Of the things he says, a few are of note:
I'm told that we will speak. That time and place has not been identified...First of all, Miles knows exactly what the substance of the meeting is going to be. We all know what the substance of the meeting will be. But this sounds like a man that's not interested in leaving. He mentions the connection that he and his family have created to LSU and how happy he is there. Sure, this is exactly what coaches are supposed to say shortly before actually leaving, but given the general noises coming from "sources", my guess is that Miles is not an option. All of which is point to one very disturbing trend: Dave Brandon is completely lost.
It's hard for me to speculate the substance of that meeting...
I spent my day today with a number of underclassmen. I want to return right here. I am extremely happy here...
I think it's best left that way. I don't know that there's anything more to say...
There's no more information than what I have just shared with you.
Commenter Lankownia and I discussed this last week. He (?) was decidedly down on Brandon:
The most fascinating thing about this process is that even though Dave Brandon has shown no evidence whatsoever of being good at his job (at least as it relates to football) people want to keep giving him the benefit of the doubt that he has a master plan behind the scenes.I have qualms about some of the things Lankownia says here, as well as later in the discussion, but I'm coming around to the sentiment. In Brandon's first real test as Michigan's athletic director, he is doing an exceptionally poor job. The NCAA violations were handled well, but he did little more than present a good front. Like President Obama ("He's such a good speaker"), I don't care if he can speak well in public; I want him to be good at his job. Brandon's process and ineptitude are really starting to worry me.
Here's an idea: He doesn't. If he did he wouldn't have waited till December and he would have a coach in place, or nearly in place when he announced the firing of Rodriguez.
Michigan fans are beaten down and desperate and putting all their hopes in a savior. Dave Brandon isn't who Michigan fans imagine/want him to be.
Brandon has done what he said and said what he's done. I don't know why you'd assume he made headway in coaching negotiations last night when it took him hours yesterday and another meeting today to reach a conclusion that everyone saw as inevitable in November. Brandon said he made the decision last night. I doubt he did that while negotiating a contract for the new coach.
During the onset of the coaching search, Straight Bangin' sent an open letter to Mary Sue Coleman regarding the situation:
Instead, David Brandon insisted on pursuing his own timeline and perpetuating the charade that he only could conduct an evaluation of Rich Rodriguez after the Gator Bowl. By wasting so much time, Brandon left Rodriguez in limbo, destroyed the pending recruiting class, and worst all, managed to let Harbaugh slip away. The additional month of waiting forfeited Michigan's time advantage and allowed NFL teams to actively enter the fray once the NFL regular season ended. Brandon's awkward and unnecessary process seems either disrespectful toward his industry's landscape, or worse, completely ignorant of it. Barring an unexpected triumph, such as hiring Bill Bellichick or Nick Saban, this episode will confirm the fear that Mr. Brandon's corporate background left him unprepared for the realities of sports administration, territory previously unfamiliar to him. Michigan fans can only look on with envy at the decisive actions taken by schools like Florida and even, Lord help me, Ohio State, where people with experience in athletics run the industry's best departments.One word: yeouch. Joey and I have had our disagreements re: Michigan football in the past, but he's 110% right here. Brandon is proving that he has little or no grasp on what he's doing in this coaching search and Michigan is going to suffer for it dearly.
Then you have Brandon's personal blog on MGoBlue which, laughable writing aside, is an awful way to show transparency. Brandon's most recent blog post is a LiveJournal defense of his awkward methods:
I am sure all of the news reports are interesting for our fans, but I am too busy to follow the majority of the news except to hear some pretty wild stories about "where I am and who I am talking to." The last week should be a reminder to everyone not to believe everything you read or hear. Some of the so-called "news reports" over the past week have been simply ridiculous...639: the number of words Brandon spent on this ridiculous blog post. For a man who is too busy to listen to news reports that are consistently portraying his organization as a poorly run joke (no, not Dominos this time), he sure spends a lot of time answering (acknowledging? Really?) e-mails and writing meaningless blog posts.
Our Michigan Athletic Department e-mail servers have been very busy! I am trying to answer/acknowledge all e-mails we have been receiving from sincere, thoughtful individuals. The department appreciates the messages from those who are simply trying to help. Those that are not trying to be helpful quickly end up in the delete/block sender file!
As time goes on, the chances of Michigan landing a true forward-thinking coach and someone that will bring the program into the future the way we had hoped Rodriguez would become less and less likely. Brandon's own criteria for the next head coach even seem to contradict this sentiment entirely: Brandon was a Schembechler Michigan Man and wants someone to turn Michigan back into three yards and a cloud of dust. Worse than having a head coach that doesn't think the spread offense can work in college football is having an athletic director who thinks the same.
The most disappointing aspect in all of this is that Rodriguez was clearly building toward something and had the program headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, for all of the talk of Brandon uniting the program and fanbase, he's trying to do so in his image. And because of that Rodriguez was not good enough for him. Now, as Michigan stares at a barren landscape of coaching also-rans, they have a recently fired Xs and Os guru who was canned because Brandon didn't include him in his ultimate vision. Sadly, he didn't include any coach in that vision, instead just expected Michigan to win.
Seeing how fruitless this entire process has been is disheartening and makes it difficult to continue caring about a program that's being manned by someone uninterested in or unaware of its best interests. At this point, anything short of Gary Patterson or Gus Malzahn will leave me uninspired and fearful for the long-term future of the program.