We Out: The Totalitarianism of the Michigan Athletic Department

Posted: September 23, 2013 in College Football, Michigan
Tags: , , , ,

Look at the comment section on any news story regarding student ticket policies, especially from the MLive articles above. The venomous comments from non-affiliated fans who pay for tickets disgust me. Michigan Students have been called “over entitled brats” “bad fans” and “fair weather” in some of these comment boxes in terms of complaining about new ticket policies. Name-calling aside, there have been a lot of changes to Michigan’s Season Ticket Policies in Basketball and Football, and I am here to clear the air.

If you flash back to just a year ago, students were just peachy in terms of buying student tickets for the three major sports at Michigan, Football, Basketball and Ice Hockey. It was a simple system, students paid their hard earned dollars and in return were given a guaranteed seat to cheer on their fellow Wolverines at The Big House, Crisler Center and Yost. Then the brain trust at the Athletic Department went and turned everything on it’s head. First was the change to the long-standing football ticket seating policy, and the latest (and far more aggressive) dagger in the students backs is the new basketball seating policy. First however, comes football.

For as long as I could remember, Michigan Football’s old seating policy was something that more or less “worked”. Students were assigned seats by the amount of credit hours they had at Michigan, meaning freshmen sat at the top of the bowl and worked their way down the rows until senior year when they would have a chance of being in the front twenty rows. It was a system everyone was familiar with until it was destroyed this past off season. The Athletic Department sent out a condescending email last November after the Northwestern game showing the upper annals of the bowl somewhat empty at kickoff (about 20 rows, enough to be noticeable, but nothing terrible). In defense of the department, it looks awful on television to not have a full student section at kickoff,

The image from said condescending email after Northwestern

The image from said condescending email after Northwestern

but in defense of the students, it was a beautiful November day and everyone was enjoying the second to last game of the season by tailgating and making memories with friends outside of Michigan Stadium. Herein lies problem number one, the Athletic Department is concerned with doing their job, which is everything regarding the game itself. A Michigan football game is a production that takes hundreds, if not thousands of people working as a part of a well-oiled machine. What they do not realize is as students, the game is the centerpiece, but there is so much more to game day than the game. There is waking up at the crack of dawn to down awful beer, listening to loud music, hanging out with friends

Some of my best moments in college have come on game day OUTSIDE of the stadium

and making new friends. Some of the greatest moments I have had in college came from tailgating football games. Now I did make an effort to arrive on time, but yes, even I was late every so often. While the reaction to the new seating policy was swift at first, I think the student population has begun to accept it for what it is. Now there still are three major issues I find with it.

1. I am being provided with an inferior product half the season.  Now due to television, money and other factors, the scheduling in college football has gone to crap. In the Bo Schembechler days, Michigan played titans of college football like UCLA, Washington, Miami and Notre Dame in non-conference games. Since 2009, my freshman year, here are Michigan’s home match ups in non-conference play.

2009: Western Michigan, #18 Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Delaware State.

Why did Michigan play Delaware State? To win 63-6 and pad some stats.

2010: Connecticut, UMass, Bowling Green

2011: Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State

2012: #2 Alabama (In Dallas, Texas), Air Force, UMass

2013: Central Michigan, #14 Notre Dame, Akron

For three games a year, at MINIMUM, I am paying for games against inferior opposition, and the ticket costs keep rising. Losing the Notre Dame rivalry only magnifies this. The Big Ten isn’t what it used to be, and adding Maryland and Rutgers puts two more cupcakes on the schedule. The games may turn out to be good, but when they are scheduled, they are envisioned to be blowouts. This is a fundamental issue in college football, but it is still a qualm I have as a paying customer.

