Dave Brandon on Expansion, Rivalries and Michigan Men

By Kyle Rowland on February 4, 2013 at 10:00a
43 Comments

Since becoming the director of athletics at the University of Michigan in 2010, Dave Brandon has brought Michigan athletics into the 21st century without trampling on traditions. Michigan Stadium hosted its first night game and Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena have undergone extensive renovations. 

Brandon became Michigan's 11th athletic director in 2010.

But the chief accomplishment during Brandon’s tenure has been the hiring of Brady Hoke as head football coach. After a forgettable three-year stretch of Rich Rodriguez, Hoke led Michigan to an 11-2 record, win over Ohio State and a Sugar Bowl victory in his first season. The Wolverines slid back during his second year, but with another strong recruiting class just days away from signing, it appears Michigan is poised to give Ohio State a run as king of the Big Ten.

Prior to Brandon’s appointment as AD at Michigan, he was the CEO of Domino’s Pizza for nearly 11 years. It was his business background that led Brandon to Toledo, Ohio, on Friday. The keynote speaker at the KeyBank Global Leaders Forum, Brandon revealed that Michigan had used Facebook to teach student-athletes a lesson on social media.

The experiment involved an attractive female who ‘friended’ athletes. Some of the players responded and sent her comments that were deemed inappropriate. At a later gathering of athletes, the woman walked in to the room. Only then did the players realize the person they had been in contact with was the employee of a firm hired by Michigan to conduct social media lessons.

Eleven Warriors, along with other media outlets, reported Michigan ‘catfished’ the athletes. Michigan vehemently denied that practice and reached out to Eleven Warriors.

“The use of the word ‘catfishing’ is inaccurate and not what was done in this circumstance (fall 2011),” said associate athletic director Dave Ablauf. “The female did not interact with student-athletes other than to friend request them. What they did was what 100 percent of the individuals who have social media accounts can do – friend or follow an individual.

“Did one or two of the student-athletes reach out and ask her questions about herself? Sure they did. But that was not the premise of the exercise and not used in any way in the presentation. That is where (Eleven Warriors) and others are getting lost in the details. You are attaching what has transpired in the last (Manti Te’o case) and what the show on MTV showcases and are trying to draw a correlation that's not there.

“This should be a positive story about teaching student-athletes about the perils of social media, but the use of one word creates a negative connotation.”

Following his Toledo speech to business leaders, Brandon graciously agreed to sit down with Eleven Warriors to discuss a wide array of topics concerning the Big Ten and intercollegiate athletics.

OSU and Michigan will likely be in the same division.

Is the nine- or 10-game Big Ten Conference schedule something you could foresee happening?

Dave Brandon: It’s one of the big decisions we need to make. It’s been an ongoing discussion, really since we added Nebraska to the conference and went to 12 teams. We had a discussion, do we stay at eight or go to nine? Now we’ve added two more teams, so it’s time to have the discussion again. There are proponents to staying at eight, there are proponents to moving to nine. Some believe nine is problematic and we should go to 10. We, as a group, need to sit down and work through it and hopefully find a consensus.

We’ll do it soon. Typically you schedule out two, three, fours years out into the future, some even further. Those are the kind of decisions the sooner we can make them the better, because as soon as we know what we are dealing with, we can plan accordingly. Right now everyone is on a scheduling hiatus pending the outcome of these discussions, so we need to make a call.

Will Maryland and Rutgers have input?

DB: Oh yeah. I think they’ll be attending our sessions as it relates to these discussions because, certainly, they’ll have a vested interest in the outcome.

A boost in the number of conference games could change how many home games you have. How will that affect revenue and if revenue is lost how will that be combated?

DB: Obviously these are all conference decisions, so we have to make them collectively. Specifically to Michigan and, certainly, Ohio State, because Gene (Smith) and I have talked about this, it is exceedingly important that we play a minimum of seven home games. Both of our business models are driven by that. If we were to get into a circumstance where we were playing six home games that would be very problematic.

