Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wolverine Wednesday: Losing a Negotiation

Side Note:  Thank you for all the entries to the "Guess the score" contest.   We will take entries right up to 7:30 on Saturday night.   

A good negotiation ends where both parties give a little and neither side feels like they won.   In the business world, these happen a thousand times a day.   I have no idea what Warde Manuel's experience is in negotiation but I suggest he take a class at Michigan's Business School or MBA program.   

Warde has done a nice job as Michigan's AD so far, he is quiet and stays out of the headlines.  Leave those to Jimmy and Coach B and you run the business of Michigan Athletics.  For the most part, he has done that.  

His biggest mistake so far in his job, is this trip to ND this weekend.  From afar it looks like Warde got beat badly by ND's Jack Swarbrick who practiced law for 28 years before becoming ND's athletic director. Warde would be a 4 touchdown underdog to Jack at the negotiation table.

We know how this started.  Jack gave Dave Brandon a letter before the start of the ND - Michigan game ending the series after the Fighting Irish joined the ACC.

Jimmy then calls Brian Kelly and says that "we should renew this rivalry" and Brian agreed.   Then they asked both their AD's to do their jobs.   Jack then takes Warde to the woodshed and now Michigan is heading to South Bend this weekend to play a night game.

One of the things I believe is very important for Michigan Football is playing home games.   I also don't believe in playing a big game for the first game of the year.   Michigan has been "selling" off way too many home games lately and starting the season away from the Big House.   Recent examples include:  Alabama, Utah (this was a home and home contract - so I understand it), Florida, and now ND.

If Warde got the series back with ND, then why was it a loss?
  1. Michigan played at South Bend to end the series.  Michigan will be playing two games in a row in South Bend. 
  2. Warde had to pay millions of dollars to Arkansas buying out of the "home and home" contract 
  3. Michigan was scheduled to start the year at home against Arkansas
  4. In 2019 ND travels to the Big House on October 26th
  5. Michigan also has to travel to MSU and OSU this season
  6. The 2019 schedule now opens with Middle Tennessee State, Army, then a bye in week 3
  7. In 2020 Michigan opens at Washington
That is a blowout folks.   I don't see anyway Michigan interests were considered here at all.   Let's hope Michigan turns the tables on them on the field Saturday night. 

  • Jimmy said that Tru Wilson is the #3 RB.  No idea if that is due to Christian Turner's injury  or not, as coach has been very high on Tru for a long time.  

  • Some rumors debunked:  Hughes the Utah transfer has decided to stay on the team, Higdon and Gary are not hurt.   People doing the numbers are saying Michigan is still one or two over the 85 scholarship limit, which probably means there is another transfer we haven't heard about yet.  If your wondering, Grant Newsome's scholarship does not count against the 85 limit once he medically retired.  


Trevor said...

Hey Bob. On the Attach Each Day podcast, Jim Hackett addressed the ND issue and said Michigan going to ND this year was due to TV contracts. He also said that it would be made up in Michigan's favor down the road.

Cormac said...

If wasn't the ND AD that schooled Warde, it was the Networks. Either way, someone at Michigan should have said no deal. The conversation should have gone something like this, "It sounds like you guys need Michigan more than Michigan needs you guys. You know where you can reach us. Have a nice day, bye!" click.

Tommertoffo said...

I agree this was a mistake....and costly.
I understand that TV $ will make up for the $2 million loss to Arkansas - a home on home series that I'm so sad was lost.
I also understand that Michigan needs a minimum of 7 home games for the Athletic Director budget.
But, to schedule ND two home games in a row to re-instate the series without any additional benefit is a failure in negotiation.
ND would have GLADLY added a single home basketball game in Ann Arbor to get the exact same deal.
Ward Manuel, a good man, need to be a tougher negotiator.

clay56 said...

Having Michigan on the road to open a prime time night game against ND, is good for college fans across the country. I just hope this season is not a rerun of what took place last season after we beat Florida on the road.

Bob said...

Thanks Trevor. I don't buy that excuse. ND has the most flexible TV contract with NBC and Michigan already had a high profile game scheduled at home for the opener, which would have be a national broadcast. I'm also pretty sure Jim Hackett was gone when this contract was signed.

Cormac said...

>He also said that it would be made up in Michigan's favor down the road.

Umm, did he get that in writing (and in triplicate?)? Otherwise, it is a promise or IOU, and we know IOU is only as good as the paper it is written on. It's an empty promise. The long and the short of is, ND and the Network(s) pulled one over on Michigan and they are laughing all the way to the proverbial bank!