AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Guralnick

The University of Michigan regents will discuss athletic director Dave Brandon and the recent controversy surrounding quarterback Shane Morris's concussion at their scheduled meeting Thursday.

By SI Wire
October 15, 2014

The University of Michigan regents will discuss athletic director Dave Brandon at their scheduled meeting Thursday, regent Denise Ilitch told WWJ-TV.

Brandon and Michigan coach Brady Hoke have taken significant criticism over their handling and response to the Shane Morris concussion controversy, which saw the sophomore quarterback be allowed to stay in and then re-enter the Wolverines' game against Minnesota on Sept. 27.

"The systems failed, and there are a lot of issues we have to review," Ilitch told WWJ CBS-TV in Detroit.

Following the game, during which Morris appeared visibly shaken after a hit to the head, Michigan didn't admit Morris had sustained a concussion until Brandon released a statement past midnight early the following Tuesday.

Hoke had indicated at a press conference Monday that Morris was fine except for a leg injury, and made several other comments that seemed contradictory to Brandon's eventual statement.

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Brandon didn't speak to the media until that Thursday. While his comments then and in the statement both apologized to Morris and admitted the program's fault in mishandling him, Brandon has taken criticism for his slow response to the incident.

Brandon has also been criticized for several other issues in recent years, including increased commercialization in the athletic department, the increasing ticket prices and an unwillingness to listen to students, including the implementation of a poorly received student seating policy at football games in 2013.

Students' and fans' frustration came to a head the Wednesday following the Morris incident, when a petition calling for Brandon's firing received over 10,000 signatures and a rally was held on campus calling for the same.

Michigan's regents have largely avoided commenting on Brandon, but the body turned down the athletic department's request in July to have fireworks at two football games in the upcoming season, with several regents making critical comments about the athletic department.

ESPN's Brett McMurphy has reported that someone on Michigan's behalf has reached out to three potential candidates to determine their interest in the Michigan athletic director job.

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Since the incident, Morris has dressed for Michigan's following two games but hasn't played, though it's unclear if he's remained off the field due to his concussion or his ankle injury. Third-string quarterback Russell Bellomy took snaps in lieu of Morris last Saturday against Penn State when starter Devin Gardner had to come off the field due to a leg injury.

Hoke said Wednesday that Gardner will start in the team's next game on Oct. 25 against Michigan State and that Morris is now healthy.

The Wolverines have gone 1-1 since the Minnesota game and are 3-4 overall this season.

Ben Estes

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