Ann Arbor — Based on the wording in former Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon's resignation agreement with the university, we may never know what fully transpired in the final days that led to his departure from a job he loved.
Brandon, who had been subjected to growing criticism and scrutiny in recent weeks, has resigned as athletic director. U-M president Mark Schlissel made the announcement at a news conference Friday.
According to the agreement signed Thursday by Schlissel and Brandon, all parties involved agree they "will keep all matters that led up to the negotiation of the agreement confidential."
What is known is that Brandon will receive $3 million in monthly installments — $700,000 (Nov. 1, 2014-June 30, 2015), $950,000 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016), $750,000 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017) and $600,000 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018).
Brandon, who was named athletic director on Jan. 5, 2010, after a long career as CEO of Domino's, signed an extension to his original contract on July 23, 2012. The deal extended him through 2018 and was worth $5.5 million in base salary.
He did not reply to a request for comment Friday.
With this agreement, he also will receive health-care benefits until June 30, 2015, and retain the use of two cars until Dec. 31, 2014.
He also is entitled to two Regents Emeritus seats for Michigan football, hockey and men's basketball games.
Schlissel said Friday that he would not deal in hypotheticals when asked whether he was prepared to fire Brandon had he not chosen to resign during a Wednesday meeting with the president.
"He and I have been working closely, as you might imagine, through the controversial events of recent weeks," Schlissel said. "We've discussed it iteratively the best way to set the athletic program in a stronger and positive direction. We've been working closely together on that. It was Dave who mentioned and raised the prospect of his decision to resign, and as I mentioned, this was a couple of days ago, and I accepted that decision."
Schlissel said he could not name one particular factor that led to Brandon making his decision to resign, but he did rule out the influence of the eight Regents in determining Brandon's future at Michigan.
"All I can say with 100 percent certainty and honesty is politics has absolutely nothing to do with the way an athletic department is run within a university," he said. "Not in my book anyway."
Highlights from Dave Brandon's separation agreement with Michigan:
* He will be paid a total of $3 million in four installments between now and June 30, 2018.
* He will receive health care benefits through June 30, 2015.
* He will retain two Regents Emeritus seats for Michigan football, hockey, and men's basketball.
* He will retain use of two cars through Dec. 31, 2014.
* UM is prohibited from releasing statements containing disparaging comments about Brandon.
* Brandon is prohibited from releasing statements containing disparaging comments UM Regents, employees, representatives or agents.