Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Is Brad Bates Michigan enough for Michigan?
Michigan created a PR nightmare when they announced and then denied a ticket promotion with Coke. But people tend to overlook promotions and tickets don't need discounts when you are winning. That is the bigger problem in Ann Arbor. It would seem that Brady Hoke is in trouble, but the fans and critics who see the big picture want an AD change first. If Michigan makes a change in their Athletic Department, plenty of names will be floated, including BC's Brad Bates.
I was thinking about Bates and Michigan during the Utah blowout. This article on the topic (HT EO) seems like spitballing more than reporting, but you don't need a source to know that Michigan is going to look for replacements among their own alumni. All colleges have their own myopic and self-centered culture, but Michigan is one of the most closed off. Their iconic coach Bo Schembechler instilled this philosophy when he said "Michigan man is going to coach Michigan." Ever since then they've been looking for their Michigan Men. Sometimes it works (see Red Berenson) and sometimes it doesn't (see Brady Hoke). If you're an outsider, the culture can work against you (see RichRod). If they decide they need a Michigan Man to clean things up, Brad Bates is going to be on the short list.
Will it happen? Would Bates want to return to his Alma Mater? I don't know and really I don't care. I think Bates is fine, but I never expected him to have a long tenure. As with so many sports hires, you get someone who was different from the previous coach or director. Gene was a long-time BC employee who left his fingerprints on everything. It would only be natural that his successor would only be at BC a short time. Bates already accomplished enough in my opinion, to leave on good terms. His tenure confirmed that there is life after Gene and he made what seems to be a good football hire. The ACC is more stable now too (regardless of what Bates did or didn't do on BC's behalf). There is still plenty left to do and plenty to still asses, but I would have no problems if Bates went to Michigan. There are plenty of BC guys who would love to take his spot.