The Michigan Debate: Should Dave Brandon be Fired?

By Savannah Malnar

“Go Blue!”

Any college sports fan will recognize that as the signature cheer for the power-house that is University of Michigan. This Big 10 school is known for its strong athletics teams; so when students are suddenly rallying and calling for the athletic director Dave Brandon to be fired, it’s going to make the news.

Brandon is under fire from students and media alike. People are unhappy with the rising costs of tickets to sporting events, especially football. Along with ticket prices, the media and fans have actively been criticizing Brandon’s decision to hire and retain football coach, Brady Hoke. Hoke has been head coach for four years, and is 28-17; a record that may look good, but in reality is disappointing for the winningest college football team in history.

The most recent event that has spurred a media outburst was Hoke’s decision to put quarterback Shane Morris back in the game after sustaining a head injury that was later diagnosed as a “mild concussion.”

Ty Duffy, a senior writer for the sport media site The Big Lead, states that “The school’s response to the crisis has been a farce.” He predicts that Hoke will be fired following this season. But he also recognizes it would cause a lot of turmoil to fire Brandon simultaneously.

Besides Duffy, the media, both local and national, have remained extremely neutral on this debate. Every outlet you will look at has been strictly stating facts and not going any farther on the subject. I think this is the proper way for these media outlets to act, especially the national ones. This allows the fans to form their own opinions for or against both Brandon and Hoke.

One interesting aspect of this incident is both Hoke and Brandon’s resistance towards the media. In fact, Brandon told Detroit radio sports anchor Tom Leyden that he wasn’t publicly answering questions because he has “more important” things to do. This is extremely surprising. You would think that as an AD for a famous college, not a lot could be more important than attempting to explain yourself and your decisions.

The fans, the media, and most importantly, the students are waiting. Brandon is in the spotlight. How will he choose to portray his role as AD in a positive light, despite rising ticket costs and a failing football team?