Exit Nate Johnson

Submitted by Ace on October 4th, 2017 at 9:46 AM

[Bryan Fuller]

Sam Webb reported this morning that redshirt freshman cornerback Nate Johnson has been permanently dismissed from the program:

Jim Harbaugh wasted little time taking action after Johnson was arrested early Saturday morning for an alleged assault of a woman he'd been dating. Johnson was arraigned on Sunday on one count of misdemeanor domestic violence.

Johnson came to Michigan in the 2016 class as a slot receiver, then moved to cornerback in the offseason; he featured as a punt returner in the spring game but ceded that job to Donovan Peoples-Jones in the fall. He hadn't seen significant snaps this season on defense.


Everyone Murders

October 4th, 2017 at 10:06 AM ^

Bad news for the alleged victim (i.e., the incident, not the dismissal), Johnson and the team.  On the bright side, it sounds as though our coaching staff and athletic administration are handling this matters in a way that reflects well on the school, and reinforces a culture of respect.

Hail Harbo

October 4th, 2017 at 6:39 PM ^

Right now, at this instant, it looks like the culture is that players that get in trouble with the law, but are star material, get a HUGE benefit of the doubt.  Whereas players that are having trouble finding their football identity that find themselves in trouble with the law, are easily dismissed.

M Ascending

October 4th, 2017 at 10:37 AM ^

Interesting that he was dismissed so peremptorily even though only charged iwth a misdemeanor.  Either you're right that he admitted to what he had done and the coaching staff felt it was bad enough to warrant dismissal, or he has had other issues that have not been made public and the cumulative conduct was too much to bear.

Either way, it's good to see this being handled promptly and definitively, once the staff decided that action was warranted.

big john lives on 67

October 4th, 2017 at 10:55 AM ^

You should not be selling this simple-minded garbage whether you really believe it or are just trying to rile everybody up.

Michigan's discipline has been swift and severe based upon the facts of the case only. Picking and choosing individual cases to suit a flawed premise is unacceptable when you are dealing with other people's integrity. We should be better than that.


October 4th, 2017 at 11:00 AM ^

just kind of kidding around.  Not trying to "rile everybody up."  Not everything that everybody says on a blog should be taken super literally with serious import.  You can't get around the optics here, even if it is not the case at all.  Relax.

True Blue Grit

October 4th, 2017 at 11:16 AM ^

without knowing you personally or reading your entire posting history, it's extremely difficult for most of us to know if you're serious or not.  Sometimes, it's easy to tell sarcasm, other times not.  In your post, it was not at all obvious.  Just saying.


October 4th, 2017 at 11:25 AM ^

thought /ducks would do, I guess not.

And I'm not saying it was entirely 100% sarcastic.  Would Nate Johnson be kicked off the team already if he was a standout starter?  I don't know, but it is certainly possible that (as with basically every program in the nation) we may be "waiting for the legal process to play out" in that case.

But I don't know the details of the case.  It was just a mild self-referential quip.  Things have gotten very touchy around here. 


Ali G Bomaye

October 4th, 2017 at 10:57 AM ^

Perry was essentially playing grabass outside a bar. That isn't a good thing, but it's not expulsion-worthy.

Who knows what Johnson told the coaches he did, and I'd prefer not to speculate, but it's certainly possible that it was more severe than what Perry did, completely aside from their respective roles on the team.


October 4th, 2017 at 11:06 AM ^

I don't think we should term what he did as "playing grabass." It's not a game. It's a violation of someone's person. It doesn't matter if she wasn't hurt by what Perry did, it's still mysogny and reprehensible. Saying "playing grabass" makes it seem like it's not that big of a deal. And that doesn't mean you don't think it's a big deal, I just think it's poor word choice. 

And Perry didn't just grab her. He also lied to police, had a fake ID and resisted arrest. I don't think Johnson and Perry incidents are equal though. Just hope that Perry has learned a very valuable lesson. 


