Dave Brandon resigns as Michigan athletic director
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has resigned from his position, university president Mark Schlissel announced at a press conference Friday.
According to Schlissel, Brandon offered to resign and he accepted Brandon's resignation on Friday morning, saying he agreed with the athletic director's decision.
Jim Hackett, a former Michigan football player under legendary coach Bo Schembechler in the 1970s and ex-CEO of furniture maker Steelcase, was named interim athletic director. Schlissel said he and Hackett will work together to hire the next permanent AD.
Brandon's resignation comes after weeks of scrutiny over his handling of the Shane Morris concussion controversy and the general policies of the athletic department.
Morris, a sophomore quarterback, was allowed to keep playing in and then re-enter Michigan's game against Minnesota on Sept. 27 despite later being found to have had a concussion, and Brandon was criticized for a delayed and underwhelming response to the incident, as was head coach Brady Hoke.
Students and alumni have also criticized Brandon for continually increasing ticket prices, the department's failed marketing tactics and other unpopular athletic department decisions, criticism which increased after the Morris incident. The unrest led to a student-created petition and a rally on campus calling for Brandon's firing the week after the Minnesota game.
At a regents meeting earlier this month, in his first public statements about the situation, Schlissel said he was "deeply disappointed" with the athletic department's handling of the Morris incident and that he was reviewing the larger problems within the athletic department.
In wake of the complaints, Brandon said he needed to repair the relationship between the athletic department and the student body. Brandon and the university's student government then announced last week that student football ticket prices were being reduced by 37 percent for the 2015 season.
After first saying last month that he believed Brandon should keep his job, Stephen Ross, Michigan's largest donor and the owner of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, said this week that he wouldn't interfere with any decision regarding Brandon's future.
Brandon has been Michigan's athletic director since 2010. One of his first major decisions was to fire then-football coach Rich Rodriguez, who Brandon replaced with Hoke.
Hoke is also facing questions about his future after overseeing a decline in Michigan's record each year since he took over in 2011. The Wolverines are 3-5 this season after losing 35-11 to Michigan State last Saturday.
- Ben Estes