Brian September 29th, 2014 at 9:24 AM

9/27/2014 – Michigan 14, Minnesota 30 – 2-3, 0-1 Big Ten

Brady Hoke is too incompetent to be Michigan's coach. He's too incompetent to be responsible for 85 kids who might get badly hurt at any moment. Hell, he's too incompetent to run a Hooters. Do not eat the chicken at Brady Hoke Hooters. That's not chicken.

And that's the nice way to interpret the information presented to us. It's one thing when Michigan is sending out ten guys in their dinosaur punt formation, one thing when they have the country's worst offense relative to available hyped recruits two years running. It's one thing when Michigan is pretending to try by getting Devin Funchess's ankle mangled in the waning moments of a 31-0 game. These are all fireable offenses, but year-end fireable offenses.

It's another thing when the Yakety Sax chaos that has come to symbolize the Hoke regime puts one of Hoke's "115 sons" in danger, as it did Saturday.

Shane Morris had just taken a headshot from a defensive end. He momentarily lost the ability to use his limbs. There was no real reason for him to be in the game anyway, what with his 49 passing yards and air of being totally overwhelmed. And Hoke threw him out there, because he "didn't see" his quarterback stagger onto one of his offensive linemen.

Even if that implausible excuse is true, somebody did. The announcers did. Doug Nussmeier—who was desperately trying to get his quarterback to fall on the ground—did. There were 80,000 people still in the stadium looking at the quarterback, and






knew Shane Morris had just had a very bad thing happen to his brain. When he was left in, they booed vociferously. This is where we're at: the guys booing in the stands are doing so because they fear for the players' health.

This is a long, long way from the "they ain't got no heart" guys from the Rodriguez era. Booing is now the only agency you have when something reprehensible is going on in front of your face. It's gone from childish to necessary.

Brady Hoke had no idea, and even more damningly nobody on his sideline had the sense to overrule the guy who purports to be the head coach. Some guys started yelling at Russell Bellomy to get his helmet on when Gardner lost his a couple plays after entering; Bellomy tried about 50 because he never dreamed he'd go in a game again. Morris re-entered the game. Did he have a concussion?

"Shane's a pretty competitive, tough kid. Shane wanted to be the quarterback. Believe me, if he didn't want to be, he would've come to the sideline, or stayed down."

That is unacceptable. Brady Hoke should have been fired walking off the field.


Dave Brandon is too stupid to be Michigan's athletic director. After a day-long lambasting culminating in ABC's World News Tonight slamming the program, they released a breathtakingly tone-deaf statement that is a flat-out lie.

We generally never discuss the specifics of a student-athlete's medical care, but Shane Morris was removed from yesterday's game against Minnesota after further aggravating an injury to his leg that he sustained earlier in the contest

This is how Shane Morris aggravated his leg injury.

Who are you going to believe, Dave Brandon and his lawyers or your lying eyes?

It does not matter whether Morris was concussed or not. What matters is that Shane Morris showed obvious signs of a concussion immediately after taking a wicked head shot and was permitted to stay in the game, then re-entered some 90 seconds after departing, well before any serious concussion check could be completed. The NFL's process takes 8-12 minutes. The NHL requires players suspected to have sustained a concussion to be removed from the ice and taken to a quiet place for evaluation.

Michigan was flagrantly negligent about Shane Morris's safety. Period.

And then they lied about it. To your face. Because they think you're too fucking dumb to do anything about it.

Michigan's athletic department has been insulting the intelligence of their fans for years with offended statements about how they weren't really going to do the thing they said they were going to do and the thing you're mad about definitely is your fault, not theirs. That was bad enough for petty things like noodles; this is the athletic department lying to the nation about a matter of real import.

This opinion is universal outside a small corps of true believers who have inexplicable faith in the people who are just in charge of the Michigan athletic department.  Hoke has been condemned by the ESPN announcers, Deadspin, Business Insider, Yahoo, Andy Staples, Nick Baumgardner, Wojo, Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel, USA Today's Nicole Auerbach, CBS, CBS again, USA Today's George Schroeder and virtually every other person to offer an opinion about college football this year. Hell, a news program aimed at olds did a segment on it, just after they talked about ISIS.

The die has been cast. Until Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon are removed from this program, This Is Michigan: incompetent liars.

I can't stand by and watch this anymore.


This program is broken. The coach is too dumb to be in charge of other people. The athletic director is so loathed that when the remainder of the student section started to chant something after the concussion fiasco, they went with "FIRE BRANDON." Tickets go for two cokes, and that's too expensive.

Stephen Ross is defending Brandon, and I feel helpless. The thing I love most in the world has been held hostage by unacceptable people. So I'm going to do two things.