The consequences are that in a world where we go from eight to nine conference games, we would still have the ability to schedule three non-conference games. You could schedule two at home and schedule a home-and-home and make that work. If we were to go to 10 conference games, which some people are suggesting with 14 teams and, certainly, there is merit to that, you avoid the five and four imbalance.

But now you’ve only got the flexibility of scheduling two non-conference games and if you want to play seven home games both of them have to be at home. When you do that, you really put us in a position where we really can’t go on the road to play a big BCS opponent because they aren’t going to schedule you on a one-and-done. They’re going to want to play a home-and-home.

So the consequences of going to 10, when overlaid with the fact that you have to play seven home games, really puts Gene and me in a position where we won’t be traveling to play non-conference away games. I, personally, am concerned about that. Part of what our fans and college football fans want to see are these great intersectional rivalries that can develop or just good matchups.

Why is there such a big push to change the conference schedule? It’s worked just fine for 50 years.

DB: Well, 50 years ago we had 10 teams in the Big Ten. Now we have 14. If you’re a kid coming in as a freshman and you’re going to be part of the Big Ten Conference with 14 teams, if you only play eight conference games a season, you’re going to go through a whole four-year career and not play some of the other teams. That doesn’t feel particularly right. You’re trying to build conference continuity and cohesion. We want to travel to their campuses, they want to travel to our campuses, and you’re going to put yourself in position where you aren’t going to be able to do that.

That would be why a lot of the conferences have moved to nine. I don’t believe any have moved to 10. But I know a lot of ADs and coaches are concerned about a season where Ohio State plays four conference home games and Michigan plays five, and we’re competing for a Big Ten championship. There are some that would argue that that isn’t a level playing field, and I understand that. There are tradeoffs in whatever direction this goes.

You mentioned wanting to schedule more neutral site games. How does that fit into the model if they move to a nine- or 10-game conference schedule?

DB: Well, it depends on how you look at it. From a fan perspective, it’s considered an away game because you have to travel to get there. That’s why we would not do that on any kind of regular basis. And we wouldn’t do it if it were at the expense of home games because our fans deserve and want to see games on campus. That’s where our priorities are going to be.

However, in some cases, if we can go on the road and play at a neutral site we can play in a bigger venue, and the economics are going to be far more attractive. To put a really big matchup together like our Alabama game and do a one-off game, you don’t have to do a home-and-home. It’s only a one-game deal, and the networks want those matchups to the point where they’ll pay up to get them.

It won’t completely offset the loss of a home game-type revenue, but it’s much better than you’d get if you went on the road and played somebody. So financially it’s a good deal and, as an occasional departure from the norm, I thought it was a great experience for us. But that would be as a plus to seven home games, not at the expense of a home game.

The hiring of Hoke has been Brandon's biggest achievement.

When the divisions were first thought up, competitive balance was a main sticking point. Now that there is such a wide geographic margin, do you think geography will factor in more importantly?

DB: My sense is yes. We’ve only had preliminary discussions, but the general feeling I’m getting from everybody is that because the footprint keeps expanding, it makes more sense to weigh geography more heavily than we did last time. That doesn’t mean it’s the only driver, because competitive balance is important, but I think geography will be a bigger concern.

It’s more football-centric. Each sport will make a decision whether it follows the divisional alignment. Some sports don’t set themselves up for it. Basketball, I don’t think you want divisions for basketball. Hockey will be a lot smaller; lacrosse will be smaller. There will be a whole bunch of different sports that look at it differently. But for football specifically, I think the geographic sensibilities are the ones we should be mindful of.

But we still want to play Nebraska and we’re all going to want to travel. I don’t think we’re going to get preoccupied with it, but if you have to split up to two divisions, I think you at least have to give consideration to how an east-west configuration would work.

Michigan is currently ranked second in the Directors' Cup. The basketball program has been ranked No. 1 and the football program is back on the rise. Speak to how difficult it is to be so successful at both the marquee sports.

DB: It’s the same thing with Ohio State; it’s hard because everybody wants to win at those two sports. Everybody is going to put their biggest resources into those sports because those are the ones that are going to generate a return on those investments. Everybody wants the best coach, everybody wants to fill their stadiums and everybody wants to fill their arenas. You’re going to get everybody’s best shot.

