Seven gaffes that marred tenure of AD Dave Brandon
Seven gaffes that marred the tenure of Dave Brandon as Michigan’s athletic director:
1) THE MASCOT: In June 2011, Brandon said that he thought the Wolverines needed a mascot to "embrace the youth demographic", but quickly dropped the idea after the reaction was almost entirely negative.
2) LEAVING THE BAND AT HOME: The Wolverines opened the 2012 season at Cowboys Stadium against Alabama, and Brandon created another controversy when he announced that the Michigan Marching Band would not make the trip for financial reasons. After public complaints and the offer of help from donors, Brandon reversed the decision and sent the band to Arlington.
3) THE KRAFT NOODLE: In August 2013, a giant noodle appeared at the Big House as part of an advertisement for Kraft, angering Michigan fans who were used to the no-advertising policy at Michigan Stadium. Brandon complained that people had "wigged out" about a temporary display that was only in use for a stadium open house.
4) SKYWRITING IN LANSING: The athletic department paid $6,700 to a skywriting company in Sept. 2013 to write messages over several locations in southern Michigan, including Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. The Michigan State alumni association turned the intended insult into a positive, using it as the basis of a fundraiser that led to $40,000 in donations for ovarian-cancer research.
5) THE STUDENT SECTION: Brandon has spent the last two seasons fighting a running battle against the student government over his handling of Michigan Stadium’s student section. Last season, citing poor attendance, he made the section general admission, rather than keeping it arranged by seniority, then raised the prices to the highest in the Big Ten this year. He was forced to back down earlier this month, announcing a large cut in prices for 2015.
6) SHANE MORRIS: The football program underwent national scrutiny last month after quarterback Shane Morris was allowed to stay in the game against Minnesota, and then go back into the game, despite medical-staff concerns. While Brandon wasn’t directly involved in that part of the situation, he didn’t inform Brady Hoke that Morris had been diagnosed with a concussion before Hoke’s Monday press conference, then issued a press release after midnight that contradicted much of what Hoke had said.
7) ANGRY EMAILS: On Tuesday, MGoBlog, a very popular fan website dealing with Michigan sports, published a series of email interactions between Brandon and Wolverines fans. In the emails, which the site were able to verify with almost 100 percent certainty, Brandon used a bitter, dismissive tone toward fans, telling one to "stop drinking and go to bed" and advising others to find a different team. Brandon called the story "nonsense", but submitted his resignation to President Mark Schlissel on Wednesday.