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Dave Brandon resigns as University of Michigan's Athletic Director

Oct 31, 2014

The University of Michigan's Athletic Director, David Brandon, has resigned.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel made the announcement this afternoon at a press conference. Schlissel said Brandon told him about his decision to resign on Wednesday (Oct. 29). Schlissel said the terms and conditions of Brandon's departure will be released later today. 

People in Brandon's position always have their critics, but the severe storm around Brandon grew over the last several weeks.

The football team was continuing to lose games, and Brandon's office had to go into damage control mode when a player who had suffered a concussion was put back into a game.

Brandon's office didn't release a statement on the matter until early Tuesday morning - two and half days after the incident, and around twelve hours after his head coach faced the media and told them the player had not suffered a concussion to best of his knowledge.

The news of Brandon's expected resignation began breaking this morning.

The website MGoBlog recently published e-mails that they purported to be from Dave Brandon to upset fans.

The e-mails showed the author to be dismissive and angry - telling fans to "find a new team to support" and to "quit drinking and go to bed."

MGoBlog writes that the e-mails were the last straw in the growing controversy around Brandon.

From MGoBlog:

The the emails supposedly blunted a lot of pushback Brandon's supporters were trying to muster... Sorry if that sounds like self-tootin'. Nobody likes a self-tooter.

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells is attending today's press conference and will have more for us later.

The Michigan Daily reports that despite the recent controversy, Brandon led a profitable Athletic Department "that never reported a deficit":

In June, he presented a budget to the Board of Regents that predicted a $5.2-million surplus for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The gains were bolstered by events hosted at Michigan Stadium, including two hockey games and an exhibition soccer match.

Brandon’s vision included multi-million dollar renovations to revenue and non-revenue sports facilities, many of which have already been completed.

Former Steelcase CEO and former U of M football player James Hackett will take Brandon's spot on an interim basis.

More from the Detroit News:

James Hackett, who played for legendary Wolverines coach Bo Schembechler in the 1970s, spent 19 years as CEO of Steelcase, a Grand Rapids-based maker of office furniture, retiring earlier this year. He is serving a one-year stint as vice chairman and remains a board member.

In today's press conference, Hackett thanked Brandon for his time as U of M's athletic director and said he had a "tremendous amount of respect" for Brandon. Hackett and Brandon were former teammates.

President Schlissel said they will conduct a search for a permanent athletic director.