If you’re going to put money and resources into anything, you’re going to put them into football and men’s basketball, because you’re going to get a return. That makes the competitive climate really, really tough. It’s hard to be in a position where you’re nationally competitive at both, but that’s our aspiration. That’s always been the Michigan tradition, just like it is down in Columbus.

You’re a ‘Michigan Man.’ You played under Bo Schembechler in the 1970s. How healthy do you see the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry? With Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke, it looks like ‘The Game’ is about to take off again.

DB: When I played it was Bo vs. Woody. The games were always hard-fought. It usually came down to a field goal. The battle wasn’t just the last game in November between the two football programs; the battle was recruiting. You have these two powerhouse programs not too far from one another that are fighting over the hearts and minds of fans and recruits.

It feels to me that it’s starting to move back in that direction. The last couple games have been great – highly competitive, fan interest is intense. Recruiting battles are fun to see because our recruiting core is the same Midwestern platform. I think the rivalry is going to be fun to watch the next couple years.

We love playing Ohio State, we love the big matchups, we love the battle, we love the competitiveness. We’re really blessed because we have a great in-state rivalry with Michigan State. We live with that every day because they’re in our backyard.

This Michigan and Ohio State thing is special. When they start talking about the biggest rivalries in sport, they always mention the Michigan-Ohio State football game, and there’s good reason for that.

You mentioned the possibility of possible future conference expansion. Is that something that’s just kicking around, or are there serious talks about adding more teams to the Big Ten?

DB: There are always rumors out there. But my general feeling is if you asked me, 'have we got to the point where everything is settled and that’s the way it’s going to be for the next decade?', I just don’t believe it.

I still think there are media deals to be done. There are conferences at risk and conferences poised for future growth. To me, the landscape is still somewhat unsettled. There’s still going to be some shaking out to occur. And what happens is whenever School A goes from Conference A to Conference B, not only does that change occur, but there’s a void in another conference and there’s a fistfight to find out who fills it. One move tends to cause a ripple effect for other moves.

As it relates to specific conversations that something is imminent, I don’t know of anything. But these things tend to happen pretty quickly.

Do you think the Big Ten would be the first to go to a 16-team superconference?

DB: I have no way of knowing, and I don’t know where 16 teams came from in terms of superconferences. Does that mean no one would go to 18 or 20? I don’t know what the finish line looks like, and I don’t think anyone else does either. When you look at some of the conferences that are fragile, there could be programs looking for a home. Things could move quickly, or we could be in a mode where this settles down and we stay where we are for a while. This is a difficult call.

“If you look at what’s going on, one of the main motivations behind expansion is to create new geography and create more density and reach for television audiences, for ticket sales and for recruiting.”

Do you get the sense that further expansion would be in the current footprint, or are there new territories that look attractive?

DB: If you look at what’s going on, one of the main motivations behind expansion is to create new geography and create more density and reach for television audiences, for ticket sales and for recruiting. Probably what you’d find is the things most attractive are to take in new eyes for TV, new recruiting territories and places where you can expand your reach.

The challenge the Big Ten had, even prior to the addition of Nebraska, is that we’re in an area that has a pretty slow population growth. If you’re sitting in a conference trying to have a 20-year view of decisions you’re making and you’re growing at a population growth rate of one percent or less and you look at other conferences that have got them in position where they’re growing at three of four percent. When you run that out over 20 years and start thinking about what that means for ticket sales, television revenues, cable subscribers and all those factors, you’re pushed to say, 'how do I get myself in areas where there’s growth and expansion?'

Long answer, but I really believe when conference commissioners are looking at viable expansion opportunities they aren’t really saying, 'how do we grow concentration within our existing footprint?' They’re saying, 'how do we expand our footprint?'

The Big Ten was a leader in expansion. There’s always talk of the changing landscape, but didn’t the Big Ten create that? Would all this expansion have taken place if the Big Ten just stayed at 11 teams?

