“He hasn’t felt the need for our advice,” Allan Stam, a political science professor and [University of Michigan Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics] committee member, said of [UM athletics director Dave] Brandon. “We don’t have a role, in that if our role is simply to provide advice for the athletic director when he chooses to ask for it.”

Well, it’s a tricky formulation as expressed, but you can understand Stam’s difficulty. He sits on an advisory committee that does nothing and knows nothing. Its function is to give institutional legitimacy to Michigan’s rancid sports program. And most of the committee members are happy to play along:

“It’s not our job to micromanage the athletic department,” offered Michael Imperiale, a microbiology professor and committee member. “Really, this is an athletic department. It’s not an academic unit.”

I mean, it doesn’t have students or anything; it has no impact on the academic life or reputation of the university… It’s just, you know, an athletic department.

That being the case, though, why is Imperiale on the committee? Shouldn’t he be working to abolish it?

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