I'M NOT GOING TO THE MARYLAND GAME. (Unless Hoke and Brandon are gone.) This is going to break a home attendance streak dating back to the 1997 opener, when I was a freshman, but it's the only thing I can do to show my disgust at the state of the program. I'm not selling my ticket—not that I could sell it for anything. I am eating it. I urge you to do the same. Yeah, it sucks for the players. I am more concerned about sending a message about the program as a whole than making anyone feel bad.


Do it for all of us. I hate it with the fury of a thousand suns, but this is the only thing we have left.

I'M RUNNING FOR REGENT IN 2016. I don't know how or with who yet, but the  board of regents is a broken institution that privately conspires to vote unanimously in favor of everything, in violation of the law. They accepted the presence of Dave Brandon; they run the worst FOIA office in the country; they are supposed to be the check on an increasingly overpaid and unaccountable administrative class at Michigan. They are failures.

Leaders and best. I still believe that. Goddammit, I do. I started the Every Three Weekly with Amol Parulekar and Mike Chu and Paul Malewitz and Michigan allowed that to happen despite it being an obviously not-great idea for them. I learned how to code; I didn't go to my discrete math class for the entire semester and that was cool; I got my brain rearranged by Stephen Kaplan in an immensely productive way. Michigan is awesome. It is awesome in spite of the people in charge of the university's front door.

I love this place, which gave me my education, livelihood, and wife. I am going to do the thing I can to try to help it.


Because this is not Michigan.

[After THE JUMP: more reasons to fire Brady Hoke.]


There's not much point to going over what happened in the usual way Michigan sucks so hard that it doesn't matter anymore. Michigan was comprehensively outgained and blown out by a team that lost 30-7 to TCU. A bowl game is unlikely, to say the least.

But here's some more stuff about why Hoke should be fired.


[Bryan Fuller]

Giving your players the best chance to win: fail. When Sam Webb said he thought Morris would start during our Thursday roundtable on WTKA, Craig, Ed, and I all involuntarily groaned at the same time. Morris had given no indication he was anywhere near ready, and that played out as Michigan's starting quarterback managed 49 yards passing while being just as turnover-prone as Devin Gardner.

By halftime Michigan had just over 100 yards of offense and it was obvious Gardner should be re-inserted; Hoke refused. Morris started hobbling around on one leg; Hoke refused to take him out even then. Morris fumbled without being touched by an opponent; Hoke still did not take him out. Without the Morris injury, Gardner would not have shown up at all.

That is a slap in the face to a guy who was a warrior last year in the face of horrendous pass protection. Michigan was prepared to lose this game to teach Devin Gardner a lesson, because "uh, Shane Morris was our quarterback." Brady Hoke was willing to throw the entire team under the bus to make a point.

Clueless tempo item of the week. Near the end of the first half, Michigan called timeout just before Minnesota spiked the ball. This was because they were trying to substitute while the opponent was in an extreme two-minute mode and got stuck with twelve guys on the field.

The reason they called timeout doesn't really matter; the mere fact that Michigan had no ability to project what would happen after a Gopher first down in that situation is yet more gross incompetence. It feels like nobody on this staff has ever watched the end of a half of football, weekly.


[Bryan Fuller]

"I quit" of the week. Hoke once again quit when victory was still distantly possible. After Gardner drove the team to a touchdown, he kicked an extra point instead of going for two to find out whether he was 2.5 or 3 possessions down, then kicked deep. "I quit," he said. Then facing fourth and ten down 16 with 4 minutes left, he punted. "I quit," he said again.

This has been a pattern in every one of Michigan's blowout losses: offenses that huddle and run the clock down to nothing while trailing by multiple scores in the second half, coupled with starters still on the field. Brady Hoke quits when down, but he wants to keep up the appearance of trying. This is why Devin Funchess is going to spend the year nursing an ankle sprain.

I get why he quits—I also want the games to be over as fast as possible. It's still embarrassing to the program.

Shoe-throwin' quote of the week not related to Shane Morris. Oy.

I think field position was a part of the game. We've got to do a better job. A couple of punt returns went for way too much yardage.

You don't say. Michigan was lucky to only be down three points at halftime; their first two punts should have been brought back 20+ yards but for the incompetence of the Gopher returner, who let one of the punts drop and fumbled the other.

On the severity of the Morris incident. This is the only place on the internet other than the Pravda-like Wolverine where you will find people defending Michigan's actions in the aftermath of the helmet-to-helmet hit on Morris, some even going so far as to assert that the problem might have been with his leg even before the athletic department asserted so.

I cannot fathom why a certain subset of posters insists on reminding us that Brady Hoke didn't intentionally put Shane Morris in harm's way, as if that matters. A major argument they bring is that "X isn't stupid/incompetent," which… why would you be certain about that at this point? They seem to want a standard of evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt and extend the benefit of the doubt to people who have long since lost that privilege. I tell you what, guys: it's just 99 bucks a year for a Rivals subscription.

