NONFICTION

Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football

St. Martin's. 2015. 480p. ISBN 9781250078971. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466891548. SPORTS
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Sportswriter and University of Michigan alum Bacon (Fourth and Long) chronicles the recent history of his alma mater's Wolverine athletics, focusing on former athletic director Dave Brandon's controversial four-year reign that ended with his sudden, and in many quarters celebrated, 2014 resignation. Bacon digs deep behind the headlines to reveal the details of how the onetime Domino's Pizza CEO alienated many students, alumni, and local community fans by ignoring traditions, making widespread policy and personnel changes, raising revenues but spending lavishly, and trying to bring a cutthroat corporate culture to campus. The author quotes liberally from a long list of insiders and adds his own pro-Michigan and mostly anti-Brandon perspective. Brandon himself, however, declined to be interviewed, leaving only a few supporters to feebly defend him. The story concludes with a detailed account of the school's successful recruitment of high-profile football coach and Michigan alum Jim Harbaugh, a well-publicized event that the author, and many other Michigan fans, hope will help get the Wolverine athletic program back on track.
VERDICT This is an obvious must-read for University of Michigan sports fans but is also recommended to anyone interested in college sports, university administration, and organizational leadership.

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