Ex-Michigan QB Michael Taylor criticizes program

The Detroit News
Iconic University of Michigan

When it comes to Michigan football, former Wolverines quarterback Michael Taylor is dismayed and blue.

He opened up Tuesday on WMGC-FM 105.1's "Ryan & Rico" show, where he lambasted UM football's "bad leadership," the direction of the program under athletic director David Brandon and coach Brady Hoke, and the way former players are treated.

The full interview can be heard here.

"Michigan football is not going in the right direction," said Taylor, who played for UM from 1987-89. "The leadership is bad. There are many more issues on and off the field than I care to talk about. It's sad."

The fiasco surrounding a Coca Cola promotion offering free tickets to the UM-Minnesota game is just the latest example of how the program has taken a downward turn, Taylor said. The deal offered two $75 tickets for every $3 Coke product purchased.

The offer was quickly rescinded and the athletic department called it a miscommunication.

"It's very embarrassing," said Taylor. "I'll put it this way. I would never have had thought in my lifetime you couldn't give away Michigan tickets because folks wouldn't buy them. That to me is down to the leadership there in the athletic department.

Taylor was upset players had to buy tickets for friends and family when players from previous Michigan teams have been honored at games.

"That's been the calling card for quite awhile now," he said. "To give us one ticket when you have empty seats in the stadium and most of us have families, I don't think that is doing our legacies any justice."

Jon Jansen, former All-American who is on Michigan's "former players committee," later appeared on 105.1 after Taylor to discuss what the committee is trying to do resolve those matters.

"I know Mike (Taylor) has some issues, and he's voiced those, and I'm going to reach out to him if not today, this week, to try and let him know what we're trying to do, what's going on with the program and try and resolve some of those issues."

Tickets is one area being looked into, Jansen said

"It may not be the answer they're looking for, but we have started the process of getting a policy together for how many tickets you can get, how you get them, sideline passes," Jansen said. "That's the biggest thing — guys want to be able to come back."

Taylor said he and former teammates talk about how the football program has lost its luster.

"What we've become is a propaganda football team, telling people how great we are when we're mediocre," he said. "When in your last 12 games, you only got victories over Northwestern, Appy (Appalachian) State, Indiana and Miami (Ohio), that is not good"