Interim Athletic Director Jim Hackett is a University alum, played football under Bo Schembechler and has had connections to Michigan for more than four decades.
But there’s a popular phrase Hackett doesn’t like, and he’s hoping to eradicate it in the coming months.
“I want to get rid of the word ‘Michigan Man,’ ” Hackett said at his press conference Tuesday afternoon, when he announced the firing of Michigan football coach Brady Hoke. “There’s three reasons:
“One is we live in a world where no business or anything we talk about just men in it. So that’s first.
“Second, the guy who said that, Bo Schembechler — one of my mentors and heroes — was being challenged about a coach being recruited somewhere else, and he meant he wanted the person at Michigan to be the coach.
“The third thing, though, if you let it stand for what it’s supposed to mean, here’s what it means: If you cut open the soul of the people that are ‘Michigan Men,’ so to speak, you find first selflessness. This was a point about how we stand for the team first.
“The second thing is the ability to win, be competitive. The competitive spirit in my lifetime and with others that you see around here that played, we knew that we had to work really hard. It wasn’t arrogance; it was about being competitive.
“The third thing is we want to continue the legacy of what has been great from a value standpoint. This place does not need to cut corners to win. You’ve got a lot of pride in the fact that you come here, you know you’re signing up to be the best in the world without any shenanigans going on.”