2. My first two years, I sat at the top of the bowl, either underneath the scoreboard or in the corner, and my seniority that I built up over three years was taken away without notice. I was inherently promised better seats year after year until that was taken away from me this season. There was no student input and barely any warning.  I did have the choice to not purchase tickets, but there was no way I was skipping senior year football season. I feel that using a system akin to that of Wisconsin would work better. Wisconsin has their sections divided by year. The two best middle sections go to the seniors, the two surrounding it to juniors and so on. This promises the upperclassmen the best viewing points, even if they have to go higher. I have sat in rows 72 and 62 for the two games and I am not mad about that, I have been able to see the game and sit with my friends, and that is what counts.

111012_SPT_UMvsNorthwestern.JPG

Michigan students cheering on the Wolverines vs Northwestern in November 2012

3. They raised ticket prices by 23.1 percent. From $32.50/game to $40/game. Now this price raise is for less games than two years ago when similar opponents came to town (Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State being marquee games on the slate), and for one less game at home (due to the UConn scheduling fiasco). Now from what has been said, this increase is to pay for remodels of the two campus recreational facilities, the central campus rec building (CCRB) and the Intramural Sports Buidlin (IMSB). Now, both gyms are in dire need of upgrades, especially the CCRB weight room. However, here is where the hypocrisy sets in. I wrote two weeks ago about Stephen M. Ross’ magnanimous donation to the university, a whopping $200 million dollars to a total of 10 percent of the student population. What I want to know, is why am I, as a student who graduates in May, paying for upgrades I will not see? More importantly, they also added a $65 dollar fee to tuition per semester to also cover the upgrades. There are many Michigan donors, but they do not care about the well-being of students unless the students pay for it. Michigan legend Fielding Yost said a sound body and a sound mind are important, and that is why he built the IM Building and the old gym that was in the diag. I think Yost is rolling over in his grave knowing that the students are being done dirty like this. MLive had a good article summing up different viewpoints of the student body.

Overall, the new football policy is an adjustment, but for the Central Michigan and Notre Dame games, it worked. The student section was filled and hype for kickoff and everyone had a great time. Prior to the Akron game, the team announced ANOTHER change in the policy. When students arrived at the game, they would be given a ticket with a specific row, seat and number. Meaning students line up with their tickets to be given a seat. Similar to the old system, it does not work. Once a student is in and can find their friends, they just leave to get food or go to the bathroom by borrowing a friends ticket. For example, if I am in section 27 and my friends are in 29, I would maneuver my way through the rows to 29, grab one of their tickets to go get a slice of pizza, and come back. The ushers don’t really care as long as the ticket says the proper section number. The new addition to the system didn’t really do anything. I just wonder why the Athletic Department puts more effort on themselves instead of just saving the front 22 rows for early birds and then just letting the rest of the section fill in organically. The current method just makes more work for everyone.

Then, for the home game vs Akron, a noon kickoff, it all hit the fan.

I worked the Akron game from the Press Box. This was the Student Section 12 minutes before Kickoff

Quite pathetic, right? There were three contributing factors to general admission absolutely failing during the Akron Game.

1. It was a noon kickoff. The students much prefer 3:30 kickoffs as it allows time to tailgate and have fun and then head to the game. Obviously the blame for this falls on no one but the TV networks, and there is no solution.

2. It was Yom Kippur. The Jewish holiday definitely had a mild effect on attendance numbers, as I did have multiple peers who sold their tickets or did not use them as they were attending services during the game.

3. It was Akron. That entire week the entire student body assumed that Michigan would blow out Akron just like they blew out Central Michigan. This lessened the appeal of attending the game for many.

For the Akron game, the University did their best to try and compel students into lining up, including free Tim Horton’s donuts donated by Coach Hoke (they tasted awful by the way, no glaze, no sprinkles, they were PLAIN!). The students however, were disinterested, leaving this embarrassing turnout at kickoff. I was told that in the Big Ten Network production truck, the cameras had to adjust their angles to as to not show the huge gap. Michigan almost lost that abomination of a game, and my friends and I all agreed if they had, the athletic department would have sent another passive-aggressive email claiming it was the students’ fault for not providing a home field advantage. In reality, it was Devin Gardner’s fault because he loves turnovers. However, a much worse email came the following week.