DB: I don’t view it that way. We added Penn State 22 years ago and went 20 years and didn’t add anybody. While that was going on there were ongoing changes in conference compositions. Look at what happened in the Big East, the ACC and Conference USA. The Pac-12, as I recall, the first significant development was when they took Colorado and had serious discussions going with other people. I don’t know that any one conference was the trigger point. I just think everyone was looking at the same set of issues and decisions started to be made.

We added Nebraska and we were quite content. That was important to get to 12 games because we got the divisional structure and the championship game. But to go from 12 to 14 was more of an elective decision than anything that we needed to do.

A big development at Ohio State has been the recent ticket increase. Obviously the big-time programs are going to sell out because they have such rabid fans. Michigan Stadium and Ohio Stadium are always going to sell out. But will there ever be a time where the price is capped? When does this ever stop? It seems like people will eventually be priced out.

DB: It’s a market economy. None of us can price our tickets so high that our customers start to look at alternatives. You look at the price of an NBA game or NFL game and you would say we offer an awful lot of entertainment for the money, especially with the college gameday experience, tailgating, halftime shows and all the things we do that makes it special, and the emotional connection that people have that is different than the loyalty to their local NFL team.

There’s an argument to be made that if you have more people that want tickets than there are tickets they can sell, you have some pricing power. That’s what Gene has, and he’s pricing his tickets appreciably higher than we are. He’s clearly looking at a supply and demand model that says there’s value to be had. He’s got 36 programs to support. I’m sure he’s got facility and capital needs plans, and he’s doing something that anyone in his job would do.

I’m assuming that if there’s somebody that says, ‘Gee, you’ve taken me further than I want to go. I’m not going to repurchase my tickets,’ I’m assuming Gene has somebody waiting in line to buy them.

But aren’t you also competing with, in addition to other sports and forms of entertainment, HDTVs?

DB: Of course. It’s not just, 'am I going to go to an NFL game or a college game?' In fact, very seldom do I think that’s our competitor. Our real competitor is, do you ever get to the point where you think, instead of buying that season ticket I can buy a 62-inch flat screen HDTV, I can watch it in 3-D and I can also buy an electronically controlled recliner and be real comfortable.

At some point in time, that’s as much of a competitor for us as other sports venues. We’re all looking at supply and demand just like anyone else would in a business that’s selling seats. If we go too far in price our customers will let us know; they won’t buy.

Do you foresee a time in the near future when Michigan’s face value reaches $100?

DB: It could be argued that they already have. Average ticket prices for our night game against Notre Dame (in 2011) were $320 on StubHub. It’s not unheard of at all for tickets to top $100 on the secondary market.

43 Comments

Comments

cinserious's picture

Just like Brandon ran Dominos pizza into the ground and got the hell outta there, I hope he follows suit at michigan. BTW, I used to like dominos but now its worse than Little Caesars!

Gone ham, be back soon...

Riggins's picture

If you prefer the old, cardboard abomination that was Domino's then you need to return your tongue to the manufacturer for a new model.
Chain pizza is chain pizza but Domino's is light years better than it used to be.

cinserious's picture

Wrong. Back when Little Caesars had two for 1 pizzas, they were much better and completely different than what they sling now for $5. I'm not saying Dominos was ever 'great' pizza but it was good and it had value. I don't care if the new Dominos sells for $3, I'm not buying. I'll bake a Red Baron in my oven and be happier with it than any chain-pizza out there. (except for LaRossa's)

Gone ham, be back soon...

M Man's picture

Coach Fickell prefers Iacono's.

doodah_man's picture

M Man - wish I could give you more up votes, that was hilarious.

Jim "DooDah" Day
It is hard to play dirty against a man who picks you up.

Michael Citro's picture

I agree. Dominos was worse than frozen pizza. They revamped their dough and sauce recipes and it's vastly improved. It's still not great pizza, but now I'd rather have it than a frozen pizza.

RedStorm45's picture

I like their deep dish pizza.

Dean's picture

11W hits the big time!  Good get, guys, and a really interesting interview.

partisan's picture

Kudos for getting this interview.  Some answers really stood out to me based on current rumors..
 
"As it relates to specific conversations that something is imminent, I don’t know of anything. But these things tend to happen pretty quickly."
 
