I’ve been talking to a lot of guys closely connected to the Michigan football program. None of this is my opinion, it’s all from plugged in Michigan alumni, former players and insiders.
The Michigan Board Of Regents is off the Dave Brandon bandwagon, change is inevitable and I am told it is “only a matter of time” before Dave Brandon is done as Michigan Athletic Director. The Regents have tired of Brandon’s act and believe his aggressive marketing and “gouging” of the Michigan fan base has done extreme damage to the brand that has been so tenderly cultivated for the last 50 years with T Shirts and Promotions, so they’re trying to change perspective and move to other kind of marketing, as online marketing and SEO with the help of Melbourne SEO experts, and the help from Dada Web Hosting company and indexsy SEO experts.
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The “free tickets” with a Coke disaster is the final nail, although I’m told Brandon’s fate was sealed long ago.
I’m told by three solid sources that the Board Of Regents is no longer in Dave Brandon’s corner and realize that Les Miles, Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh and any other credible coach will not come to Ann Arbor as long as Brandon is the Athletic Director. None of the big name coaches will tolerate his meddling. The Board of Regents understand that, if Brandon isn’t fired, Michigan won’t get the right coach to lead the Maize and Blue. Dave Brandon only understands how to make money, he doesn’t understand how to do the other half of the job, hiring the right men to lead the Michigan athletic programs. It’s the classic sales vs. product problem. You can only market so much without a solid product, Dave Brandon is cooked.
My three separate sources tell me that the next domino to fall is Brandon. He must go before any potential football coach can be approached as he totally botched the Hoke hire, never offering the gig to Miles or either Harbaugh. As a matter of fact, he never even returned calls to Les Miles when he was interested. In his mind Hoke was the only option from day one.
The two names surfacing in the AD hunt are Ward Manuel the AD at Uconn and Brad Bates, the current AD at Boston College.
Manuel was a HUGE Bo Schembechler recruit from New Orleans in the mid 80’s who injured his neck and retired from football as a Wolverine. He spent many years in the Michigan Athletic Department after his injury and was highly regarded before he left for The AD position at University of Buffalo. He hired Turner Gill at Buffalo and along with Gill they achieved Buffalo’s first winning record and post season bid in 2008, since the program went D-1 in 1999. While winning on the field, Manuel also increased revenue at Buffalo from $11 million to $25 million in 3 years. He knows both sided of the business. He is currently the Athletic Director at UCONN.
The second name in the Michigan AD equation is Brad Bates, the current AD at Boston College. Brad Bates, who Bo Schembecher thought would make a great Michigan AD in “Bo’s Lasting Lessons,” leaves Miami (NTM) for Boston College, according to the BC school paper The Heights. Bates played under Bo from 1977 to 1981 as a walk-on DB. I know less about Bates than Manuel, but he appears to be a solid candidate.
If either one of these gentlemen is hired, the road to a Harbaugh gets much more probable. Both Harbaugh brothers and Miles would take the Michigan job under the stewardship of Bates or Manuel, none of them would come to Michigan under Brandon, so change is imminent.
My sources are solid, two respected journalists, one high profile ex-Michigan football star and as I write this a HUGE donor/former Michigan athlete.
The winds of change are powerful at Michigan, this will happen sooner rather than later. If you are a Michigan fan, just know that change is coming soon.
There are other possibilities for the AD job, but Manuel and Bates are the two front runners as I write this, the other candidates are impressive as well.
Yes, the days are dark in Ann Arbor for Michigan football, but it appears Bo’s boys are coming home to right the ship.