The Shane Morris Incident

Submitted by Brian on September 28th, 2014 at 2:38 PM

For posterity I've clipped the video of the helmet to helmet hit and Michigan's actions after, plus the decision to insert him into the game after Gardner's helmet popped off.

The booing you hear in the background is fans demanding that Morris be removed, as it was even more obvious Morris was not right if you were looking at him for those 20 seconds uninterrupted. The only guy in the stadium who didn't know was Hoke.

Bluntly, anyone arguing that we shouldn't jump down Hoke's throat because of the slight possibility Morris was not concussed is an idiot.

Comments

Frieze Memorial

September 28th, 2014 at 2:54 PM ^

I don't think disgusting is the right word.  If Hoke had left him in because he was the best player and he was trying to save his own job, that would be disgusting.  If Hoke thought Morris was soft and needed to be taught a lesson, that would be disgusting.

 

This is inexplicable.  I don't believe Hoke wants to hurt his players, so I'm just sitting here shaking my head.  My support of this administration and staff evaporated in less than a half of football.  Before the game, I was thinking, "even if they lose, even if they go 6-6, Hoke deserves another year."  By the end of the game I thought he should be fired on Sunday.

 

What a 7 years it has been.

bluebyyou

September 28th, 2014 at 3:34 PM ^

I believe the same thing....Hoke would not want one of his players to suffer injury if it could be avoided.  

That Hoke and the rest of the coaching staff didn't know what was happening on the field when tens of thousands of us at the game knew, as shown by the booing, paints a deplorable picture of incompetence and a total lack of communication and coaching failure which needs to be addressed immediately.

CompleteLunacy

September 28th, 2014 at 3:45 PM ^

Disgusting is absolutely the right word. I don't think there was active malevolence by the coaching staff, but in today's world it's absolutely disgusting that something THAT egregious could happen to any FBS program, let alone one as storied as Michigan. It's so grossly incompetent and negligent that it became disgusting. I was absolutely disgusted watching it unfold. 

4godkingandwol…

September 28th, 2014 at 2:53 PM ^

... I think this is it exactly.  We should be upset because he is so oblivious, not because he intentionally did something to harm his players.  And it's the same obliviousness that has led to the failure of the Hoke experiment.  I'm honestly not angry at Hoke for leaving Shane in.  I'm angry that he probably had no idea what was going on.  If you're angry with anyone for letting Shane in, it should be the OC.  He's the one that is being negligent given how little control Hoke exerts on his coordinators.  

Shop Smart Sho…

September 28th, 2014 at 3:07 PM ^

Except there are numerous reports that Nuss was trying to get Shane to either come off the field or go down so a medical timeout would be called.  As far as I know, Hoke is the only one on the sideline that can call a timeout, so Nuss can't do much if the HC won't stop the clock.  The ref actually asked Hoke if he wanted a TO, but he made the "roll the clock" gesture to the ref to get the game going.

turd ferguson

September 28th, 2014 at 6:32 PM ^

Assigning some of the blame to Morris isn't fair.  Assigning some of the blame to Nussmeier is absolutely fair.  The guy is on the field for fuck's sake - and he's constantly talking to his QBs - so it's not like he couldn't see what was going on because of the distance involved.

With Hoke, I'm willing to attribute this to incompetence rather than a lack of concern for player safety.  That's little consolation, since incompetence will get him fired, but it's at least something that lets you sleep at night.  I assume that the same goes for Nussmeier (though I feel like we don't know him as well), but whatever happened, there's a stunning lack of on-top-of-it-ness going on right now.

ThoseWhoStayUofM

September 28th, 2014 at 7:44 PM ^

Nuss probably assumed Hoke knew what was going on. Nuss probably never coached under an incompetent head coach before... and workig under Saban, he was probably pretty well trained not to publicly question the head coaches decisions on national television. Think about it.

