According to an ESPN report, the University of Michigan regents will be getting together in a previously scheduled meeting on Thursday to discuss Athletic Director Dave Brandon. According to the report, ESPN’s Brent McMurphy was informed that someone on Michigan‘s behalf has reached out to three athletic directors to gauge their interest in a potentially open job.
It’s important to note that the regents cannot actually be the ones to fire Brandon. That decision would have to come from Michigan’s president, Mark Schlissel, who took office on July 1. Schlissel released a statement last month to express his disappointment in the way in which quarterback Shane Morris’ head injury was dealt with during the game against Minnesota.
“As the leader of our university community, I want to express my extreme disappointment in the events surrounding the handling of an on-field injury to one of our football players, Shane Morris,” Schlisell said in the statement.
Michigan regent Denise Illitch spoke with a local television station, WWJ CBS-TV in Detroit, revealing the fuel behind the meeting.
“The system failed, and there are a lot of issues we have to review,” Illitch said during her appearance.
Even though the regents cannot fire Brandon directly, this is a move they need to be pursuing after they meet on Thursday. Brandon’s reckless approach to the way things operate at the University of Michigan has driven most to their tipping point, which is exactly why students gathered a couple weeks ago in a rally calling for his firing.
Much like Brady Hoke, I do believe Brandon is a good man. He’s a man who often times lets personal interest seep into his decision making, but it would not be just to call him an evil being who’s trying to bleed Michigan dry. With that said, though, there is absolutely no reason to allow this regime to continue, especially after what we saw on the field a few weeks ago with a young kid—a student, a child—being allowed to play through a concussion. Brandon was not on the sideline; he didn’t make that call. But ultimate responsibility falls back on the athletic director in these cases, and it should be serving as the final straw.
Something positive needs to come out of this meeting on Thursday, and a statement saying the regents still have faith in Brandon is not going to cut it for very many people. Progress needs to be made. The opportunity is there, and the regents need to take full advantage of it.
Tyler Fenwick is the managing editor of TheBigHouseReport.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.