Tag:Dave Brandon
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:14 pm
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Michigan dismisses WR Darryl Stonum

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Troubled Michigan wide receiver Darryl Stonum has been dismissed from the Wolverine program after another recent run-in with the law, Brady Hoke announced in a statement Tuesday.

"I love Darryl and wish him nothing but the absolute best," Hoke said.  "However, there is a responsibility and a higher standard you must be accountable to as a University of Michigan football student-athlete.  That does not and will not change.  It's unfortunate because I believe he has grown a great deal as a person since the beginning of the season.  My hope is that maturing process continues."

Hoke suspended Stonum for the entire 2011 season after a drunk driving arrest last May, Stonum's third incident involving law enforcement since enrolling at Michigan in 2008. Stonum was then ticketed Jan. 5 for driving on a revoked license, a violation of his probation and likely his third strike with Hoke.

"I appreciate everything the University of Michigan, [athletic director] Dave Brandon and Coach Hoke have done for me," Stonum said in the statement.  "I look forward to continuing my football career down the road, but more importantly, right now I'm focused on graduating from Michigan this Spring.  I understand only I am responsible for my actions. I'm sad about how all of this turned out, but I completely understand.  I love this school and my team and will miss them all greatly.  But I'll always be a Wolverine."

Despite his absence from the Wolverine receiving corps in the team's triumphant return to the BCS ranks in 2011, Stonum's dismissal remains a substantial blow for Al Borges' offense. One of the major prizes of Rich Rodriguez's well-regarded first class in Ann Arbor, the Stafford, Texas product broke through in 2010 with 49 receptions for 633 yards, good for second on the team in both categories. He also developed into a weapon on kick returns, setting a school record with 1,001 yards to go with a critical return-for-touchdown vs. Notre Dame.

The Wolverines are also now looking at a depth chart shy on the tall, rangy deep threats Borges prefers to use to stretch the field. Leading receiver Junior Hemingway has graduated, taking his Sugar Bowl MVP trophy with him and leaving the 5'8" Jeremy Gallon and 6'0" Roy Roundtree as the team's leading returning receivers. No other returning Michigan wide receiver caught more than 9 passes in 2011. Had Stonum returned, he likely would have played a major role in the Michigan offense.

But he won't, so Borges and Hoke will have to look elsewhere. If they can't find someone to fill the hole left by Hemingway, they (and Stonum) may regret Stonum's off-the-field choices even more than they do already.

For up-to-the-minute updates on Michigan football, follow Jeff Arnold's CBSSports.com Michigan RapidReports. 

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Posted on: October 4, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 6:31 pm
 

Michigan to reap $4.7m from Cowboys Stadium game

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Next year, Michigan is set to play Alabama at Dallas' landmark Cowboys Stadium, a state-of-the-art facility that is home to the Dallas Cowboys on Sundays and routinely hosts college football games at other times -- both in the regular season and in the Cotton Bowl every January.

That much is well-known.

Now, according to documents obtained by AnnArbor.com, we find out that one of the prime benefits to Michigan agreeing to that game is a $4.7 million paycheck:

According to a contract among ESPN, the Cowboys Stadium and the University of Michigan, the game will take place on Sept. 1, 2012. AnnArbor.com obtained the contract through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In addition to $4.7 million, U-M will receive 200 tickets, two luxury boxes and one field-level suite. The U-M marching band will receive free entry and reserved seating. U-M cheerleaders, dance team and mascots will also receive free entry.

Officials will provide approximately 25,000 tickets for Michigan to sell. 

This is the mother of all sweetheart deals, basically, and if AD Dave Brandon had declined the offer he would have deserved to be thrown into Lake Michigan. Here are the four things the deal has going for it:

1) It's like a major bowl game, with that kind of payout. The $4.7 million paycheck for Michigan is thrilling, because it's basically the most money anybody not running a BCS bowl is giving out for one football game. Currently, the biggest non-BCS payout in college football is $4.6 million, courtesy of the Capital One Bowl (no big surprise there), but even that's understating the importance of this payout, because... 

2) It's not a bowl game, so there's no bowl revenue sharing. Sharing may be caring, but greed greases the wheels of capitalism, and for Michigan to be able to keep all $4.7 million of its payout from the Alabama game is a huge deal. So yes, it's better than a typical bowl game, but more than that...

3) It's not the bowl game, so Michigan can still have one of those at the end of the year anyway. Remember, this is a season opener, so it doesn't replace anything about Michigan's postseason options. It's just basically a huge bonus that doesn't upset anything about the normal schedule of a season. Also...

4) It includes guarantees that bowl games just don't offer. Bowl games offer payouts, but they generally come with significant revenue-sapping restrictions; band members' seats have to be paid for, for example. Not so here, with all of the tertiary members of the football program (band, cheerleaders, etc.) getting free entry, plus an extra 200 seats. Y'know, for whoever. Pretty sweet.

