Brandon's Blog: Strategic Growth Important for U-M Athletics

Sept. 17, 2012

University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on a variety of topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page,, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.

The University of Michigan Athletic Department is an integral part of our university. We energize the student body, our alumni, faculty and staff. We provide ways to meld together our eclectic community with Wolverine pride and a school spirit. We are one of the engines that help build awareness and interest in our university throughout the world.

Sports help develop motivated, educated student-athletes. They learn time management and understand how a healthy lifestyle can improve their performance -- on and off their chosen field of athletic endeavor. They learn responsibility, teamwork, leadership and how to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

The U-M athletic program is important on so many fronts. If we are to be good stewards of this organization, we must plan for the future. We need to develop a course of action to bring the best student-athletes to our campus and then enable them to perform in the classroom and in competition so they are ready to leave campus and be successful in their life after athletics.

Here at Michigan Athletics, we are relentlessly striving to be the Leaders and Best in every way. To achieve our bold vision, we are committing ourselves to a new future and a new strategy. To be competitive on all fronts, we need to provide the very best of everything: from academic excellence to facilities to student-athlete opportunities. We have identified our highest priorities, and this week we have unveiled to the public our vision for the future of our athletics campus facilities.

The South Campus expansion and renovation proposal is not only visually exciting, it provides our student-athletes the very best academic support and infrastructure support possible.

We also need to continue to be 100 percent self-supporting. We pay the full cost of all financial aid support for our student-athletes who are on athletic scholarships, all costs related to building and maintaining our facilities, and all administrative expenses -- including our coaches' and all of our department team members' salaries. The Michigan Athletic Department is one of the few athletic departments in the country that is completely self-supporting and pays its own way. This will not change.

We do not want to just maintain our position as one of the best when it comes to education and sports competition. We want to be the best.

In order for the Michigan Athletic Department to succeed, we will be asking many of our fans and supporters to invest in our future.

Our student-athletes wear the block M proudly. They represent the University of Michigan on the national and international stage in athletic competition at the highest level. As important, most of these young men and women will represent the U-M as leaders in their chosen profession, as they build and lead communities in something other than sports. An investment in these young men and women is more than just an investment in the future of Michigan Athletics. It is an investment in the education of these student-athletes and an investment in their future. Michigan student-athletes not only need our support, they are worthy of our support.

I invite you to view our new website and not only look at our ideas for the future, I invite you to be a part of the team that will bring those plans to fruition, allowing our student-athletes to have the best chance of success in competition and the best preparation for leaving here and becoming great husbands and wives, moms and dads, and leaders in their communities.

Go Blue!

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