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Date Title Body
11/26/2013 - 5:11pm Dave Brandon and the business of Michigan Athletics

I am guessing this will get buried in the avalanche of comment on such a heated topic during such a difficult month for all UM fans. I'll start by saying I share many of the frustrations expressed by the fans here and across multiple media platforms. I think there are two main issues that, in my opinion, seem to be getting conflated. The first issue is the performance of the football team and the perception that the team is underperforming. I'm not going to touch on this since it's been discussed ad nauseum by every talking head and pundit there is. The second issue what I'll call the commercialization of Michigan athletics. This is the area where I struggle the most with public sentiment. I'm not sure what people expected when Dave Brandon was hired but I think a look into his background may have lead most people to conclude that we would end up exactly where we are today. I think the most misleading aspect of DB's background is the often cited reference to his position as CEO of Domino's Pizza. If you do a little more digging you will find that Dave Brandon has been responsible for taking several companies public, first Valassis Communications and then Domino’s Pizza. In both instances the companies where owned by holding companies or venture capital firms when DB was put into the CEO role. In the case of Dominoes the VC firm that purchased the company was Bain Capital who I'm sure many have heard of. In other words it's almost a near certainty that Dave Brandon was tasked with cutting costs, improving revenue, tightening up the balance sheet and generally improving the company’s bottom line in a fairly short time frame in preparation for IPO's. So while Dave Brandon may often be referred to as a CEO that's really a bit of a misnomer in the traditional sense. Which leads me to my point; DB is really a Venture Capitalist and is behaving like one. I've interacted a little with a handful of these VC guys in my business career and can share a couple observations about them. I don't know DB at all and will admit that I'm generalizing based on my own person experience. These guys are very good at what they do; you don't get to the position of being tasked with launching a company into or back into the public domain without the guys in charge being damn sure they can deliver. They are also type A+++ personalities, they don't doubt themselves, like to be surrounded by people they trust and don't worry about the human impact of their decisions if they think it’s outweighed by the long term add to the bottom line. So, back to today and in the context of Michigan as a business, I don't really think any what we've seen out of the DB athletic department, since he put his guys into decision making positions, is inconsistent with his past. Dave Brandon and his team are just doing what's in their nature; in this case he is the scorpion and the "everyman" fan base is the frog. I'm willing to bet that if you go back to each of his previous stops you'll find some largish subset of everyday employee's that rue the day he stepped into the CEO role and most of the Board of Directors and the VC firm would say he did a great job and made them a ton of money. I willing to bet you can draw a pretty close parallel to the UM "everyman" fan base and the major donors/university decision makers if you were able to get honest answers off the record. In my opinion DB and his peers involved in Michigan athletics see these issues as growing pains and the price of change. In short, I don't see much of what's bothering people about DB changing much if at all anytime in the near future and the reasons I gave above are why.

A quick note about my motivation, this post wasn't intended to offer an opinion about what's right or wrong in this scenario. I only hoped to offer a little insight into what I'm guessing is behind much of the changes that have taken place in the last 3-4 years with the athletic department and the Michigan Brand. I'm also hoping that if there are responses to this post they don't turn into something political or attempt to infer more meaning than I actually intended.

09/08/2012 - 7:49pm This team can compete for the

This team can compete for the big ten championship, this is the only goal for the year. We are building for the future and I'm encouraged that we can do so and stay in the B1G race while getting the future of the program invaluable experience.

11/12/2011 - 11:12am Great news, god bless him and

Great news, god bless him and his family.  Sad to say kidnapping for ransom has become big business in some parts of the world these days.

10/16/2011 - 1:13pm There is a pretty simple and

There is a pretty simple and rational way to settle this, let the neutral party decide.  If Gholston plays against Wisconsin then the nothing he did during the game was "dirty."  If Lewan plays against Purdue then nothing he did during the game was "dirty."  If neither play then obviously the big ten has an issue with their play in this game.  At the end of the day this conversation is irrelevant, the games over and the better team won.  Good game, move on or don't, up to you.

I find it funny that you find it useful to occasionally confirm your beliefs that there is nothing special about UM fans.  Your right of course, we are all flawed and human, but if you really do feel like you need it confirmed then you may want to do some soul searching because that need probably says more about you than about us.

06/12/2011 - 3:12pm "If the class fills up before

"If the class fills up before the season starts though, they might be out of luck."

 

I can't remember a recruiting year with as much momentum as this one.  The fact that we may end up turning away some big time players is something that shocks me but potentially a good problem to have.  I think we will need a good season on the field to keep the ball rolling but if we do we could have something similar to the UTexas recruiting model down the road.  It seems like filling a large part of their class by february every year has worked out well for them. 

02/03/2011 - 9:39pm Says the white guy?

Says the white guy?

01/07/2011 - 5:24pm A positive result should not

A positive result should not excuse the poor planning and execution, his handling of this situation has been a debacle. This idea that he knows what he is doing solely because he was the CEO of two companies is silly. Sometimes in life skill sets do not translate between industries like we would hope and in this particular instance, I.e. the handling of a coaching change, there may not have been a scenario in his other career that prepared DB for this challenge.