October 4th, 2017 at 1:38 PM ^

type of response to other people is becomming way too common.  He has an opinion, his opinion is that grabbing another person's ass should not result in jail time and a criminal conviction.   My guess is that his opinion is an unpopular one without much support.  But this "peice of shit" and "f-you" stuff...... come on.  There is just no cause for that.  This is turning into a completely uncivilized society.  Why do people talk to each other like that?


October 6th, 2017 at 12:22 PM ^

they are the definer of "morality," and those that disagree are by defintion immoral.

There is literally no difference netween you and any huckster preacher anywhere, nor any street corner dude with a bull horn yelling about sin. None.


October 5th, 2017 at 7:09 AM ^

1. hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women, or prejudice against women.

2. dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

Can you please explain why you used the term misogyny in your post? I think you might just be trying to be cool and not really know what misogyny means. I’m happy to be proved wrong though.

(And just because the Australian Prime Minister misused the term in a speech once doesn’t make using it wrongly the right thing to do).

Oregon Wolverine

October 4th, 2017 at 12:05 PM ^

It's more than a "not good thing."  The emerging consensus is that everyone experiences trauma through the lens of their experience and emotional health.  Trauma is subjective.

"Grab ass" may seem relatively innocuous to a health person who has a healthy emotional response , self-esteem, and good defense mechanisms.  However, it can be extremely harmful emotionally to others, say for instance someone who was previously sexually abused or raped.  Not to mention if they suffer from some underlying personality disorder (spectrum) or have a major mental health problem, seperate from or on top of the prior abuse, rape.

While I think the "victim" culture in which we live is unhealthy for a variety of reasons far too complex for me to describe in this blog, others ascribe to that culture and we have to recognize they are entitled to that perspective too.  Its part of their subjective experience.  

As relates to Perry, I'm confident that Harbaugh has carefully considered the underlying incident, but from the outside looking in, it doesn't look good, so I have to assume there is a compelling counter-narrative that Harbaugh found persuasive.  That the prosecutor gave Perry a very good resolution also suggests the counter-narrative is compelling. 

That's from a criminal defense lawyer with 25+ years of practice and a focus defending DV and sexually related offenses.  (Also three daughters, 17, 14 and 10).  


October 4th, 2017 at 3:20 PM ^

Unless he had reason to believe he would cause severe trauma by grabbing her ass, punishing him for what could have happened in some bizarre edge case is insane.  The fact of the matter is grabbing ass is harmless.  If the girl had a disproportionate reaction to it, that's her fault not his.


October 4th, 2017 at 12:44 PM ^

offensive lineman that I haven't thought of in a while, was Juwan Bushell-Beatty so bad that he cannot be used on a really poorly performing offensive line?  Is he hurt?  It surprises me that a guy who played a lot in big situations last year has not been on the field, particulary when he did not seem that bad last year when he did play.


October 4th, 2017 at 2:09 PM ^

People can neg ijohnb's "sarcastic" negativity all tbey want, and we can speculate all we want about the particulars of Johnson's assault, but the bottom line is their relative value to the organization played a part in this swift justice.
As it would in virtually any setting...


October 4th, 2017 at 10:28 AM ^

It didn't sound good when it happened, and my guess is Johnson basically admitted enough to the staff that they determined a return wasn't an option.  Glad this was resolved quickly and the victim recovers.


October 4th, 2017 at 10:45 AM ^

They likely have more info than what has been released.

I like the message this sends to other players and to recruits and their parents. And to the student body and to the world basically.


October 4th, 2017 at 3:40 PM ^

The message this sends to recruits and their parents is that we'll kick you off the team without due process of law.  We care more about public perception than winning games and protecting your future.  We are disloyal, and we don't care about our players.  That's the message it sends to recruits.  It's a terrible message.


Unless it comes out that Johnson flat-out told the coaching staff that he socked her in the face because she wouldn't give him a slice of pizza (or something equivalently unjustifiable), punishing him so severely before the case is resolved is not going to play well with recruits.  Even in that case, Johnson confided in the coaches and they sold him down the river.  There's no way to try and spin this as a positive for us.