Prominent Michigan athletics donor Stephen M. Ross on Monday said he would not interfere or oppose a decision by new UM president Mark Schlissel to fire athletic director Dave Brandon, should Schlissel reach that conclusion.
"I don't think alumni should control universities," Ross told the Wall Street Journal. "We have a great president and he is running the university and not me."
Ross has previously expressed support for Brandon and in 2013 made a $200 million donation to UM – half of which was earmarked for athletic facilities projects and improvements. The Michigan athletic campus is named after Ross, as is the business school.
Ross indicated in the report that Schlissel has been talking to "a lot of people" about Brandon and his performance as athletic director.
Michigan's football team is 3-5 this season under coach Brady Hoke, whom Brandon hired in 2011 to take over for Rich Rodriguez, whom Brandon fired.
Brandon and the UM athletic department came under intense scrutiny last month when it was discovered that quarterback Shane Morris was reinserted into a game despite having suffered a concussion, though UM coaches did not know Morris had a concussion.
Ross, who also owns the Miami Dolphins, earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan in 1962. He has donated a reported $313 to UM.