01/05/2011 - 6:37pm Thats probably a matter of

Thats probably a matter of perspective, I doubt a young student-athlete can differentiate between coach who recruited him and school he attends to that degree.

01/03/2011 - 12:07pm People will just have to get

People will just have to get over their disappointment and ANGAR.

 

How well did that work out the last three years?  People may be able to get over it but the Michigan fanbase isn't people anymore it's this out of control mob full of histerics and overreaction.  We have proven as a fanbase the we are so used to front running that we can't handle an iota of adversity.  I think the notion of people getting over anything is wishful thinking at this point given how fractured the fanbase has become and how devisive the rhetoric has been.  In my opinion this is a slipery slope at this point, whatever decision gets made had better be well thought out and planned because we are on the edge of becoming catching the Notre Dame coaching disease for the near future.

01/01/2011 - 9:25pm News flash, your fanaticism

News flash, your fanaticism doesn't matter, but mine does.... just ask my parents, they tell me everything I do matters because I'm special.

01/01/2011 - 9:15pm This statement is just

This statement is just nonsense, isn't that what happened three years ago? You don't take action, if you are Dave Brandon, without a very clear plan already in place. In simple terms the coach better damned well be in place because we don't need a repeat of the last search.

01/01/2011 - 8:53pm At this point I could care

At this point I could care less what happens either way, but there are so many ways that this could go bad that I'm almost expecting the worst. The good news, imho, is that unlike this board I don't think Dave Brandon will make a reactionary or emotionally based decision. Hopefully that careful planning and execution will allow DB to guard against an even bigger mess going forward.

12/04/2010 - 4:00pm I guess it's a good thing a

I guess it's a good thing a rational fan base is not a criteria.  Every time I long in these days I feel the same way I feel when my wife tunes into 90210 or another one of her shows.  A sense of dread combined with incredulity but, kind of like when I drive by an accident, I can't help but be fascinated by the chaos.  Maybe it’s contagious because now I’m mixing metaphors.  I better not spend to much time here.

10/30/2010 - 10:54am Translation

"If we put the quarterback who didn't practice all week  in the game,  MacFarve is stinking up the joint and we are probably down by a lot."

10/03/2010 - 2:22pm Michigan -5.5 this morning.

Michigan -5.5 this morning.

09/19/2010 - 8:39pm Agression

In a word its a matter of agression.   The players can either have it, through a combination of individual skill, confidence in themselves and the system or it can be generated by scheme.  Our issue with the first is that generally that means taking players who are skilled individually and getting them to play fast and as a unit.  It's been stated repeatedly that we lack enough of those types of players for the first to apply.  The second option is to scheme aggression, a la Rex Ryan and the Jets, the problem with that is you need to have a back line guy or two that you can trust without fail to limit big plays.  Cameron Gordon may be that guy at some point, but certainly not yet.  See Jones and Rudolph TD's in the ND game.  That leaves us with the reverse of the Jets situation, in our case, we try and limit the major mistakes on defense in order to keep the offense in the game.  Even if GERG's scheme/players allowed for more aggression, the potential tradeoff, an extra sack or two vs. an extra TD or two allowed, isn't worth it.  They are so far behind our offense at this point that we play to that strength and hope for the best. 

09/11/2010 - 1:02am My Congrats

I have to say this is one of the better ways to get rid of a ticket I can think of, great idea UIandUofM.  The good Karma can only help!

08/17/2010 - 10:17pm Let's all take a breath

I'm guessing I'm going to take a lot of heat for this but here it goes...  If this was going to happen it couldn't have happened at a better time.  At least we are early in the summer practices and we have time to get the potential replacements some significant PT with the ones.  We knew that in all likelihood we were going to need to outscore the better teams in the conference to win, that has not changed.  Someone will step in and while they most likely can't replace Woolfolk by themselves the defense will find a way to do it collectively.  What choice do the have?  This team is not as bad as there record the last 2 years, if we can limit turnovers, avoid 3 and outs, and perform at a reasonable level in the red zone this team can win games.  I'm starting to sound preachy so I'm going to STFU.   Thanks... Bye...

06/06/2010 - 6:43pm Just a WAG but I'm wondering

Just a WAG but I'm wondering if the PAC 10 does end up becoming the PAC 16, if they invite 6 from the Big 12, will this be the "monumental change" that forces ND into the Big 10.   Thoughts?

05/31/2010 - 10:40pm I went to the game in '08 my

I went to the game in '08 my experience was a very good one as I went with 2 PSU grads, but I will say this, there isn't much to do other than tailgate, drink and go to the game.  In spite of that, or more likely because of it, the best game day experience I've ever had, the fans make more noise during tv timeouts at BS than we do for touchdowns at MS.  I also dealt with a little harassment but it was just some friendly ribbing and then an offer to by me a beer.  As long as you don't act like a jackass neither will they.

