Clark, Toussaint Out For Alabama

Submitted by Brian on August 31st, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Fitzgerald Toussaint Purdue v Michigan D7mJDURiHBXl[1]UMFB_SugarBowl_FrankClark-thumb-590x391-99369[1]


Statement from Head Coach Brady Hoke on running back Fitzgerald Toussaint and defensive end Frank Clark:

"Fitzgerald Toussaint and Frank Clark have been suspended for one game and will not make the trip to Dallas for Saturday's game.

"The decision was not easy, but I feel it is in the best interest of this program and for these kids, and those always will be my priorities.  We have choices every day, and you have to be accountable to this program, your teammates, your family and the University of Michigan.

"These are our sons.  These are real lives, and I think too often many people forget that.  It's not always just about football, or a football decision.  It's about teaching life lessons, and if this helps these kids or someone else make a right decision later, then we've won.  That is ultimately what we are here for, to help them grow and mature to become better sons, fathers, husbands and members of society.

"They are good young men who made poor choices, and we will continue to support them as members of our team and family." 

Both will be back for Air Force. Thomas Rawls, Vincent Smith, and Dennis Norfleet(!) will have to pick up the slack at RB, with some possibility Stephen Hopkins will also get RB snaps. Black and Beyer will likely handle DE with some possibility Mario Ojemudia gets in as a rush specialist.



August 31st, 2012 at 5:26 PM ^

This is my favorite spin:


This is the type of shit that makes the Press detest a coach. You have to be a little more forthright with stuff like this. He's stringing everyone along, that stuff was acceptable in the 80s, but today you need to be a little more open with the public.

Tom Izzo is one of the best at this, he's learned just to come out and say what he's thinking, it keeps everyone happier, and it's the right thing to do.

So clearly all of you WALVERINES applauding Hoke for this are WRONG. He was so darn RUDE to the media. And being nice to the media is the true mark of a great coach


August 31st, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

It's baffling to me that so many people here thought the long will-he-or-won't-he period signaled that Fitz was going to play. Never in a million years was Hoke going to say, at the last second, "to hell with suspensions -- they're playing!" That would have looked awful. The decision to suspend these guys was obviously made long ago. Hoke was just trying to game Bama.

BlueSpiceIn SEC.hell

August 31st, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

   Like Coach Hoke - are able to make clear, proper decisions in situations that others view as difficult.  I don't think this was a difficult decision for Brady to make.  It just was a difficult pill for Fitz and Clark to swallow, their fellow teammates and our fanbase.  Part of his foundation is accountability and the integrity that goes with it.

I could say so much more, but will stop the pontificating now...This is why we are recruiting well, producing better on the field and will continue under Brady Hoke to be Leaders and Best. 

Blue boy johnson

August 31st, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

On the bright side: Fitz didn't really show up for the Va Tech game and M won that one.

Toussaint v Va Tech:

Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
Toussaint, F.   13   32    2   30  0 14  2.3



August 31st, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

and hoke once again fails to disappoint. he considered the facts and, in my opinion, came to the 100% right decision.

now, who wants to bet that Drew Sharp (who has been riding this story's ass for 2 weeks now essentially taunting Hoke for NOT suspending fitz and clark) will come out next with a column not praising Hoke's decision, but instead finding fault with how Hoke handled the process (i.e., playing strategic games with Alabama's prep).


August 31st, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

If we win without them, we will look that much better. If we lose without them, the MSM (and us, let's be honest) will use it as some form of an excuse so we won't look as bad. Combine that with it being the best message to send to the team, the players, and to future recruits and their families, it's a no brainier really. Can't believe I ever thought they might play.

Ron Utah

August 31st, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

I learned awhile back that there are three steps to integrity:

  1. Discern right from wrong.
  2. Make the right choice, even at personal cost.
  3. Stand by your decision, and be willing to explain it openly and honestly.

Hoke did exactly this, and I agree that he had probably made this decision long ago.  My guess is that Fitz and Clark each have worked VERY hard to get the suspension reduced to one game and that it started at 2-4.