I have been told this theory is some kind of athletic department Illuminati nonsense, but I think they may be interconnected.

The Maize Rage is great, but how Crisler is set up is what keeps it from becoming an arena on par with Cameron Indoor in terms of a raucous place to play. This new ticket arrangement doesn’t help either

Last Tuesday, at a Central Student Government Meeting, Chief Marketing Officer Hunter Lochmann announced every student’s worst nightmare, a change to the basketball seating policy. Most likely due to the bandwagon effect of making the National Championship Game, the athletic department sold 4,500 season basketball tickets (a 67% increase over 2012-13). Now that sounds great right? Incorrect, the student section only holds 3,000 people. The worst part about this announcement was it was AFTER students bought their season tickets. 4,500 packages at $200 each is $900,000. This athletic department cares more about money than the students these sports are played by and exhibited in front of. Now, Crisler Center had a chance to be a basketball mecca with “The Fresh Five” consisting of Spike Albrecht, Nik Stauskus, Caris LeVert, Glen Robinson III, and Mitch McGary, in addition to new recruit Derrick Walton. These young men can make Crisler a fun place to watch Michigan basketball, but here is the problem. The Maize Rage bleachers and section 130 are the only parts of the arena where students are near the court. These sections hold about 900 students, after that, they are sent into the upper deck of Crisler, fairly far from the action and it is nowhere near as fun (I always got there early to avoid this). The problem is not only there being only 900 kids near the floor, but Michigan is dropping the ball by not expanding the student section at least temporarily. With the students up in the 200 level seats, the home court advantage is reduced. Also, Crisler has no students sitting behind either hoop (130 is to the left of the north end of the court). There are alumni and fans sitting behind both ends of the court. Alumni and fans are great, they sometimes even

The empty part at the top right is where the students are dumped when the lower level fills up

donate, but you know what they don’t do, get excited and cheer. They sit there in their seats watching and maybe golf clap or stand up every so often. The Maize Rage had the potential to be incredible, but instead, Lochmann and company decided to go in the opposite direction. Students will now have to claim games in “pods” every few weeks, and getting tickets to the Michigan State game will be judged on best attendance. Meaning I may go to every game and I am still not guaranteed a Michigan State ticket. You know what the Athletic Department fails to realize? Life happens outside of Crisler. I may claim tickets for a game, but a conflict may come up, homework may catch up, there are many different factors that happen. I do my best to sell my ticket, but if I don’t, my presence isn’t missed. The Maize Rage is full every single game, but now, I have to decide early, and if a student claims two games and doesn’t attend, they can’t claim games in the next pod. If a student claims four games and no shows, they revoke your tickets AND keep your money. Now while it is a punitive measure, it’s also ridiculous. I am taking the protest road. I set down $200 dollars of my hard earned money in April expecting a 16 game home slate, but now, I am going to claim my full refund and

I’ll miss moments like this at Crisler in the Maize Rage, but I will not stand for this new policy.

pick up tickets from friends who are selling or buy tickets on StubHub. As a student, money is tight, and having this unleashed on me AFTER I paid for my tickets is not fair. It is a middle finger to the students. The Athletic Department’s concern with people who pay more for tickets is fair, but it also proves they are more business oriented instead of caring about the student body. AD Dave Brandon is a businessman, but I think he needs to realize that there is a human element to this as well. Part of the claim of the change is that only 46.1% of students who had tickets to games actually attended. Now this is just an average, obviously like football, students see less appeal in attending games against inferior opposition. That is just a fact, however, as a student who went to every game possible last year, I feel like I am paying for the actions of others. It raises the age old question, why should all pay for the transgressions of a few?