There is always a faction that wants to downplay everything that people get mad at; the Aggressively Reasonable people spend their entire posting lives clucking at other people that they shouldn't be mad about the thing they're mad about. That combined with a desire to see Brady Hoke as a good guy causes people to say this isn't as big of a deal as everyone here is making it out to be.

Bullshit. The Michigan brand now: send your child to play for a guy who can't tell you've just been hit in the head really hard. Whether it was malice or stunning incompetence doesn't matter: either is grounds for immediate termination.

Toxic. ESPN is clowning Hoke now.

So there's that. 

Toxic Part II. I heard only "Fire Brandon" from the students, and multiple reports that have filtered back to me from the student section say that they were all "Fire Brandon" chants, not "Fire Brady," except for scattered dudes who didn't get the idea. Someone even sent me some video:

There's your future season ticket base. Keeping this guy is impossible even if he wasn't running a confederacy of dunces.

WELL TROLLED, SIR. Is Special K joining the resistance? He played "Numb" by Linkin Park before the game, which is way not on message, and then as I'm exiting I hear "this is it, the apocalypse" from that Imagine Dragons song. Either Special K is a clueless dillweed or he's just as pissed as everyone else.


Inside The Box Score:

I'm left scratching my head wondering what Brady Hoke was trying to do in this game. In Schembechler's account of his first game against Minnesota, he admits this:

Let me tell you the God's honest truth: Even if we got beat up there in Minnesota, I would still have felt better about taking the squad I took than I would have if we'd won that game with a bunch of guys who hadn't practiced all week, guys who let their teammates down, guys who didn't take my word seriously.

So it's obvious Schembechler had a larger goal in mind; it was a "lose the battle but win the war" mentality. Oh to be a fly on the wall in Schembechler Hall so that I might understand what Brady Hoke was trying to prove with this stunt. He sat a 5th year quarterback with significant playing experience, a player so distinguished, with so much ability, talent, and skills that he was given the honor of wearing the Tom Harmon Legends jersey, for a 2nd year quarterback with one start under his belt in college. I thought maybe, just maybe, Gardner was injured. That's the only way this makes sense to me, if the objective was to win the football game. However, when Russell Bellomy couldn't find his helmet to sub in for a play, the truth was revealed. Gardner was not injured, for if he was, Bellomy would have practiced all week and would have the slightest clue where his helmet was. No, Gardner was sat to teach some sort of lesson.

Best And Worst:

I know last week I described the death of my optimism about this season, so this might sound a bit hypocritical to then attack others for voicing their own displeasure, but I am profoundly, mind-numbingly tired of people questioning the desire of college players and the people who have dedicated their lives to making them better.  Now, I'm not defending the results so far on the scoreboard, nor am I saying that I believe guys like Hoke, Funk, Ferrigno, etc. are the best choices for the jobs the currently inhabit.  I still believe that Hoke should be gone, as the number of boneheaded decisions (the punting formation fiasco and the lack of anything resembling tempo or urgency on offense being prime examples) has only increased since he's been at the helm.  But I absolutely believe that he cares about Michigan football and is trying his best to make it a winner, just like everyone else involved with the program; to question the effort and desire put forth by the players and coaches is asinine.

From The Student Section:

…toward the end of the game two things happened on the sidelines near the student section:

  1. A dramatic increase in police and event staff presence.
  2. A rope being held along the sideline and end zone, presumably to prevent a field rush (??).

Did either of these things directly impact my, or really any other students’ lives? Not really. Nevertheless, the symbolism remains. One needs look little further than this to get a good grasp on why the students are so upset with the athletic department. Is the department so distrustful of the students that they want to keep them in line by show of force? Are they so delusional to think that the students would rush the field after a loss? After even a win over Minnesota? over Utah? over literally any home game this season? They’ve taken our water bottles so that they can sell water for $5; they’ve prohibited numerous innocuous items from entering the stadium; three separate event staff members tried to tell me I wouldn’t be allowed to bring a cowbell into the stadium; you can’t bring bags; you can’t bring food. And yet after all of this, they expect us to keep paying such exorbitant prices for tickets? To keep showing up? Don’t get me wrong, I love Michigan Football, I love the Michigan Stadium experience; it’s just that, under Dave Brandon I have yet to really experience either at the Big House.


Bombs away in the Michigan blogosphere. MZone:


 Maize Pages:

In Michigan’s 67-65, 3-OT thriller over Illinois in 2010, Rodriguez pulled Robinson after a hard hit during the 3rd quarter. “He was dizzy and had a headache,” explained Rodriguez, extra cautious his star player might have a concussion. The context is even more important. Rodriguez entered that game 5-3 after 3 consecutive losses to #17 Michigan State, #15 Iowa and at Penn State. Under fire by the media before the season and intense scrutiny by Brandon during the season, Rodriguez pulled the most electric player in college football for his safety in a must-win game. He recruited Robinson, developed him, and above all protected him over his job. If only he was a Michigan Man too.