Honestly, I don't think Toussaint was going to make the difference in this game.  I'm glad Coach is doing the right thing, and I'm proud to be a Wolverine.  And I still believe.



August 31st, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

It was clear from the start that this would be the outcome.  Its the same type of punishment that has been handed out in the past (think stonum).  It was also clear from a strategic standpoint that you don't make your intentions know to your enemies until the very last minute.  Keep them guessing.  I actually think it won't be as big a loss as one expects from a running back perspective.  Fitz has yet to have a big game against a stout front seven, just look at the Sugar Bowl.  I actually beleive small quick backs such as Hayes and possibly Norfleet can have a few productive big plays against an agressive swarming defense like Alabama's that will result in scores or set up ones.

Blue plays a great team game and better yet they believe thay can win.  That's what counts.


August 31st, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

For all the things we love about Hoke, we can now add one more. Well played, sir, and well stated. Parents of recruits, take notice. This guy has the your son's back, and not just on the football field. This is not the Ess Eee Cee. 


August 31st, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

I expect a lot of short passing on screens and laterrals that will basically make some of our quick slots into spare running backs. Justice Hayes much?


August 31st, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

Hoke played that very well. I had a feeling he would, and that there would be satisfaction with the outcome, but the timing and wording in the press release puts the whole mess into perspective. It is all about the kids and their future.

I'm sure both of them will not only regret not playing in the Cowboy Classic, but they will also feel the sting of not being allowed to go with the team to Dallas.

Tough, but good.

Moonlight Graham

August 31st, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

this press release and it can become a concise mission statement for the personal conduct aspects of Michigan football. It's efficiently and eloquently worded. There is no margin for misinterpretation or critique. I believe "masterpiece" was used down-thread and I second that -- Michigan supporters should proud. 


August 31st, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

This suspension accomplishes nothing.  People aren't going to not drink and drive so they can play.  The only thing is accomplishes is a blowout for Alabama.  Game over.


August 31st, 2012 at 2:48 PM ^

I'd like you to elaborate on your point.  Do you not believe that punishment deters bad behavior?  Or just this punishment.  If I was another player on the team, and I saw how my teammates were let down, how my name was splattered all over Sportscenter/Gameday and how the fans were pissed and disappointed in me, I think I would think twice before doing something bad. 

This works similarly as a normal citizen.  Although I know the dangers of drinking and driving, if the punishment was nominal, like a speeding ticket, I'd probably push it a lot more.  Since I know how much money it would cost me, I try to avoid it as best I can.


August 31st, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

Not playing Toussaint does not guarantee a "blowout" for Alabama.  He is one good running back. 

If this team can't score any points without Toussaint on the field, we are in big trouble anyway.  We have to be more than just one running back. 


August 31st, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

Who cares about teaching him a lesson?  Do you personally know these players?  You care about their welfare?  You care if they succeed as good businessmen?  I sure don't.  Just put 7 on the board and I'll be on my way.

turd ferguson

August 31st, 2012 at 1:58 PM ^

I have no idea why we hired Brady Hoke when we could have hired you.  Please send your resume to the AD office immediately.

I'll notify all of the recruits and their families out there who are looking for college football coaches to mentor their sons.  You sound like a winner.


August 31st, 2012 at 4:31 PM ^

With all due respect, that 'Bama troll put this fellow to shame. He built up a decent post-history and contributed to be board before unleashing a subtle, but completely condescending and arrogant, series of questions about why Michigan will get destroyed. 


August 31st, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

I see that you're just a troll now, but yes, I care about their welfare.  Their students at Michigan, something I was at one point.  They're not just football players.  So yeah, I want them to do well in all of the aspects of their lives that are more important than football, which is a lot of them.


August 31st, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

No.  So stop being hypocritical.  Good programs "Notre Dame, Vaderbilt, Duke" all suck at football.  Bad programs succeed "Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State"