Opinion: The Dave Brandon Era Chase Hyatt November 16, 2014 Local, Opinions, Sports Finally, a few weeks after Dave Brandon’s resignation on Halloween, the dust is settling. One of the very last comments was from Michigan basketball coach John Beilein, who was “very disappointed” about Brandon’s resignation, saying that they lost a “strong leader” when Brandon left. I have great respect for Beilein. He’s a wonderful person and a great basketball coach, and his statements stood out to me against all the negative backlash and criticism being hurled at this Michigan program. The more you think about it, the more ridiculous the issue seems. The whole situation started, in my opinion, because of the Shane Morris issue, a problem in the football department. Were people clamoring for Brandon’s dismissal before the Morris fiasco? Perhaps a few, but certainly not enough to have any influence. In the aftermath of the incident, fingers were being pointed and blame was flying. Somehow, some of it landed on Brandon- the athletic director! Who is not on the sideline and has nothing to do with in-game activities! Somehow the miscommunication between himself and Brady Hoke, their difference in public statements, made him the epitome of all evil. A deluge of muddled views and half-formed opinions ultimately became the mass whose ignorance forced Brandon out of office. People who didn’t really didn’t have any idea what they were talking about joined the rapidly growing Anti-Brandon club. The said club grew so big that the general public forgot about everything good Dave Brandon had achieved. I’m not trying to say that Brandon did nothing wrong. He made plenty of mistakes during his time at Michigan; A giant macaroni noodle and a raise in student ticket prices are chief among those mistakes. Changes in Michigan’s seat precedence system also angered many alumni and loyal fans. One of the most common complaints about Brandon was not even a fault, and maybe one of the biggest examples of the stupidity of the “Fire Brandon” movement: He ran the athletic department like a business. Well… unless suddenly an organization that receives money for providing services is no longer considered a business, the athletic department is a business. I would argue that running a business like a business is a good thing. Speaking of good things, let’s examine some of the good things the chanting crowds forgot. While Dave Brandon was the AD, Michigan had increased their budget by 37%. Brandon upgraded all athletic facilities, including those of non-revenue sports such as women’s water polo and lacrosse. He brought night football to the Big House, an experience everyone seems to be enjoying. In wake of these positive achievements, would Brandon have been fired any time soon? Ultimately, it was the mob that forced Brandon to step down. Once the movement got big enough, the only plausible outcome was Brandon leaving his position, one way or another. He saved himself some major headaches with his resignation. But isn’t it funny that an issue in the football program led to the director of all athletics’ inexorable slide away from the university? I am of the firm belief that if not for the current, unique set of circumstances, Dave Brandon would still be Michigan’s athletic director. But the dismal state of the Wolverines’ season has upset many fans. That unease magnified every bad thing that happened to the team. Without that, perhaps the arrow of blame would’ve missed Brandon entirely. As many players in other sports have demonstrated, Dave Brandon will be missed from the athletic department. His leadership and business acumen bettered the lives of many student-athletes in non-mainstream sports, and helped Michigan’s athletic department expand. Maybe in looking for a new AD, Michigan should look for someone like Dave Brandon. Love 0 000000 Data privacy The next click will forward you to a social network, where your IP address might be saved by the provider.