Genuinely Sarcastic:

I now call on all Michigan fans to stomach the unthinkable: boycott this obscenity until it collapses in on itself. If you have tickets, don't use them. Don't sell them to someone who will. Don't give them away to someone who will. Do not buy tickets, no matter how cheap they become, or how many Cokes you get with them. If someone offers you tickets for free, politely decline. I understand how reprehensible that will sound to some. Many will say that it is still a fan's obligation to support these players. I implore you to reconsider. I beg of you to support these players by putting pressure on those who are destroying them. These players are having their careers derailed by people who are in painfully over their heads, and one of them was put at grave physical risk by the man he trusted with his future today. Shane Morris didn't even walk off the field after the game today; he had to be carted off because he couldn't put weight on his ankle; that's not even considering the concussion he took and then continued to play with.

Maize N Brew:


For starters, Morris never should have been in this huddle. But look at the play clock in the graphic above. THERE ARE A FULL 25 SECONDS ON THE PLAY CLOCK. That is plenty of time for Hoke to either: (1) call Morris back to the sideline and sub in Bellomy, who now has a helmet; (2) call a timeout, which still remains an option every second until the ball is snapped; or (3) PUT IN ANY PLAYER -- WILTON SPEIGHT, BRIAN CLEARY, ALEX SWIECA, LINEBACKER JAKE RYAN, DEFENSIVE TACKLE WILLIE HENRY, ETC. -- THAT IS NOT CONCUSSED.

Even the umpire looks over to Michigan's sideline and asks Hoke if he wants to take a timeout, to which Hoke declines, before starting the play clock.

Maize And Blue Nation:

Then Michigan's coaches failed Shane Morris. It's the coach's job to know whats going on at all times with the players on the field. Hoke admitted to not seeing Shane Morris visibly wobbling back to the huddle after that hit. How you miss that it beyond me. He could barely stand up. How could Doug Nussmeier, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach not pull his guy immediately after seeing that. Shane probably shouldn't have been in the game at that point anyway. He was limping very badly.

I don't even know what to say abut this series of events other than its easily the most concerning thing that happened on a day when there was a lot to be concerned about. But this goes beyond football and x's and o's. This is a blatant disregard for player safety, plain and simple.

Aw man play 60 kid this is a major burn

but you're just the major burn of all major burns so ok.

And this was just a random post on the Scout message board from A1Portable but it's too good to let die with two responses:

We Are Michigan! ...

... and Brady Hoke is a MICHIGAN MAN!

That is all you need to know ... except perhaps ...

...  that Michigan's Athletic Director is a former CEO of a big company that sells pizzas.  Yes, that's right, Michigan's Athletic Director is a former CEO of a big company that sells pizzas! 

So naturally, he is qualified to be Michigan's Athletic Director.  In fact, he is more qualified than any other kind of athletic director, especially the kind who have experience running college athletic departments and hiring coaches.  That is not the kind of experience that prepares a man to be a master of public relations flim-flam, which is what a Michigan Athletic Director must be a master at!

Do you know how hard it is to persuade 100,000 folks to spend more than $1,000 to buy season tickets to college football games when they could have picked up some tickets at 7-11 just by buying a couple liters of Coca-Cola?  I'm telling you, that is not easy, nosiree!  Don't think that any old ordinary athletic director is capable of doing stuff like that.  No, it takes an athletic director who is a genuine former CEO of a big company that sells pizzas to pull off something like that.  Do not try that at home!  

What's that?  You don't understand?  That is because you are just ignorant peons who are incapable of understanding the depths of  the twisted genius of the Michigan Athletic Director.

Do not question the Michigan Athletic Director!  To question the Michigan Athletic Director is to admit, ipso facto, that you are not qualified, or worthy, to question the Michigan Athletic Director!  You know enough about the Michigan Athletic Director not to question the Michigan Athletic Director, but you question the Michigan Athletic Director.  Therefore, you do not know enough about the Michigan Athletic Director not to question the Michigan Athletic Director.

If you are an ignorant peon and continue to question the Michigan Athletic Director, you will be ignored, and then a way will be found for the experience of going to a football game to become so unpleasant that you will "voluntarily" give up your season tickets, which you could have gotten at 7-11 for buying a couple liters of Coca-Cola.

... and one more thing, WE ARE MICHIGAN!  Seriously, we are.


The Penn State game is going to be epic.



September 29th, 2014 at 10:50 AM ^

Before 2000, blue was for Republicans and Red was for Democrats.

Gerald Ford turned Michigan blue in '76, for example.  The original TV map on NBC had Ford as blue and Carter as red, for that election.

CBS, from 1984 on, used the opposite color scheme.  ABC didn't have a hard and fast rule over it.