Now, it's also worth noting that for as road games go, this is a mammoth payout, but it's not going to be enough to convince Michigan to do this instead of hold home games very often; keep in mind that from ticket sales alone, Michigan gets about that much from every home game, and that doesn't even factor in concessions, parking, and every other revenue generator centered around Game Day in Ann Arbor. So it's not really in Michigan's best interests to start looking away from the Big House very often, especially in seasons like 2012 when it "only" has two home games of the three remaining non-conference games (Michigan is at Notre Dame that year).

As "changes of pace" go, though, especially when it comes to putting your program on display in a vast but unusual market, this is just about exactly the way Michigan should do it.

Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 3:10 pm
 

Michigan to play Appalachian State in 2014

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

First, the facts: Michigan has agreed to play Appalachian State as the Wolverines' opening opponent of the 2014 season. Yes, this is the same Appalachian State that became the first-ever FCS team to beat a ranked opponent when they beat, yes, Michigan the opening week of the 2007 season.

You knew that. Which is why after the facts comes the opinion: this is the single dumbest scheduling decision we can remember, and the most craven one since Indiana sold out one of their own Big Ten home games to play at a "neutral site" full of Penn State fans.

Why is Michigan hosting the Mountaineers such a colossally horrid idea? Let us count the ways:

1. For weeks upon weeks leading up to the game, the talk surrounding Michigan won't be about the team's expectations for the new season or the Wolverines' star players or Michigan's Big Ten chances; it'll be about that time Michigan was ranked No. 5 in the country and lost to Appalachian State.

2. Viewers tuning in will no doubt hear much about the game they're watching, but they will hear just as much about the time the two teams played before and No. 5 Michigan lost to Appalachian State.

3. Even if Michigan wins, the story following the game will be "Michigan beats Appalachian State, not like that other time where they were No. 5 and lost to them." And if the game is close? "Michigan narrowly avoids losing to Appalachian State, like they already did that other time. Remember that?"

4. If lightning does indeed strike twice and the Wolverines lose, forget all the All-Americans and national titles and conference championships and tradition and everything; for any college football fan under the age of, say, 27, Michigan is now The Team That Loses to Appalachian State.

5. It's not possible for Michigan to earn "revenge" against the Mountaineers. The former is one of the most storied programs in college football history. The latter is an FCS program (a good one, mind) that, if they're lucky, might land in Conference USA the next few seasons. 30 Michigan wins can't equal the impact of one of Appalachian State's in the "series," much less the single one Michigan will likely earn in 2012. To suggest the Wolverines can "even the score" with Appalachian State is to also suggest the two programs are somehow equals, peers.

So why on earth would Michigan agree to a game that by its very existence -- "Michigan! Appalachian State! Round 2!" -- can't help but make that suggestion? Because people will watch. Because people will talk about Michigan. Because people already are talking about Michigan, and the game's just been scheduled. (You're reading this post right now, aren't you?)

Nevermind that the talk is about arguably the ugliest, lowest point in Michigan football history. Nevermind that viewers will be tuning in to watch Michigan play in the designated role of dumb overrated Goliath to the Mountainerrs' band of merry Davids. Nevermind that the rewards for winning are minimal, the cost of losing incalculable.

Nevermind all of that; it's free publicity, tons of it, and from what we can tell Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon truly believes there's no such thing as a bad version of it. He doesn't mind if you haul out all of those old 2007 tomatoes all over again, really--just so long as it's Michigan you're throwing them at, he's happy.

A postscript just to prove our point: doesn't this post feel incomplete without video of the Mountaineers' victory in the Big House? Yes, yes it does. So here you go:




Posted on: June 20, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 10:03 am
 

The Situation causes a stir in East Lansing

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It turns out that Dave Brandon isn't the only athletic director in the state of Michigan who has had to deal with some fan backlash in recent days. It seems tradition and mascots are merely peanuts when it comes to reality television stars.

On Friday Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis tweeted that Jersey Shore "star" Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino would be coming to a Michigan State game this season, and that he was a Spartans fan.



As you might expect, this caused quite a bit of backlash amongst Spartans fans that don't really want to be associated with The Situation or anybody who likes to spend their days tanning, drinking and fighting. So much so that Hollis had to get back on Twitter a little later to make sure that everyone understood that Sorrentino was coming to Spartan Stadium on his own, not as a guest of the school.



I also find Hollis' spelling of humorous to be humorous as well. As for The Situation, why he wants to attend a Michigan State game, I have no idea. 

Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: June 20, 2011 11:48 am
 

Michigan AD says mascot 'not an active project'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon mentioned the possibility of Michigan having a new mascot, something that the school hasn't had since 1937. It turns out that having living and breathing wolverines can be dangerous, as they aren't exactly the most cuddly creatures. Well, as you'd expect there's negative feedback when somebody in a program with as much tradition as Michigan's mentions making a change. After all, having a college kid wander the sidelines in a furry costume would tear the tradition of Michigan football apart from the seams, and a great curse would be unleashed upon Ann Arbor.

Well, don't worry, Michigan fans. Dave Brandon made sure to do a bit of backtracking on the mascot on Friday. He says that while the school is considering the idea, it's not an active project.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says the school has discussed the possibility of a mascot for the Wolverines, but that it's "not an active project."

