This fall has been a rarity in Michigan Athletic history with the recent struggles of our beloved football team. With all the negativity engulfing the campus, it has resulted in the need for a scapegoat to pin the losses on. Unfortunately students and even some faculty members have found it most reasonable to point the finger on turmoil of the fall towards Athletic Director Dave Brandon. From rallies to petitions, Mr. Brandon has been faced with all in an up front manner that no person deserves. Regardless of how well our athletic teams perform in their respective seasons, there is no excuse to display frustration in such a disrespectful manner. As a student-athlete of this school, the way in which the student body and alumni handled this adversity, which became the center piece of the season, was a distraction that didn’t solve the true problem at hand. That problem was the fact that Michigan football isn’t normally what is known to be.
Yes I do agree there was something that needed to be done about our athletic department, but not in the fashion it was performed. The culture of Michigan Athletics since Brandon’s hiring, was treated as more of business rather than the focus of benefitting the student body and alumni. Therefore I wasn’t surprised when the times finally got tough that it became so easy for people to use Brandon’s name as the cancer that infected the University of Michigan. Although Brandon didn’t make the University of Michigan, one of 26 Division one programs that actually made more than spent in the last year. He turned Michigan into a haven for prospect recruits to strongly consider when it came to their final decision. However, the situation with quarterback, Shane Morris, ultimately sealed the fate of the once beloved Athletic Director.
Recently in our Political Science class we read and discussed a piece, Leviathan, by Hobbes in which addressed the actions of a man when it came to his rights and liberties in chapter 14. The chapter spoke a lot about the way in which a man’s action define a lot about his character. It got really specific in the sense that with each action comes a motive behind it. And with said motive results in the how the outcome is displayed and portrayed to those affected by each decision. Through this article I made a connection to the situation here at Michigan. “Whenever a man transferreth his right, or renoucneth it; it is either in consideration of some right reciprocally transferred to himself; or for some other good he hopeth for thereby.” (Hobbes) Through this quote, it speaks of what Dave Brandon’s intentions were when he finally decided to resign. Brandon heard of what was being said about him and the decisions he made while in his position of power, therefore when he felt it was the right time he renounced his position for the benefit of the public. He also did this to save himself for his pride and reputation were beginning to be tainted as each new article and petition was published by angry Wolverines. “..nothing else but the security of a man’s person, in his life, and in the means of so preserving life, as not be weary of it.” (Hobbes)
Although Dave Brandon was far from the best when it came to being an Athletic Director, he still made strides to bring Michigan pride. He always had what he thought was the best interest of the school in mind when it came to whatever decision he made regarding athletics. And that is all anyone can really ask for, at the end of the day when you know that your best effort was put forward then there is nothing to be ashamed. Even though Brandon’s departure from Michigan wasn’t the way he expected to say goodbye, he still willed be missed and remembered for his effort to help make Michigan truly, “the leaders and the best.”