Until 2000, when the electoral map came up over and over again, it was always mixed.


September 29th, 2014 at 11:05 AM ^

1.  The 2000 Bush/Gore election really popularized the electoral college map, and the most well-known of which was one that featured red for Republicans and blue for Democrats.

2.  Once that color scheme caught on, and the terms "red state" and "blue state" became popular as terms for themselves, the scheme solidified.


September 29th, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

In the U.S., the custom had been to give the incumbent party blue and make the challenger red on the electoral maps, which is why it was blue for the Democrats and red for GOP in 2000.  But that election was so narrow and spawned so much debate that the notion of "red states" and "blue states" came up afterward.

You're right that in most places it's red=left-wing and blue=right-wing.


September 29th, 2014 at 10:29 AM ^

Well now we're at rock bottom, I think.  

Get a new AD.  Get Harbaugh, do whatever it takes.  Get some former players to come in and explain to the current kids what playing here means.  Right the ship.



Yinka Double Dare

September 29th, 2014 at 10:30 AM ^

You need to convince John U Bacon to run for regent with you, if that's allowed. 1) He probably shares your thoughts on all this, and 2) COOK BACON 2016 would be the greatest campaign sign of all time.

los barcos

September 29th, 2014 at 10:31 AM ^

We gotta stop living in the past.....except when we need to bring up RR in every debate about our current staff.

While we're on the topic of past discussions on head injuries, anyone going to bring up Hoke leaving out Lewan the entire second half at PSU last year?  If RR taking Denard out of a game is a fair discussion point (apart from mentioning it above, Brian tweeted about this after the Minny game), then we should also acknowledge Hoke's history on the matter as well. (If I remember correctly, Desmond Morgan was also left out of the Iowa game because of a potential head injury).

Anyways, I am going to go out on a limb and say this whole concussion thing wouldn't be an issue if Hoke is coming off a BCS bowl season and is sitting in the top #10 at 5-0.  But he's not, so now everything becomes a fireable offense.  

At this point, Hoke's coaching record is not defendable, but I am also not sitting here thinking hes a danger to his team, especially given his past record on players with head injuries.



turd ferguson

September 29th, 2014 at 10:52 AM ^

I've been thinking a lot about the 5-0 coming off of a BCS season thing, too.  Like most here, I'm pissed about the Morris thing.  Also like most here, I'd like to see Brandon and Hoke dismissed today.  If we're honest, though, there would be far fewer claims that Hoke should be fired in the wake of that Morris hit if we were winning games.  It's the straw that broke my camel back with Hoke - and a pretty damn heavy straw - but in the context of seemingly every player talking about how much Hoke loves him, I think many of us would find a way to forgive that shitty incident if we were in the middle of a playoff run.


September 29th, 2014 at 12:48 PM ^

This incident alone didn't get people to think Hoke should be fired. No, many were already thinking that after Utah. The Minnesota loss solidified it in stone, barring the nearly impossible 7-0 finish.

No, this incident changed people's opinions from "He should be fired at the end of the year" to "He should be fired NOW". Mainly because it doesn't feel like an isolated incident, but instead a culmination of incompetence that had been building ever since the Akron game last year.

So in the thought-bubble of "Would we respond this way if Michigan was 5-0?" The answer is a no, probably not, but I also think the situation would have been near impossible to occur. First, Shane Morris wouldn't be in the game. So, if we were 5-0, it would be Devin Gardner with a hobbling leg and head shot. How would we react? I have no flipping clue, honestly, because reality is so far different from 5-0 (it's a whol new bizzaro-timeline in which Michigan has righted course and Hoke actually appears to be a competent coach...) that to even bring it up as a hypothetical doesn't even make sense to me given the events that did unfold.

But in this hypothetical where Michigan is 5-0, and against Minnesota Devin Gardner had 49 yards passing, looked increasingly immobile from a leg injury, had two bad turnovers, was down 23 points in the 4th quarter, and then got hit so hard in the head that he couldn't even remain on his feet because it appears he's having concussion-like symptoms and the coaches left him in the game? Yeah, I think we'd still be pissed as a fanbase. And you know what? I bet you some would be calling for Hoke's head anyway...he was on thin ice this year, if he lost to Minnesota that would not help things. But it certainly wouldn't be the seemingly uniform opinion that is held here, and I doubt in that situation anyone would call for his immediate firing.

So, yeah, wins and losses matter in how we react to this poor management. But it's because those wins and losses have significant context in them.


September 29th, 2014 at 10:33 AM ^

Look at this picture and tell me Leftwich isn't concussed:
He wasn't he had an ankle injury, just as Morris did.

Here's another one…
This has been a favorite here at this blog. A player with a bonofied serious head injury. Maybe you'll think twice about gloating about it in the future, which is fine. For now though, the outrage is a little surprising.