There was a bit of a stir when Brandon was quoted in the online magazine Michigan Today saying the university is "interested in doing a mascot but it has to be something that fans love."

Brandon tells The Associated Press that a mascot is something Michigan has discussed because the school wants to connect with younger fans. However, he says there's "no timetable" and no current project to come up with one.

(wipes brow) Phew, that was a close one, wasn't it?

I hope Brandon tables this idea for the sake of his own job. If former Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson taught anyone anything while at the school -- and it wasn't defense -- it was that bringing a mascot to Michigan will only lead to losing your job.

Posted on: June 10, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Notre Dame, Michigan officially unveil uniforms

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Unveiling special uniforms to be worn during a game isn't supposed to be that complicated of a process, but in recent weeks the folks at Michigan seemed to make it one. As Jerry Hinnen pointed out earlier on Friday, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon denied that leaked images of the uniforms Michigan would wear in its game against Notre Dame this season were the jerseys that Michigan would actually be wearing. Well, then Michigan unveiled the uniforms on Friday, and guess what? Except for one minor difference, the uniforms were basically the same as the leaked photos from last month.



You can head on over to MGoBlog to see even more photos from the unveiling if you'd like.

There won't be nearly as much intrigue with the jerseys Notre Dame is going to wear. Notre Dame released photos of the uniform it will be wearing against Michigan, and since it came from the school's official website, I'm confident that these are actually the uniforms.

 

I have to admit, the Michigan uniforms look a lot better when they're actually being worn than they did in the released photos. As for Notre Dame's, they look just about the same as the ones the school has always worn.  
Posted on: June 9, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Michigan AD Brandon likely a liar about uniforms

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

You wouldn't think a simple enough story like "Michigan's going to wear throwback uniforms for their historic night game against Notre Dame" would become a sordid tale of intrigue and deceit. But then again, these are college football uniforms we're talking about. They're that big a deal.

You might have noticed as much when the Detroit Free-Press first began the furor on May 20, by publishing this leaked image of the "model" for the throwback jerseys:



Most Wolverine fans were less than thrilled, since the uniforms didn't appear to actually throw back to any specific previous Michigan look. But not to fear: Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was later asked, point-blank, if the Free-Press model was an "accurate representation" of the planned Notre Dame game uniform. His response? "No."

But with the unofficial unveiling of the throwback look set for tomorrow night -- it's even streaming online, if your idea of an exciting Friday evening is watching a media-centric announcement about college football uniforms over your computer, and whose isn't?  -- it turns out that Brandon may not have been entirely honest about that. In fact, he probably wasn't being honest at all, to judge from this screen capture from the website of local Ann Arbor retailer the M-Den:



The item was pulled from the site almost immediately, with the M-Den's Twitter feed later apologizing for an "error" and any "confusion" it might have caused. But with the apology pointedly not stating that the item was not the throwbacks in question and a promotional image from manufacturers Adidas showing the same block "M" as above, the chances of Michigan appearing against the Irish in anything other than the jersey pictured are mighty, mighty slim.

Which would make Brandon a liar. The image first published by the Free-Press was, in fact, an "accurate representation" of the planned throwback design; aside from the addition of the number on the front left chest (probably due to NCAA regulations which require numbers on both sides of the uniform), the jerseys are identical. (The coloration in the images is also different, but since Michigan just uses the one shade of "blue," that's easily chalked up to the vagaries of leaked digital imagery.)

Does it matter that Brandon was less-than-truthful about this? If he was ever going to lie about something, there's few things less damaging to lie about than a uniform issue. (The brand of sausages available this season at Big House concessions, or Brady Hoke's shoe size, maybe.) In the realm of stuff-that-really-actually-matters, no, Brandon's fibbing about a jersey is not a big deal.

But Wolverine fans are already more than a little hacked off about the uniforms in the first place. Learning that the athletic director responsible is perfectly willing to lie to their faces over any issue -- could he lie about something bigger next time? -- probably won't do much to help win them back over.

HT: MGoBlog.

Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: May 27, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Not so fast on the Michigan throwbacks

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon talked about plans to expand Michigan Stadium to 120,000 seats, but that wasn't the only information about Michigan football that he shared on Thursday. Last week we did a post about the throwback uniforms that Michigan would be wearing in its annual meeting with Notre Dame this season as reported by the Detroit Free-Press. The jerseys were about as throwback as throwback gets, but according to Brandon, those aren't the uniforms that Michigan will be wearing.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was asked during an interview on WTKA-AM (1050) this morning if that was an accurate representation of U-M's uniform.

"No," Brandon said.

Brandon said Michigan's uniform would combine "elements of a couple different eras," but emphasized that the final product has not been revealed.

"We're excited about rolling them out" at the appropriate time, Brandon said. 

Which is fine by me because, honestly, those things are ugly. Not to mention, they're not actually throwbacks since Michigan has never actually worn those uniforms. Those were apparently just Adidas' interpretation of what Michigan throwbacks should look like. And of course, since it's Adidas, you've got to throw some stripes on those things for no reason. If Notre Dame will be wearing actual throwback jerseys in the game, then Michigan should be too. 

 
 
 
 
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