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U of M students want athletic director fired

Sep 30, 2014

University of Michigan students are demanding top athletic department officials be fired, in the wake of the football program’s concussion controversy.

Hundreds of students gathered on the U of M Tuesday night, often chanting 'Fire Brandon.'
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of U of M students chanted “Fire Brandon” during a rally on the Ann Arbor campus tonight.   Brandon is Dave Brandon, U of M’s athletic director.

The students are upset about many things, from the latest concussion controversy to the cost of tickets. Many students are also dissatisfied with the Wolverine football program’s disappointing season. 

Student Zeid El Kilani started an online petition calling for the university to fire Brandon. He says the department needs an attitude change.

“Right now they think of us as customers and how they can understand the customers,” says El Kilani. “In reality they should think of us as partners.”

Ben Nichols is a U of M junior. He says some students are talking about boycotting Wolverine games, until changes are made to the athletic department
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Junior Ben Nichols says change is needed, but he’s not sure how far the students are willing to go to force the university’s hand.

“I’ve heard rumors of people boycotting games…burning tickets. I’m not going to go that route,” says Nichols.

Dave Brandon’s office declined to comment on the student protest.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel issued a statement Tuesday expressing disappointment with the way Shane Morris concussion was handled.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

University President Mark Schlissel issued a statement Tuesday saying he's disappointed with the way the athletic department handled the concussion controversy.

“Despite having one of the finest levels of team medical expertise in the country, our system failed on Saturday,” says Schlissel. “We did not get this right and for this I apologize to Shane, his family, his teammates, and the entire Michigan family.”

Schlissel says he has directed the athletic department to provide his office and the Board of Regents with a thorough review of our in-game player safety procedures.