There has clearly been a target on Michigan coach Brady Hoke's back all season long, one that was exacerbated by a disappointing 3-4 record and a terrible decision to let a concussed quarterback stay on the field.
Now it looks like his boss could be in line for the firing squad as well.
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Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon did not escape with his reputation intact after acknowledging that the athletic department made major mistakes by letting quarterback Shane Morris return to the field in a loss to Minnesota in September.
University regent Denise Ilitch told a television station that the board would discuss both Brandon at a meeting that was already scheduled for Thursday. Making such a statement publicly probably does not bode well for Brandon.
Put player at risk
Three days after Shane Morris was allowed to keep playing with clear concussive symptoms and a gimpy leg, Brandon realized that this issue was not going to go away without him making some sort of public statement.
"Ultimate responsibility for the health and safety of our student-athletes resides with each team's coach and with me," the release began.
Brandon said that through meetings with players and coaches, he concluded a "serious lack of communication" occurred. He added that both athletic trainers and physicians are given the ability to remove student-athletes from play at any time and without "unchallengeable authority" — which begs the question of why no one thought it necessary to exercise that authority.
Coach Hoke said after the game that he would "never, ever, if we thought a guy had a concussion, keep him in the game." But Brandon said in his Tuesday release that Shane was diagnosed with a probable, mild concussion.
The miscommunication between the two could very well be the final straw for the University of Michigan Board of Regents, when it decides what advice it will give for their fate, though it should be noted that University President Mark Schlissel technically is responsible for hiring and firing the athletic director position.
It also doesn't help that the Wolverines have had middling records on the field since Brandon took over in 2010.
The football team is 33-19 in that time, but the team has had an 8-5 record and 7-6 record since a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2011. The team hasn't won the Big Ten since 2004.