Now there is the last event of Michigan’s week of weird. The skywriting fiasco. The Michigan Athletic Department spent a few thousand bucks on a skywriter to write “GO BLUE” over Southeast Michigan with no specific targets in mind” (yeah right). The skywriter end up above East Lansing on Sep. 14. Now I understand that the Athl. Dept. can spend their money how they see fit, but this was just a stupid misappropriation of funds. It also left some egg on their face considering students feel like “wow, they raised prices and took away my guaranteed basketball seats so they can pay for a sky writer!” Absolutely deplorable. This cash hungry department just received $100 million dollars and takes students money for season tickets, and the students get nothing back. Capitalism at it’s finest

A deplorable misappropriation of funds and hypocrisy at it’s finest

here folks. Now Dave Brandon is a good AD, however he has been scapegoated for many of these policy changes when it is the people working under him. The reasoning is simple, it is human nature for us to find an authority figure and blame them. Personally, I harbor all of my criticism for these policies at Lochmann, (yeah, I’m shooting the messenger). My biggest issue is these two policies were launched with no warning and no input from the student body. No transition period, nothing, just a flat out rule change, take it or leave it. As the proprietors of student season tickets, they are completely within their rights to do so, but it doesn’t mean it’s not going to ruffle the feathers of the student body. As students, we have our consumer rights of not buying tickets, but it will not be enough of a dent to change policies.

One of my professors, noted author John U. Bacon, wrote an article on May 3rd of this year discussing the athletic department’s new football policy, and I echo his thoughts. Michigan athletics are leaving the students behind. In this article, I echoed some of his points, because they hold true. Being a fifth year senior, I feel shafted, jilted, and to an extent, robbed. I am glad to be graduating soon so I do not deal with these totalitarian policies. This school has taken so much money from me and my parents, and it is for bureaucratic reasons surrounding my transfer that I had to take a fifth year. I cannot wait to get out of Ann Arbor and not donate to this cash hungry school for a long time. David Brandon and Hunter Lochmann, whether they like it or not, are antagonizing and alienating the student body. With how I feel I have been treated, do they expect me to send my kids here in 20-30 years and buy season tickets for them? This is not how you groom future alumni as beneficiaries, this is how you make money now and lose money in the long term. So like I said in the title, Michigan athletics motto may be “We On” but join me my fellow students in saying, We Out

For more information about the Basketball policies, read here

No new post next week, I’ll be in Nashville visiting a friend but I’ll be back in two weeks with a post giving my exact thoughts on Pay for Play vs the NCAA.

Jam of The Week – Tuscan Leather by Drake

Comments
  1. Jamie says:

    “I am paying for games against inferior opposition…” I don’t think this is very fair. UMich almost lost several of these games to “inferior opposition.” Including Akron this year, (which I know you acknowledge) and UConn away. During the 2011 Western game, UMich trailed almost the whole game, squeaking in some points for the lead before the game was actually cancelled due to weather. I think if Western had been leading, they would have held out the rain delay to ensure UMich had a chance to come back.
    Many other schools use the first-come first-serve basis. It’s to cut down drinking before the game. You have to stop drinking to get to the game for good seats/to see kickoff, instead of just trickling in when your buzz is at it’s peak, drinking up to the last second before you go in. Then you are drunk the whole game instead of just the first half! It might not work necessarily. For noon games people get up at 7 to start drinking, but at least it’s a time frame of 7-11, instead of 7-11:59. And it ensures that the very dedicated fans get the best seats!
    It’s a lot to get used to, I understand. And it does seem like students always seem to get raked over the coals when it comes to athletic department’s money expenses. The games are for us, you know? Make them better for us!

    • Max says:

      First off, UConn and Akron were absolutely inferior teams. UConn, for example, Akron’s last 42 games before Michigan yielded them a record of (4-38). They are a meaningless MAC bottom-feeder that we allowed to nearly upset us at home. Do you honestly think that the nearly empty student section at kickoff had nothing to do with that? If you’re Devin Gardner and you look up into those stands, how can you not feel like your fans don’t care about you?

      Also, we steadily pounded Western Michigan until they were glad the game was cancelled. It got called off in the 3rd quarter with a score of 34-10. They would not have made an exception if Michigan were down by 24 points, and they would have held out if Western had been down by a less fearsome margin. I’d like to see any team “squeak in” a victory margin of 24 points with some of the game still left to play. Would it kill you to check a fact?

