There was really only one conclusion to be reached when word out of the Michigan football beat circuit reported Friday morning that the Wolverines would hold a Friday afternoon press conference to discuss athletics director Dave Brandon.
They weren't gathering the press together to announce a contract extension.
Moments later, ESPN's Brett McMurphy dropped the hammer.
Simply put, it's been a disastrous fall for Brandon. On top of the football team's 3-5 start, there was the Coke-for-free tickets fiasco, the Shane Morris fiasco, and the sarcastic email fiasco. For a guy whose approval rating has been on a steady decline for the past 18 months, it was too much to overcome - especially when maize and blue mega-donor Stephen Ross announced he wouldn't interfere with Brandon's employment status one way or the other.
We wrote earlier this week that sources close to high-level football coaches - coaches Michigan would certainly want to talk to - would be interested in the job, as long as Brandon was gone. And now that shoe has dropped.
New Michigan president Mark Schlissel is admittedly unfamiliar with managing a major athletics department, leading one to believe the Brandon's replacement will be one that has total control over that side of the university. We said yesterday that Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione is the name to keep in mind here.
For what it's worth, the other name that coaches tell us has been actively working on the job is Warde Manuel (UConn's AD).
Listen below (Brandon audio begins around the 14-minute mark):
Michigan's press conference is set for 1:30 p.m. ET. We'll have more updates as they become available.