University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel is someone over the past month who’s received a lot of criticism. That’s what happens when a Big Ten football season is cancelled. The lack of transparency from Schlissel and the conference as a whole into their voting process and reluctance to produce medical data has drawn ire.
At Saturday’s #LetThemPlay protest, attended by parents, players, and coaches, head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters that he hasn’t been in direct correspondence with Schlissel sending the president texts and emails.
Jim Harbaugh has said he has sent Mark Schlissel evidence of why Michigan should play. When asked if Schlissel has replied or reached out, said Warde Manuel is the only one who speaks to Schlissel directly.— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) September 5, 2020
Harbaugh said he’s texted and emailed U-M president Mark Schlissel, but they haven’t spoken.— Austin Meek (@byAustinMeek) September 5, 2020
Harbaugh when asked if he's had any conversation with UM president Mark Schlissel: "I have had none. We’ve texted." Said UM AD Warde Manuel talks to Schlissel— angelique (@chengelis) September 5, 2020
Whether one believes there should be a season or not is a separate issue and a discussion worth having. However, it’s quite odd at this juncture that Schlissel wouldn’t respond to a text or email from the highest paid employee at the university.
Multiple players have went on record stating they’ve never seen Schlissel at the team facility, nor has Schlissel ever talked to the team as a group. Maybe in prior years this has been a completely acceptable practice, but this isn’t a regular year. The football team continues to test negative for the coronavirus, having zero positive cases in over a month, but the players and staff want to know what’s going on. They want feedback.
It seems like this article could have been avoided somewhere this month. The kind thing to do sure seems like picking up a phone or responding to a question at this point. Schlissel has his work cut out for him, his hands are in a lot of baskets at once, but the football program is integral to the university and the town of Ann Arbor. In times like these students and student-athletes are looking at Schlissel for guidance and leadership. We could use a little more leadership.