      I would also like to point out that drunk fans are loud fans, who cause false starts and all sorts of opponent mistakes. And supporting the former ticket policy DOES NOT mean condoning pre-game drinking! If the Athletic Department wants so desperately to have a sober audience at their games that they are willing to betray every single one of their upperclassmen, as well as their illustrious football program, they really ought to consider getting a different hobby.

  2. Lauren says:

    This is the best article I’ve read so far about the disappointment in the athletic department here. well said.

  3. Hadas says:

    Well said, Jay. I’m angry about all this and I’m not even in Ann Arbor anymore. So many abuses by the athletics dept, and nothing is being done to change it.

  4. Joe says:

    Unfortunately UM is becoming overbloated and greedy. For Alums, we have to donate $500 for the PRIVILEGE of applying for season tickets. If there are none available, they keep the money. I say for a big game (i.e. Nebraska), the students should organize a “Black Out” instead of a “Yellow Out”. Everyone wear Black and refuse to cheer in the first half – let the nation know that the school is taking advantage of students. Switch to yellow and cheer in the second half – we want to beat Nebraska! Your forefathers in the 60′s went against the school many times – time for you to learn from them. Non-violent civil disobedience will send a message. And make sure the network that is broadcasting the game knows exactly what you are doing.

    • Greg says:

      Joe, Great idea. See my comment below for another option (“We Out Sit Out” for one of the basketball games) I’m all about taking pages from the non violent civil disobedience of the past… though in the grand scheme of things fair ticket pricing probably isn’t as a big of a deal as, say, the civil rights movement…

  5. C says:

    This is all massively shortsighted and boneheaded, not just for the Athletic Department but for the school’s long-term relationship with future alumni. I definitely didn’t use all of my tickets in undergrad, but after I graduated, good memories of going to the games made me want to donate and stay active with the school. Watching Michigan sports is still like a postcard from Ann Arbor. If my experience had been gnarled in bureaucracy and these condescending policies, I’d be more bitterly disposed to Michigan — or at least some of my good memories would be burned.

    These games should center on the student experience, period. They’re treating you guys like dispensable background decorations. Truly sucks, and the school will pay for it in the long run.

  6. Alex says:

    While I don’t agree with the Athletic Department and how everything is money money money at this point (yet they can pay for a plane to write over East Lansing) it’s obvious to me what was going on was not working. What do you want them to do? You buy season tickets, not certain game tickets. The rest of the 91,000 people in the stadium seem to have no problem for the most part showing up for games like Akron.

  7. Jared M. says:

    Hear, hear. I still have two or three more days to consider getting a refund on basketball tickets. But considering the incredible amount of work I’ve found I have this term, I don’t think I can guarantee my attendance at Basketball games. I missed a couple of them last year even, when my schedule wasn’t nearly so demanding. And I’m almost sure that missing a game or two that I claim will make it nearly impossible for me to get a ticket to the Michigan State game…so then what’s the point of me getting tickets?

    I agree entirely with your assessment – I can understand the need to ensure attendance, but the AD should have planned for this and announced changes before purchasing periods started rather than cold-cocking the student season ticket holders with this announcement. It’s deplorable and, considering the money the department seems willing to toss around for things as frivolous as some sort of pissing match in the skies of East Lansing, my distaste in Dave Brandon & Co. is only mounting.

    I can only hope that my beloved Yost Ice Arena dodges this lumbering money hog’s charge.

  8. Alex says:

    Oh, and have you ever thought how the football team feels when they come out of the tunnel to a half empty student section? Their own fellow students can’t even make the game on time because they had to chug a few more beers. I’m sure that really inspires them!

    • newdayvow says:

      I would hope they have their heads in the game enough not to be bothered by that.

