Michigan Athletic Director Brandon to Resign, Detroit News Says

University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon is stepping down amid growing disapproval from the Board of Regents and student anger over his profit-driven approach to the job, the Detroit News reported.

University President Mark Schlissel will announce Brandon’s decision this afternoon during a press conference, the newspaper said. Brandon, a former Domino’s Pizza Inc. chief executive officer, is not expected to attend, according to the report.

The university announced a 1:30 p.m. Eastern press conference without providing a reason. Athletics spokesman David Ablauf didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the report.

Michigan’s football program, which has more wins than any other college team, had $58.4 million in profit on $81.7 million in revenue in fiscal 2013, according to data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. That’s the second-largest profit in college football behind Texas.

Brandon came under scrutiny in September after the Michigan football team and its coaching staff mishandled a possible concussion to quarterback Shane Morris. Brandon apologized for a “serious lack of communication” that led to Morris staying in a game immediately after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit that left him wobbling.

The following week Michigan students rallied demanding Brandon’s ouster, a protest that concluded on Schlissel’s front lawn. Students were upset about changes to the student ticket policies, including a recent rise in prices that made Michigan games the most expensive in the Big Ten for students.

Lower Prices

Brandon this month announced that Michigan would lower its student prices by almost 40 percent next year. He called it “another example of our commitment to continue building a stronger connection with our students and the university community.”

Schlissel, inaugurated as Michigan’s president at the start of the school year, works with an eight-person Board of Regents that is weighted 6-2 against Brandon, according to the report. The university is conducting an internal investigation into the handling of Morris’s injury.

A former Michigan football player under coach Bo Schembechler, Brandon was hired in 2010. He was Domino’s CEO from 1999-2009 and was elected to an eight-year term on the university Board of Regents in 1998.

In his time as athletic director, Brandon oversaw facility upgrades for every Wolverines team, according to the newspaper. He also played a role in hiring current football coach Brady Hoke, who is 29-18 in four seasons with the team, including 3-5 in 2014.

In 2012, Brandon’s contract was extended through June 30, 2018, according to the Detroit News.

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