Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
I will say this in regards to anyone who was okay with the booing. If you will tell me honestly that you would walk up to one of the players at half-time and boo them to their face, by yourself, then I think you are an asshole but at least you're owning up. If you feel it's okay to boo or insult or curse the players and you would be willing to do that to their face then I guess I can live with that. I have a feeling that most of you would not and you hide in the see of a mob where you are nothing more than an empty face. I've always felt that if you are going to say something about a person, you had better be willing to say it to their face or else you are a coward. I would not have booed, I would also not be able to do it to their face. Those players do things that you, in your greatest day, would not be able to do. You can not even imagine the feats they are capable of and for that reason alone you have no right to boo. There are many others, like the fact that they are kids and inexperienced and I could go on and on. The simple fact is that if you booed the team or think it's okay to boo kids, then ask yourself if you would be willing to do that to them in the tunnel, to their face, by yourself. If not, you are not a fan, you are a coward.
Marques was the first recruit I actually remembered the name of and knew a little about. I was still in HS and I knew nothing of Michigan on the other than a unhealthy love for the football team and being able to watch them on TV. Being from Montana, I often had to defend being a fan, and prove that I knew something. Slocum was my defense. I could drop his name and his story and I grew to becoming one of his bigger supporters, because he had unknowingly provided me the credentials to prove my "fanhood". I remember feeling bad for Marques when the "Fuck Lion" thing came out, because I knew that the internet and UM rivals would eat him up for it. I wathched as UM fans defended him and said that it was just "him being him". Yet we defended him because he was ours. We justified his journey and eventual admittance as a success story, while others just labeled him the Jarrell Powe of the North.
Marques's situation is a microcosm of what is wrong with the NCAA. We as fans, glamorize his preseverence, yet others view it as another jock getting a free pass into school. I know it's been rehashed over and over, but I have yet to "hash" it so just read on. Does the product of the NCAA (that in which we all would kill for) justify the process? I look at Marques and see a kid who had so much sunshine blown up his ass growing up that he never realized it could end. What 18 year old would? Then he doesn't qualify, and no one is there to coddle him. Unlike most kids in his situation, Marques guts it out, on his own, to pursue a dream. Most just quit because its too hard, but Marques continues. As UM fans this is admirable to us, but maybe to others it's still just another kid who will eventually be admitted because he can break through a double team to get to the QB. Either opinion is viable and they aren't really the point. The point is, what does Marques do now? Maybe he realized CFB wasn't what he thought it would be, maybe school is too hard, maybe he's tired. I don't know and won't speculate as too what possible reasoning is behind this. My point to all of this, is that there is none. There is no point, because there is no solution. This will never really change, because it can't. It's not the NCAA's fault, it's not the University's fault, it's not really anyone's unless you want to throw out the generic "society is to blame" rationale because it seems easier to do that then to try to make changes. In the end, Marques is the discharge from a faulty process that produces a near perfect product. If you alter the earlier, it will affect the latter. So enjoy the games, root for the players (both on and off the field) and hope that Marques can land on his feet. He's shown everyone that he can work hard to qualify, but hopefully he's shown himself that he can do things off the field...if he wants to. Thank you Marques and good luck.