    • Max says:

      Don’t assume you know why the student section is empty at any given time–I suspect that the Akron game’s dismal attendance had much more to do with student displeasure toward the new seating policy than it did alcohol. But at least the whole team will be able to see you all the way up there on your high horse, so make sure to give them a wave and let them know that their wholesome, sober, true fan is supporting them!

  9. Ryan S. says:

    I’m in a picture!!

  10. Greg says:

    I like the way you think. I think a great way to send a message to the AD that the student body matters is if we show them we have power and are able to organize a demonstration. I think the most effective way to do this is to organize a “We Out Sit Out” (or something like that.) This basically entails leaving the student section completely empty for a game. I imagine that this would be pretty difficult for football to coordinate tens of thousands — but it’s completely doable for a basketball game. Also, we wouldn’t sit quietly at home, we would stay outside of the stadium and let people know how we think and that we want representation when decisions are made (also, we can make it obvious that we are not abandoning our student athletes by supporting them before and after the game.)

    Take a look at what the Brazilian people were able to do this summer when they used a sporting event to inform people about their political desires. We can totally make an impact, and when people go asking why the student section isn’t present, we can address our grievances to a larger more influential press.

    Let me know if you’re interested.

  11. Jack says:

    Look, no one is disagreeing that students should probably get there a little earlier, but its the fact that there was no input, no talking from the students. Besides that, I am confused as to how any alum doesn’t feel the same pain that we do. There is money grab after money grab by the AD. It is getting to the point where I legitimately don’t want to go to games because I don’t want to support this regime. That would have been unthinkable to me Freshman year, but no longer. That is how much one department’s decisions have soured me to the product. It is incredibly sad but true.

    Also, don’t try and open a dialect with the AD. You will get a canned response that they benchmarked their peers and this is what works best. Here’s to hoping that Brandon sees the light soon or he his fired. It is time to start thinking about getting rid of him and Funk (OL coach).

  12. Tony says:

    “Part of the claim of the change is that only 46.1% of students who had tickets to games actually attended”

    Transgressions of a few? That is the majority. 53.9% to be exact. Most of you don’t show. As an alum, this is beyond embarrassing. Too busy studying to take out three hours of a day to go see a game? That argument holds no water for me. Especially compared to the crammed schedule of the student athletes actually playing these games. Seriously, there are legit reasons not to show, but the bulk of you aren’t studying, you’re tailgating and skipping the game.

    I don’t love what this athletic department is doing by any means, but to sit here and complain that they are screwing everyone over when half of you don’t go anyway is disingenuous.

    • Colin says:

      Maybe that comment would have some validity if students actually tailgated before basketball games, which is what you’re referring to. Basketball games are weeknights and believe it or not, most of us have hours of homework every night on top of studying for exams. Once you hit the thick of the semester, it’s not unheard of to have an exam every single week. The athletes do have tough schedules, but they also have resources to help them with classes (an entire Academic Center with free tutors) that most of us don’t have. They also usually take less credits and less demanding classes, especially when we’re talking about sports like football and basketball.

      So, yes, students are missing some of the basketball games. That’s not because they don’t want to go or because they’re tailgating, it’s because they have lives and work outside of Michigan Athletics, and that’s absolutely not something they should be punished for.

  13. Max says:

    Great Article. Really shows how Michigan is not for the students, but for the money.

  14. Only question I have, is that everyone keeps stating that they wanted to give input…you don’t think the AD didn’t know what would be said…everyone would be pissed, so what is the value in meeting and getting the feedback that obviously would have came out…like you said they are going to do what they want, they have that right as the owners of the tickets, they are only leasing them to each individual on a game by game or season by season basis…

    Do I agree with what they did, no, do I wish they maybe slowly brought this in, like over the next two years, give the bottom 20 rows to seniors and the next 20 to juniors and the upper to frosh and soph and then the next year just the seniors or even keep the seniors down front forever, yes…but if you think this is a problem, you forget a bigger one around the corner, homecoming and MUDBOWL…they always show up late…and now, they will be stuck up top….that will become a bigger issue in a couple of weeks.

