Open Letter to UM President Mark Schlissel

Dear Dr. Schlissel,

I have been a Michigan football fan from the time when I first walked into Michigan Stadium at the age of five. When attending UofM in the late seventies I never missed a game, and I’ve missed than less than three dozen televised games in the last 30 years. As a well-informed fan I know the team and I know the program and I know that both are in trouble.

If I were in your shoes here’s what I would do:

1. Without delay fire Dave Brandon. The Michigan Athletic Department has become a Grand Central Station for public relations gaffes and both Brandon and his department have become an embarrassment to the university. Fire Brandon with cause and hire a top-notch law firm to renegotiate/void his $3 million buyout – a buyout he does not deserve.

2. Fire Brady Hoke, also without delay. Coach Hoke is in way over his head and has no business coaching a major college football program. Evidence is everywhere. Stop the bleeding! I used to say that Hoke was instilling mediocrity. No longer – the program is in complete disarray.

3. With a new athletic director in place and after a proper search, hire the best available coach in the nation. In the words of Greg Garno of the The Michigan Daily, "[Michigan] needs someone who can coach better than the guy across the field. They need someone who can bring a fresh idea and a new idea to a program so attached to its past."

Though I am critical of both Brandon’s and Hoke’s job performances such is not the reason behind my suggesting their immediate firings. Neither is the latest debacle in East Lansing, or Coca-Cola/ticket-gate, or Shane-gate, or Stake-gate, or a 5-11 record in their last 16 games.

It is a matter of honor.

At the Monday press conference after the Minnesota loss Brady Hoke said Shane Morris hadn’t suffered a concussion and that he hadn’t spoken to his boss. At 1 a.m. on Tuesday Brandon sent out a press release and contradicted his coach, stating that Morris had suffered a "probable mild concussion" and that Brandon had been in constant communication with his head coach and everyone else involved.

One, if not both, "Michigan Men" have publicly lied.

The University of Michigan is the kind of institution that should demand better. I call on you restore order and dignity in Ann Arbor.


Robert Hamburger

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