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WATCH: University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon speaks at the Detroit Economic Club

 

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Local News / Sports

Friday, 26 August, 2011 2:24 AM

Dave Brandon addresses scandal in college football at Detroit Economic Club meeting

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

U-M Athletic Director David Brandon and Sportscaster Jim Brandstatter inside Michigan Stadium on Aug. 24, 2011.

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

|

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Being reacquainted with the Detroit Economic Club for another year, University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon again appeared at Michigan Stadium to discuss the Wolverines’ future and the recent controversies surrounding college athletics. How he was presented such inquiries was not only unorthodox, but also quizzical to a degree.

Interviewed by sportscaster and event moderator Jim Brandstatter, the content of Brandon’s questions were based on topical categories selected by the AD for mock cash prizes a la Jeopardy. Among such named categories were “Wall Street” (concerning U-M and other athletic institutions’ financial intake), “Hiring and Firing” (personnel and athlete affairs on the team), and “Nostradamus” (predictions).

In making such choices, Brandon opened up about the latest moves Michigan made since the last college football season, the scandals that erupted around several programs including rival Ohio State and the questions they raise about player support, and the matter of organization among NCAA conferences later in the decade and beyond.

Regarding what the motivation was behind such instigated players’ decisions on accepting gifts, Brandon bluntly declared he did not “believe any of them did it out of necessity,” and that they knew the rules and went ahead with such decisions out of interest.

When asked whether such issues could be resolved by a “pay for play” system, Brandon labeled such options as “A bunch of crap. They won’t make a living doing what they’re doing.” He added that the model for U-M was to motivate such athletes in excelling in programs beyond the playing field, and that establishing such a system could only be afforded to the more frequently playing athletes.

Even then, Brandon said, such an option would put overall programs further and further in financial strain. “Then they’re going to get agents and lawyers… and then they’re going to start unions.”

In the end, Brandon noted, it came down to giving incoming Michigan students the proper, permissible support in continuing their education at the University. “These kids are in a position where they’re vulnerable.”

Keeping the matter of vulnerability fresh, Brandon was also asked how the departure of Rich Rodriguez and entrance of Brady Hoke as head coaches affects the motivation of those who played under the latter plus incoming freshmen who expressed interest in playing before the switch was made.

He immediately affirmed how he “made a decision that we weren’t going in the right direction,” but agreed that it led to a process he labeled as “expensive, it’s cumbersome. You’ve got 18-19 year-olds looking at you and going, ‘Okay, who’s our coach?’”

In undertaking the process that eventually led to Hoke’s hiring, Brandon mentioned how he reviewed each candidate without revealing names. “I created a template with fourteen criteria. I had this template in front of me and I would score out each candidate.”

As for pulling the “Nostradamus” category, Brandon closed that Hoke’s tenure was sure to build a new sense of defensive motivation among those playing for the Wolverines, thanks to the presence of Greg Mattison and the team’s new familiarity with the Ohio State rivalry’s importance.

As for what will happen this November, Brandon remained contemptuous of proclaiming outcomes, yet noted that the countdown clock to OSU in Schembechler Hall continues to confirm that there’s motivation in seeking victory at Michigan.

Related Story: U-M Athletic Director David Brandon discusses the future of Michigan football

 

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Attendees were mingling prior to the start of the meeting.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Detroit Economic Club President & CEO Beth Chappell welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Bill Popp, Vice President of Global Sales at Dell Inc., served as the presiding officer.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

About 300 DEC members, guests and news media attended the meeting.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

It was the second annual kickoff luncheon for U of M's football program.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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