    As an alum the only thing I dislike about this article is to state that we sit on our hands, I am 9 years removed, but I don’t sit, I stand 90% of all football games, and 50% of all basketball games, I yell at the refs, cheer as hard as I can and always stay true to my roots. GO BLUE!

  15. Paul says:

    Many other schools implement a type of policy like this. You don’t like it because you aren’t used to change (generalization here, but if you go to UMich out of state, you probably haven’t dealt with much change in your life) or are currently a senior. Sucks for you, honestly, I sympathize.

    The most ostentatious Michigan football fans I’ve had the pleasure to interact with, either know a lot of football history, or don’t even know how the game is played. They jeer at players when some shit goes wrong. Don’t even get me started. So please don’t try and buck any stuck up impression people are trying to lay on the undergrads.

  16. macjulie says:

    To be clear-
    None of the profit from the increase in Football ticket prices is going to the remodeling of the THREE (NOT TWO) recreational facilities on campus (IMSB, CCRB, NCRB). All of the money for the renovations will come from the $50 increase in recreation fee included in student’s tuition. This fee, although increased, is still less than half of any other recreation fee for any other B1G school (and is what allows you “free” entry into the gyms as long as you are enrolled in classes). Additionally, portions of the fee increase will also go to renovating Mitchell Field, the Union, & the League. The Athletic Department is in no way associated with assisting these renovations, don’t give them credit they don’t deserve.

  17. ccook says:

    AS a parent of a MI student who pays for these tickets I would like to add my disappointment in the athletic department’s new policy. My daughter had to sit in her seat for 3 hours before the Notre Dame game to get a good seat even though she is a junior and should have some priority seating by now. While the game was great, she ended up dehydrated and ill. Any decent football program has assigned seats, this is ridiculous. I will not be surprised when I am not paying for tickets next year when she is a senior because of this.

  18. […] That this is one step closer to taking the “student” out of student-athlete. My friend Jay Sarkar wrote about feeling unappreciated by the AD in his blog post “We Out.” If you haven’t read it yet, take a minute to glance it over. He gives good insight into the […]

  19. Rebecca L says:

    It is also worth noting that the Northwestern game last year was over parents weekend, so a lot of students sat with their parents and therefore weren’t in the student section.

  20. Matt says:

    Why does it matter who Michigan is playing? As someone who grew up in the West Coast and never got to see Michigan play on TV, I am thrilled to watch MICHIGAN. Who cares who the opponent is?

    I think a point people are forgetting is the stadium is so far from campus and the game is so much easier to watch on television. They need to find a way to make going to the stadium better than seeing it up close on TV. These policies are the opposite of that, clearly.

    Also don’t forget. They are screwing their own employees too.

    1. They used to get to play golf for free. Brandon nixed this but still plays for free. Even annual (like 30 year annual) golf outings employees have to pay.

    2. Employees used to be able to sell their tickets for face. Now if they are caught selling for any amount of money, they are fired on the spot. Employees are taxed on all tickets they receive, no freebies. Well they gave two to each athletic dept. employee tax free after they couldn’t sell them.

    3. They all get 500 dollars allotment of adidas clothes. A few years ago, they started taxing on this 500 bucks. Tough hit to get taxed on tickets + 500 bucks without receiving a dime.

    4. All employees used to be able to work out for free at NCRB, CCRB and IMSB. Now, no longer able to since the department was paying the university some money they don’t want to pay anymore.

    5. Dave Brandon has cleaned out every senior associate AD from the Bill Martin days and now is working his way toward getting rid of or “reassigning” all associate ADs. Ex. Bruce Madej suddenly retiring.

    6. Employees of development (fundraising) are stacked four to a 10 x 10 office while Brandon has a HUGE one.

    7. They have a policy of paying new employees more than their previous job salary, even if it is more than a current employee who trains the new person and has been there for many years.

    So yea, students are not the only ones getting the shaft.

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