I'm watching your gif and I am still looking for the hit to the head.

Ultimately, a Morris had an ankle injury and was hit hard away from the play. Hoke could reasonably be expected to know that Morris had an ankle injury and was wobbling and using a player to support him. Why is it incompetent to leave him in with those facts? After leaving one play later, the staff evaluated him. With the green light, why is it incompetent to let him go back into the game?

I believe these things:
Hoke understands what head injuries are and appropriate response to them.
Hoke cares about his players immensely and would never keep a player who he expected had a head injury in the game.
Hoke does let players play through other injuries.

There was not clear evidence or partial evidence of a head injury. Morris was hit hard in the chest. He had already been limping and using players for support for his ankle injury. His thought, which I think was and is still reasonable, is that Morris was fighiting a painful ankle injury.

Don't speak for everyone in the stands. They may have booed and wanted Morris out. But for many of them it was because the game was over and he was clearly in pain. Not necessarily because they thought 'concussion.' 

I do think the department owes a more detailed account of the events. Once we watch Morris get pulvarized 200 times on infinite loop gif, it's clear he should've gotten checked after such a vicious shot, even though it wasn't to the head. I don't think it makes Hoke incompetent, but some more clear detail about what transpired should be offered.


September 29th, 2014 at 11:08 AM ^

No need to sling insults. I don't have blinders on. I made pretty serious thoughtful comments on the matter.

Is his head whiplashing at the end as he hits the ground what everyone's talking about? Typically if someone's head hits the ground, people don't call it a 'hit to the helmet.' Heads hit the ground every play.

I'm not saying Morris wasn't concussed, I'm asking if Hoke is incompetent for not seeing warning signs. The wobble, the teammate for support, both can be signs of an ankle injury. The hit was to the chest and away from the play. The head hitting the ground at the end may be evidence that there was in fact a concussion, but not evidence that Hoke is incompetent for failing to notice it.


September 29th, 2014 at 11:15 AM ^

I apologize for any insult. I'm just walking the party line, and part of that is pointing out how obvious all of this seems.

"There was not clear evidence or partial evidence of a head injury."

The head "whiplashing" into the ground and the subsequent stumbling is at least partial evidence of a head injury. I don't think reasonable people can disagree about that, especially since "evidence of a head injury" is such a low bar to clear: since concussions are so terrible, the slightest evidence of one (even partial) should be examined. 

"not evidence that Hoke is incompetent for failing to notice it."

Not noticing your quarterback's head bashing the ground (see, I described it as bashing the ground and you described it as whiplash, a term meant to convey movement through the air without contact. Your descriptions lack an essential element of reality) is evidence of negligence/incompetence. 


September 29th, 2014 at 11:34 AM ^

I appreciate the apology. I understand your take, and I just have a different take on it. At this point, Hoke says he didn't see the hit. I have no reason to doubt it and I don't think it shows incompetence. It was away from the play.

I agree teat we've got clear evidence of a partial head injury, so I'll retract that. However, the stumble and teammate support only become relevant evidence if we've seen the hit. Otherwise, they're just further evidence of a hurt ankle. Hoke says he didn't see the hit. I believe him and I don't think it makes him incompetent.

Go Blue in MN

September 29th, 2014 at 12:02 PM ^

many on the sideline certainly did.  We either do not have a protocol for communicating potential head injuries to the head coach (or someone else who could call a time out) or that protocol was not followed.  If Hoke and other coaches had emphasized this, I have to believe that someone would have run over to Hoke and told him Shane needed to be removed immediately for full concussion testing.  Nussmeier, for one.  He clearly was watching.  It can't be the right answer that unless the head coach sees something, players with potential head injuries are simply allowed to keep right on playing.  


September 29th, 2014 at 11:08 AM ^

You realize that a lot of times, the initial hit is not what causes the concussion, right? So you don't have to be hit really hard "in the head" to suffer a concussion. In fact, most of the time, the concussion is caused by the sudden "stop" when you have been sent in motion at a rapid pace from a hard hit.

So sure, maybe it wasn't a direct hit to the head (It was. The crown of the defender's helmet got him under the chin). But there is certainly reason to believe there was a concussion after the back of Shane's helmet slammed on the turf. THAT is usually what causes a head injury. 


September 29th, 2014 at 11:25 AM ^

I do realize that many concussions occur from whiplash or from impact with the ground. We all remember Jhavid Best's concussion while playing for Cal ( and maybe others remember a Sophomore Braxton MIller getting knocked out cold when his head hit the turf 2 years ago  (can't find a video and don't remember the opponent.. I want to say Purdue, he also began throwing up afterward, another sign of concussion... of course he returned to play the entire second half).

I don't think it was a direct hit the head, I don't see the crown of the helmet contacting Shane's chin. We're looking at the same evidence, so I guess we can leave it that it's not clear.