"I have no way of knowing, and I don’t know where 16 teams came from in terms of superconferences. Does that mean no one would go to 18 or 20?"
 
Those two answers tell me two things.  He knows that there may be a school announcing a switch to the B1G soon (UVA?) and he also knows the conference is looking to move to 20 teams.  

jmacbuckeye's picture

I agree. Those two remarks stood out to me as well. It is a telling indicator that both the SEC and B1G haven't finalized scheduling. It suggests that the leadership in both conferences expect more additions soon. Conference expansion "armageddon" as some have referred to the end game, appears to be on the way sooner rather than later.

Riggins's picture

I just don't understand how schools are still 100% reliant on seven home games with the way TV revenues and conference payouts have exploded in recent years.  That's not even including the new playoff money that's coming.
These are just example numbers, but if a home game nets you $5 million, but per-team conference revenues have gone up by $7 million in that same timeframe, why do you still "need" the seventh home game?  I understand everyone wants to maximize profits, but I'd be more interested in playing the western B1G and other high quality OOC games like Texas, Oklahoma, etc. any day over a "payday" home game against Toledo.

BucksfanXC's picture

Because those numbers are wild guesses and I bet it's not that cut and dry for one. For two, they aren't mutually exclusive, you don't not get one because you get the other, so of course you want both. More home games is more money not just for the school, but the local business, which gets more sponsorships, donations, bringing alumni back into town gets more donations to the school, etc. There are lots of benefits to even cupcake games that you have to pay the opponent to come play. I'm sure they've done the math

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Great interview. Precisely why 11w is the best Buckeye news source/ blog on the net.

M Man's picture

Absolutely.  Not only is 11W the authoritative source for OSU news (maybe I shouldn't say that, because the others are so hard for me to take, I can't look at them enough to judge); it is among the very best blogs of its kind anywhere in sports.

Jdadams01's picture

Classy move to interview with a rival's site. Thanks for getting this together guys.

nickma71's picture

I would fix the problem (confrence games) by telling Maryland and Rutgers, "just kidding". I don't care to have them in the confrence with my Buckeyes. And I would fix the misalignment and stupid division names.

buckeyestu's picture

a really nice interview.

RedStorm45's picture

This was really cool, and kudos to Brandon for taking the time.
 
Interesting on the whole catfish/non-catfish story.  I understand what they were trying to do, perhaps the way it was carried out was a bit controversial.  I guess really all they did was have this woman set up a profile and then friend or follow some of the athletes.  Going off what he said, they didn't have her carry on conversations or lead any of them on.  The term "catfish" is a bit loose and not entirely defined anyway.  It's not like it was Brandon (or someone on his staff) setting up a profile using somebody's else's pictures, info, etc.  By all accounts, it was a real person with her own pictures, who just happened to not really be interested in these athletes.  Either way, 11W isn't the only one reporting it as UM catfishing its own players.

ajbosu1's picture

I have heard some ttun fans ridicule Brandon but he seems like a great AD to me. He sees the (much) bigger picture and approaches things pragmatically.
I may be naive in saying this but Gene doesn't hold a candle to this guy.

M Man's picture

The complaints with Brandon are almost predictable.  In no particular order:

  1. A lot of people hate the whole adidas special/tribute uniforms thing.  And they blame Brandon for that.  Brandon, however, merely inherited the adidas contract.  And Michigan's adidas contract has a clause that guarantees that it will be the highest-compensated adidas school.  We get the most money, but we of course get treated to shit just like Nebraska and Wisconsin and the rest.  Our contract with adidas expires in the year 3012 and there is a one-millennium renewal option.
  2. People get the impression that Brandon is a soulless marketer.  Probably because he is the most skilled soulless marketers we have had since Don Canham (the greatest AD in the Big Ten in our lifetimes, all due respect to the wonderful Andy Geiger).  Brandon once gave lip service to the notion that Michigan needed a furry sideline mascot.  I tend to think he was quite serious at the time; mentioning specifically how important it is to market to young kids.  The reaction was (I'm searching for a description that doesn't include torches or pitchforks) "virulent."  I don't think that anyone posted a Google satellite image of Brandon's home, or staked out the school where his children attended.  But those two things were next on the list, before Brandon said, just kidding.
  3. Everybody gets pissed off, and they blame Brandon, when prices go up.  Michigan may not be raising ticket prices this year, but there was just a HUGE increase in football season-ticket seat ransom donations.
  4. A few people think Rich Rodriguez deserved four years and maybe more, and while almost no one blames Brandon for the years of unfair treatment of Rodriguez (before Brandon became AD), he was the guy who fired Rodriguez.

