Detroit Today

UM's Brandon Supported by Top University Donor

Monday, September 29, 2014

Photo courtesy of AnnArbor.com

University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon has taken heat from some Wolverine fans as of late. The football program has had a lackluster record as of late, and the student section isn't filling up. But the AD since 2010 still has the support of a top UM donor, Stephen Ross.

Crain's Detroit Business sports business reporter Bill Shea writes:

"'He's probably the most qualified athletic director in the country. I think he's terrific,' said billionaire real estate developer Stephen Ross, a UM alumnus who has given the university $310 million in recent years...

"Ross, 74, has not suggested his donations to the university would cease if Brandon were fired, and said he hasn't spoken to anyone at UM about him.

"A source within the university, who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity, said concerns about Brandon and UM athletics are a talking point, but little else at this point.

"'There's no movement to push Brandon out,' the source said, who noted that any change would go through the university president, to whom the athletic director reports, and would be a long-term process rather than a sudden dismissal.

"Ross, who will be in Ann Arbor for the football game against Penn State University on Oct. 11, said it is 'hurting Michigan by pressuring' Brandon, 62, who declined to comment."

Shea joins WDET's Laura Weber-Davis to discuss Dave Brandon's polarizing role at Michigan.