The whole point isn't really to argue whether he truly did have a concussion or not, but whether Hoke is incompetent for not suspecting a concussion and removing him from the game. To reiterate, it was a hard hit away from the play. Very possible Hoke didn't see it. If he did, the relevance of helmet to helmet is actually important. When coaches see a hit to the head, we definitely should expect them to have concern for a head injury. Without that, Morris has just taken a hard hit. It is possible to get a concussion on a hard hit, that doesn't mean a coach is incompetent for leaving a player in after a hard hit.


September 29th, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^

It is amazing. I see the left should pad going right on Shanes number, center chest. The helmet being up and right on Shane's left shoulder. If the ruling on the field is 'helmet hit the chin' I wouldn't overturn it, but if the ruling on the field was 'helmet didn't contact chin' I wouldn't overturn that either. I swear, I'm not blind, and I'm looking at this same gif.


September 29th, 2014 at 11:44 AM ^

"I don't know why everybody is assuming Michigan is lying and that Shane had a concussion."

Has Michigan said that Shane Morris did not have a concussion?  If they have, I must have missed it.  As far as I can tell, they have issued two "damage control" press releases, neither of which asserts that there was or was not a concussion--which is all the national media is talking about in relation to this incident--and neither of which asserts that he was evaluated for a concussion.

I don't think they are lying at all--they are telling the truth very very carefully.


September 29th, 2014 at 12:12 PM ^

Joegeo brings up a good point -- that picture (which has the "Look at this photo and tell me he is not concussed, TELL ME" part still on it, which I think it wrong) does not "prove" Morris had a concussion. I wish it would stop being posted/shown like it does.

After posting that picture along with that comment, Brian rightly noted later, the key to that picture is that Shane Morris needed to be properly evaluated for a concussion. That is what needed to happen and as far as anyone can tell, we haven't gotten a remotely satisfactory answer from UM on how a concussion test was conducted (if one was conducted at all).

Looking at a literal snapshot in time is NOT how you can tell if someone has a concussion. It literally takes minutes of time (e.g., looking at pupils, asking questions, doing physical tests and importantly, just sitting the person out for awhile to see if their symptoms change in the next few minutes). That can't be shown in a picture.


September 29th, 2014 at 10:33 AM ^

Ross has a lot of power because of money. Money talks. We have a huge alumni base that, collectively, can make its voice heard. Maybe the president and regents will listen if we have a kickstarter campaign to pay the termination penalty in Brandon's and Hoke's contracts. My one point of hesitation would be that Brandon might try to sue for interference with contractual relations. 

Nobody Likes a…

September 29th, 2014 at 10:33 AM ^

This is now where the program has me. I want to personally lash out at every single person involved in letting him get back on the field. From Dave Brandon, to Mary Sue to myself for not personally telling him what a fraud he was in front of Schembechler hall that one time.


So much of my personal identity and pride come from Michigan, and these asshole are trying to eat away at that. Not because they are bad at football. Hell being bad at football is fine. Being dumb and careless about peoples safety and lives in the pursuit of bad football is a cardinal sin. These assholes are trying to leave a mark on us with their carelessness, self interest and stupidity.


September 29th, 2014 at 10:36 AM ^

We're gonna ride this shit train all the way to the bottom. Hoke won't be fired mid-season, and we'll finish 2-10, or 3-9, AT BEST.

I thought the RichRod era set back Michigan football. That was NOTHING compared to what Brandon and Hoke are currently doing to this program.

Not only can we not win a terrible Big 10 conference, we can't even COMPETE in it. Hoke's own personal definition of "success" is winning the Big 10. By his own definition, he's been a failure the last three years. And this year, well, he's taking that failure to a whole new level, and putting the health of his student-athletes at risk.




September 29th, 2014 at 11:03 AM ^

not sure if you are including this year in the last 3 years, but Hokes best season at Michigan was 2011 but M was not even the Legends Division Champ as Sparty won that and then lost in the BgTn champioship game to Wisky.  So obviously this seasn they are not going win anything-legands/leaders east/west in state rivalry etc.  Maybe they could be the Washtenaw County College football champs-its a good thing the local Commnunity College doesn't have a football team otherwise they probably wouldnt win that either!  Anyway to your point about Hokes parameter of success, Hokes best effort was 2011 where they were Legends divisional runners-up to Sparty playing with RR recruited and developed players.  He fails according to his own milestone measurement every season he has been at M.  How unemotional and objective is that?


September 29th, 2014 at 10:36 AM ^

Brian, it's funny you put an RR quote about Denard and concussions as if he's better than Hoke. I urge you to go back and check out Arizona's games. It escapes me which game, but I distinctly remember an Arizon's QB taking head shots, then running to the sidelines to puke in front of RR. He sent him right back out there since they were driving down the field. A clear sign of concussion was overlooked there, but you didn't see anybody talking about that one.