 

LouGroza's picture

That pic of the ttun coach is screaming for a caption. Something like, "If they would give me a headset I could at least hear what they are talking about." or "Should I get three double decker deluxes with cheese or should I just go for a couple two pound burritos? Damn, wish this game would hurry up and end." That could be entertaining while waiting for NSD.

LouGroza's picture

Something in the manner of this beauty of a thread. Fun for all. Except the fans of the other team of course.
http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2011/06/caption-friday-smugness#comment-10...

Jim's picture

Good interview guys....the link to the interview is posted on Mgoblog, another good source of Michigan info, so lots of people will read what Brandon had to say.  
There is always some criticism of every AD, but I think, so far, Brandon has done a great job. He walks a tightrope balancing tradition with ways of generating revenue.  So far, as a Michigan fan, I am very happy with the job he has done. Every sports facility on the campus is getting a facelift - total price, 900 million.  Anyone coming to Ann Arbor for the bball game tomorrow will be shocked when they see the remake of Crisler.

-1 HS
OhioBornMichiganBred's picture

This is a great interview, guys. You got a lot of candor out of him.
Awesome read.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Brandon's argument for why a 9 or even 10-game conference schedule is probably necessary seems to contradict his thoughts concerning additional conference expansion:

If you’re a kid coming in as a freshman and you’re going to be part of the Big Ten Conference with 14 teams, if you only play eight conference games a season, you’re going to go through a whole four-year career and not play some of the other teams. That doesn’t feel particularly right. You’re trying to build conference continuity and cohesion.

But my general feeling is if you asked me, 'have we got to the point where everything is settled and that’s the way it’s going to be for the next decade?', I just don’t believe it . . .I don’t know where 16 teams came from in terms of superconferences. Does that mean no one would go to 18 or 20?

Well, if the conference expands to 18 or 20, even if they played a 10-game conference schedule, Big Ten schools would not play a few of the other schools during a 4-5 year period.
Personally, I think that one of two things has to give way: 1). Either we make peace with the idea that Ohio State might not play Nebraska or Iowa for 6 years or so, or 2). The major conferences lead efforts to go to a 13-game regular season schedule (which would mean some teams might end up playing 16 games: 13 + conference champ + 2 playoff games).  

Grant Edgell's picture

Interesting stuff and an incredible get by Kyle and the 11W guys.
As someone who is addicted to the gameday atmosphere -- at my own home -- the HDTV question/answer was interesting as far as that being a competitor. Brandon was spot on with his...

I’m assuming that if there’s somebody that says, ‘Gee, you’ve taken me further than I want to go. I’m not going to repurchase my tickets,’ I’m assuming Gene has somebody waiting in line to buy them.

...and that's one more reason the Ohio States, Michigans, etc have a competitive advantage today that won't be bridged anytime soon by the lesser programs inside the conference. That's not to say there aren't lines for tickets in West Lafayette, but as the tech and home-theater atmosphere continues to evolve it will likely hit the bigger programs in the wallet last with regards to tickets sales.
 

tennbuckeye19's picture

Seems odd to hear a "Michigan Man" refer to OSU as "Ohio State" rather than just "Ohio".

Grant Edgell's picture

Hard to get to where he's been career-wise without SOME level of class, but you're absolutely right. His fat pal with the gravy leaking from his blow hole could certainly take a lesson.

