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Mike Valenti On MI After Dave Brandon: Jim Harbaugh Is The Only Unifying Choice

By Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit

ANN ARBOR (CBS Detroit) They started the show with funeral music.

And from there, 97.1 The Ticket's Mike Valenti and Terry Foster played some of their favorite Dave Brandon verbal "hits" before moving on to the "Celebration" song.

It was the day beleaguered University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon resigned at a 1:30 p.m. press conference. The announcement was made by University President Mark Schlissel, who said Brandon decided it was in the best interest of student athletes and the university community that he move on.

Schlissel said Brandon is going to "move on to other challenges" and leave U-M athletics without "daily distractions."

"I agree with this decision," Schlissel said.

Valenti wasn't surprised. "I said he'd be gone by the end of the year," he said.

Who should replace him? "Harbaugh," Valenti said, adding he's the only unifying choice. He added the university should go so far as to pursue and make Harbaugh say no publicly.

Foster said: "I know Michigan wants Jim Harbaugh ... but Jim Harbaugh doesn't need Michigan ... He's not begging for this job."

Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers, played at Michigan under Bo Schembechler. Valenti said he's the guy they should hire, but he's unsure if Harbaugh would accept an offer or use a U-M offer to drive up his price in the NFL.

Harbaugh hasn't weighed in on the Michigan job, but in 2007 when he was the head coach at Stanford, he seemed to have some sturdy, and unflattering, opinions about his alma mater.

"Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there," he said, "but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in and, when they're in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They're adulated when they're playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won't hire them."

As for Brandon, he was not present for the press conference; the new interim athletic director Jim Hackett, a former teammate of Brandon's in the 1970s, thanked Brandon for all the work he had done to modernize the athletic department.



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