September 29th, 2014 at 11:06 AM ^

I remember what you're referring to, but I'd like to revisit it. I also remember the in-game announcers noting the quarterback's completely natural tendency to puke. Matt Scott if I'm not mistaken. I'm quite sure that this wasn't concussion related at all.

Please edit your post to reflect reality. 


September 29th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

While this probably could have been handled better, Rodriguez at least called a timeout to go over things and didn't just throw him back out there. 

And after the game Arizona made a clear statement that Scott did not have a concussion, not whatever horseshit Michigan put out yesterday. Against UCLA, he did suffer one and they pulled him and sat him the next week as well. 



September 29th, 2014 at 10:39 AM ^

Man, Kalis just watches his QB get lit up by a dirty hit and doesn't do anything.  No wonder he is competing for time with a 6'1" walk on the kid has no heart.  The guys should have destroyed Cockran right after it happened or at least on the next play. Defend your teammates.


Country club program with everyone just playing for themselves.  Except De'Veon Smith.  That kid shows me something every time he touches ball.  It is not his fault the coaches took it away from him in the second half.

An Angelo's Addict

September 29th, 2014 at 10:40 AM ^

Our program has turned into a steaming pile of gardbage with Brandon and Hoke doing the dumping. If I had season tickets I would choose not to attend as well because that's all you can really do to show anything at this point. And yes, please run for regent, it would be nice to have someone on the committee that isn't completely incompetent appointing this asshat to lead our atheletic department who then chose a buffoon to lead the football team


September 29th, 2014 at 10:40 AM ^

why Brandon hasn't made a statement yet about the latest debacle.  But then it will probably end up with him saynig he is not going to comment on the teams "progress" or the HC status as he just doesn't discuss that kind question.


September 29th, 2014 at 10:40 AM ^


Thank you for finally pushing towards actual action.  It's been frustrating to see the clear dissatisfaction all over this blog but then see nothing come of it other than people debating the degrees of just how terrible things are.  I think people will be surprised by just how much influence this blog can have.

I support the boycott and campaign 100% and will put my $ where my mouth is when you put together a funding campaign. I hope the others here, who have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours enjoying this site will consider doing the same.  I think you've earned it.

As an aside, it's a shame that this is how Brady goes out.  I think he really does care about the kids, really does get them to graduate etc.  But he's lost control and there's no turning back.  Brandon, on the other hand, I have no sympathy for.

Good luck!

Miles was right

September 29th, 2014 at 10:50 AM ^

For the reasons of incompetence, you can say that unequivocally that Hoke deserves to be fired...  but its quite another thing to not give him the benefit of the doubt on an unvery unfortunate situation.... Yes,  incompetence across the board, and we're in agreement...  But to say that Hoke deliberately tried to endanger Morris, well, I don't agree...  Nope...   Hoke should get the benefit of the doubt, in acting in the welfare of his "kids" first... The fact that he ALLOWS them to be treated as "kids" with no accountability, and not "young MEN", is evidence enough, and has brought his program to its knees..... 

Case in point, that FUCKING MORON   Hagerup.....  do you realize he shanks...shanks... maybe 19 of 20 kicks?  Over and over and over.  In fact, this is quite indicative, Hoke's interaction with this "kid"...  Hoke sent him home last year in Hagerups own best interest, instead of letting him continue on weed while booming punts.. Hoke leaves him in and allows him no accountability and shank punt after punt after punt.  Any normal coach would have BENCHED his ass... benched it, long ago....they'd have tried to make him man the fuck up, and snap out of this juvenile kid mentality the entire team has... they look like big kids playing football.... watch Magnuson on the sidelines... a true 'California kid' if I ever knew one.... a big kid playing football. And how interesting, that the cheap shots the QB has taken the past year, and NOT ONE player doesn't come to the aid of their teammate on the field... What I wouldn't pay right now, to have seen an OL, warn off the Minnesota perpetrator, and get in his face, and then annihilate him the next play, even drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty. But its not happening becuase Hoke has mentally suppressed the entire team with his incessant sheilding of them and calling them "kids, kids, kids".... they do now in fact behave like such, and take no accountability....  But I openly wonder if M nation isn't part to blame here, when they jump on any coach who doesn't completely fall on the sword for any terrible play.... this is wrong..   the players are getting a very nice scholarship and everything that goes with it, and any criticism is effecitvely blocked.

You were right Brian, to call out the special teams... but I think you missed the forest for the trees on it, because the fact that Hagerup is still even on the field, is where the program is and where Hoke's true intentions are about player welfare... Yes, Hoke messed up and missed it... total fail on the entire staff... but I highly, highly doubt, he realized it how you are claiming.

Hoke is over his head, and it is very apparent, and is overwhelmed by it all, and this was missed.  But its not right to claim deliberate over incompetence here.