Every single varsity coach at the University of Michigan signed a letter in support of athletic director Dave Brandon and sent it to Michigan president Mark Schlissel five days after the Shane Morris incident, according to The Detroit News‘ Angelique Chengelis.
The school, Brandon and Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke came under fire after Morris was allowed to come back into a game against the Minnesota Gophers, albeit for one play, after suffering a concussion. The school admitted its mistake and issued an apology over a “serious lack of communication” between the medical and coaching staffs.
The university’s coaches in every sport were still unanimous in their support of the athletic director despite the mistake.
Below is the full statement of support for Brandon:
“With all the negative voices displaying their displeasure with University of Michigan Director of Athletics Dave Brandon, every head coach of a varsity athletic team at U-M would like to counter those voices with a letter of unanimous support.
“Immediately after Dave Brandon was named Director of Athletics in 2010, he raised the bar of success for all sports, their staffs and most important, the Michigan student-athletes. The continued improvement of the athletic facilities, increased support staff, higher quality travel conditions and a greater emphasis on academic support of all of our 900 plus student-athletes are just some of the advancements we have been a part since 2010. New initiatives and more individual mentoring are now in place to ensure our student-athletes are academically prepared. Programs to create opportunities for career planning, future employment and post-graduate advancement are now an integral aspect of the student-athlete experience at U-M.
“One of our guiding principles of this Michigan Athletic Department culture is to create positive academic and athletic experiences for our student-athletes and prepare them to be successful in life. Now, our student-athletes for the revenue and Olympic sports feel more prepared, valued, and appreciated.
“The University of Michigan prides itself on developing future leaders, and this Michigan Athletic Department with the leadership of Dave Brandon is developing men and women to be the ‘Leaders and Best.'”
Those calling for Brandon’s resignation and Hoke’s replacement goes beyond one incident, though.
This is primarily an issue with the football team. Michigan prides itself as a football school. And the football team is 10-10 in its last 20 games under Hoke, who was a Brandon hire.
There is also a widening chasm between Brandon and the school’s student body. The students called for Brandon’s resignation during a recent Board of Regents meeting.
While Michigan’s athletic director may have the support of his coaches, the crumbling image of Michigan football could ultimately be his downfall after four years at the university.