Dave.Brandon

September 28th, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

I think the fair thing to do would be not to summarily fire anyone Monday morning, but to relieve Hoke of all head coaching duties and ask Mattison to run the team.  Hoke is told to stop coming to work and go golf with Weis or something.  I realize there is a risk that Mattison will resign in protest due to his friendship with Hoke.  If that happens then we need to look at DeBord or Moeller, as I assume Carr is not an option due to health issues in the family.  Can't promote Nuss given he may or may not have played a role in putting Shane back in and we don't know which it is at this time.

We have a concrete concussion protocol developed with UMHS.  So starting Monday some investigators are sent out to determine why this protocol was not followed and who is at fault.  People are then discplined and/or terminated based on who exactly did what.  Morris was seen talking to a trainer, tentatively identified as the head trainer by some posters, before coming back in.  So why said trainer didnt intervene is an issue.  Nuss's role also needs to be reviewed.  Hoke of course is where the buck stops so he takes the paid leave while this is reviewed.  

LKLIII

September 28th, 2014 at 3:24 PM ^

I think this is the crux of the issue right here.  What are the rules RE: who can call a time out in college football?  If Nuss cannot, then he either needs Shane to hit the ground--which Shane refused to do, or get Hoke's attention and convince him to call one.  Nuss clearly did #1 but it's unclear if he tried to do #2.  And if he DID attempt #2, and yet a time out was not called, was it b/c for some reason he couldn't get to Hoke fast enough (i.e. why was Hoke MIA just then)? Or did Nuss talk to Hoke and Hoke refused to stop the clock because Nuss was not clear enough to Hoke as to the situation?  Do we know for a fact that Hoke looked at the Ref and proactively refused to call a timeout?

Same thing with the botched substitution two plays later.  Who makes that call?  Once Cleary couldn't find his damned helmet and it became clear we either had to call a time out, burn Speight's redshirt, or send in Morris again, who's call is that?  Nuss?  Hoke?

And if at that point they thought Morris may have had a head injury, why doesn't the medical staff immediately take his helmet away from him and issue him a test on the sideline?  Who directs the medical staff and makes those decisions?  Nuss or Hoke?

Was it pure incompetence?  Or was the reason Morris not fully put out of commission and administered a test was becasue they didn't "want to know what the answer was.' (i.e. don't ask, don't tell) so they could send him in just in case?

All speculation at this point, but I think relevant questions.

EDIT:  Excellent point about the next play being a pass play.  Was that Nuss who made the call?  How much is Hoke meddling here?  A lot? None?  Is this all on Nuss, or is he getting over-ruled at each step as Hoke feels his coaching tenure slipping away?  

Also, it's clear that Hoke's emphasis on "toughness" is at best getting mis-applied.  The mental thoughness isn't there.  And yes it's importatnt for guys to fight through fatigue and minor boo boos, but if you stress "toughness" too much you get guys pushing through injuries, lying about or hiding/minimizing injuries, and then exacerbating minor injuries into major ones.  You end up harming yourself and your team long-term just to prove you're tough enough to play a few extra snaps in the now.

TheTruth41

September 28th, 2014 at 4:42 PM ^

he should know he's only going to be in for one play and he should know that one play will be a handoff. pretty much any helmet not currently in use would do just fine.

Amazes me how he doesn't know where his helmet would be at all times. if I'm a backup and my chances are limited at playing I'm doing everything in my power to be ready to play, not relying on a coordinator or position coach to check on me to make sure everything is in order...they have much more important things to worry about. That type of personal responsibility is on the player. 100%

dragonchild

September 28th, 2014 at 5:42 PM ^

Someone else had his helmet, and they all look the same.

It's one thing if he just had his helmet lying around, but #66 was wearing Bellomy's helmet.  And I'm sure that was an honest mistake, not "durr hurr I troll Russell by wearing his helmet so MGBlog gets on his ass".

Let's stick to people who actually screwed up, hm?  We're not lacking on people to be pissed off at.

Mazzy

September 28th, 2014 at 6:12 PM ^

The more I think about this situation, the more I feel I am wrong in giving Hoke the benefit of the doubt. For the many questions you're asking, the answer, in my mind, always seems to be, "this doesn't add up."