02/23/2010 - 9:46pm Well said, very nice way of

Well said, very nice way of telling people to chill the F out, my compliments.

02/23/2010 - 9:35pm That sums it up, the focus

That sums it up, the focus needs to be on the 2010 season and the team. At the end of the day the impact these penalties have on the product on the field will be minute. We will not have a good or bad season because the NCAA finds fault with our ability to follow these particular rules. I really think the frustration being expressed is a result of all the build-up to the findings, i.e. the negative slant to the media coverage, rather than the findings themselves. We are a community very used to success so this has been a very humbling time for us all, but ultimately we will be better for having gone through this adversity and if we aren't then that's on us and no one else.

02/14/2010 - 6:19pm No Dice

I was there yesterday, cash only, they got rid of the atm a while ago because it slowed things down.

02/07/2010 - 12:34pm At 17-18 years old it's a

At 17-18 years old it's a pretty fine line between confidence and cockiness isn't it? I think only time will tell which is more accurate. Besides, couldn't we use a little swagger on this team as long as he backs it up on the field?

02/07/2010 - 12:31pm "Every fan wants to win, and

"Every fan wants to win, and the most vocal ones demand to win. No problem. Just don't be a hypocrite and hope to reap the benefits without any risk."

He hit the nail on the head. I don't know if Dorsey will work out or not but the whole "we are too pure to consider giving someone a second chance" mindset bothers me.

02/04/2010 - 8:20pm Double post disregard

Double post disregard

02/04/2010 - 8:11pm Not much we can do about any

Not much we can do about any of this other than offer support, direct or indirect, to the program, Dorsey the player and more importantly Dorsey the person. Sad for me to see these guys treated like chips to be played at the most opportune time. As cliche as the phrase is, football is really just a game and I think Sharp is just the latest guy to lose sight of that.

01/31/2010 - 8:47pm Sheer speculation on my part

Sheer speculation on my part but last time he did a presser during halftime of a BB game I believe RR mentioned 26 exactly. I wonder if the 26-28 range means he has a couple silent commits in his back pocket that we will find out about 2/3/10. One can only hope he closes with his usual wizard hat and snake oil style.

01/20/2010 - 11:27pm That will last about as long

That will last about as long as it takes for them to realize that the blogosphere is better written and more thoughtful than the mopes they pay to write the columns.

01/20/2010 - 8:43pm No luck there but worth a

No luck there but worth a shot, thanks.

01/20/2010 - 8:22pm Anyone know where they are

Anyone know where they are streaming this game? I'm out of town on business and don't have access to the BTN.

01/16/2010 - 1:47pm All I can say is wow,

All I can say is wow, religious beliefs aside. I hope his "dream" was the real deal and not some fabrication. If it wasn't I wouldn't want to be him when Karma comes calling.

01/16/2010 - 11:29am I would too if I was trying

I would too if I was trying to make one of the biggest decisions of my life. I'd imagine it's an incredible amount of pressure on these kids and their families. With all the instant gratification going on in the media/blogosphere why add yet another variable to your search process?

12/16/2009 - 8:55pm Every one of these kids from

Every one of these kids from the P we bring in is a win/win. We get excellent players and they get a great education. Given all I've read/heard about life in Pahokee I can't help but pull a little harder for these guys. Welcome to the family RA.

12/13/2009 - 5:37pm RRod will keep recruiting as

RRod will keep recruiting as many quality players as he can until the very end regarless of how many commits, silent or not we have. If our recent history, and that of almost every other major program, is any indicator number of commits means almost nothing until that LOI is faxed and received in early february. We just have to hope that if/when the decommits come they won't be at the positions of most need like the DT situation last year.

12/13/2009 - 11:02am If Witty is fully recovered

If Witty is fully recovered from the injury he suffered his senior year in high school and he demonstrates an ability to make plays, I don't think it matters. At this point given the state of the defense we've got to field the best 11. If any of the current or incoming players demonstrates the ability to be one of those 11 at any position then we put them out there and see what happens.

12/06/2009 - 9:17pm Who cares. In a hopeless

Who cares. In a hopeless attempt to fight the tide of extiction raplidly pulling it into the abyss the FREEP has become sensational tabloid rag. Like the balance of the regional newspaper industry it is desperatly searching for a way to reinvent itself and it has chosen to cover inflammatory and sensational topics to keep readers coming back. If readers have issues with the FREEP the best thing you can do is stop aknowledging its existance, the rest will take care of itself.

12/06/2009 - 11:35am Pete Carroll didn't cause the

Pete Carroll didn't cause the defensive issues at Notre Dame although the question did sound like a bit of a fishing expedition on the reporters part.

11/22/2009 - 12:04pm Quality and Quantity

I'm just curious, with OSU being the biggest recruiting weekend of the year every two years, how does this weekend compare? Only time will tell how many commits come out of this weekends visits but are we still getting the same caliber and quantity of recruits giving us a look?