College analysts react to Dave Brandon’s resignation
Reaction to Dave Brandon’s resignation from college football analysts Gerry DiNardo, Marcus Ray and Jim Miller:
Gerry DiNardo, BTN analyst and former coach at Indiana, LSU and Vanderbilt:
“Dave Brandon is a former football player, was hugely successful as a CEO, loves the University of Michigan. Then (he hires) Brady, who worked for Bo and worked for Lloyd and pounded the table at the press conference ‘Ohio.’ It looked like it was a perfect storm in favor of Michigan and now it looks like maybe it is the perfect storm in the face of Michigan.
“The most important thing here is … this means it has become a crisis on campus and that is why it is being made the day before a football game. It’s always very confusing for the staff members, the coaching staffs, once there is a change in leadership in the department. … It will be interesting how it impacts all of the coaches, especially the coaches of the major programs.
“I don’t think we got to this point only because of the on-field issues. I think it’s more than that. We’ve said this for almost a year now, we’re always talking about something at Michigan that is outside the lines. There’s been emails between Dave Brandon and some supporters; the concussion issue; we had an announcement at 1 a.m. There’s been other issues. Some people think it is more corporate America than it is an athletic department; student tickets have been an issue. So I think the athletic department has gone through many things that it has never gone through before. This has always been a program that you talked about the athletes, you talked about tradition. Now we talk about everything but those things.
“All you have to do is look at Mark Hollis by way of example at Michigan State. He’s an athletic director, and a fit for an athletic director is as important as a fit for a coach. What about this coach: Is he a good fit? Well, this was supposed to be the perfect fit. Dave Brandon is a Michigan grad. He played football, he was a walk-on for Bo Schembechler. It looked like a perfect fit and maybe it wasn’t.
“The fit has to be someone that gets Michigan back to its roots and you would have thought that someone who came from the roots would have brought them back to the roots. It should be about the athletes, it should be about the teams, it should be about the sports -- not all the things we have been talking about maybe going on three years now.”
Marcus Ray, BTN analyst and former Michigan player:
“I’m not surprised at all. It was a bit abrupt and I thought Michigan would make the decision after the season just so it wouldn’t be a distraction for the football team. But for students, former players, a lot of alumni are definitely pleased with this decision. Mr. Brandon did a lot of good things for the university, but when you try and control a lot of things, bad things can happen.”
Ray on whether Hoke will be fired:
“I’m not sold on that and you have to very careful with this next hire. You have to have a guy ready to go and Michigan did give itself some time -- 6-8 weeks to at least hire an athletic director that can bring in a coach. But if you bring in the wrong guy, nothing is going to change at Michigan and it could get worse. I think Brady Hoke can win if he has the right players and the right assistant coaches. So it’s not all over with just yet. Until Michigan can get the right guy, Brady Hoke will stay in that chair.”
Jim Miller, BTN analyst and former Michigan State player:
“I think the resignation of David Brandon is the clear path for a new coach. It will be for basically a new AD that will be able to select his guy in leading the University of Michigan, and to me it has to be a Michigan man. It has to be somebody that understand the politics and the policies of the Big Ten. It has to be somebody familiar with the university that knows the fan base, knows donations.
“Some other people have talked about thinking outside the box, but I just think much like what Michigan State did a few years ago bringing back Mark Hollis, he had a great understanding of everything and look where it’s gone. That’s why I think it’s critical for Michigan to bring in somebody familiar with not only that university, but the Big Ten as a whole.
“It somewhat disappoints me that Michigan has fallen so low. This is one of the storied programs throughout the nation and they’ve struggled, and they’ve struggled since 2006. It’s important for them to get it right and get the University of Michigan back up to the standards that we’re all accustomed to.
Miller on why Brandon failed:
“I think it’s leadership. I don’t think he’s got a good understanding of the inter-workings to really carry on that tradition. Things that have happened have been atypical (at Michigan).”