It doesn't add up that Nussmeier wouldn't say anything at all to Hoke (if Hoke is the only one who can call a time out). It doesn't make sense that Morris wouldn't get a concussion exam once he did come out considering that Nuss wanted him to lay down in the first place. And it doesn't make sense that apparently everyone in the stadium saw this wobbly kid EXCEPT Hoke.

Last year when Gardner broke his foot during a game, Hoke, by his own admission during a press conference, said this to Gardner: "I don't want to see you limp. I said every guy out here could limp. We've got to go play."

So is Hoke really just this clueless buffoon that we are all kind of giving him an 'out' for being, or is he truly negligent in a more malicious way? Did he basically tell this 19 year old kid that he was fine and to just shake it off? I'm starting to think that's exactly how it went down.

wlubd

September 28th, 2014 at 2:53 PM ^

I would agree except the only logical interim HC choices are Mattison, who I don't think is interested (especially if Hoke were fired), or Nussmeier who is RUNNING THE OFFENCE and just as accountable for Morris being out there.

Just a terrible situation. Hoke shouldn't stick around another day IMO but long-term, don't see an option but keep him until November 30th.

mastodon

September 28th, 2014 at 4:25 PM ^

There should be an obvious interim coaching candidate.  Let's see....Ideally, we'd like someone who:

  • Is familiar with the current staff and players.
  • May have participated in staffing decisions.
  • Has sat in on strategy meetings with the coaches.
  • Has sat in on film review meetings with the coaches.
  • Has had some form of executive experience delegating responsibilities.
  • Has coached/played under Bo (nice pedigree) would be a plus.
  • Is very confident in their own decision making capabilities.
  • Dave Brandon thinks very, very highly of.

Know anybody that fit's that bill?

Pinto1987

September 29th, 2014 at 12:25 AM ^

Mea culpa.  I missed this one - for over 18 months!

If Debord is employed by UM - which I now realize he is - that man behind the curtains is Lloyd, and Brandon is an empty suit doing Lloyd's bidding.  Hoke AND Debord?  If there ever was any doubt that Lloyd was behind this, it's now been vaporized in nuclear-like fashion.

True Blue Grit

September 28th, 2014 at 4:01 PM ^

looked pretty damned good for his age yesterday.  Seriously though, what I think will happen more likely than not is that because of the shitstorm being generated over this event, the President will ask the AD to conduct an investigation into the incident.  He and the Regents will want to know 1) was Morris actually concussed or not,  2) Is there a process in place to decide how and when a player is pulled out to check them out, 3) if there is, why wasn't it followed 4) Is the University legally at risk in any way, and 5) a bunch of other questions I haven't thought of.  

I don't necessarily agree this is what they should do.  After all, the what happened is pretty clear.  But, that's just the way the U seems to work.  

GoBLUinTX

September 28th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

enough for dismissal now, then he should be dismissed now.  To leave him in his position until November 30th is an admission that the welfare of the players takes second place to the welfare of the coaching staff.  There are all manner of people available that could be contacted today, I'm sure one of which would take the reins if the price were right.

wlubd

September 28th, 2014 at 3:15 PM ^

Part of me agrees with everything you said. And ideally, if Brandon asked Mattison to be interim HC the rest of the year and he said yes then I'd be in line to clean Hoke's shit out of his office.

But there has to be either a long-term plan in place or a reasonable stop-gap for the rest of the season. Unless you get a coach to leave their position midseason, that long-term plan can't happen until end of the season, and if there's no stop-gap then what is left to do?

That's a serious question at the end, because I don't really see a way to fire Hoke now unless Mattison takes over without torpedoing the program. And all of this doesn't even touch on whether or not our AD has the capability to make a competent decision re: all of this.

snoopblue

September 28th, 2014 at 2:45 PM ^

I don't think it was that Hoke didn't care and wanted him to play even if he was concussed. I think it was that Hoke has no idea what is going on, the game overwhelms him. That is still unacceptable and he has to go.