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Advice for Schlissel: Win more games

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Today, Mark Schlissel is installed as the 14th  president of the University of Michigan. We welcome him to Ann Arbor. In the time-honored tradition of busybody neighbors, we want to give him some advice. He didn’t ask for it, he might not want it or need it. But we hope he’ll take a few minutes and read it. Ann Arbor’s full of hypersmart, outspoken people. That’s a big part of what makes this place amazing. Enjoy, and join in the fun! 

Lee Saye​r​s at the Big House | Benjamin Weatherston

Lee Saye​r​s at the Big House | Benjamin Weatherston

Lee Sayers has lived in Ann Arbor since 1982 and is a diehard U-M football fan; she’s proudly held season tickets since 1976. She worked 27 years in the University of Michigan Health System as a nurse, much of that time in pediatric cardiothoracic intensive care.

Since the horrific decision to hire Rich Rodriguez, the football program has gone to hell in a handbasket. Not only do we have bad teams, but the ticket prices have increased. The idea that I have to make a donation of X amount, depending on where my seats are, in order to even purchase the tickets, is outrageous. And if you can’t make it to a game, it’s hard to even sell your tickets. They used to stand in line to buy your tickets. But no one wants to have anything to do with Michigan football these days.

Rodriguez negatively impacted our tradition. We had the worst three years that we’ve had in 30 years and it cost us as a university and as a football program. And we haven’t done much better lately.

Athletic Director Dave Brandon has brought in tons of money, but at the cost of alienating many long-time fans. He’s ultimately responsible for the price increases and for Brady Hoke, the current coach. If we don’t have a winning season and win the Big Ten championship this year, they both should go.

The attitude within the program has changed. Under Bo Schembechler, if a player drew a stupid penalty, his tail was on the bench, at least for one play. Now, everyone gets a pat on the back, no matter what. There’s less discipline in terms of coaches and players. When Bo was there, no one player stood above the team. In recent years, there have been players who have been expected to carry the team. And you can see the results; it hasn’t worked. One player cannot win football games.

I haven’t seen that team spirit for a long time.

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