I am conflicted regarding this whole situation.
- I didn't know that being first on the depth chart implied that Fitz was starting vs. Alabama. It seems to me that Fitz can still be suspended the first game, or not start in the first game but play the second half, or yet some other option, while being listed first on the depth chart.
- I am ambivalent as to whether or not Fitz plays. I am content to leave this in Hoke's hands.
- I appreciate that Hoke doesn't seem too concerned about what the fanbase thinks. He is the coach and has the right to mete out the punishment he sees being fit, somewhat regardless of what other programs do or what the fanbase wants him to do.
- In most workplaces I know, and school settings I know, receiving a DUI while not on the job does not necessarily result in any punishment whatsoever. The punishment received from the government (suspension of driving privileges, community service work, fines and penalties) does not directly correlate to any repercussions received at work or school.
- I don't fully agree with the "higher standards" stuff regarding football players. If they are held to a higher standard, this should be spelled out clearly in the scholarship language, or by the NCAA, or the Big 10, etc. If there is a workplace where you can and will be fired for a DUI, this would generally be spelled out prior to your employment.
- I don't drink, let alone drink and drive. (Caveat: communion wine.) I've never been hit by a drunk driver. None of my friends or relatives have been hit by drunk drivers. I appreciate what MADD has done in highlighting the dangers of drunk driving. Having said that, I do not put drunk driving on a par with murder. I don't want a society where we are punished because of the "potential" of doing harm. I have no problem with Fitz losing his license, having large fees and fines, having extreme conditions placed on future driving. But I do, to some degree, feel we have gone overboard with this. The reality is that you can't argue with someone who feels strongly about this, so I won't try. But drinking has been with us forever, and for most of civilization, there were no cars, so a drunk couldn't cause the same amount of danger.
- However, I do think Fitz showed extremely poor judgement. Having drunk in campus bars and in my fraternity, I can't imagine driving after the same. I don't know if Fitz felt a sense of entitlement, but no one is entitled to drink and drive, and I'm glad that the Ann Arbor Police didn't give him a pass for his bad choices.
EDIT: After reading the transcript of Hoke's press conference, it seems highly probable that Fitz doesn't play on Saturday. I believe that Hoke is simply keeping private matters private . . . it isn't anyone's business what Hoke does in disciplining Fitz (& Clark.) This is consistent with the Fort Hoke mentality, where neither the coaches nor the players shoot off at the mouth more than necessary.