Chants of “Down with Dave,” “Fire Brandon” and “Hire Harbaugh” rang loudly about the University of Michigan on Tuesday evening as protestors gathered to express their unhappiness with recent events that have been unfolding within the football program. Roughly 1,000 people—mostly students—showed up to protest, including freshman Korey Burdman, who shared his account with TBHR.
“I got there around 5:45,” said Burdman, who is studying Econ with hopes of being accepted to the Ross School of Business. “There weren’t many people [there] yet but a lot of cameras. By 6:00 it was pretty crowded and chants of ‘Fire Brandon’ started.”
This whole rally was started by a member of the famous Michigan blog MGoBlog.com, who called for the protest shortly after Brandon released a statement regarding the medical status of sophomore quarterback Shane Morris early Tuesday morning. Fans, already outraged about the mishandling of Morris’ situation, were only further tempted to lash out against the athletic department.
One character at the rally who drew a lot of attention on social media was the student dressed in an Ohio State sweatshirt.
Burdman approached him for an explanation. “I asked the guy in the OSU hoodie why he was wearing it, and he said, ‘Until they’re gone (Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon), I’m not wearing any Michigan sh*t.'” It was an interesting and maybe even risky move to put on and flaunt around in an Ohio State sweatshirt while attending a rally at the University of Michigan, but the point was taken and well received.
At around 6:30—about a half hour into the protest—the crowd began moving to University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel’s home on South University. That’s where most of the pictures circulating around social media were taken. The crowd was dense and passionate, as you’d expect to be the case at any protest on a college campus. On the lawn and on the sidewalk, protestors were loud in expressing their discontent.
“One guy started speaking,” Burdman told me, “but he didn’t have a megaphone so I couldn’t hear him. He was getting loud cheers, though.
“Then a guy went up on the steps of his (Schlissel’s) house with a megaphone and gave a speech. Obviously the main idea was about firing Brandon.”
There was at least one police officer on the scene at Schlissel’s home, but the crowd remained peaceful the whole time, never warranting intervention. The crowd began to disperse at around 7:00, and the buzz quieted to whispers and whimpers, but the damage was done. University of Michigan students came together as one and rallied for a cause that was so rudely ignored.
One quote Burdman heard that really got the people going: “I’m proud of history. I don’t want Dave Brandon being a part of that history.”
*All photos courtesy of Korey Burdman