Earle's picture

With all due respect to Woody (and I realize Urban has adopted it to some degree as well), I always thought the "team up north" thing was a little silly, and  then Hoke took it a step further by purposely using the wrong name, which I think is just infantile.  I guess it is harmless, but I just can't get into the name-calling.
That said, I do enjoy a good Michigan (or Hoke) joke, and even participate from time to time, so perhaps I have an inconsistent standard.

Italics are for emphasis.

Pam's picture

The difference between Woody using TTUN and Hoke saying Ohio is that there is not another school named The School Up North. There is an Ohio that resides in Athens.

LouGroza's picture

That is exactly right, Pam. No one takes note of that.

luckynewman13's picture

I thought they would be smart enough to drop the "Ohio" thing after the tsun bball team got trucked by Ohio University in the NCAA tournament, but I guess not.

M Man's picture

That is exactly right.
When Woody did that, it was funny, it was original, and it made its own internal sense.
I am probably less offended than Pam is by Brady Hoke -- wait, I am completely certain that I am less offended than Pam is by Brady Hoke -- but I am glad that Dave Brandon doesn't use that meme in polite company. 
I don't do the "Ohio" thing.  I make a point of it, and I question others who do it.
When we make fun of The Ohio State University, I prefer to do it with cocktails and entirely behind your backs.

Pam's picture

I am not offended by it at all. It's too stupid to be offended.

Doc's picture

WOW!  What a great interview.  Nice job 11W.  Brandon was very gracious and gave some really ggod answers.  I think AACC has a winner as an AD.  I was glad to hear his thoughts.  It didn't seem like a bunch of double talk and PC bullshit.

"Say my name."

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

Great read and strong interview by Kyle and staff. More than anything, I get the feeling that Brandon is running the athletic department like the huge corporation that it is. As long as he is in charge, TTUN will be nipping at our heels for B1G supremacy.

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

prdoctor's picture

Great job, guys!

RBuck's picture

The hiring of Hoke has been Brandon's biggest achievement.

No shit.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

BoFuquel's picture

Hoke is a joke. 2 years and no B1G championship appearences. 1 more year of that and it will be like Earl was at TOSU.Nice job buddy but we must do better,see ya.He ain't got the staff to use all the mediocre talent he is bringing in.Just another run of the mill Li'l Eleven soon to be thirteen team.Come on guys take your PED"s and you won't ever worry about TSUN again.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Schierbuck's picture

I would be interested to hear who people think the best/worst AD is in the B1G.  Brandon did a good job with this interview and I thought the facebook experiment/lesson was a good idea.
I'd hate to vote for the AD of tSUN and would not.  I would vote for Mark Hollis with what he has done coming up with special events for the MSU basketball and hockey team.  The carrier classic was genius.  Execution this year was a fail, but I was looking forward to watch the Bucks play on the Carrier and I am sure some recruits would be excited to play in interestig venues like that.  Wish Gene would come up with some more creative ideas like that.

BuckeyeLawyer's picture

Great interview Kyle.
I hate the fact that I am about to write this but I thought Brandon came across as quite reasonable.  His answers made sense and he seemed both pragmatic and honest.  I even found his answers to be refreshing, kind of like when Maryland's athletic director essentially said "of course, its for the money.  This move to the B1G is going to make us a lot of money."  BTW, don't look for that quote anywhere because, as I said, the Maryland AD "essentially said" something like of that and that is only true if my memory serves.
Having written ^, I do not plan on my nicety towards somebody associated with TTUN athletics being a common occurrence.  I am not wired for that!  In fact, Brandon seemed so reasonable and pragmatic that I want him gone.

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

I have a friend who's a big Michigan fan and he's pissed at Brandon and the football team. He got his season ticket renewal in the mail a few weeks ago and griped that he has to pay more for his tickets and his seat license for next season's games. 8-5 did not go over well with him, I guess.

M Man's picture

We haven't gotten our ticket order forms yet.  So he wouldn't have any ticket prices to worry about yet.  And yes, what we got in the mail a few weeks ago (and due for payment this month) is the so-called "Preferred Seating Donation (PSD)" form.  And the increase was large. 20% increase large.  It wouldn't have mattered if we had beaten Alabama and gone 163-0; I'd still be upset about the PSD jump.