know what I mean.

*** - I don't mean to pick on tennis; pick any sport really, especially ones that few people follow.  


October 1st, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

For me, tennis is an easy one to pick on because it generates next to no revenue, so it lives by the hand of football and basketball, AND 80%+ (likely more) of tennis players come from a background where their parents could afford to pay full tuition at Michigan. They are, usually, from a privileged background and are benefitting from the hard work and success of kids that come from decidely underprivileged backgrounds (football and basketball). 


Mmmm Hmmm

October 1st, 2014 at 8:29 AM ^

Agreed. I served on the SAAC of a I-AA school many years ago. There, a few sports other than football were king (and queen, I suppose). The SAAC was built more to engage athletes with the AD and to resolve AD-wide issues (academic support, opportunities, etc.). The idea wasn't to vote on capital projects or budgets--ha, as if any AD wants student input into that--it was to engage athletes.

Although Michigan football may be 57% of AD revenue, we all know it isn't 57% of athletes. So it makes sense that the SAAC isn't football dominated.

Finally, the implication is that if the football team had its say, Brandon would be out. That may be true, but I haven't seen anything posted here to that effect. Remember, the opinion of fans or even former players does not always coincide with current athletes.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


October 1st, 2014 at 7:44 AM ^

Brandon feels it is necessary to trot out Stephen Ross and the SAAC, and the SAAC said nothing about Hoke - just Brandon.

Yes, yes: we support Dave Brandon who excels at gouging the shit out of you so we get really nice new facilities.

eye rolls

Huntington Wolverine

October 1st, 2014 at 4:52 PM ^

The primary chants and marches for firing have all centered around Dave Brandon. It makes sense that the SAAC wants to make a clear statement which not only supports DB but reminds the masses that the 500 protestors that showed up to a rally the other day, while a vocal contingent with grievances worth listening to, remain a significant minority.